March 16, 2019
Dell G7 Laptop - Review
Whenever I am given the chance to review a laptop, I always jump at it, once I start to use it though, I always begin to compare it to my default laptop. The G7 packs a lot of power inside, but is that enough to make it a good machine?
The first thing I noticed about the G7 once I removed it from the box is that the laptop is massive, it is by far the single largest laptop I have ever held in my own hands. With that massive size comes a very large and substantial weight, but it also makes use of that size, by packing in quite a lot of power into it. Looking at the laptop, when the lid is closed and you will notice slight leans on the front and rear of the device, while aesthetically pleasing, it also has the benefit of helping keep the machine cool, at least the rear does. Both front and rear panels are also covered in slats, which gives a much neater appearance for airflow, rather than a giant hole or fan being visible. Looking at the side profiles, things are lot simpler, with straight white plastic and a host of ports, on the right side you get the basic 3.5mm jack, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out and a fancy and appreciated Thunderbolt port. The left side includes another standard USB 3.0 port, Ethernet jack, lock location, sd card slot and power, which means on the rear of the device, there is nothing at all.
All the inputs and such mean that you can connect a lot of accessories to the machine, including external monitors, so whilst it is portable, it is easy enough to see the device become your main one as well. The over size though, does limit your options when carrying it around, at 2.5cm thick and just under 3kg in weight, it is a hefty unit and carrying it for any amount of time will strain your back. The problem though is only increased once you include the power supply, which is beyond huge and more closely resembles something that you might use to construct a house with, it is honestly too large. As with almost all current laptops, there is no disc drive included, so you either need to invest in an external one, which are pretty cheap, or start going all digital, something I could suggest, the unit that I had was packed with 256gb solid state drive, giving a lot of storage for whatever you need it for.
Of course, size and ports are all well and good, but if the device is not capable of playing games, or editing photos then it matters not, thankfully, it packs a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 as the base card with options to go up to a RTX 2080 if you wanted to. The machine is also packing 16gb of DDR4 ram, running at a decent speed of 2666MHz, which when combined with the Intel i7-8750H CPU which was running at 4.1GHz, meant it was able to handle everything I threw at it. As Apex Legends was released the day after the machine arrived, I installed that and gave it a bash and as expected, the laptop came out on top, I had no issues with the games performance. Even throwing Anthem at the system proved to be no match for the power it was packing, though both games did increase the fan speeds a little.
When I say a little, what I mean is a lot, the fan was so loud at one point, I had to quit the game and turn the machine off completely, letting it cool down before I turned it back on. Once the machine was cooled again, it did not take too long for the fans to kick in again, even installing and running a much less demanding game like Minecraft saw the fans kick in, it just took longer to get going. The problem was, attempting to watch a movie, also increased the fan speeds, not to the same level as the games did, but still enough to by annoying, though donning some headphones did mute the noise somewhat, having to do was a little annoying.
Thankfully, watching the movie on that screen was incredible, as the display looks great, it has a wider bezel then I am currently used to, but the screen quality was so good, it mattered little. Even when sitting outside in the sun, direct light did not dull the screen, even playing Apex Legends on it, was still easy to see. While some people might think that a 1080p display in this day is not enough, thanks to the wonderful anti-glare coverage, and the fact that it’s a 15.6 inch screen, proves that it is grand enough to deliver what you need from it. When you combine that, with the twin speaker system that the laptop has included, you can easily use it as a portable cinema whilst you travel, though there are lighter options in doing that.
As I mentioned earlier, the power bricks is enormous, in fact I can’t recall the last time I saw any piece of tech, with a brick that large. Whilst the one I was using was delivering 180W, it was a little too large to be of use whilst travelling. Some laptop makers offer a smaller, more portable charger, for users to take with them, leaving the beast at home or in the office and I would like to see Dell do something here, as with the combined weight of the laptop and then the power supply, it makes carrying it, quite irksome.
The Dell G7 laptop was something that I could see myself using full time, not only was it powerful enough to play the latest games without issue, it was able to do almost everything else I threw at it. Its size and weight make it ideal to remain on a desk and not a travelling option, which is a shame, given that it is a laptop. If they manage to make the unit run quieter in the future though, that would also be a welcome change, but for those looking for a portable option with power, this is hard to pass up.