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Circuit Breaker

Dell’s new G series laptops pair gaming specs with a cheap plastic chassis

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Dell is moving on from its Inspiron-branded “Gaming Series” lineup and building a new line of gamer-specific budget laptops. The G3, G5, and G7 laptops have access to Nvidia GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, and 1060 Max-Q GPUs, eighth-gen Intel processors (on up to the new six-core Core i9 CPU in the G5 and G7), an optional 4K display in the G7, and a 17-inch version of the G3. The G5 and G7 even have Killer networking.

The G3 starts at $749, the G5 starts at $799, and the G7 starts at $849. The base models have slow spinning hard drives and limited RAM, but SSDs are available in more expensive SKUs.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

What’s the catch? Loads of flimsy plastic. I got a chance to play with a preproduction G3 15, and its display had enough flex to make a 2009 netbook proud, the touchpad was barely usable, and the keyboard had a terrible tacky feel. The best thing you can say about the laptop’s build is that it’s relatively thin for a gaming machine.

Now that there are a lot of good gaming laptop options at the $999 mark, you’d need to be pretty hard up for cash to go for one of these cheaply built machines. But if you need the absolute most laptop GPU and CPU for your dollar, and build quality isn’t a concern, Dell’s new G series and its “performance-inspired” faux carbon fiber aesthetic might be worth looking into.

There are supposed to be limited configurations available today, and more options will be available on the 16th of this month.