Hybrid business and gaming laptops, like this one, feel like something out of a Transformers movie. They look for all the world just like workaday business laptops, but when the sun goes down, they become seriously competitive gaming rigs.
The Dell G5 falls more or less into this camp. It lacks the extravagant colour accents, racy styling and garish lighting effects prized by gamers, but its DNA is clearly weighted more for gaming than office work. Unlike many other gaming laptops, it’s not too chunky, although at 2.61 kg it’s certainly not light. It feels great in hand, though, showing a minimum of flex and twist.
There’s a fingerprint reader in the Power button, and that’s extremely useful for logging into Windows and any other websites and services without typing in passwords.
Under the skin, it’s fully stocked for the novice gamer looking to get a lot more serious. It has Intel’s newest i7 chip, and graphics duty is done by the classic Nvidia GTX 1060, with a serious 6 GB GDDR5 of video memory. Dell’s screens are very highly regarded and this full-HD 15-inch is no exception. Driven by the 1060, you can play all but the very latest titles on full graphics settings. Another giveaway as to the true nature of the beast is the LAN port: WiFi is inconsistent, so a proper cabled connection is non-negotiable.
While we are delighted to have a USB-C port, we were a bit disappointed at having just three regular USB ports. Once we had rigged up our keyboard, mouse and headset, we couldn’t plug in flash drives or anything else.
i7, 15.6” screen, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060 (6 GB), 128 GB SSD storage, 3 USB, 1× USB-C, R22 000
This is a very solid mid-tier gaming rig, and Dell has a stellar reputation for rugged reliability, but some competitors are offering excellent gaming laptops for considerably less.