The G7 is Dell’s top gaming contender outside the Alienware line!
Dell is better known in the gaming scene thanks to its Alienware line. A series of laptops renowned for their build quality, performance, and unique looks. In recent years though, Dell dipped their toes into the mainstream market, offering alternative gaming laptops away from the Alienware line. The first of these were the Dell Inspiron 7000 series. A laptop line offering respectable specs for a more affordable price tag.
A year ago though, Dell recreated their mainstream gaming laptop line into the G-series. Spawning three laptop lines in the form of the G3, G5, and G7. This year, they introduced the second generation of these laptops, updating their internals and aesthetics. This includes the thin and powerful G7, sporting high-end specs and a solid chassis. Is it a real contender in a very competitive market? Let’s find out in our Dell G7 (7590) Review.
Design and Build Quality
The refreshed G7 for 2019 takes on a different form and design language from its predecessor. It’s a bit simpler, discreet, and elegant this time around. Unlike its brethren though, which has a selection of color schemes, the G7 only has one — Abyss Grey. This is a far cry from the white and blue we had last year. Thankfully, despite the return to a darker color scheme, we don’t have the traditional red and black combination. It did retain the intricate side-and back-chassis linings, giving it that subtle aggressive gaming touch. Overall though, the G7 looks more like a professional device rather than a gaming one.
Making it the perfect discreet companion in cafes and public places. Build quality-wise the G7 is as solid as it can get. It has a magnesium alloy chassis and amazingly built hinges strong enough to handle one-handed lid opening. However, with the improved metallic material comes added weight. So, while the G7 is one thin baby, it’s not exactly light. Plus, that magnesium alloy chassis is also quite the fingerprint and smudge magnet. So, we highly recommend keeping your hands dry or have a cloth ready at all times.
Display and Audio
High refresh rate displays on laptops aren’t hard to find these days and the G7 is no exception. We have variants with 144 or 240Hz panels, the one we have is the former. However, we’re still only getting Full HD here but it is IPS, so there’s that. Viewing angles are amazing and color reproduction and accuracy are on point. We also have a lot of screen real estate thanks to the narrow display bezels. However, brightness is a bit of an issue, so avoid using it in direct sunlight.
If the G7 has an Achilles heel it’s in its audio department. The laptop’s speakers are just lackluster, both in quality and in strength. Mids, highs, and lows are just way off. Sounds also just come out as if it came from a tin can. We highly recommend you use your favorite audio gear in both gaming and media consumption.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Here’s yet another area where the G7 just shines. The laptop’s keyboard is just phenomenal. It has short key travel and great tactility, those who love feeling feedback during typing will enjoy this keyboard. It’s certainly a joy to type on and use. There’s also a Numpad, for those who are in need of a dedicated one. However, we do have those tiny arrow keys, which takes a little bit of getting used to. Then, of course, there’s the 4-zone RGB lighting, which can be customized via the Alienware Command Center.
For the trackpad, we have a clickpad with a matte surface. It’ll take a little bit of getting used to if you’re coming from a smooth pad. Although, despite the slightly rough surface, gliding and doing gestures is quite easy. Even though the entire pad can be clicked, we still have left and right click separators.
Connectivity and I/O
Dell did a good job with the I/O of the G7. The ports are properly positioned and there are a lot of options despite the size. Over to the left, we have a USB Type-C Thunderbolt port, a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, and a Combo audio port. Over to the right, we have the 2-in-1 SD card reader and another USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port. Then at the back, we have another USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, a Mini DisplayPort, an RJ45 Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a Kensington Lock, and the DC-in. Connectivity-wise we have Killer Wireless 1550 2×2 802.11 AC and Bluetooth 5.
The G7 comes with some Dell essential apps along with the Alienware Command Center, despite not belonging to the gaming line. This command center will be your all-around program for customizing the Keyboard lighting, managing power controls, monitoring system status (temperatures, fan speed, CPU & GPU usage, etc.) and creating gaming profiles. The rest are your standard Windows 10 apps.
Our G7 unit is rocking an i7-9750H processor, an RTX 2060 GPU, and 16GB of RAM, quite promising on paper. On the storage side, we have a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD combo. To test out the capabilities of the laptop we subjected it to a number of different benchmarks. This includes Cinebench R15, CrystalDiskMark, Unigine, 3DMark, and of course, gaming tests.
Cinebench R15 & CrystalDiskMark
The 9th gen Core i7 hexacore processor is more than enough to handle heavy lifting from gaming up to content creation and other intensive programs. You won’t even have to worry about bottlenecks as it can unleash the full potential of the RTX 2060. As for the HDD and SSD, there’s nothing to boast about as they garnered just average scores on both sequential read and write speeds.
