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Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Review: A good buy for budget-minded gamers
Dell has been offering gaming laptops in the Inspiron series that deliver a decent gaming experience at an affordable price. As such the company has brought a new and updated laptop the Inspiron 15 7000 yet again to India. Currently, the laptop is available for purchase and is priced at Rs. 1,24,190.
- Excellent gaming performance for the money
- Nice-looking IPS display
- Includes Thunderbolt 3 port
- SSD storage standard
- Loud fans while gaming
- Shallow keyboard feel
- Touchpad felt a little unresponsive
- Battery life below expectations
It is worth mentioning that this newest version of the Inspiron 15 adopts a few upgrades over the previous version. The biggest change that the new version brings is that the GPU has been upgraded from a low-end Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti to a GTX 1060. Apart from this other small changes include the move to an IPS panel, a slimmer profile, and the addition of a fingerprint reader.
Having said that, we got our hands on the device and our review unit also came with pre-installed Windows 10 (64-bit), Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with Max-Q design, an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. So after spending some time with the device here is what we think about Dell Inspiron 15 7000.
With the new Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop, Dell seems to have gone with a sleeker and more streamlined aesthetic approach. As far as the color scheme goes Dell seems to have restrained with black-and-red design combination. Our review unit came with a matte-black finish, with a soft-touch lid bearing Dell's logo in a red hue. The rear part of the device features a series of vents, comes in straight gray plastic lines.
The inside of the laptop maintains similar design language with the keyboard using a combination of red backlight and lettering. The touchpad is also marked by red around the perimeter. Dell has gone on to make the ventilation look sophisticated as well. However, the company seems to have constrained itself from going all out on the design. But Dell has done a good job on the overall feel of its Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop. Measuring 15.32 x 10.82 x 0.98-inches and weighing 2.65 kg, the laptop is still quite portable.
Further, the display is held by a hinge that's centered on the laptop's body, instead of snapping across the width of the housing. Dell 15 7000 Gaming laptop features a 15.6-inch, 1080p IPS screen and it does give more-accurate colors and wide viewing angles but our review unit's display had a little dull look to it. Well, it could probably be influenced by the low maximum brightness of about 230 nits.
The full-sized keyboard along with a number pad fits snugly inside the body of the laptop. However we have to say that the touchpad felt a little unresponsive. Multi-touch gestures often need to be repeated more than once in order to be detected. Overall, the touchpad doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
Apart from that, in the top-right corner, the power button is placed and it also doubles as a fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello. On the right side of the laptop you'll find a headphone jack, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 support, and an HDMI 2.0 port. On the left side, there's power, Ethernet, another USB 3.1 Type-A, and an SD card reader.
While we have the benchmarks for you, in the real-world use this laptop performed quite well and we did not come across any noticeable hiccups as such. Beyond slow loading times for games, we did not experience any performance lags or problems during our testing. However, on playing some of the games we found that the display seemed to be slightly oversaturated and not quite bright enough.
Fortunately for the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, the two front-firing speakers powered by Waves MaxxAudio Pro managed to get the job done without any real issues. At high volumes, sound is clear and loud, and capable of filling a room. But we had to constantly keep the volume at full to hear any approaching footsteps or shots in the distance.
The fans aren't terribly loud, but when they start spinning at full speed you know how it gets.
All in all the gaming experience with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics and 6 GB GDDR5 video memory, gameplay was clear and detailed. The 7th Gen 45W Intel quad-core H Series CPUs delivered fast processing functions when needed and the NVMe PCIe SSDs ran quicker than conventional SATA. Loading of apps or data was faster.
Now coming to the benchmarks tests.
In order to test the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, we put it through a series of benchmarks to demonstrate its performance when confronted with resource-intensive workloads and to examine the performance of its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics and 6 GB GDDR5 graphics card.
The tests that we carried out measured the performance of a system's specific components-especially the CPU or graphics card/subsystem and we have also taken a holistic approach, running several sub-tests and delivering a single score designed to give a general sense of how capable a system is compared to others.
However, it is worth saying that these tests even though they are reliable they don't paint the real picture of how well a system tackles various tasks, from office chores to high-end image or video editing, to running the latest game titles. It could depend from user to user.
The first test we carried out was using Unigine Heaven Benchmark which is a GPU-intensive benchmark that hammers graphics cards to the limits. This powerful tool can be effectively used to determine the stability of a GPU under extremely stressful conditions.
Equipped with a 7th Gen 45W Intel quad-core H Series CPUs the laptop performed well. Its gaming performance seems to be on par with its competitors with frame rates easily conducive to smooth gaming at maximum quality settings on our Heaven benchmarks at 103 frames per second.
GFXBench includes sustained performance test, iterating for 30 test runs to stress test the hardware and look at how performance changes over test runs. As such we tested desktop performance with advanced graphics effects and increased workloads and the results were quite good. Here are some of the scores that the Precision managed to get.
In the high-level tests with settings at maximum, Precision got a score of 5193.28 (87 FPS) in 1080p Car Chase test, in 1440p Manhattan 3.1.1 test it scored 3741 (60 FPS) and in 1080p T-Rex test it has got a score of 7286 (130 FPS). In low- level tests, Precision 5720 managed to score 2268 (75 FPS). As for special test which includes the Render Quality (high precision) test the laptop has managed to score 4501 (1129 FPS).
But again, middle of the road specs often leads to middle of the road performance. Overall, the Inspiron 7000 Gaming's benchmarks are respectable, considering they are just a few points behind the likes of the Razer Blade and Alienware 13.
However, the only suggestion we would like to make here is that if you are interested in buying this device then pick up a unit with an SSD and a 1TB HDD so you won't have to run out of space on the SSD.
Battery and Heat
With a 56Wh battery, when we put the laptop through our test it lasted a little over four hours. That's about average for a gaming laptop. While we wished for more, at the end of the day, you might want to carry the charger with you because it's not going to last a full workday. Meanwhile, Dell has included a fast-charging technology within this model, bringing it from zero to 80 percent charge in under an hour.
The laptop manages to stay nice and cool under normal usage. Generally, the laptop measured 82 degrees Fahrenheit on the bottom, 84 degrees at the center of the keyboard and just 77 degrees on the touchpad after running back-to-back high-intensity applications. During some gaming sessions, the touchpad climbed to 82 degrees, the keyboard hit a balmy 100 degrees and the underside of the machine reached 113 degrees.
So after all the tests and our experience with the new Inspiron 7000 Gaming laptop is on par with other gaming laptops and it also touts a design that won't embarrass you in front of your friends. The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming is the most affordable Max-Q laptop you can buy and besides, it has plenty of ports and a decent keyboard with a full-size number pad and a fingerprint reader that's actually useful.
We only had issues with the tiny default SSD and we wish the display was a bit brighter and the speakers were louder, but at this price, these transgressions aren't deal breakers. All in all, you get what you pay for in terms of performance, but as we have mentioned above it isn't necessarily a bad thing here. Most of the games you want to play will both look and feel good. At the end of the day, that's what matters the most right.