Dell’sDell’s G5 15 SE is targeted. It’s not the best-looking gaming notebook or the speediest out there, but starting at $879.99, its AMD Ryzen processor and RX 5600M graphics chip lead to an excellent tag team. And also other speedy pieces like fast RAM, an NVMe SSD, and a 144Hz refresh rate display, this Dell gaming notebook computer undercuts and outruns your competition in its cost range.

The G5 doesn’t have phenomenal battery stamina like other AMD-powered laptops we’ve recently reviewed, but it’s an excellent midrange desktop replacement that may play modern games at their highest graphical settings with out a fuss. A lot of gaming laptops can do this, but this one sticks out solely since it won’t cost you an extravagant sum of money to get one.

The most effective configuration costs $1,199.99 during publishing, which may be the the one which I’ve been testing. Spending anywhere near this much gets you AMD’s fast and efficient 7nm Ryzen 7 4800H predicated on the Zen 2 architecture, together with the Radeon RX 5600M graphics chip. The 4800H is a 45W processor that rivals Intel’s Core i7-10875H with base clock and boost speeds, and in addition for having eight cores and 16 threads. Notably, AMD’s Ryzen 7 chip has found its way into cheaper gaming laptops such as this one. The Core i7-10875H – at least, up to now – is reserved for a lot more expensive options.

The iridescent shell produces an excellent first impression.
This laptop’s rear fan outtakes execute a congrats at dispelling heat, but its plastic build doesn’t dissipate heat all that well.
In a few ways, this notebook computer looks very modern. However the display’s bezels are way too thick. Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge
The backlit keyboard gets the work done, but you’ll oftimes be better served with your personal keyboard and mouse.
Your money can buy, the G5 15 SE offers a good selection of ports.
Having an Sdcard reader is always nice to have, as are multiple USB ports on each side of the device.
The G5 15 SE can run nearly every game on high settings at a comparatively smooth frame rate.
You don’t need to spend $1,200 to get decent performance, though. The Ryzen 5 CPU that comes standard in the G5 15 SE sizes up the Intel Core i7-10750H processor within several gaming laptops that truly might cost you a bit more. You’ll get the largest boost by upgrading to the Ryzen 7, though both are 45W chips. So, whether you’re locked right into a budget of $900 or have sufficient to have the upgraded model that I’m using, both configurations punch above Intel processors commonly within their respective prices. That’s actually the takeaway with this machine: AMD has Intel’s mainstream mobile gaming processors cornered both regarding value and performance.

To observe how capable the processor in my own review unit is, I disabled the discrete RX 5600M graphics driver for fun to see if the Ryzen 7 4800H could handle Grand Theft Auto V’s intensive graphics benchmark. It appeared like a fool’s errand when I began, however the benchmark running with the cheapest graphical settings at 1080p achieved a comparatively steady 60 fps without the hand-holding with a GPU. That was doubly fast in comparison to stats I collected from a machine running solely on the Intel Core i7-10750H. This test proves that processor rips and tears. In addition, it showcases how getting the 5600M graphics further increases the performance.

I used a slew of other games upon this laptop computer to obtain a sense of its graphical chops, including Grand Theft Auto Online, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Disco Elysium, Rocket League, Control, and Apex Legends. Each game registered practically 100 fps on automatically recommended settings (usually near their highest settings available) at the display’s native 1080p resolution, which is accurately what I’d like out of a gaming laptop. Games that run at 100+ fps look especially good since this model I’m testing includes a 144Hz refresh rate FreeSync screen that presents graphics without tearing or distortion.

(Note: The bottom model includes a 60Hz display, though Dell explained that it plans to improve the typical refresh rate in the bottom configuration from 60Hz to 120Hz later come early july once it sells out, and it doesn’t expect the purchase price to improve. The 144Hz option will persist for higher-end models, just like the one I tested.)

Most games run with some graphical settings set to max without dropping below – or at least too much below – a smooth 60 fps, although mileage varies according to the title. GTA Online, for instance, averaged 55 fps with a number of the more complex shadow and anti-aliasing options started up, however the game looks almost equally as good with those resource-intensive settings powered down. Metro Exodus, another game that puts hardware to task, also averaged 55 fps with settings adjusted to on top of the benchmark, and that one was a bit more shaky regarding performance.

