Gaming laptops are still niche, at the best aspirational. They have become synonymous with high fidelity graphics, higher refresh rate displays, customisable RGB keyboard, futuristic designs, and so on. But Dell wants to change this perception of gaming laptops. Its latest G5 15 (2020) is for those who do not have an unlimited budget to afford a gaming laptop.
I got to test the base variant of the machine but Dell is selling the G5 15 in various configurations, targeting various price points. Here’s a look at what it’s been like to use the Dell G5 15 (2020).
Dell G5 15 (2020) price in India: Rs 82,590 onward
Dell G5 15 (2020) specifications: 15.6-inch IPS Full HD display with a 60Hz refresh rate| Intel Core i5 (10th gen processor|8GB RAM + 512GB SSD| Windows 10|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650i GPU
Dell G5 15 (2020) review: Design
Dell’s G-series is heavily inspired by expensive gaming laptops sold under the Alienware brand, though the company has made a clear distinction between the two brands. Aesthetically, the G5 is designed in such a way that it can be used in both gaming and office environments. The machine is fairly heavy though, weighing in at 2.34 kg. But don’t worry, it will fit into your backpack easily. The laptop’s chassis is entirely made of plastic and while that is acceptable, I wish Dell had given much more emphasis on the design of the laptop. The display hinge is flanked by two large output vents, which are needed for heat management.
Dell G5 15 (2020) review: Port selection
Dell has made no compromises as far as the port selection is concerned. On the left, you will find SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, HDMI 2.0, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, charger input, and a USB Type-C connector. And around the right, there is a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a full-sized SD reader, and the headset jack. Having a full-sized SD card reader means I can now easily transfer images from the DSLR to the computer. Journalists, editors and professionals like me will appreciate the importance of a full-sized SD card slot on a laptop. The Dell G5 also supports the latest connectivity options including Bluetooth 5.1.
Dell G5 15 (2020) review: Display
The model, which I reviewed, is a 15-inch IPS-level 1080p display with a 60Hz refresh rate. The 1080p display is bright and feels perfect for gaming and watching videos, though it would have been great to see a 120Hz refresh rate screen on an entry-level model. I am not asking for an OLED screen on the entry-level machine. All I am saying is that give me a 120Hz refresh rate screen on the base variant of a gaming laptop. The 120Hz display allows for smoother gaming with less input lag.
Dell G5 15 (2020) review: Keyboard and touchpad
Dell has done a decent job on both the keyboard and trackpad. The spill-resistant keyboard on the G5 has four bright RGB lighting zones that can be easily controlled in the Alienware Command Center. The keyboard feels decent for a machine this size. I was actually able to type faster and more accurately on the Dell G5 15. Below the keyboard is a touchpad that’s quite large and responsive. Oddly, the touchpad is positioned not in the center but on the left-hand side of the laptop.
Dell G5 15 (2020) review: Performance
Under the hood, the Dell G5 is a solid machine. My review unit was configured with the latest Intel 10th generation Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. My unit was also armed with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650i GPU.
I used the G5 as my daily work machine, putting it through intense testing. The tasks consisted of editing photos and light videos, running AAA games, streaming Amazon Prime and Netflix, Spotify streaming, editing Google docs, and opening dozens of tabs in Chrome. For most of the work I do, the G5 performed like a champ. When it comes to gaming, the G5 did not disappoint me. The machine could handle Fortnite and Civilization VI, two highly popular AAA titles. During the gameplay, the laptop got warm but never too hot that I need to turn off the machine.
Speaking of the battery, the review unit only lasted a few hours in normal usage. On average, the laptop’s battery couldn’t even touch five hours. Of course, it all depends on how you are using the laptop.
Dell G5 15 (2020) review: Observations
I really liked the speakers. They are loud and clear, though they lack bass. Meanwhile, the 720p HD webcam located on the top bezel of the display should be fine for Zoom calls. There is also a fingerprint sensor on the power button, which can be used to sign in into Windows Hello.
Dell G5 15 (2020) review: Should you buy it?
Yes. At Rs 82,590, the entry-level G5 15 hits the sweet spot between price and performance. You get what you pay for with the G5 gaming laptop.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines