Review | Dell G3 15 gaming laptop

The black variant (Eclipse Black) we reviewed has a matte paint job with the blue glossy brand logo placed at the center and exudes the feeling of a subtly designed gaming rig, dominated by a textured black with light blue accents below and on the trackpad. The backlight for the keys is also of the same blue color which we’ll talk about later.

On the right side of the device, the ports include a power-in, a USB 3.1 second-generation Type-C Display port, HDMI, USB 3.1 Gen 1, RJ45, and a mic or headphone jack. On the left side, users can spot a Wedge Lock slot, two USB 2.0, and a single standard SD card slot.

When closed, it’s 21.6mm tall and 365.5 mm wide, and comes with two top-firing speakers that are emphasized thanks to its Nahimic 3D audio feature that is targeted for a better gaming experience. 

The gaming laptop is a heavyweight at 5.8 lbs. and we don’t recommend it for people who are travelling light, as it is designed to be a powerful workhorse that handles heavier workloads and graphic-intensive tasks, although the G3 15 is sure to get some envious looks because of its modern design and overall feel. It is also sturdy enough and can handle itself against minor scratches that stand out especially with a matte texture.

Viewing Experience

The 15.6” wide panel has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a refresh rate of 60p Hz resulting in decent-looking FHD videos content. For viewing content with deeper blacks, however, its brightness level must be kept at maximum since the screen lacks a punch of color saturation. Videos appear slightly washed-out and decreases the device’s immersive aspect when it comes to playing brightly colored and dim games.

Gamers will still find the Windows HD color settings a treat, a feature that enables them to stream HDR quality videos, play HDR games and applications, and even use wide color gamut (WCG) apps.

The FHD display is supported by an Intel UHD Graphics 630 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 and is equipped with an anti-glare LED design.

Performance

The G3 15 packs an Intel Core i5-9300H CPU clocking at 2.40GHz up to 4.1GHz with 8GB worth of RAM with a 64-bit OS. It runs Windows 10 Home edition and comes pre-installed with Alienware Command Center Suite and Alienware OC Controls.

The Alienware software allows gamers to customize the aspects of their gaming experience i.e. system and peripheral lighting, power management, thermal control, audio, and content organization.

For an entry-level gaming setup, the G3 can weave through a game title and open multiple browser tabs with relative ease, making it a suitable companion for beginning gamers. When performing non-demanding tasks like word processing and Web surfing, the CPU temperature stays near the 45°C threshold while the GPU is cool at 43°C. But when playing games like Grand Theft Auto V at 40 fps, the CPU temperature stays between 58°C to 62°C while the GPU consistently reaches 65°C to 68°C and the heat coming from the side-facing exhausts can be noticeable.

The keyboard’s backlight is one of the features that might need some getting used to. Although some lighter colors on the spectrum would have been more desirable, or better yet an RGB configuration, the color choice only becomes a bit unpleasant to look at for an extended period or when using it when typing at less than 70° of sitting inclination.

Although the backlight system is a hit and miss, it’s an integral part of the device and users shouldn’t bother operating it when its backlight is faulty since it would be tricky to recognize the characters.

The touchpad is veering more towards the left side which is caused by the dedicated numpad on the right side of the keyboard and is a big plus for most users.

The webcam also produces good videos and images, peppered with grain and blur here and there, but will suffice for video conferences since it can handle itself with environments that have scarce lighting.

The surprising aspect of the G3 is its battery optimization, and it blazes past its competition when it comes to battery life. For light to moderate tasks, it can support 7-8 hours of usage while it can run for an entire 3-3 1/2 hours when gaming, noting that the device is unplugged for this situation, although we don’t recommend gaming unplugged since the GPU won’t be maximized.

Software and after-sales support

Some nifty features include Offline Maps where users can download maps that they can access on applications even without being connected to the Internet. Apps for websites, meanwhile, allow websites to be opened through their app version aside from their online version.

For creative tasks, the 3D viewer will come in handy as 3D files can be viewed in different shading modes, have its mesh, texture, material and animation data inspected and edited, and even the color and positioning of staging lights can be controlled.

For users working both on their G3 15 and smartphone, the Dell Mobile Connect enables wireless PC-smartphone integration, whether for Android or iOS. With the platform, we were able to mirror the screen of the phones to the larger screen of the laptop, get notifications from mobile apps, call and text, and more importantly, transfer files. It only requires the download of the Dell Mobile Connect app for the phone in order to work seamlessly.

There is also a dedicated app for software purchases from Dell while platforms including LinkedIn, Netflix, and Xbox Live come pre-installed.   

The G3 15 comes with a 24×7 telephone access to hardware and software experts, onsite repair service after remote diagnosis, accidental damage repair, and even parental control software support as part of Dell’s Premium Support Services available nationwide.

Pros

  • Good display resolution
  • Dedicated Game Mode options
  • Large battery
  • Generous touchpad size and placement
  • Optimized performance for gaming
  • Cross-device (mobile) integration connectivity

Cons

  • Screen brightness is comparably low
  • Speaker quality is underwhelming; lacks bass
  • Narrow key travel and glaring blue backlight
  • Elevated and uncomfortable heat for heavy tasks

Verdict

When taking the price into account, the Dell G3 15 is a steal, a combination of powerful internals and impressive display backed by a beefy battery. Although the device looks sleek and futuristic from afar, the glaring issue up close lies in the backlight color on the keyboard. It also generates high levels of heat during demanding hours, and a little dim when it comes to panel brightness that becomes more evident in well-lit environments.

Gaming performance is impressive, and it can run heavy titles with ease, but its weight and thickness can be major factor for users who are always on-the-go, in which case we recommend devices with more of an Ultrabook form factor.

The device can handle almost any task thrown at it and can last for a longer time than most offerings in its price range when away from the power plugs. It’s built like a tank and its raw power can keep up with demanding users, but when measuring it specifically for its gaming prowess which the device is primarily meant for, it exceeds expectations.

Prices for the G3 15 starts at P46,990 in all Dell authorized resellers nationwide. The G3 15 is perfect for novice gamers who are just dipping their toes in the gaming environment, as well as content creators who need to render videos and edit projects on a daily basis.

As a budget gaming laptop, it is competitively priced and one of the more capable products in its league in the market today. For more advanced level users, the G7 can be a more perfect fit, or even the first Alienware laptop to hit our shores, the Alienware m15.

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