Gaming laptops have a reputation for being big, noisy, and expensive. The new Dell G15 makes a good attempt to eliminate all three of these problems. It doesn’t quite succeed, but the end result still offers much satisfaction. Although it has its limitations because of the low-resolution screen, the fast performance and great price make it an affordable product that can easily compete with more expensive laptops when it comes to a true gaming experience.
The new Dell G15 is available at a starting price of $1,599. The base model features an AMD Ryzen 5 6600H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, 8 GB of DDR5 RAM, 256 GB of SSD storage, and a 15.6-inch FHD display clocked at 120 Hz. Considering the equipment, this is a pretty respectable price. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t save a few euros if you shop in the right place. The Dell G15 is one of the company’s latest attempts to target the mass gaming community. With a rather understated design, the notebook does not make you think of gaming at first glance, but when you look at the hardware, it shines. Before we get to the review, let’s take a look at what the Dell G15 has to offer in terms of hardware.
Dell’s line of budget gaming laptops is not particularly cheap, especially at the time of launch. But this is not the case with the Dell G15 gaming laptop. With a retail price of only RM4,199 for an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU and a fast Intel Core i7 processor, it offers amazing value for money. Of course, the G15 is a budget-oriented gaming notebook that has some flaws, including mediocre build quality.
Despite being billed as a more moderate and economical counterpoint to Dell’s Alienware-branded series of gaming laptops, the new Dell G15 has all the makings. Although it doesn’t look it, it is more enthusiastic about its efforts than it lets on. There’s RGB lighting on the keyboard, “Alienware-inspired” thermal management technology working behind the scenes, Nvidia RTX discrete graphics, a high refresh rate screen, and a dedicated “Game Shift” button to help the hardware punch above its weight when needed.
Available in both AMD and Intel versions, the new Dell G15 has a 15.6-inch screen with a resolution limited to FHD, but with a default clock of 120 Hz. As with most modern Dell laptops, the screen of the new G15 can be upgraded to QHD and 240Hz at an additional cost. However, when you consider this, the performance-per-dollar advantage offered by the G15 drops off quickly enough that you might want to take a look at what more dedicated gaming brands like ASUS ROG, Omen, Legion or Razer are doing to get the same amount of money.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Dell G15 has a good, spacious keyboard with a fairly standard layout that is easy to get used to. The plastic used for the key covers is good; it is neither particularly fine nor cheap. The keys have a long travel and do not require much force, but they are a bit spongy. Overall, it offers a good typing experience and does not fatigue over time. You can switch between brightness levels of the backlight or turn it off completely with F5; however, you cannot change the color. There are models with 4-zone RGB backlighting if more colors are desired, and there is also an Obsidian Black Special Edition model with 12-zone RGB backlighting.
The build quality of the Dell G15 gaming notebook is just adequate. There are no flaws in the construction, but it does not seem particularly sturdy either. The plastic case feels cheap, the surface easily picks up fingerprints and scratches, and the screen and keyboard bend. The Obsidian Black Special Edition model has an aluminum lid.
The display is also very good: it is a Full HD display with a 120Hz panel that strikes the balance between casual and competitive gaming. Color quality is the strong point of this product. The G15 5515 has excellent saturation and black point when viewed from all angles. This is not an off-center gaming laptop, but if you relax on the couch and watch Netflix on the laptop, the viewing angles are among the best.
Dell claims it is a WVA panel, but we are not sure exactly what that means. Perhaps a sacred combination of IPS and VA? Well, whatever the reason they call it WVA, it is not hiding any secrets. Backlight bleeding is minimized, and did we mention that we like the color of this product?
The Dell G15 Ryzen Edition RTX 3060 runs at 125W, one of the best TDPs available for this GPU. Elsewhere it has the usual 6 GB of memory and 3840 stream processors. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor is also a no-brainer: it has the brilliant Zen 3 architecture, eight cores and theoretical speeds of 3.2 GHz and 4.4 GHz.
