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Laptops

Dell breaks out updated budget gaming laptops as G series

Ditching the Inspiron family name, Dell's budget gaming laptops get a line of their own, some redesigns and Intel Core eighth-generation options.

Dell G series

The G3 15 is extremely thin for a budget gaming laptop.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell's experiment with mainstream gaming laptops obviously went well. It just rebranded and redesigned its Inspiron 15 Gaming models as the G series, adding a new 17-inch version, along with updating them to the latest eighth-generation mobile Core i-series processors, including the six-core options.

The entry-level price for the line remains $750, for the low-end G3. (UK and Australian prices are TBA but that converts to about £530 or AU$1,000.) This series now goes up to the six-core i7s and as high as a Core i9 in the top-end G7. One of the important ways they remain different from Dell's gaming-focused Alienware brand is the GPU options, which run only from a Nvidia GTX 1050 to a GTX 1060 Max-Q for the G models. 

The G5 and G7 look somewhat similar to the previous model, with the big grilles in front and back for ventilation, but the entry-level G3 looks a lot more like the latest mainstream Inspirons, with touches like the patterned keyboard surround and notably slim profile for a gaming system. 

They all keep colored backlighting for the keyboard and the touchpad, though, now with blue in addition to red! Depending on the model, the laptops are also available in blue or white as well as the red or black of the previous generation. And, of course, there's now a USB-C/Thunderbolt connection, though it's optional on the G3.

The line's kind of confusing, though not with respect to naming the way it is now. The low-end G3 is the model with the 17-inch option, but the 15-inch G5 and G7 are the models with the 4K display options. Processors and graphics choices overlap a lot as well.

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They're all available to order right this minute, but Dell will continue rolling out new configurations -- some even cheaper -- on April 10 and 16.

  • G3 15 starts at $750
  • G3 17 starts at $800
  • G5 15 starts at $800
  • G7 15 starts at $850

The updated Command Center for the Alienware systems has a surprisingly subdued design, but a lot more control over the settings for individual games.  

Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell's dedicated gaming arm, Alienware, also tweaked its 15- and 17-inch models, bringing them up to date with eighth-generation processors, including the new hexacore i7 and i9 CPUs, the latter of which can now be factory overclocked to 5GHz. That, of course, necessitated an improved cooling system, in this case, thinner blades on the fans and a vapor chamber on the CPU.

The company also finally delivered the long-needed update to its command center utility as well, though oddly the redesign is the least gamified looking of its cohort. It also now lets you create profiles that include game-specific settings for overclocking, peripheral controls and more.

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