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The new Dell G15 is a treat for those looking to play on a budget
Dell's latest is the little gaming laptop that could.
So long as you're happy to stick with 1080p, the new Dell G15 is a modestly-priced gaming laptop that delivers more-than-modest results. You'll be able to play most modern titles, but at the cost of seeing them in their most visually-stunning form.
Gaming laptops have a reputation for being big, loud, and expensive. The new Dell G15 takes a decent stab at knocking down all three of these pain points. It doesn't get all the way there, but the final results still offer plenty to enjoy regardless.
Even if it brushes up at the limits due to the low resolution screen, the snappy performance and stellar price make this a budget-friendly buy that can easily go toe-to-toe with more expensive laptops when it comes to the actual play experience.
How much does the Dell G15 (2022) cost in Australia?
In Australia, the new Dell G15 is available at a starting price of $1,599. That baseline model features an AMD Ryzen 5 6600H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, 8GB of DDR5 RAM, 256GB of SSD storage and a 15.6-inch FHD display that’s clocked at 120Hz.
That’s a fairly respectable price, given the specs. However, that’s not to say that you can’t save a few bucks by shopping in the right place. Check out the table below for a sense of how local pricing for the new Dell G15 sits across Australians retailer and resellers.
Dell G15 (2022) - Design and Features
Although it’s been billed as a more moderate and affordable counterpoint to Dell’s drop of Alienware-branded roster gaming laptops, the new Dell G15 ticks many of the boxes. Even if it doesn't look the part, it's more enthusiast in its aspirations than it lets on. There’s RGB lighting on the keyboard, “Alienware-inspired” thermal management tech at work behind the scenes, discrete Nvidia RTX graphics, a high refresh rate screen and a dedicated “Game Shift” key that helps the hardware punch above its weight where it's needed.
Available in both AMD and Intel-based versions, the new Dell G15 is kitted out with a 15.6-inch screen that's limited to FHD in resolution and but clocked at 120Hz by default.
As with most modern Dell laptops, the screen on the new G15 can be upgraded to QHD and 240Hz for a premium. However, if you’re considering doing so, the performance-per-dollar advantage offered by the G15 erodes fast enough that you might want to take a look at what more dedicated gaming brands like ASUS ROG, Omen, Legion or Razer can do for the same amount of money.
Still, for the starting price of $1,599, there’s a lot to like here. The form-factor of the new G15 is noticeably bulkier than something like a MacBook Air and it’s got nothing on true thin and light gaming laptops like ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus. All that same, it’s a significant step up on the plastic cinderblocks of gaming laptops past. You’ll definitely be able to feel the weight on this versus something leaner and meaner, but the notion of picking up and carrying this thing around in a backpack feels less like a cosmic joke and closer to practical possibility.
The material design on the G15 is also a fair bit nicer than what you’ll find on many of the enthusiast options out there. There’s a use of texture and chiselled quality to the design that makes the G15 easy to like. The bezels are thin and aluminum cover contrasts nicely against the rest of chassis. This kind of refined design is nothing new from Dell, but it's a definite point in the favor of the new G15.
After portability, price-point and performance, ports are an inevitable talking point when it comes to the new Dell G15. A pair of USB Type-A 3.2 ports hang off the left side of the machine. These are matched by a combo audio jack and an ethernet port on the other. Given that these are the ports you’re going to be most likely using, the easy access to them is appreciated.
In contrast, the back of the G15 is all business. It’s where you’ll find the AC power port, a Thunderbolt 4 USB Type C 3.2 port, a HDMI output and a third USB Type-A 3.2 slot. All told, the sheer number of ports here is something of a difference between this and something more expensive but there’s little stopping you from expanding things with dongles, docks and other accessories.
Dell G15 (2022) - Performance
Under the hood, the baseline version of the new Dell G15 boasts an AMD Ryzen 5 6600H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, 8GB of DDR5 RAM and 256GB of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. A fully-kitted out version of this model comes with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage.
