Dell Inspiron G5 15 Gaming Laptop Review

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Dell Inspiron G5 15 Gaming Laptop Review
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It’s no secret that Dell is a giant in the pre-built PC and laptop market and while they bought out famous gaming brand Alienware out in 2006, Dell still produces their own branded models of gaming laptops such as the Inspiron range. That being said, we’re taking a look at a 15” gaming laptop which looks to dominate the sub £1000 market. Today’s review is brought to you by the Dell Inspiron G5 15 which is mid-range in pricing and features an NVIDIA GTX 1060 mobile graphics card, 8GB of DDR4 memory and is powered by an Intel Core i5-8300H quad-core processor with hyperthreading technology.

The Dell Inspiron G5 15 is customizable as you would expect and allows you to get the spec you want, or as close to the spec you want! You can customize your own here – https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/cty/dell-g5-15-gaming-laptop/spd/g-series-15-5587-laptop

Let’s take a look at the specifications of the model Dell has sent in to us and then we’ll take a closer look at it!

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Specifications & Features


OVERVIEW
 
Type Gaming laptop
Operating system Windows 10 (64-bit)
PERFORMANCE
Processor – Intel® Core™ i5-8300H Processor
– Quad-core
– 3.9 GHz
– 8 MB cache
RAM – 8 GB DDR4 (2666 MHz)
– 32 GB maximum installable RAM
Graphics card – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
– 6 GB DDR5
Storage – 1 TB HDD (7200 rpm)
– 128 GB SSD

SCREEN
 
Touchscreen No
Screen size 15.6″
Screen type IPS LCD
Resolution Full HD 1920 x 1080p
Screen features NVIDIA G-Sync

CONNECTIVITY
 
WiFi – Killer dual-band AC WiFi
– 2×2
Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet port
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2
USB – Thunderbolt 3 (USB 3.1 Type-C) x 1
– USB 3.0 Type-A x 3
Video connections – HDMI 2.0 x 1
– Mini DisplayPort x 1
Audio connections 3.5 mm jack

SOUND
 
Audio software Realtek ALC3246
Speakers Yes
MEDIA
Disc drive No
Memory card reader No
FEATURES
Camera – Full HD webcam
– Compatible with Windows Hello
Mouse / trackpad Multi-touch trackpad
Keyboard Backlit membrane keyboard with numeric keypad
Security features Kensington security lock slot
Other features Microphone
POWER
Battery type 4-cell Lithium-ion
Battery life Up to 6 hours
GENERAL
Colour Black
Box contents – Dell G5 15.6″ Intel® Core™ i5 GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop
– AC adapter
Dimensions 25 x 389 x 274.7 mm (H x W x D)
Weight 2.7 kg
Manufacturer’s guarantee 1 year

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Closer Look

The frame of the Inspiron G5 15 is 38.9 x 27.5 x 2.5cm in size which is pretty average as far as a 15” gaming laptop goes. The bulk of the laptop consists of an all-black frame and red highlighting around the mouse trackpad. This looks pretty good and while you must remember this is a gaming laptop, the build quality is what we would expect from a laptop in this price range! The IPS matte screen is sized at 15.6” and features a 1080p resolution display which is powered by an NVIDIA GTX 1060 Mobile 6GB graphics card. The processor of choice is an Intel i5 8300H mobile processor and Dell has sent us a sample which has 2 x 4GB DDR4 sticks of RAM which runs in dual channel. One thing to be careful of when using the configurator is performance will be slightly worse when using 1 stick over 2 as dual channel allows for more bandwidth.

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Gaming Laptop 1

Connections-wise on the right side is 2 x USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack and an HDMI connector. The other side (left) has another USB 3.0 port, an RJ45 LAN Gigabit port, a power input to charge the battery and an SD card reader. At the top of the screen is a 720p webcam and the keyboard features built-in LEDs which can be controlled using a combination of Alt+F10. Screen brightness can be adjusted and cycled through by pressing Alt+F11 and Alt+F12, this is perfect if you want to change the screen brightness on the fly.

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Gaming Laptop Side view

The Inspiron G5 15 is available in matte black or in a shade of colour which Dell call ‘Beijing red’ which gives you an alternative to the sample we have in our hands currently. The red looks vivid and bright, whereas the black would be a much subtle option for gamers or power users. Battery life is advertised as being up to 6 hours, but we all know that gaming will drain that battery much quicker so if your looking for a gaming laptop for sessions unplugged, take this into consideration when buying one.

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Gaming Laptop 2

The performance is more than likely going to be what you care about when it comes to a gaming laptop, so let’s crack on and have a look at the performance in our laptop benchmarking suite.

