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Up close with the Dell Inspiron 15 7000, an $800 gaming laptop

Don't be fooled by its looks: this cheap, boring-looking laptop has the power to play any PC game.

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Sean Hollister

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1 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Big, black, ugly, heavy, and fingerprint-prone: that's what the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 looks like, at first...

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2 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Open or closed, it looks like a pretty boring computer. But wait...

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3 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Why is this air vent so... rakish? Is that a tint of red I see...?

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4 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Twin fans? Why could an $800 laptop possibly need such things? Let's find out...

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5 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

That's because it's an $800 laptop that can play any PC game. Here's Fallout 4, running comfortably at 1080p and low detail settings. Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3 are playable at 1080p and low detail as well.

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6 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

You can completely max out the settings of less-demanding games like Superhot. And we were able to play Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite well at 1080p resolution and high detail settings.

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7 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Dell didn't skimp too much on other components. The keyboard is thin but quite passable. I used it for a couple weeks with no issue.

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8 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Here's a closer look at the keys. You get a full numpad, as with many other 15-inch laptops.

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9 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

You'll definitely need to plug in a mouse to play games. Even if you like using a touchpad, the Elan one in this Dell doesn't work particularly well.

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10 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Plenty of ports, too, including three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 jack, Gigabit Ethernet, and a full-size, full-depth SD card slot.

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11 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

The Inspiron 15 7000 has pretty loud speakers, and here's the built-in subwoofer to go with them. They work quite nicely for movies and games, even if I'd rather use headphones for my music.

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12 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Another look at one of the laptop's rear vents. The CPU and GPU are independently cooled, each with its own heatpipe and fan.

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13 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

Another look at Superhot running on the Dell Inspiron 15 7000. The screen's nothing special, but the matte coating does cut down on distracting reflections.

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14 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2016)

One last look at the Dell Inspiron 15 7000.

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