It is usually quite hard for gaming laptop to hide their credentials, since most of these machines have shout “look at me” with bright colours, flashing lights and a general sense of excitement. Safe to say, you can’t really carry these to a meeting in office. But that is only if you don’t have the Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop. A gaming laptop it is, but at first glance, or even a second glance, you really won’t be able to tell that it is. The Dell G3 15 Gaming laptops are priced upwards of Rs72,290. The fact that this machine is priced well below the Rs 1,00,000 price point is a significant advantage. This goes up against the MSI GF63 8RD laptop, which is priced around Rs90,000 and runs the latest generation Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia GeForce 1050Ti graphics.
The Dell G3 15 has a very understated personality, as far as the design goes. There are no bright colours, no flashing LEDs, no large cooling vents and no racing stripes. This is as subtle a gaming laptop can ever be. What you get is a very Dell-esque overall look. Open the lid, and the familiar keyboard layout only betrays the gaming credentials with the outlined WASD keys on the keyboard. That is, only if you look closely. Perhaps the only other give-away is that it weights around 2.36kg. However, it is quite slim too, which means this can be carried around too, to office perhaps. Or to a friend’s place for a spot of gaming too. If we really have one complaint from this design, it would be the fairly thick bezels around the screen. They do take away from the viewing experience in some ways, and we would have preferred a more edge-to-edge viewing illusion.
In comparison, the MSI GF63 8RD checks in while tipping the scales at just 1.86kg and measuring 21.7mm in thickness—that is the height of about three iPhone XS stacked on top of the other, for perspective. The slimness didn’t really result in any compromises as far as the build quality was concerned. Surely, if traveling with the laptop is something that you will do often, the MSI GF63 8RD surely has the advantage.
Dell have kept things familiar with a 15.6-inch IPS display which is Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution). This is at par with what gaming laptops offer. To start off, this Dell display works well in terms of sharpness and colour, which helps which reading as well as viewing media. However, it is difficult to shrug off the observation that this display isn’t very bright. That causes a bit of an issue if you are looking for the immersive experience while gaming or watching videos. It surely pales in comparison with the similar size display of the MSI GF63 8RD. Having said that, at full brightness, this screen doesn’t get bogged down by reflections, which should be handy in a typical office environment which usually has a lot of overhead lighting.
The Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop is available in four variants, with prices starting Rs72,290 for the variant running the Core i5-8300H with 8GB RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1050 and going up to Rs86,290 for the variant powered by the top of the line Core i7-8750H with 8GB RAM and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics. Only the top spec variant gets the Core i7, while the others make do with a Core i5. The advantage of this Core i5 chip, the first for a Coffee Lake series CPU, is the support for hyperthreading. The fact that any unused processor resources can be allocated for other applications and services, means the overall performance is definitely a step up over the previous Core i5 series. The 8GB RAM through the series allows enough headroom for multi-tasking too. The only possible bottleneck on the entry spec variants could be the 1TB hard drive spinning at 5400rpm, though the higher end variants have the 128GB solid state drive which hosts the Windows 10 operating system—it is not only faster with the read and write speeds, but also means that apps and games load faster, multi-tasking is smoother, and the overall performance feels snappier.
Then we have to address the elephant in the room. The G3 15 highest end variant has the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card (with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 RAM) while the lower spec options have the GeForce GTX 1050. The reality is that these graphics solutions aren’t the most powerful solutions when it comes to Nvidia’s GTX series for laptops. Having said that, with this Full HD resolution display, this will handle between 30fps to 60fps, depending on the game and the visual settings configured. We cannot hold this choice against Dell even for a moment, since costs had to be kept low. To top it off, the performance of the same chip in the Dell G3 15 and the MSI GF63 8RD does seem to be fairly similar—and you really shouldn’t find any faults, at this price. For once, you will be thankful that this laptop has a Full HD display, and not a 4K one.
One of the reasons why the Dell G3 15 laptop doesn’t look anything like its shoutier gaming laptop rivals, is the keyboard. This is pretty standard fare, and we mean that in the nicest way. The keys are well spaced out and there is consistent travel every time you press a key. This helps with typing too, if you suddenly need to churn out a long document.
Battery life, surprisingly, is quite robust too. When used as a productivity machine, the G3 15 lasted close to 6 hours on a single charge if we were careful with the display brightness. While this is still lesser than the close to 7 hours battery life that the MSI GF63 8RD offers under similar usage load, the Dell G3 15 itself is doing a very good job on the battery life front too.
Even now, there are not too many genuinely good gaming laptop options under the Rs1,00,000 price point. Many have tried, but few have succeeded. The Dell G3 15 is clearly a success story. This is Dell evolving their laptop line beyond the more expensive Alienware (the Inspiron 15 7000 gaming laptop is one we remember fondly, from a couple of years ago), and the extended range as well as choice is always a good thing. It is tough to choose between this and the MSI GF63 8RD, but remember, these two machines run each other very close in terms of performance and the overall user experience—except for the duller display on the Dell G3 15. Your choice now.