It’s been years since the total pop culture control has been under the super geeks of the world. It’s only natural that purists will argue that customizing your own PC is the best way to experience computing. However, not every die-hard computing nerd can afford the outlandish choices provided by Alienware. We’re talking about thousands of dollars here, which leads us into something more true, tried and trusted of the lot.
The new Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is arguably the best budget gaming laptop in the market right now. Set around $800, you’re getting a very decent graphics card inside a very premium design. Well, it looks like a gaming laptop, feels like one, but does it perform like one? Let there be no confusion before reading on, this isn’t something the hardcore gamer will lean to when it comes to gaming laptops. As mentioned, this is easier in the pockets. And let’s not forget, it still operated and functions like a regular Windows laptop.
Under the hood
The base model ($800) has an Intel Core i5 CPU and Nvidia’s new GeForce 1050 (4GB) graphics card. If you’re willing to shell out $100 more, you’ll receive the faster GeForce 1050Ti GPU. It’s possible to compare this to the Asus Strix GL753 15-inch laptop with the latter’s graphics card, but that is priced at $1,300 for obvious reasons. It’s got more RAM, sexier build and better display. Again, Dell isn’t out there trying to fool anyone; it’s never their intention. What you can depend on is Dell’s longevity and durability.
Under the base model, alongside the 1,920 x 1,080 15-inch display, there is the 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU, 8GB DDR4SDRAM at 2,400MHz, 256GB SSD storage, Bluetooth 4.2, 802.11ac wireless networking and Windows 10 Home (64-bit) operating system.
Outside and the outlook
The entire point of featuring this device is not to hype the living daylight out of it. It’s about an affordable gaming laptop in a budget type experience. This means you’ll have a couple of downfalls from a gaming laptop that costs around $800. The biggest standout issue from this device is the washed out display. At times, the display will look a little off-centre when you view it slightly from the sides.
In other words, if you’re gaming, make sure you are sitting and looking dead-straight at the screen. In addition, the trackpad isn’t that great either. If you really want to nit-pick, its accuracy and multi-touch gestures aren’t as quick or responsive. Then again, how many of us actually game on a PC without a gaming mouse? Not much, I hope. But to put your worries at rest, this is still a great gaming experience at this given price. I’ve used a Dell for nearly five years and never had a serious problem with it because of its high level of reliability, and you’ll be even more convinced by a budget gaming laptop.
From medium to high detail settings, games like BioShock Infinite, Dues Ex: Mankind Divided and Battlefield 1 all ran great on the Inspiron 15 7000. Even For Honor ran smoothly with high-detail settings and on the FHD resolution. But you will soon realise it lacks the extra crispy (like the YouTube tech-heads loving saying) quality on screen you would get from a true premium gaming laptop. It has a narrow optimal field of view where the image might start to fade around the edges of your screen. Again, this might be a total deal breaker for some.
The battery life is solid as well with a 9-hour runtime on video streaming; not gaming. If you were to continuously play a game, you’d most likely churn out a little over two hours from the battery. We’ll say it countless times, this is what you are getting from a budget gaming laptop. Don’t expect too much from it nor abuse the system in what it has to offer. If you love gaming, but you aren’t willing to shell out a lot of cash, this is a damn good option to have. And never forget how reliable Dell can be. I have repeated that so many times so that you can appreciate quality when you see it. The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 happens to be a solid investment for those who fall inside this price range.