The rest of the specifications are not surprising, with 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory and a 512 GB SSD offering read and write speeds of 2894MB/s and 764MB/s, respectively. These speeds are not exceptional, but they are not terrible for everyday gaming; more worrisome is the capacity, which is quickly depleted when installing some big-name games. The powerful RTX 3060 played Horizon: Zero Dawn at 77 fps and Borderlands 3 at 67 fps. Both figures are impressive: the former is three frames ahead of MSI’s 85 W RTX 3060, the latter is ten frames faster.
The Dell G15 Ryzen Edition’s 15.6-inch display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is ideal for games with this GPU, but has a refresh rate of only 120Hz. This is acceptable for mainstream gaming, but the MSI and Lenovo laptops achieve 144Hz and 165Hz, respectively. Faster and smoother gaming is possible with both panels, and these speeds are better suited for eSports. The best feature of the display is the contrast.
The black point of 0.19 cd/m² is low and contributes to a contrast ratio of 1300:1. This is excellent for an IPS panel. This is an excellent value for an IPS panel and means that images have great depth and sharpness. The color temperature of 6352K is good and does not make images appear too saturated or dull. However, the Delta E of 4.88 is mediocre and the G15 represents only 59.6 percent of the sRGB color space.
Although this panel has a lot of depth and punch, it does not render a particularly wide color gamut. These are not ruinous results, but Dell does not make games look their best and more colorful titles suffer. You can play traditional games on this panel without problems, and none of the competitors are better. Ultimately, you need to spend more to get a big improvement in quality.
We used the Dell G15 for two weeks and accepted the laptop for its performance, but not for its aesthetics or ergonomics. It worked well for everything we did, from work to play to relax. But we can’t say we really like the design of the laptop. It is also very heavy to carry around, at 2.44 kg, and the same goes for the charging brick and adapter. Those who travel a lot and want to take the laptop with them might think twice.
The Dell G15 seems to be more of a home gaming device than a laptop to take everywhere. In terms of connectivity ports, we like that Dell has provided a wide range of ports. But we wish that all the ports were hidden in the back of the laptop, so as not to take up space next to the left and right sides of the laptop. An SD card reader would also be useful.
In terms of battery life, the Dell G15 does not fare very well. Despite such a sturdy body, the battery should be larger, which should theoretically provide more hours of use. But during our tests, it only took about 3.5 hours to continuously watch a 1080p video with 50% audio. If it was “mobile gaming,” it barely lasted an hour and a half, not to mention slower performance.
If you are working productively, it can last about 2/3 of the whole day and needs to be recharged towards evening. Recharging takes about 2 hours to bring the battery back to 100%. Don’t forget the charging stone to take with you.
It is quiet and you can barely feel the heat of the laptop even after hours of use. Thanks to the 10th generation Intel Core i7-10870H chip and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, the laptop has more than enough firepower to handle everyday gaming. There is also 8 GB of RAM and 480 GB of SSD storage.
When we tested the laptop with Dota 2 and Genshin Impact, both games ran perfectly without any hiccups. Cuts had to be made with Ghost Recon Breakpoint and Metro Exodus for the games to be playable. For both games, it was necessary to switch to low quality settings, but at least they were still playable. In terms of heat generation, the notebook does get a little warm, but especially under the display and the palm rest remains cool.
A gaming laptop is a small, mobile computer that has its own built-in screen and is specifically designed for gaming on the go and in environments where you do not have access to a desk. In their essence, they are the same as standard or business laptops, but with many advanced features that make a difference and allow users to play games.
In short, with a gaming laptop you get high speeds, large storage capacity, triple-A graphics cards and high processing power. These laptops are designed and built specifically for advanced gaming needs so they can go into battle with the power to beat the competition, be it human or AI. Gaming laptops with high-end hardware tend to be much more expensive than entry-level laptops, but they offer a significant upgrade even for basic laptop features.