The switch to an IPS display on this new Inspiron makes a big difference in viewing angles. With the last one, you had to find a sweet spot and never, ever move. It was also pretty washed out with flat colors and poor contrast. The new screen still doesn't have a lot of punch in color and contrast, but it is better. Off-angle viewing is much, much better so that at least you can move your head and tilt the screen without losing the picture.
Anyone planning to use this more as a portable desktop than as a full-time laptop should be happy with the all the connection options Dell packed in. There are three USB 3.1 ports as well as a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port so you can expand as much as you want and still have ports to spare. Those are joined by an HDMI 2.0 output, SD card slot and a headphone/mic jack. Gigabit Ethernet and dual-band 2x2 802.11ac wireless as well as Bluetooth 4.2 round out the package.
Gaming performance above all else
Predictably the non-gaming benchmarks were low compared with other mainstream gaming laptops, because of the slower Intel Core i5 CPU here and 8GB of memory, but gaming test results showed the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 could keep pace with laptops that cost much more. Dell does offer 2.8GHz Core i7-7700HQ configurations starting at $1,300, which also doubles the RAM and adds a 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive. If you just want to add more memory or storage yourself, though, one little screw gets you inside.
Our standard test games BioShock Infinite and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ran great, as did newer games like , all at native 1,920x1,080 resolution and high detail settings. The 1060 can handle VR games, too, so I took the opportunity to test out with it. Though the laptop's fans whirred at full strength, it had no trouble keeping up as I blasted away at robots and zombies attacking me from all sides.
The last-gen Inspiron 15 7000 hit a remarkable battery life (for a gaming laptop, at least) of more than 9 hours on our video streaming drain test. For this updated version, though, Dell used a smaller four-cell 56Wh instead of its predecessor's six-cell 74Wh pack. Although the GTX 1060 with Max-Q design is more power efficient, it's not enough to make up for the cell difference, coming in at just over 6 hours.
Giving budget gaming a better name
Dell's last Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop wasn't perfect, but it was a favorite for the money. The updated design and features, in particular the new display, make it much easier to recommend. You can, of course, spend two to three times this and get better performance, a nicer display and a higher-quality keyboard and touchpad, but if you can't or don't want to break $1,000, this is a pretty sweet deal.
|Dell Inspiron 15 7577 Gaming (Late 2017)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q Design; 256GB SSD|
|HP Omen (15-inch)||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q Design; 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD|
|Acer Predator Helios 300||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060; 512GB SSD|
|Lenovo Legion Y720||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060; 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Asus ROG Strix GL753VE-DS74||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming (Early 2017)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 256GB SSD|