Review Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

Dell G5 15 SE (2020): The Dell G5 15 SE is a fantastic value but does it come at a price? Dell’s G5 15 SE gets a lot of power from its Ryzen CPU, but its Radeon GPU and all-plastic construction reinforce that it’s a budget gaming laptop. Laptop

Dell always comes up with interesting variations of its various lines of laptops and the Dell G5 15 SE (2020) is a prime example.

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All of these AMD reinventions of the company’s budget gaming laptop line deliver great value, with the included AMD Ryzen CPU’s impressive performance exceeding our expectations. Unfortunately, the Radeon GPU isn’t that impressive.

Dell G5 15 SE (2020) Two-minute review

Dell G5 15 SE (2020) Two-minute review

While Dell’s G5 15 line already manages to check the boxes for budget gamers who want to play on the go, the all-AMD configuration of the Dell G5 15 SE (2020) is nearly impossible and keeps the entry price under $1,000. Is. about £800, AU$1,400). It offers great value and makes for a solid all-around gaming portable.

While the overall performance of the G5 is pretty good, thanks to the AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, its graphics performance provided by the Radeon GPU is a bit weak. It won’t replace your gaming desktop, and if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

That’s not to say the visuals are entirely poor. While the graphics card won’t please anyone, the graphics look fluid and sharp thanks to the 1080p screen’s 120Hz refresh rate.

Another major drawback is that you’ll find this laptop gets quite hot, making the bottom and keyboard noticeably toasty – but that’s why desks were invented.

The only other drawback is that the laptop’s design leaves something to be desired and its plastic chassis feels quite flimsy even though the laptop itself is heavy. So, yeah, you really don’t want to skip it, it might not make it.

On the plus side, the Dell G5 15 SE’s battery life is fantastic for a gaming laptop. While other gaming laptops run out of steam before finishing a movie on Netflix, this one will last for hours of video or everyday, general use. Even if you keep your settings for battery life or balance you can get a few hours of moderate gaming out of it without going all out on performance.

While there may be more powerful gaming laptops in the budget bracket, it’s hard to beat the value that the all-AMD G5 brings to the table. It might not be the prettiest or most powerful system out there, but for gamers looking for a laptop that won’t overwhelm them with all-out stimulus testing, it’s a powerhouse of power and affordability. The perfect combo is hard to pass up.

Dell G5 15 SE (2020) Price and availability.

Dell G5 15 SE (2020) Price and availability.

The Dell G5 15 SE starts at $879.99 (around £680/AU$1,270). The entry-level model comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. It comes with a full HD (1080p) display but has a standard refresh rate, not 144Hz.

The model we tested will set you back $1,199.99 (around £950/AU$1,725) and for $1,299.99 (around £1,030/AU$1,870) there’s a higher-end configuration that boosts SSD capacity to 1TB. Gives

There are some limited options for upgrading the laptop’s SSD, RAM, Wi-Fi adapter, and battery, so it’s certainly possible to choose one of the more affordable configurations and if you have the hardware laid out or ready if you have a lot of fuss. Room in your budget for upgrades down the road.

Design Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

When it comes to the design of the Dell G5 15 SE, the silver plastic chassis and prismatic Dell logo on the lid make it look like a car hood. The best thing that can be said about the design is that it’s a gaming laptop that’s not trying to look like a modern stealth plane.

Dell is known for a conservative design aesthetic on its machines, and if it weren’t for the laptop’s weight (5.51 pounds, 2.5 kg), one could be forgiven for thinking it would be in its enterprise model. is one of the places. At the base of the cheap keyboard and chassis is an LED backlight, which doesn’t even try to be sleek.

Picking it up, you can definitely tell this is a budget gaming laptop by the quality of the build materials. The Dell G5 15 SE feels heavier than its 5.51-pound listing — largely because you can’t help but feel that a 4- to 5-foot drop is going to hurt the machine.

The plastic at the base of the chassis feels a lot more solid than the lid, giving the impression that plastic lids can be cleaned if you drop them at the right angle.

The display bezels aren’t letterbox-sized, but they’re noticeable, even if it’s easy to forget about them. The built-in 720p webcam is located above the display where you’d expect and the laptop speakers are on the sides of the chassis towards the front.

The bottom position of the speakers has enough of a slope that if you watch a movie with the laptop on the bed, there’s less risk of them completely blending in, but it’s still a disappointing design choice. Manufacturers do not seem to die together

The keyboard comes with standard laptop chiclet keys and includes a number pad for those of us who can’t do without it. The key spacing is quite tight given the low real estate, so it may take some getting used to if you’re used to a full-size keyboard, but it’s similar to other nearly full-size laptop keyboards. is definitely more forgiving than

The keys are responsive and since this is a gaming laptop, the keys have RGB LED backlighting that you can control with the pre-installed Alienware system configuration utility. The trackpad is decent enough for non-gaming use or navigating your Steam library before switching to a game controller.

