Mid-range Gaming with High-end Options. Dell advertises its G7 15 as a mid-range gaming machine and a step below the enthusiast Alienware series. The truth is, the most recent G7 carries lots of the same configurable options as the most recent Alienware including octa-core Core i9 and GeForce RTX 2080 options.
The Dell G7 7590 is a successor to last year’s G7 7588 with updated 9th gen Coffee Lake-H CPUs, Turing GPUs, and a whole new chassis design. As an upper mid-range gaming machine, the G7 sits between your budget G3 and pricier flagship Alienware series.
Current SKUs add the quad-core Core i5-9300H CPU, GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, and 60 Hz 1080p display for $980 up to the Core i9-9980H, RTX 2080 Max-Q, and 4K UHD OLED for $2280 USD. These higher-end pieces may also be on the Alienware series and therefore the G7 7590 will offer enthusiast-level performance at lower prices. Our test unit today may be the middle SKU with the Core i7-9750H, RTX 2060 GPU, and 1080p144 display retailing for approximately $1500 USD.
Visually, the chassis is an enormous improvement over last year’s G7 7588. Gone will be the thick white plastics and only slimmer and flatter metal surfaces. The bottom is firm and it generally does not creak or twist when wanting to bend its corners unlike on the MSI GL65 or Lenovo Legion Y740. Its keyboard center can be very resistant to warping and pressure.
Lid rigidity may be the weakest facet of the chassis. The narrower bezels look nice, however the lid is more susceptible to flexing than we wish to see. Adjusting the display angle may cause slight creaking of the hinges. Systems just like the XPS 15 or Asus Strix Scar III have displayed that you could have narrow bezels without sacrificing lid rigidity.
The narrower bezels of the G7 7590 in comparison with the G7 7588 have allowed the chassis to be over 25 mm shorter for a noticeably smaller footprint. Overall dimensions are thinner than many mid-range opponents like the Lenovo Legion Y740-15 and Asus Strix Scar III G531 while being slightly heavier by 100 to 200 grams each.
Port positioning has changed considerably in comparison with the G7 7588 and even the newer G3 3590. For better or worse, most ports are actually along the trunk edge of the chassis rather than the left- and right-hand sides. Otherwise, the machine includes all ports on the G7 7588 plus a supplementary dedicated mini-DisplayPort port.
Remember that both Mini-DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 are supported only on SKUs with the GeForce RTX 2060 GPU or more.
Transfer rates from the integrated card reader continue being very slow at only 31.4 MB/s. Transferring 1 GB of pictures from our UHS-II card to desktop takes about 45 seconds in comparison to just 6 to 7 seconds on the XPS 15. Remember that the card reader isn’t spring-loaded and so a completely inserted Sdcard will still protrude by over half its length for unsafe transporting.
Lower-end GTX SKUs ship with a generic 802.11ac 2×2 WLAN module while higher-end RTX SKUs ship with the Killer 1550. The primary features of the latter are mostly software related as Killer wireless supports several gaming-centric features. Raw performance will otherwise be practically the same between them including their integration of Bluetooth 5.
In comparison with the keyboard on the G3 15 3590 that’s still fresh inside our memory, the keyboard keys on the G7 15 7590 are both crisper in feedback and quieter in clatter. The QWERTY keys specifically feel slightly firmer compared to the SteelSeries keys of all MSI laptops for a far more desktop-like typing experience. The primary issue is that feedback isn’t uniform across all keys; the Enter key, Arrow keys, and NumPad keys are comparatively softer. Still, we think it is better to type on the G7 7590 compared to the XPS 15 as a result of deeper key travel of the former.
Two keyboard backlight options can be found which range from single-zone RGB lighting to quad-zone RGB lighting. Dell is reserving the more desirable per-key RGB option because of its Alienware series only.
The clickpad (10.5 x 6.5 cm) is smaller compared to the clickpads on the XPS 15 (10.5 x 8.5 cm) and cheaper G3 3590 (~10.5 x 8 cm). Its surface is slightly rougher compared to the surrounding palm rests for improved traction at both slow and fast speeds. There is a tiny degree of stickiness when gliding very slowly for more accurate cursor movement.
The integrated clicks of the mouse are shallow in travel and with a reasonable audible click. Feedback, however, is on the weak side and may have already been firmer or deeper.
Display options include 1080p60 IPS, 1080p144 IPS, 1080p240 IPS, and 2160p60 OLED. Our unit uses the same matte 1080p144 AU Optronics B156HAN panel as on the Dell G5 15 5590 and Alienware m15 R1 for an identical visual experience between them. Innate characteristics like contrast ratio, color coverage, and the fast black-white response times are therefore not unlike what we measured on these G5 or Alienware. The most disappointing facet of the display may be the low contrast ratio since it becomes apparent during darkened scenes where blacks appear grayer than they must be.