The Intel-based version of the laptop swaps in an Intel Core i5-12500H, but this can be upgraded to an Intel Core i7-12700H for an extra $200 or so. If you're looking at sticking with this machine for the long haul and squeezing as much performance out of it as possible, this is probably worth it.
Safe to say, the performance gamut found across these different branches of the Dell G15 family is fairly wide. For most consumers however, the main takeaway is going to be the option to save a few bucks by kitting out the Dell G15 with the specs that better match their individual needs.
If you’re looking at playing a lot of indie games or less-demanding titles like Gwent, League of Legends and Rocket League, you can probably cut a few corners here without coming away worse for wear. On the other hand, those who take the opportunity to arm themselves with a top-spec i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor and throw more demanding games at the G15 aren’t likely to be disappointed with the performance it delivers.
The model that we received ran on 16GB of RAM and an Intel Core i7-12700H processor. It was also kitted out with 512GB of SSD storage, which I found filled up fairly fast. Nevertheless, the Dell G15 delivered a smooth and consistent 60FPS when it came to Cyberpunk 2077, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Death Stranding and more.
Grand strategy titles like Total War: Warhammer 3 proved more demanding on the hardware here. Even then, these titles are far from unplayable (even if they saw the fans inside the Dell G15 loudly whir to life) and could be made much smoother with a little tinkering in the settings menu. If you're looking to game on a budget, this may seem like a small price to pay.
Of course, the big catch here is that this performance is capped out at FHD when it comes to resolution. Unless you opt for that upgraded screen, 1440p gaming is left off the table. That said, if you’re the kind of person who professes to not tell the difference between resolutions or prefers to play older titles, that limitation may be far from a dealbreaker.
The Dell G15 bill itself as a budget-friendly gaming laptop and while stopping at FHD resolution does make it a poor match for the more expansive and capable machines out there, it's a compromise that doesn't actively hinder the machine's ability to play most modern titles. Even if they won't look quite as good as they could, the overall playability of most games remains intact here.
Is the Dell G15 (2022) worth buying?
We named last year's Dell G5 15 as our pick for the best budget gaming laptop out there, and its successor looks like it'll offer just as much value for money.
If you're spending this much money on a gaming laptop, chances are you don't or can't afford to care that much about how your games look. If that's the case, then being capped out at FHD and able to reap the benefits that come with the high refresh rate on the Dell G15 may make a lot more sense than any of the alternatives.
While it's hardly pushing boundaries for resolution or gaming-specific tech and features, the new Dell G15 is still a modest gaming laptop that delivers more-than-modest results at a great price.
How does Dell G15 (2022) compare?
How we review gaming laptops
When it comes to reviewing gaming laptops, our methodology is equal parts theory and practice. Our assessment and analysis of any given gaming laptop doesn't just come down to our own personal opinion, but a broader review of how the product compares to what the rest of the market can offer and what customers are going to find the most value from its specific specs and features.
There's a lot more nuance in the gaming laptop market than many assume. Not all players are after the same thing, and we try to tailor our reviews to delve into which audiences will or won't be best served by a given device. Some of the questions we consider include:
- Does the design of this machine do anything to stand out?
- Do those deviations hurt or help the experience of playing games on the machine?
- Does the hardware here meet expectations for the category or broaden them?
- What trade-offs are being made here?
- Are there any optional spec upgrades available and are they worth it?
Dell G15 (2022) FAQ
While the overall designs overlap more than they diverse, there a few key performance differences between this year and last year's Dell G15.
For clarity: the Dell G15 released in late 2021 goes by the model number 5511. The newer Dell G15, released in the first half of 2022, goes by the model number 5520.
The main difference between the two comes down the hardware specs involved. The Dell G15 5511 is kitted out with Intel's 11th Gen Core processors while the Dell G15 5520 updates the range to Intel's 12th Gen Core processors.
The more recent Dell G15 is also slightly lighter than its predecessor, but opts for a single SSD storage slot setup rather than the double seen in the 5511.