Unigine benchmarks for the G7 is what we expected for the Core i7-9750H and RTX 2060 combo — above average.
3DMark benchmarks tell the same story. We already know what the RTX 2060 is capable of, and the G7 along with the i7-9750H more than brings out its maximum potential.
So, how do the i7-9750H and RTX 2060 pair measure up in gaming? Pretty well actually. To get proper metrics we played each title for about 15-30 minutes, unless the game has its own benchmark tool. The G7 more than handles triple-A titles, averaging at least 60fps on maximum settings on these games. However, if you want to take advantage of the high refresh rate display you’ll have to lower settings a bit.
So, essentially, the G7 will be able to go above 60fps on most titles at high graphics settings, in 1080p that is. If you wish to play in higher resolutions and still enjoy the benefits of high refresh rates, you may have to settle for just medium graphics settings. Overall though, you’ll pretty much enjoy, and handle, triple-A gaming out of the box.
Upgradeability and Maintenance
The G7 has a number of possible configurations, which you can check out here. In the case of our unit, we’re already rocking the highest configuration for the i7-9750H and RTX 2060 variant. That’s 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 1TB HDD out of the box. So, what are your upgrade options? Well, you can choose to swap out the SSD and HDD for faster and larger drives.
Then, if 16GB isn’t enough, you can also swap those sticks out as you have access to both SODIMM slots. Maintenance-wise, you won’t have too much of a problem as the bottom panel can easily be removed and you have direct access to the components.
Thermals & Acoustics
The G7 is a bit hot on the CPU-side and externally. During the solo Prime95 tests, the i7-9750H maxed out at 100°C. It maxed out again at 100°C during our combined Prime95 and FurMark tests. The RTX 2060, on the other hand, fared better and maxed out at just 70°C during the solo tests, and 77°C during the combined tests. However, the combined tests are harder to replicate in real-world instances as reflected in the gaming temps. During heavy play sessions, the i7 maxed out at 86°C and the RTX 2060 at 78°C. Perhaps the reason why the i7-9750H reaches such high temperatures is that even at 100°C, the processor maintains its high clock speeds.
The only time we saw some thermal throttling was during the combined stress tests, where it lowered the frequency to 2.4GHz. Although that’s just a mere 200MHz away from its base clock of 2.6GHz. So, it’s safe to say that the G7 doesn’t suffer from thermal throttling. Although it does suffer from high CPU temperatures during heavy activity. This is also reflected in external temperatures as the upper portion of the keyboard and the area above it are hot to the touch. The bottom panel is even worse, as the heat is enough to cause pain when touched or placed on your lap. The temperature problem can probably be attributed to the metal body.
As for acoustics, well, as expected the fans are pretty loud. With the speakers being sub-par in both quality and strength, you’ll have to use external audio gears to drown out the noise.
This year’s updated G7 (7590) undoubtedly packs a punch, with an elegant and strong body to boot. While it can’t technically be called a thin & light, it is still slimmer than most laptops out there. Apart from the powerful performance, thanks to the i7 and RTX 2060 combo, we’re also treated with an amazing keyboard, a great display, and an acceptable array of I/O. Sadly, it’s plagued by lackluster speakers and a bit of a problem on thermals, especially externally.
There’s also pricing as the laptop starts at a “not-so” affordable tag of Php 113,990 (~$2,243). So, you may be pressed to look for more affordable options providing the same powerful performance for less. Although, if you wish to have that famed Dell quality service paired with the power of Alienware, then the G7 is your best bet.
Reasons to Get
- Impressive Performance
- Amazing Keyboard
- Great Display
- Solid build
- Thin frame
Reasons not to Get
- Hot external temps and CPU
- Lackluster Speakers
- Quite expensive
|Specifications||Dell G7 (7590)|
|Processor||- 9th gen Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz Hexacore processor (4.5GHz Max Turbo Frequency)|
|Display||- 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS panel
- 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 240Hz, 3ms IPS panel
|GPU||- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6
|Storage||- 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
- 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive (Boot) + 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5" SATA Hard Drive (Dual Configuration)
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz (2 x 8GB)|
|Connectivity||- Killer Network 1550 2x2 AC 802.11ac
- Bluetooth 5
|I/O||- 3x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
- 1x 2-in-1 SD Card Reader
- 1x USB Type-C, Thunderbolt
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- 1x Mini DisplayPort
- 1x RJ45 Killer Networks Ethernet Port
- Combo Audio Port
|Battery||- 60Whr Lithium-Polymer|
|Dimensions and weight|| - 364.3 x 273.4 x 19.9 mm
- 5.5lbs (2.5kg)
|Price||Starts at Php 113,990 (~$2,243)|