First of all for the price I paid for this laptop it is fantastic. Lowest price anywhere and for any other similar specc’d laptop this came out as the best value for money - especially when these guys make the legendary Alienware series.
Design and build quality:
Pros: The laptop design itself is sleek,slim and modern. No overkill design work like the MSI’s which for me felt just like a child’s laptop. It’s use of plastics and aluminium makes for a bog standard setup to any other mod range laptop is good enough. Build quality feels good for the money and everything feels firm and well assembled. The LED white backlit keys are also a nice touch. The lack of chroma keys was a big win for me as the chroma settings on any keyboard is just awful. They look nice but try writing essays on a chroma keyboard....
Cons: the screen shroud does feel a little on the flimsy side in terms of flex when opening and closing, however this is to be expected just like any other laptop with a plastic lid. It’s not a huge off put to stop you buying it but when a laptop goes into the £1000+ range these things should be considered for longevity of product life.
Pros: this laptop is fast. VERY fast. Obviously there are pc’s and laptops that are faster by a mile but packing a 7th gen i7 and 16GB RAM, combined with a PCIe SSD and this thing will not hesitate to run a lot of games performance wise. My spec I went with the GTX1060 max-q model which is the highest this model is sold with. From my photos you can see that quite demanding games like Watchdogs 2 and GTA V it can benchmark around 50fps with moderately high graphic settings. Less demanding games such as The Sims 3 or Planet Coaster can handle max settings and look absolutely stunning (thanks to the support of the 4K IPS display). Speaking of the display the clarity, colour depth and refresh rate do feel above any other display I’ve used yet. Obviously 4K isn’t true 4K it’s just upscaled HD but I don’t have anything bad to say about the clarity.
Cons: the luxury of having the performance comes at a cost of heat, noise and power. While it has 2 exhaust fans to help circulate and disperse air quicker I would 100% recommend to not game without a cooler, or game wearing shorts as you’ll end up with rather warm legs. Power consumption has its pros and cons. Whilst I was expecting a gaming laptop to be poor on battery life this isn’t so bad when using the laptop for day to day browsing, however it’s not the laptop you can take into Starbucks and crack on with that dissertation or spreadsheet without lugging around the bulky power lead. So far I have managed 3 1/2 hours of battery life using the laptop for browsing. Gaming on the other hand just don’t bother without the power lead. The processor although it is great for gaming, it is not design for workspace processing and it does sometimes show. Photoshop and Lightroom can at times be a bit laggy (although the RAM usage doesn’t help with this either). Using the display in 4K resolution does mean that some apps do not support this. And by thin I mean these apps will require a magnifying glass to read anything on the screen. This isn’t the end of the world as you can drop the resolution to 1080 and you wouldn’t really notice much difference in clarity, but again that’s more software support than the laptop itself.
This laptop features a handy 3 USB ports plus a lightning port, hdmi out, Ethernet port, sd reader and a line out port. In with the modern times there is no disc drive so if you have anything prehistoric you’re gonna need to buy an external cd rom drive. This for me is no issue as everything today is internet based.
The backlit keys are a good touch however they only light up white. If you want a different colour key lighting then this isn’t for you (although if you’re after a laptop purely for chroma lighting you’re not buying it for the right reasons). Speaker clarity is good as far as laptop sound quality goes. Loud, crisp and clear and with the onboard sound driver headphone quality really is a step above.
Speculations and rumours:
A lot of people have complained about issues as you would and I’ll share my experiences so far:
Display light bleed: it does exist. The level of how much varies from display to display which doesn’t hold up well for Dell’s quality control. My laptop has only one area of lightbleed which is the only letdown for me about this laptop. It’s very noticeable on movies/games when there is black light. The extent of mine isn’t horrendous to the point I must return it and demand compensation to the high heavens blah blah. But for a £1000+ 4K display laptop you would hope the quality control would be a bit better.
3rd part charger error - I have not had this issue or anything like it so no comment.
Performance issues - I think people who leave bad reviews based on poor performance on a laptop like this must’ve doing something wrong. Yes if you have 50 chrome tabs open 20 apps and 3 games it’s going to suffer...but this laptop can multitask well and I have only had 1 performance issue so far where I had 8 tabs open in chrome whilst adobe Lightroom was trying to upload 120 photos to the cloud.
My verdict - if you can pick up this laptop for the price I paid you won’t have a single regret (unless you have light bleed worse than me). If you’re after something a bit beefier the G series would be for you supporting an 8th hen CPU however you suffer else where with less hdd space and display. So really you should buy it if you feel it’s a worthy investment. After all to read this review you were looking at the dell series anyway.
This laptop is OK, except for the keyboard. One has to press quite hard on the keys. I also find that I keep hitting the key next to the 'Enter' key for enter and the keyboard is too close to the screen. Had I known these things before I bought this laptop, I would not have bought it and I don't recommend anyone buy it, at least not for the price shown.
I absolutely love this computer, it has everything i need to work properly. For those who edit video with adobe premiere, tougth, i would reccomend you to research a little bit about the compatibility of this software and dedicated gpus for laptops (premiere will try to use the integrated gpu -worst- instead of the dedicated. It's not really simple to solve, so its something you shoulf know)