The Radeon RX 5600M is a midrange graphics chip that doesn’t perform aswell generally as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060, though it’s greater compared to the experience I had with the GTX 1650 included in the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 I reviewed recently. In the G5, the RX 5600M’s performance is given a boost by AMD’s new SmartShift feature, which dynamically pushes power between your CPU and GPU according to where it’s needed most. It’s tough to tell when that is working in real-time, though a Dell spokesperson explained that the feature is made in to the BIOS level and in to the drivers, and that it’s always running. Without this tight integration, I’m uncertain I’d recommend getting just any notebook computer constructed with the RX 5600M. I can’t argue with the results here, though.

Apart from gaming, the performance in day-to-day tasks can be exemplary for the purchase price. The G5 15 SE doesn’t decelerate with over 30 Microsoft Edge tabs open, along with Spotify, Affinity Photo, and Slack. I was also happy with how quickly it could export video in Adobe Premiere Pro. It crunched out a five-minute, 33-second 4K export in seven . 5 minutes. That’s not really a bad result, though I wouldn’t recommend this machine to somebody who specializes in imaginative work. To its credit, it stayed relatively quiet through the entire export process, though it did get toasty at about 100 degrees Celsius while plugged in.

Along with the powerful processor, my review unit has 16GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3,200MHz aided by fast NVMe M.2 storage (both which are configurable during purchase or on your own in the event that you feel comfortable opening it up). I didn’t experience many general performance issues, but there is one nagging problem I couldn’t escape. Every 20 roughly minutes, the computer locks up for approximately 10 seconds. Background functions keep going, however the mouse pointer mysteriously disappears and my current application freezes. A Dell spokesperson explained that problem isn’t widespread, and that it may be the result of a recently available Windows update throwing something out of whack. However when I uninstalled as much recent updates as I possibly could, the problem still lingered.

Using its gaming focus over productivity, the G5 unsurprisingly doesn’t fare practically aswell in the battery department as other recent AMD-powered machines. I averaged around three hours of battery life on the “Better Battery” power profile with the screened dimmed to around 75 percent of its total 300 nits potential. That’s not really a surprising number for a gaming notebook computer with a 51Wh battery and a 144Hz FreeSync display, but it’s decidedly not great when compared to long-lasting performance of more costly options just like the Asus Zephyrus G14, another gaming notebook computer having a Ryzen processor. The G5 15 SE was included with McAfee LiveSafe installed, that i was suspicious to be at fault for the quick battery drain. Though, even without it, I averaged the same life time. Dell says that it’s always researching to optimize battery life, and it’s in frequent communication with AMD about any of it. So, it might improve a little later on, but also for now you’ll have to keep carefully the big, rectangular 240W power brick close.

Performance aside, there’s sadly a whole lot of room for improvement in a few key regions of its design. In photos, this notebook looks relatively thin, standing out with a glossy, iridescent shell and its own striking, angular fan outtakes – though it’s a tired look personally that’s reminiscent of a mature Alienware chassis. Having an all-plastic build as of this price isn’t a shocker, nonetheless it creaks when you move the display around, and it generally feels bulky to transport around – not helped by weighing a hefty 5.5 pounds.

Its 15.6-inch 1080p VA display looks crisp and has great viewing angles (Dell identifies it as WVA, or wide vertical alignment), though it’s surrounded by thick bezels. The machine I used for review had some light bleed in the bottom of the display, though it’s most noticeable during loading screens with dark backgrounds. There are side-mounted speakers located nearby the rear of the keyboard, and shocker, they aren’t great. Sometimes, their location can cause sound which has a wider occurrence than what’s usually emitted from notebook computer speakers, but you’re still better off listening through a headset.

You may immediately plug within your own recommended keyboard and mouse upon this machine, however the backlit chiclet keyboard here’s serviceable and I don’t make many errors typing onto it. If you like clicky keys with adequate travel, you won’t find that here. The trackpad, although it supports Windows Precision drivers for intuitive scrolling and gestures, is much too small. There’s so much unused space on the wrist rest, therefore i would wish to see Dell do something with it.

The G5 15 SE’s ports are comprehensive for the price. This laptop computer includes a power plug, an Sdcard reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, Ethernet, and a USB-C port with DisplayPort for supported monitors.

The Dell G5 15 SE is successful if you’re looking to get the most amount of power for minimal sum of money. This isn’t the most lean, well-built notebook computer out there, and I anticipate seeing how Dell refines its edge in future versions. But since it stands, I recommend deciding on this over almost every other gaming laptops near $1,000. Its fast elements lead to a downright enjoyable gaming experience with reduced compromises, and it offers some high-end features such as a fast refresh rate display and a speedy RAM and NVMe M.2 SSD combo that keeps it quick on its feet for some tasks. At this price, Dell is running the show.