The new Dell G7 15" from the company's new G Series of gaming notebooks.
We got a taste of what to expect from Dell in the coming year at CES 2018, but there are always new surprises not mentioned at the big conference. Dell announced this week that it is freshening up its several of its product lines, namely the XPS line and the company’s gaming offerings. Many of these refreshes coincide with the introduction of Intel ’s new 8th Generation processors, including the new Core i9 mobile processors with 6 cores. These updated products will all ship with Dell’s new Cinema suite of software to better take advantage of these processors’ capabilities and improve day-to-day user experience.
Dell upgrades the XPS 15
First, Dell announced upgrades to the XPS 15, the company’s portable (yet powerful) notebook. I bought one of these a couple years ago after a previous redesign (but before they refreshed the CPU and upgraded the GPU to a GTX 1050). Dell is now upgrading the GTX 1050 to a 1050 Ti. This is the first time any Dell laptop is shipping with a 6-Core processor, designed perfectly for creative applications such as video editing. In fact, with the new 8th Gen processor and 50% more cores, this could be the fastest, thinnest video rendering laptop from any of the major OEMs, including Apple .
Dell other made small but meaningful upgrades to the XPS 15, such as increasing the LCD touch display’s contrast ratio to 1500:1 and increasing the brightness from 350 nits to 400 (while increasing energy efficiency and retaining the same 100% sRGB and Adobe RGB color gamut coverage). Dell has also upgraded the HDMI port to HDMI 2.0, which gives the laptop a lot more capabilities in terms of resolution support. Additionally, Dell has updated the color to a newer, brighter silver. This new XPS 15 will be available for pre-order on April 16th on Dell.com, starting at $999.
Dell also announced that starting in May it will be offering its upcoming Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 laptop in a new color, “Brushed Onyx,” in addition to the current standard silver color the company showed off when it announced the laptop at CES 2018 this year. This is a welcome move from Dell—a lot of people showed interest in the limited edition darker version of the XPS 13 2-in-1, and I suspect they’ll get the same kind of interest with this option. The silver variant is available today on Dell.com for $1299 and at BestBuy.com and Best Buy stores.
Upgrades to Dell’s gaming portfolio
In addition to the new XPS products, Dell also made some big announcements on the gaming side of the things. Like the upgrades to the XPS line, Dell announced it would be updating its Alienware products with the new Intel 8th Gen and i9 high-end processors, along with the recently announced Alienware Command Center software. The updated Alienware products will also feature Cryo-Tech v2.0, a new and improved cooling solution that Dell says increases performance up to 10%. It’s the use of this technology that has enabled Alienware to overclock its laptops up to 5.0 GHz for the first time ever. Dell will also offer its Alienware 15 and 17 notebooks in a new color, “Epic Black,” in addition to the historic space grey option available today.
I recently visited Dell’s headquarters in Austin, TX while in town for SXSW and got the opportunity to see the company’s new G Series of gaming laptops. These laptops are designed to offer gamers a more affordable price point without diluting the Alienware brand or lessening its reputation. In my opinion, this is a welcome rebranding. Dell is moving away from giving its gaming products names like the “Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming laptop”—too hard to say or understand. Dell is going to offer three tiers of Dell Gaming G Series laptops: the G3, G5 and G7. The G3 will come in 15” and 17” variants, while the G5 and G7 are both 15”. The big difference between these laptops is that they will offer a much broader array of colors than previously available and use less expensive materials to make the laptops more affordable. Intel is still offering high-performance processors in the G Series (Intel’s 8th Gen Core i9 processors in the G5 and G7 and i7 in the G3), but the lower price point will make them accessible to a broader audience. Dell is also setting the GPU ceiling for the G Series at the GTX 1060—still plenty fast, but this will help keep the cost and thermals reasonable and prevent too much competition with the Alienware products.
The new 15” and 17” Alienware notebooks are available on Dell.com for $2,399 and $3,699, respectively, with more configurations coming April 10thstarting at $1,449 and $1,599. The Dell G7 15 is available on Dell.com and at Best Buy for $1,099 with additional configurations starting as low as $849 on April 10th. The G3 15 and 17 will be available April 16th for $749 and $1,099, respectively, while an additional G3 17 SKU will be available for $799 “soon”.
Dell is clearly taking advantage of Intel’s new 8th generation core processor refresh and is pushing harder into new segments and with new designs. The new XPS 15 2-in-1 is pushing the envelope of thin and powerful notebooks, while the new Alienware notebooks are pushing the boundaries of what kind of clock speeds are possible in a laptop. Even with the new G Series of gaming notebooks, Dell is challenging consumer notions about gaming laptops from Tier 1 OEMs. The PC gaming market is still growing, and with the growth of cryptocurrency mining, laptops and pre-built desktops suddenly look a lot more attractive. The new G Series is a smart combination of Alienware’s experience in gaming with Dell’s economies of scale and supply chain, and I expect it to become a staple in the company’s gaming portfolio. These are all smart refreshes, from a company that clearly knows what it is doing.
Anshel Sag is Moor Insights & Strategy’s in-house millennial with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. Anshel has had extensive experience working with consumers and enterprises while interfacing with both B2B and B2C relationships, gaining empathy and understanding of what users really want. Some of his earliest experience goes back as far as his childhood when he started PC gaming at the ripe of old age of 5 while building his first PC at 11 and learning his first programming languages at 13.