This laptop might not be the most powerful machine in the world, but for a starting price of $849—with street prices already dropping to $749—it's a steal. This laptop runs newer titles like Overwatch on medium to high settings, and older games on high to ultra high settings. With a modern NVIDIA 1050 GPU, this laptop handles modern games with relative ease.
Of course, Dell did cut some corners to get the price down. The display is lacking, with narrow viewing angles and washed out colors. Also, one thing Dell didn't trim is the weight; this is still a six pound beast you won't want to lug to classes all day. But, aside from a few minor nitpicks, it's the best gaming laptop at this price point.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming (7567) comes in hibiscus red and matte black and there are four different models all together. Aside from additional RAM and a better processor, there are only slight variations between the models. We tested the entry-level model, which comes very well-equipped and has an MSRP of $849 (though we've already seen it on sale for under $800). Here are the base specs from Dell:
- 7th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-7300HQ Quad Core
- 8GB RAM (upgradeable to 32GB)
- NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED-Backlit Display
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit English
- Backlit Keyboard
- 3 USB 3.0 ports
- 1 HDMI port
- 256GB SSD
What you're really paying for is the graphics card. The NVIDIA 1050 is capable of running competitive eSports games like Overwatch or newer games in full HD. But this is a laptop GPU, so it's not quite as powerful as the newer desktop GPUs from NVIDIA, because it's stuck in a small case and has to run off of battery power.
You get serious graphics power for a budget
With 8GB of RAM, a 7th-gen i5 processor, and the NVIDIA 1050 GPU, I was able to play a competitive game like Overwatch and average 60 FPS on medium settings. With AAA titles (graphically demanding games), you're going to want to scale it back to maintain a high frame rate. It's a gaming laptop, so it sacrifices some power for the price.
Beyond that, it's a budget gaming laptop, so you'll need to have some realistic expectations. It's not a giant gaming tower, so you shouldn't expect that kind of power. Still, the price is phenomenal. Our test model did really well and it starts at just $849, and we've already seen it on sale for $749.
The keyboard is easy to use
The keys are really springy, which makes for a comfortable typing experience. I usually manage about 67 words per minute on my work computer, but after using this laptop for a couple of days, I was averaging 70 words per minute. I suspect it's due to the larger keyboard.
The typing feels good, but I'm not sold on the red LED backlight. Having a backlight is nice, but the red backlight screams gamer, which not everyone may like. If anything, it adds something to the experience because you can type in the dark.
The battery life is good for a gaming laptop
After five hours of running videos, the battery finally breathed its last breath. That's not great—and would be even worse if you were playing games instead of watching videos—but it's not bad for a gaming laptop. Gaming laptops are laptops, but they're only designed to be more mobile than desktops. Gaming off the battery alone isn't recommended anyway, since the CPU and GPU typically won't go all-out if not plugged into the wall.
The display is seriously lacking
The display is really disappointing, with the narrow field of view and discoloration. It has a sweet spot, but it's hard to find. I was constantly adjusting the screen. If you really need a sharp picture, you can always plug into an external monitor, which will cost you about $100. If you want to drop an extra $200 for a better display, we recommend the Razer Blade Stealth.
The trackpad is annoying
The trackpad is another weak point. It's finicky, registers false touches, and the off-center placement is awkward. I kept reaching for a phantom trackpad, and the cursor was jumping all over the screen while I was gaming. You can always customize the settings to your liking, which might make it a little better, but your best bet is to use an external mouse. For gaming, you're likely going to use an external mouse anyway. Have you ever tried to game with the WASD keys? It's a real pain in the neck.
Yes, especially if you want to keep your budget in check
If you're looking for a budget gaming laptop, you can't get much better than this. For a starting price of $849 (street price closer to $749), this laptop can handle day-to-day tasks and run modern games on medium to high settings. On top of that, the design is really attractive. It's bulky, for sure, but it has the look of an expensive laptop.
That said, Dell cut some corners with the display and trackpad. Both were super annoying to deal with, but you can get around them with external devices like a mouse and monitor. Personally, if I needed a budget gaming laptop, I'd go with this one. It's not the greatest laptop in the world, but it's a great value for the price.
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