Are you in need of a laptop that can do both gaming and everyday tasks? This fall I was really searching for the perfect option. What I ran into was that either the laptop was really good at browsing, or really good at gaming, but not both. Even the Alienware laptops that have the most buzz weren’t really recommend, they had some drawbacks that made me not consider them.
When I was looking, I was looking for these things:
- Battery Life
- Graphics power
- Hard drive space or expandability
The problem with the Alienware was that the hard drive space they offered was way too small for any serious gaming these days. When games take 100 gigs each, a 500gb hard drive just isn’t worth serious consideration. Upgrading to 1TB made the Alienware laptops way too expensive.
I also looked at MSI. They had really good specs all around, but the negative reviews around them centered around poor battery life and some reliability issues.
That led me to the Dell G15. Around Thanksgiving they had a model that had a 1TB drive and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics for like $1300. That’s a huge value proposition, honestly that’s cheaper than desktops with similar specs right now. So I ended up ordering that for Christmas.
Dell G15 Laptop Daily Use
I currently use the laptop for about 80% daily use, 20% gaming. My daily use is for remote desktop for work or for internet browsing/3d work. It works really well for daily use. I was a little apprehensive that the battery life might be not up to task when using it for daily use. The screen is very crisp and bright in normal use. In fact I’m using it right now to write this current article!
The battery life I’m getting once I activate ‘battery saver’ performance is around 4 or 5 hours. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less, but on average that’s about what it is. I think I could get it to be more if I’d lower the brightness on the screen or turned on more battery saving stuff.
I don’t play many first person shooters or stressful games on my laptop, I mainly play Age of Empires 4 or League of Legends. League of Legends plays on max settings at like 220 to 240 frames per second, which is outstanding for a laptop.
The battery life suffers a lot when playing games, 2 hours seems about the limit while gaming unless you’re playing something that isn’t that stress to the GPU. It appears like the GPU power use is what really sucks down the battery, so possibly limiting framerate might cause the battery to last longer.
It runs Age of Empires 4 at full detail no problem as well, which is really good for a brand new game. Pretty much shows you the power of the GPU. I was thinking that the laptop version of the 3060 might be lower powered than the desktop version but I haven’t seen anything in my experience that would indicate that. Looking up benchmarks online would also indicate that the laptop version of the 3060 is within a few percent of the desktop version.
One of the biggest drawbacks to the laptop in general for portability is that the power brick is very large. Think like Xbox One large, only flatter, but just as heavy. I could see that being annoying if you were traveling a lot. In daily use at home it’s no problem.
There are no USB ports on the left side. For most people that probably isn’t a big deal, but it is annoying in some situations if you’re hooking up to other equipment.
You’re going to need to buy an external mouse for any kind of serious gaming. The trackpad just isn’t great for the games I play a lot (League of Legends and Age of Empires 4). It would be fine for turn based strategy where time isn’t a factor.
Would I recommend this laptop? Hell yeah I would recommend this laptop. This is the model I bought:
It’s been great so far. If you like gaming and doing normal pc work, it’s hard to do much better than the Dell G15.