Dell In­sp­iron 15 7000 Gam­ing (7557)

Can Dell’s price-con­scious 15-inch gam­ing lap­top in­spire bud­get gam­ing buy­ers?

APC Australia - - Contents - Joel Burgess

On pa­per, Dell’s lat­est In­sp­iron 15 is the ideal con­fig­u­ra­tion for those in­ter­ested in a well-rounded gam­ing lap­top that doesn’t cost too much. With a 15.6-inch Full HD screen, Core i7-7700HQ CPU, GTX 1060 GPU, 16GB of RAM, a smaller 256GB NVMe SSD and a roomy 1TB HDD, a lot of the nec­es­sary boxes have been ticked, but with­out go­ing over­board. If we then con­sider that all this is pack­aged in a 38.9 x 27.5 x 2.5cm form fac­tor that of­fers am­ple room for the de­vice’s mo­bile com­po­nents and cov­ers off any space-re­lated ther­mal pres­sures, you have a recipe for a gam­ing lap­top that can be highly com­pet­i­tive on price.

This con­fig­u­ra­tion’s RRP is $2,299 and while it isn’t avail­able at a wide range of stores, we have seen it for as lit­tle as $1,998. It also comes in a vari­a­tion with 8GB of RAM that jet­ti­sons the 1TB HDD, but this in­ex­pli­ca­ble stor­age de­sign choice ren­ders it largely use­less as a gam­ing lap­top, so we’d sug­gest avoid­ing the $400 saving, un­less you’re OK to per­ma­nently sticky tape a por­ta­ble hard drive to it.

The key­board sur­round and outer shell of the In­sp­iron is sub­tle for a gam­ing de­vice, pla­cated by a space-grey metal cas­ing that shows only hints of its gam­ing ten­den­cies through a jelly­bean red outer-shell logo and soft ma­roon key-cap let­ter­ing. While the keys are a lit­tle smaller than com­peti­tors’ mod­els, the com­pact shape does al­low a far more uni­form lay­out that won’t trip any­one up. And although the ac­tual travel dis­tance feels shal­low, the re­spon­sive­ness and soft key feel make it a nice de­vice to type on. Sadly, the same can’t be said about the track­pad, which feels more coarse than the metal cas­ing sur­round­ing it.

While the In­sp­iron 15 7000 might be con­sid­ered in the bud­get cat­e­gory of gam­ing lap­tops, it’s got some pow­er­ful com­po­nents that’ll out­per­form many pro and gen­eral use de­vices. The In­tel Core i7-7700HQ CPU was one of the most pow­er­ful lap­top chips avail­able in 2017 and, though it’s now been su­per­seded by In­tel’s lat­est 8th-gen mo­bile pro­ces­sors, it’s still up-there in terms of per­for­mance. The de­vice’s bench­mark scores match up with other sim­i­larly specced lap­top units on me­dia en­cod­ing and gen­eral home­and work-re­lated tasks — get­ting 4,033 on PCMark 8’s Home ac­cel­er­ated bench­mark — sim­i­lar to de­vices like Acer’s He­lios 300, Gigabyte’s Sabre Pro 15 and HP’s Omen 15.

The In­sp­iron gets above 30fps on Ul­tra set­tings in all the 2017 games we bench­marked (with most closer to the 50fps mark) and it pow­ers through older ti­tles like GRID 2, net­ting a 111fps av­er­age on Ul­tra.

The In­sp­iron 15 7000 hasn’t been kit­ted out with the big­gest bat­tery, even by gam­ing lap­top stan­dards, last­ing a mere 1 hour and 23 min­utes in PCMark 8’s Home Bat­tery (ac­cel­er­ated) bench­mark, so don’t leave home with­out the power cord. It also weighs 2.65kg.

On bal­ance then, this is a solid of­fer­ing, but there are a num­ber of de­vices that of­fer a very sim­i­lar lay­out for the same price or less.

GAM­ING LAP­TOP

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