I have tended to favour console gaming over the last few years due to the relative ease of its plug and play setup. But nothing quite compares to the full glory of a beast mode PC playing your personally modified versions of your favourite games. But that’s not all that PC gaming has to offer. There are many, older games, that only came out on PC and a laptop has the advantage of being far more portable than any console (bar the Switch). With this in mind I was happy to receive and review the Dell Inspiron 15 7000.
CPU:Intel® Core™ i5-7200U Processor, 2.5 GHz / 3.1 GHz (Turbo Boost), 3 MB cache.
Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 2 GB GDDR5.
RAM: 8 GB DDR4 (32 GB maximum installable RAM).
Screen: 15.6″, IPS, 1920 x 1080.
Storage: 256 GB SSD.
Ports: USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 1, HDMI x 1, 3.5 mm audio jack.
Connectivity: Intel® Dual-Band Wireless-AC 3165.
Battery Life: Up to nine hours.
Weight: 2 Kg.
Size: 19.5 x 358.1 x 246.9 mm (H x W x D).
Now I don’t have the technical expertise that big John has so I won’t be able to put this laptop through serious stress tests but that’s probably for the best as this isn’t really a hardcore gaming laptop. You can tell from the Specs that it isn’t going to obliterate the competition but at £749 it isn’t going to obliterate your wallet either!
The design of the laptop is a clean cut, silver sleek machine with no unneccessary frills. I felt that the keyboard was placed a little too far back, seemingly to allow for a larger touchpad, and the keys themselves had a spacing to them that took me a little while to grow used to. These days we have the option to connect up even our console controllers to our PC or Laptops so it’s not the end of the world. I’m sure after prolonged use I’d simply adjust to the different layout.
The display is crisp and provides vibrant colours in HD resolution. There are 4k gaming laptops out there but, to be honest, I’ve never fully understood why you would need that level of resolution on a screen of this size. For casual use like browsing the internet, watching youtube or photo editing the screen performs like a dream and I had no complaints. There were some issues when I started out on the higher end games but we’ll get to that.
Now onto the games! I don’t have all of John’s benchmarking tech savvy but that kind of testing should be reserved for the hgih end gaming laptops like the Alienware 17 R4 we reviewed. This is more of an all rounder, Jack of all trades machine so I took it for a spin on a variety of games.
First up was an older game that still checks out. The original Assassin’s Creed was my favourite of the series and, until we get a remaster, the only way to play it is on PC. The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 handled this classic perfectly. The original Assassin’s Creed still looks half decent but the real test was getting into the heavily populated areas and seeing if the framerate took a nose dive. Fortunately it played like a dream so I was very happy to tick that box.
Next was a newer, and slightly different breed of game: Rome 2: Total War. This is one of my all time favourite games and is an exclusively PC title. The Dell managed this game as well as my, admittedly aging, desktop with no frame rate woes or loading issues. The only point of note was that in largescale battles on high settings the fans on the back of the laptop became very audible as they seemed to be working overtime.
The big test would be a triple A title from 2017. A visceral First person shooter like Wolfenstein: The New Colossus was the perfect game to test this laptop’s limits. I think I found those limits here but I have to say I was impressed with how the game performed on it’s lower settings. On the mid to high settings there was considerable motion blur from the display, screen tearing and frame rate drops. But, as I said, this isn’t really a gaming laptop. I wasn’t expecting miracles here and, in fact, the game still played to a decent standard.