Dell’s G5 has seen a huge hit last year, and the new improved model isn’t any less good. The new model is redesigned with a 15.6-inch display with a maximum screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is thrice better than the previous model. Priced at 1,071$, this laptop is all you need as a gamer.
The good thing is it has 6-Cell 90WHr battery life is good compared to others.
The new dell G5 comes with Windows 10 Home(64-bit) , 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750 H processor 2.6GHz , NVIDIA GTX 1650 Graphics and 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Ram memory for powerful performance and uninterrupted Gameplay, which give the best performance, and there is no shortage of storage as it includes dual drives with 256 GB M.2PCle NVMe Solid State Drive + 1TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive and it’s quieter than the old ones.
Coming to Communications it’s integrated widescreen HD 1080p Webcam with Dual Digital Microphone Array, 802.11 Wireless-AC WLAN 2×2 + Bluetooth 5.0 and it has Stereo speakers with Nahimic 3D audio. Can connect to any device it’s has 2x USD3.1, 1xUSD 3.1 Gen -1 with power share, 1x Thunderbolt 3 port, 1x RJ-450 port, 1x Mini Display Port, 1x Headphone Jack, 1x HDMI, 1x Media card reader and you can use this laptop for hours it never gets heat because of the Dual-fan cooling system with an advanced thermal design ensures that your system stays cool.
The G5 has a very unassuming style being entirely matt black plastic, except one small strip of gloss plastic just above the keyboard. Regardless of whether the plastic is gloss or matt, you will see every fingerprint. Styling grooves and a bit of plastic chrome attempt to give it a small amount of flair but the overall design is very muted. Around the edges, you will find a myriad of ports from USB 3.0, USB-C, Thunderbolt, HDMI, mini Displayport, Ethernet, SD card slot, and a mini stereo jack. Connections that would require bulky cables are pushed to the back. Internally is a PCI-NVME SSD and a traditional hard driver for larger storage. It allows storage of much larger games without a prohibitively expensive SSD but comes with a tradeoff of some battery life.
The chiclet keyboard feels responsive with decent travel but gives a solid thump at the bottom. It’s hard to judge responsiveness but compared to a dedicated gaming keyboard it feels nearly as fast. Unless you require extreme responsiveness or deep travel in your keys, this keyboard should do just fine. The trackpad is surprisingly good. Windows reports it as a precision touchpad. Palm rejection is very good, gestures work reliably, and overall the experience is very good. If there was any gripe, it would be that the surface is textured and provides too much resistance. The screen seems to have been improved from previous models as it gets bright for the class. You aren’t going to be getting much done with it outdoors but in a brightly lit room, it is still very usable. Without a tester, it is hard to judge the actual color accuracy but for normal daily use and gaming, there aren’t any odd color issues that stand out. One thing to note is out of the box the fans were rather obnoxious ramping up to high speeds even while watching a movie. You will notice them too because they have a bearing whine as they ramp up to speed. The good thing is after a slew of updates, including firmware, the system settled down to mainly turning on the fans during heavy usage. Even though the fan stabilized after the updates other random problems occurred where the keyboard and mouse stopped working for about a minute before recovering 4 times, plugging in a mouse once caused a bluescreen, and several times Windows complained that it wasn’t activated which suggest Dell has some minor tweaks that need to be done.
Digging deeper into using it for watching movies, the speakers get crazy loud at times. On full volume, it’s hard for anyone to have a conversation in the room. Sound quality is harder to explain. It’s not bad but lacks any sort of bass and midrange is slim. It’s a bit surprising for such a thick laptop to have no bass. That said, they have a type of surround sound that when you are the right distance away does a decent job of simulating some depth. It seems a bit gimmicky, but at the very least you can experience some surround sound.
