Budget Dell G3
The Dell g3 is a well-priced gaming laptop from Dells G Series and probably a more budget option compared to the g5 or g7.
In this unit there are a few different configurations available, I’ve got the highest spec g3 with the Intel i7 8750 H CPU, although it’s also available with the i5 8300 H. I’ve got 16 gigs of ddr4 2666 memory running in dual channel but it’s also available with 8 gigs in single or dual channel configurations, and it supports up to 32 gigs of memory in total.
There are a number of different storage configurations too, but I’ve got a 256 gig and up to SATA SSD and 2 terabytes hard drive installed, although faster nvme storage is also supported by the single slot.
For the graphics, there’s an Nvidia 1060 max q although it’s also available with 1050 or 1050 TI graphics and this powers the 1080p 60 hertz IPS panel.
For the network connectivity, there’s a Gigabit Ethernet port support, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The laptop is completely plastic with a matte black lid and then a grey and black checkerboard pattern for the interior. although it’s also available in white it’s got blue accenting all around it, for example around the touchpad, the keys, the logo under the screen, and on the lid.
Despite the plastic build overall it is still fairly solid and no sharp corners or ridges anywhere.
27.9 centimeters in depth so not exactly thin for a max Q laptop, but not bad for a 17-inch machine.
The starting weight for the lowest spec model list listed at 7 kilos although might weight under 3 kilos even with the hard drive installed.
The viewing angles on the screen were good, it looked great at just about any angle thanks to the IPS panel. The screen gets bright enough when at 100% brightness in the center with the 740 to 1 contrast ratio based on my own measurements.
The bezel was about a centimeter thick although I suspect that may vary with the 15-inch model. I’ve also measured the current color gamut using the spider 5 probe and my results returned 91% of srgb 68% of NTSC and 71% of Adobe RGB so not too bad for something marketed primarily as a gaming laptop.
I’ve taken a long exposure photo in a dark room as a worst-case backlight bleed test and we can see there is some bleed. I could actually occasionally notice the top-left spot during normal usage from time to time but this will vary between laptops, again keep in mind all of these screen results are specific to the LG panel in the 17-inch g3, I haven’t tested the 15-inch version so can’t compare them.
The keyboard has blue lettering so you can see it quite easily even with the backlighting off and my model also has blue backlighting. I’m not sure if that will vary between regions models learn as my g5 didn’t have backlighting while others did.
The backlighting can be adjusted between two brightness levels or turned off using a button on the keyboard.
Audible while gaming did pick up some noise, but overall it’s still a fair bit quieter compared to most other gaming laptops, likely due to the max Q graphics, and the same results with the stress tests running. I’ll also note that there was no noticeable coil whine while testing my unit.
Fortnight was seeing pretty nice results above 60 FPS averages, the Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built-in benchmark and this is after a recent game ready driver for the game from Nvidia, in any case, the results don’t seem too bad at the lowest setting levels.
Rainbow six siege was tested with the built-in benchmark and was still able to average well above 100 FPS even at Ultra settings.
In crystal disk mark the 256 gig SSD was getting above 500 megabytes per second and sequential reads and above 300 megabytes per second.
The g3 gaming laptop from Dell seems quite a fair priced, Dells gaming series laptops have generally been pretty competitive although depending on current sales you may be able to get the same specs at a better price with the g5 so check that before buying.
With these particular specs, we can play pretty much any game with good settings at 1080p without getting too hot or loud.
Mi Gaming Laptop
The gaming laptop that I’ve been testing for the last couple of weeks, now this is the second edition. I reviewed the first model that was released that had the seventh gen Intel chips in it, this now has the 8th gen ones, now has the 8750 H in here that’s 6 cores 12 threads and it has a maximum turbo of 4.1 gigahertz.
It’s a powerful chip and it’s also quite a hot chip and we will check out thermals on this, and most importantly fan noise which I didn’t like on the first model, it was a little bit too loud and spoiler alert, it is still too loud!
On this model the RAM is slightly faster, it’s double data rate for its 2666 megaHertz now instead of 2400. This is a marginal increase, this model is configured with the NVIDIA GTX 1060 with 6 gigabytes of VRAM, there’s also a cheaper model that has the Nvidia 1050 Ti.
We also do have faster wireless, it’s got Intel’s wireless AC lead gigabit chipset, and a much faster SD card reader which is now ultra high-speed.
From the first model they have not redesigned the cooling, it looks exactly the same to me, we’ve got a 55-watt-hour battery here, so it is smaller because they’ve given us space for another nvme drive which I have installed at the moment for the purposes of this review.
As upgradability goes we have the SSD drives and also the RAM that can be swapped out and I see no reason to do this at the moment, with 16 gigabytes of RAM that should be good for most people but you can install a maximum of 32 gigabytes.
Just above the Samsung PM 981 SSD, we have the wireless card, you cannot upgrade this one, unfortunately, it’s not replaceable, along with the front you will find 2x 3-watt speakers. They are downwards firing their decent sounding.
On the right-hand side you’ll find one exit vent, USB 3 port, and the new faster ultra high-speed spec SD card reader, on the left another exhaust vent, 2x USB 3 ports, audio out with very good quality, loud and very clean, there’s no static, no interference.
The display is still a 1080p 60 Hertz display, I know some people will be disappointed and shall be the decision not to go to 120 Hertz panel, but since it’s only an NVidia 1060 that we have on here, it’s not the 1070 I really feel it’s an okay combination.
Taking a look at the maximum temperatures I saw the CPU getting up to around 87 degrees when you’re gaming when you’re not gaming it tends to hover around the mid-70s. I have seen it peak at 93 degrees but that only happened once so just above the keyboard it is getting up to 41 degrees.
The GPU maxes out at 71 degrees that’s after one hour of gaming and I haven’t seen it go over this, so the GPU temps are perfectly fine too.
It is a decent notebook, a little on the heavy side, about 6 kilos with the power brick and without it about 5 kilos, so it is a heavy gaming laptop.