To many, the name Alienware might invoke beautiful childhood memories of a blue alien logo on laptops that meant serious business for gamers around the world. After a merger between Dell and Alienware in 2006, the gaming laptops coming out of Dell's stable adapted to the Alienware theme, an exciting combination for serious enthusiasts looking for affordable yet powerful machines. The Dell G3 15 laptop is a product of the same marriage. A laptop built on Dell's platform but with the soul of an Alienware. This gaming laptop sheds the gimmicky red and moves on to a new baby-blue themes. While it seems to be an attractive package, can the Dell G3 15 make a lasting mark like the Alienware? Let's have a look:
Design and build quality
The Dell G3 15 is a laptop built to last. A compact form factor that feels sturdy but lightweight, the laptop comes in matte finish and has a minimalist design stamped with Dell's glossy blue logo in the middle. The laptop comes with subtle baby-blue outlines and follows the new design trend of multipurpose laptops that ditches the usual gimmicky look of gaming laptops. The bezels, however, continue to be thick in spite of the ongoing trend of bezel-less displays. While I don't have much complaint, many see this as a major distraction. The design, on the other hand, looks premium and can be carried to places ranging from boardroom meetings to DJ turntables, provided you are willing to carry around a 3kg-plus bag (with laptop and charger).
As far as performance is concerned, the G3 15 2019 edition offers current-gen chipsets in the form of the Intel Core i7-9750H (9th Gen) and Nvidia GeForce 6GB GTX 1660 Ti graphics card for the top-spec iteration (the one we reviewed). On top of that, it can be packed with as much as 32GB of RAM, and up to 512GB SSD and 2TB HDD for storage. All of these, coupled with a Full HD 144Hz panel, enhances the overall experience of gaming on this laptop. Games like Control, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Shadow of war, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and FIFA 19 were played without any hiccups. However, the 15.6-inch FHD IPS display has below-par screen brightness levels and I had to play in full brightness to see objects in the dark.
The laptop boasts a great battery life, which is not common in gaming laptops. The battery lasted for 5-6 hours on single charge and 3-4 hours of intense gaming session — that is great considering other gaming laptops fizzle out after 2-3 hours of usage.
The G3 15 features a full-sized keyboard with the number pad squeezed on the right. The default blue back-lighting can be changed via Alienware command center into 6 different presets. However, the chiclet keyboard has shallow key travel; this led to a few miss passes in FIFA 19 encounters. The keyboard and touchpad sports baby-blue accents which look neat but the left-right click buttons are a part of the touchpad; one might take days getting used to it. The keyboard is decent for day-to-day use but an external keyboard and mouse setup is recommended for serious gaming or video editing.
Unlike the previous model, the new edition comes with a USB Type-C port now. Starting on the left, there's the power jack, the USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, a drop-jaw RJ-45 port, one USB 3.1 port and a headphone/microphone combo jack. The power button doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. On the right, you'll find a Noble lock slot, two USB 2.0 port and a 2-in-1 SD/MMC card reader.
The back houses the heat that starts blowing out hot air after a few hours of extensive use. The noisy fans had tough time managing the hot air coming out of the machine. However, the speakers were loud enough to overwhelm the blaring fan when I played Mafia III. The 1960s songs in the games original soundtrack were audible but lacked depth and precision. External audio devices or headphones are suggested while playing games, watching movies or even otherwise.
Overall, the Dell G3 15 with a sturdy design, compact form factor, RGB keyboard, great battery life, and 144Hz screen makes a great companion for daily use, gaming and occasional multimedia production. Apart from minor flaws, its commendable gaming performance and Dell's customer support make the device a good purchase, and it does not burn a hole in your pocket.