The largest blemish is the 60Hz screen. For daily usage, the 60Hz panel does just fine but putting a 60Hz panel in a gaming laptop in 2019 just defies logic. If you have ever gamed on a 144Hz panel or faster the ghosting will be almost impossible to miss on this screen. It’s a good thing Dell decided to have USB-C and Thunderbolt, so you have options to connect to better screens. The integrated keyboard works well for gaming and includes highlights for WASD and even has a nub on the S key to help you locate the center quickly. The medium travel keyboard means that you might find the thud at the bottom of travel a little off-putting, but if you can get used to it, it doesn’t affect responsiveness. Key spacing is good as to prevent accidental weapon changes from mashing two keys but if the keys were slightly dished this could be improved further. What does affect gameplay is the cramped direction keys. If you play driving games, like Asphalt, and use the directional keys instead of a gamepad you will run into issues. The keys are all half height making accurate keypresses difficult. If Dell had maybe put a notch in the keyboard design to let the direction keys come down a little farther and allow full-sized keys this would be perfect.
This is where things get interesting. The SSD Peaks at a decent 1241MB/s Read and 694MB/s write. Not the top of the pack but right in the middle, the same as the entire system. Windows runs quickly as well as games once they are loaded off the traditional hard drive. Games still take their time to load but once a game loads the difference is noticeable. If you install steam on the SSD it only takes 3 seconds to launch. Assuming like most, you put your Steam library on your mechanical hard drive you can expect launch times, for example, just shy of 37 seconds for CSGO. Epic launched similarly launched in 3 seconds while Fortnite took a hefty 53 seconds to load. Having a Core i7 and 16GB of dual-channel ram is nice but the real star is the GTX 1660Ti. Even coming from a GTX 1050 the performance boost is noticeable. Older titles, such as COD or Borderlands 2, can run smoothly with all settings maxed out at full HD. Fan noise is noticeable during gameplay but the speakers do a good job of drowning it out and they do provide special awareness of the direction of sounds helping you target better where sounds are coming from. That said, a good set of headphones will easily outperform and could provide some of that missing bass to improve the experience.
Alienware Command Center is included to allow further tweaking of settings per game. Keep in mind, this is a paired down version of what is included on Alienware computers. It doesn’t include all features and you are reminded of this on launch with a warning that no supported hardware is found. Strangely it prompts to install an update that fails saying you need to uninstall the old version first instead of just removing or upgrading it for you. Once you get Alienware Command Center up to date you have the option to tweak certain system settings per game. Nvidia Control Panel allows you to change GPU settings per game like you are used to, but Command Center adds features that let you tweak hardware profiles for thermal performance, audio profile, CPU performance, and Audio Recon spatial audio. This can come in handy if you have some more casual games for use on the battery that you don’t want to use the GPU. You can set them to use the Intel graphics and silent profile meaning you can extend battery life and keep the heat down so you can use it in your lap.
Regarding heat, the base of the system can get uncomfortably warm during GPU heavy gameplay. Most of the time that isn’t much of an issue but if you decide you want to play something like Forza using WASD be prepared for some uncomfortable heat if you want to sit back with it in your lap and play.
Benchmarks show performance well above normal gaming laptops in 3D Mark with a score of 5787 versus an average of 3879 for gaming laptops. Overall, this puts it comfortably into the range of supporting Oculus and Vive and nearly to a 4K desktop gaming rig which is impressive. UserBenchmark testing pulls in an equally impressive score of 82% and rates it as an Aircraft Carrier. In real-world examples, CSGO pulled in nearly 300fps with all settings maxed out! Frame rates would dip into the mid-100s off and on but never below 100fps with the overall average just below 200fps. With all settings maxed on Forza 4, framerates held just over 30fps with flickering. After a new update to the GeForce, drivers have applied the framerate jumped up to 35-45fps with no flickering, but it couldn’t quite muster a stable 60fps.
The system does include a Killer Gigabit Ethernet adapter but with an internet connection of over 1Gbps and an overall latency of less than 13ms, it is impossible to see any perceivable difference. Conclusion Competition the past few years for affordable gaming laptops is paying dividends for the customer. Overall the G5 is a solid gaming rig that can also do double duty as a work or school computer. Once all system updates and firmware updates are applied there is little to fault except the monitor, which can be avoided if you have the extra cash to purchase the G5 with the 144Hz monitor. You could maybe even configure it with a better screen and less storage since the hard drives and storage can be changed later. If you need to save the money or don’t care about higher refresh rates this could still do the job well. Overall the G5 lineup is very competitive for 2019.