And while it’s a small thing, the thin LED light ring on the laptop’s power connector is a nice feature and certainly makes our desks easier to spot amid the tangled flagella of black power cords and cables.

Dell G5 15 SE (2020) Performance

Dell G5 15 SE (2020) Performance

Overall, we were quite impressed with the Dell G5 15 SE’s performance. It lags behind other AMD Ryzen 7 4800H systems — like the Asus TUF A15 — in our general-use benchmarks, but not by much. It outperforms the Alienware m15 R2 in some tests, but where the Dell G5 15 SE starts to struggle is with its AMD Radeon RX 5600M GPU.

The laptop averaged 45fps during our Total War: Three Kingdoms Battlefield benchmark on Ultra settings, which isn’t terrible, but it’s not great either. Meanwhile, the GPU pushes an average of 42fps during our Metro: Exodus benchmark at Ultra settings.

That puts it in the ballpark of the Gigabyte Auris 5, though the Auris still outperformed in two of our three 3DMark tests — and by a fair margin, too — and did the best on the G5 Time Spy. Maybe that is to scare others.

Once you get past the G5’s GPU score, there’s a lot to recommend in terms of performance against its rivals. The Ryzen 7 4800H CPU packs a lot of processing punch with its eight cores and 16 threads and an expandable frequency of up to 4.29GHz. For non-graphics tasks, it really shines.

It’s also the first gaming laptop to feature AMD’s SmartShift technology, which helps the laptop manage power distribution between the CPU and GPU to deliver more power when it’s needed most at any given moment.

We didn’t see any increase in GPU performance thanks to SmartShift, so AMD still needs to work out some kinks, but we won’t know until we see another laptop with the technology.

One of the other prominent performance issues is the thermal performance of the laptop. The laptop gets noticeably hotter under pressure, both on the bottom and in hot spots around the keyboard. This isn’t a problem unique to Dell – most budget laptops struggle with this problem – but just because all the other laptops are melting in your lap doesn’t give the Dell G5 15 SE a pass.


Overall, the Dell G5 15 SE has plenty of power and is a capable performer when it comes to high-end gaming, even if it’s not a race winner. It may not need to be though – performance doesn’t exist in a vacuum after all.

The Asus TUF A15 may have an edge over the G5 15 SE in our GPU benchmarks, but it also costs several hundred dollars more. The Dell G5 15 SE is all about delivering a lot of power at an affordable price, and the Dell G5 15 SE succeeds at that, making it a great value to ignore for any gamer on a budget. It is difficult.

Dell G5 15 SE (2020) Battery life

Gaming laptops aren’t known for their battery life, so we were pleasantly surprised by the G5 15 SE’s battery performance. In our PCMark 10 battery test, it lasted an average of 7 hours and 3 minutes on a full charge and in our movie test, it lasted 5 hours and 45 minutes, beating out the Auris 5 which didn’t even complete a single playthrough.

While it’s not the best we’ve ever seen, it’s still pretty good for a budget gaming laptop — especially when other gaming laptops we’ve tested are two or three inches from the outlet. Hours are over. You can feel reasonably confident that its battery will make it through a cross-country flight on a full charge or last several classes without needing to top off every two hours.

Dell G5 15 SE (2020) Software

It’s a Dell laptop, so you know the drill, you’ll have some bloatware to compete with the Candy Crushes and Dropbox offerings that Windows 10 usually throws at you. You’ll probably spend a good half hour after taking the Dell G5 15 SE out of the box just uninstalling what you don’t need.

That’s not to say it’s all futile. The pre-installed Alienware Command Center software gives you the ability to customize the keyboard lighting, fine-tune system performance for specific games, and view various system statistics, all in real-time. It is useful.

While we haven’t been able to test laptops with Windows 11, any Dell G5 15 SE you buy from the Dell online store should come with the new operating system.

Pros and Cons Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

Pros

  • +Excellent CPU performance
  • +Very affordable for a gaming laptop
  • +Quick and vibrant display

Cons

  • Gets pretty hot under strain
  • “Meh” design
  • Plastic build feels flimsy
  • Graphics are good, but not great

Buy it if…

You’re looking for the best value in gaming laptops.
The price-to-performance ratio on the Dell G5 15 SE is excellent, making it worth considering for anyone who needs a solid gaming laptop on a tight budget.

You need a decent amount of battery life from your gaming laptop.
This laptop isn’t setting any records for longevity, but it’s not falling to the back of the pack either
and considering it’s a gaming laptop with plenty of power, the five seven-hour battery life is a plus. In his column

Don’t buy it if…

You want consistently high-performance graphics.
If you must have the best GPU performance above all other considerations, you will be disappointed.

You want a solid build
Given the laptop’s height, the apparent fragility of the plastic chassis may turn off some who prefer a more sturdily built machine.

You plan to play the game with the laptop on your actual lap.
It could be a result of the SmartShift tech or it could just be poor venting, but this laptop gets noticeably hotter under pressure. If you’re going to be playing games or doing energy-intensive work like video editing, for your own sake, keep the laptop on the table.

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