Dell G7 15 2020

Dell G7 15 2020

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Dell G7 15 2020 Review

Dell G7 15 review: Dell's top gaming laptop is at its best when it costs less. The G7 might be cheaper than one of Dell's Alienware models, but the value over its G5 15 sibling -- or the competition -- isn't there.

Thin and light for a mainstream gaming laptop. Offers higher-end components for less than Dell's Alienware brand
Small, inconsistent touchpad. Features like Thunderbolt 3, 144Hz/240Hz displays only available with pricier graphics
The G7 might be cheaper than one of Dell's Alienware models, but the value over its G5 15 sibling -- or the competition -- isn't there.
RATING
3.5 / 5
Dell's top gaming laptop is at its best when it costs less
Design
8
Features
7
Performance
8
Battery
7
Dell G7 15 review

Dell G7 15 2020 Overview

The Dell G7 15 is a victim of its lower-end linemate's success. The G5 15 offers a wide variety of component options starting at $900 for entry-level and mainstream gamers and it's all wrapped up in an attractive and relatively thin and light case, which is how it earned an Editors' Choice award for budget gaming laptops last year. The G7 15 is the upgraded version with things like a thinner, lighter all-metal chassis instead of plastic, higher-end component and display options and a four-zone RGB LED backlit keyboard. But all of that just isn't enough to give it an enthusiastic recommendation. At least not for the pricier configuration I tested.

The issue I have is the G7 doesn't differentiate itself enough from the G5 for those on a budget. And for those less restricted by price, the Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card in my review system pushes the price up so that it's not too far off from the nicer-looking and more capable Alienware m15.  Unless you really want the RTX card's support for ray tracing or DLSS that improves lighting and detail realism in supported games (there are only a couple dozen at the moment), you're better off getting the G7 with a GTX 1660 Ti chip, which performs nearly as well for less money. In other words, if you're going to spend for the RTX 2060, you might as well spend to have it in a better laptop like the m15, too.  That's not to say the Dell G7 15 is something you should stay away from.

Oddly enough, the Dell G7 15 currently starts at $900 for seemingly the same configuration as the base G5 15. In this case, the G7 is certainly the way to go.  The G7 base model in the UK is £1,149 and in Australia it's $2,313, although both are better than what you'll get in the US. I like the look of the G7, too, and the metal case does make it feel more premium than the G5. The keyboard is comfortable for typing and gaming and, because Dell used white markings instead of the G5's blue, you can read the keys easily with the backlight off. The touchpad, on the other hand, is disappointing. It's actually smaller than the G5's and I found it took a couple swipes before it would recognize my touch.

 The rest of the build is similar to the G5, with display ports, Ethernet and the power input on back to make it tidier to use on a desk with peripherals. Along with HDMI, my system had a Mini DisplayPort, which is only available if you get the RTX 2060 card or higher. The same goes for Thunderbolt 3 and display options for 144Hz or 240Hz refresh rates. There's also an Ultra HD-resolution (3,140x2,160-pixel) OLED available if you want to drive the price up to $2,400. Then again, you can get a similar configuration in the Alienware m15 with an OLED display for $2,750, too.

 Basically, if you want the performance of an Alienware for less money and in a body that doesn't look as much like a typical aggressive gaming laptop, the Dell G7 15 is certainly worth considering. Depending on your configuration and budget, though, you might be better off with the G5 15 or saving up for the Alienware m15.

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