Notebook hardware is so good these days that you can pick up a laptop billed as a mid-range budget gaming rig and still get some pretty good bang for your buck.
Dell’s Inspiron 7000 Gaming Laptop is one such notebook. It’s packed with rock-solid hardware that delivers a gaming experience a bit better than that of the average games console, plus it’s got a unique look about it that screams “Gamer!”. It’s thin and light with a lovely soft-touch finish, and comes in two colour variants – a lovely sports-car red, and a more traditional black.
While being compared to a games console doesn’t bode well on the surface, it’s actually really good. Consoles keep game graphics running at a very playable 30 frames per second, and the Inspiron 7000 does slightly better on average while also offering the ability to tweak graphics further to suit the player’s preferences. The takeaway here is that games – even recent ones – are very playable on the Inspiron 7000, and that’s what’s important.
This is down to the underlying hardware. Under the hood you’ll find Intel’s Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050 graphics card, and a solid-state hard drive driving Windows 10.
Default configurations come with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a Core i5 chip and the GTX1050, whereas a Core i7, a 512GB SSD and a GTX1050Ti are options for people who want to squeeze a little more performance from their rig.
As this is quite a thin machine, its keys don’t offer a lot of travel. That’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something you’d have to get used to. They’re also backlit with a subtle glow, which is nice. Ports-wise, Dell hasn’t gone overboard – you’re only getting four USB ports, an HDMI output, an Ethernet port and a card reader along with the usual microphone and headphone jacks.
Dell offers the Inspiron 7000 with two display options: 1080p and 4K. 4K will suit buyers who prefer that higher resolution for its sharpness, while 1080p will please gamers on a budget who don’t need 4K.
Overall, the Inspiron 7000 is a very attractive gaming laptop. It’s got the looks and performance to qualify it as a very competent gaming laptop, all at a price far, far lower than Dell’s full-fat Alienware gaming machines.