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance

It’s time to see how the Dell Inspiron G5 15 gaming laptop performs in our benchmarking tests. These tests include the following:

2D Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Cinebench R15 (CPU & OpenGL)
  • PC Mark 10 (Default benchmark)
  • PASSMARK (Memory Mark)

3D Synthetic Benchmarks

  • 3DMark (Fire Strike & Timespy)

Gaming Benchmarks

  • Company of Heroes 2 (High preset, 1080p)
  • Rise of The Tomb Raider (High preset, 1080p)
  • Total War: WARHAMMER 2 (High preset, 1080p)

Let’s do this then…

Cinebench R15 – CPU & OpenGL

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - Cinebench R15 CPU

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - Cinebench R15 OpenGL

PC Mark 10 – Main Benchmark 

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - PC Mark 10

PASSMARK – Memory Mark

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - PASSMARK Memory Mark

3DMark – Fire Strike & Timespy

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - 3DMark Fire Strike

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - 3DMark Time Spy

Company of Heroes 2 – High preset, 1080p

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - Company of Heroes 2 1080p

Rise of The Tomb Raider – High preset, 1080p

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - Rise of the Tomb Raider 1080p

Total War: WARHAMMER 2 – High preset, 1080p

Dell Inspiron G5 15 Performance - Total War Warhammer 2 1080p

The Dell Inspiron G5 15 Review: The Verdict

What Dell has essentially done with the Inspiron G5 15 is implant a new set of hardware into an Inspiron 15 7000 shell and if both were sat in front of you without any model numbers, you would be hard pushed in deciding which was which. That’s not a bad thing if you like the look and design, which I think is a little outdated for a gaming laptop in this day and age, but I have to say it’s a nice design despite this. The performance figures are as expected from a notebook with an Intel Core i5 8300H quad-core processor and GTX 1060 6GB pairing and for reference, it performs very similarly to the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Bo previously reviewed; imagine that eh? Overall performance is good and is further enhanced with quick booting times thanks to a 128GB SSD for booting Windows 10, and a single 1TB hard drive to act as a storage drive. The inclusion of a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C and HDMI 2.0 port make this more premium than anything else, so as far as the full package on offer is concerned, £999 is a very good and tasty price indeed.

Performance from the speakers thanks to the MaxxAudio Pro technology is a particular highlight and the keyboard has a nice feel to it. The keys do light up and can be activated (or deactivated) by using the Alt+F10 key combination. Onto the negatives and the biggest is probably the weight with the Inspiron G5 15 weighing around 2.6kg and it looks deceptively lighter than it is. Unfortunately, gaming laptops aren’t really lightweight and if you’re in the market, the GS range from MSI is a good shout, but you can expect to shell out upwards of £1500 for one for a similar spec so it depends what your budget looks like. The screen itself could certainly be better and although it features a 1080p IPS 15.6” screen, the colours did look a little washed out on the default setting. You can of course calibrate it using a calibration tool, but I still have my doubts about the screen quality itself. As you would expect, battery life on a gaming laptop is subjective and if you’re planning on playing games without being plugged in, you can expect your battery to drain fairly quickly, but battery life is around 6 hours give or take.

The biggest point to point out is that this model does run hot and loud under load, well at least this particular sample does. Running Time Spy to test this ramped the CPU up to 100°c which is the limit before throttling happens. The GTX 1060 on the other hand hit a maximum temperature of just 64°c, and when under load the fans do ramp up pretty aggressively and operate very noisily. Whether the thermal paste needs re-applying between the cooler and the CPU, that remains to be seen but we have a policy of reviewing components and products as they arrive. The CPU temperatures do settle so that has to be said, but the initial ramping of the temperature before the fans kick in do hit the maximum and it’s something we expect Dell would address.

What’s hot:

  • Intel Core i5 8300H and GTX 1060 6GB For Under £1000 is good going
  • Keyboard feels solid and reliable
  • Available in black or red
  • Thunderbolt 3 Type-C and HDMI 2.0 connectors
  • Speakers sound surprisingly good for a laptop
  • Decent performance for the price

What’s not:

  • Pretty heavy for a 15″ laptop (2.6kg)
  • Looks rather outdated for a gaming laptop in 2018
  • Screen quality could a little bit better
  • Runs loud under full load and gets hot!

Overall Dell has done a good job with the Inspiron G5 15 15.6” gaming laptop and for the price, it’s certainly good value all round. While the concerns of temperatures and noise are part and parcel of owning a gaming laptop, it’s easier to negate them for bigger issues such as screen quality. The combination of an Intel i5 8300H and NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB is a popular and quality pairing, one which should see you playing newer games at good settings and most importantly, at the 60 fps limit the 15.6” IPS screen is designed for.

If you’re looking for a decent mid-range gaming laptop and you want a small amount of pocket change from a grand, the Dell Inspiron G5 15 gaming laptop is certainly one for the shortlist and despite a couple of niggles, it’s still a good gaming laptop overall for the price.

Thanks to Dell for sending a sample of the Inspiron G5 15 in for review.

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