Dell G5 15 SE vs. Dell G7 15: Which Dell Gaming Laptop Is Best?

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Our favorite affordable gaming line, the Dell G-Series, is back, and it's more stylish than ever.

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Although we reviewed the Dell G5 15 SE ($1,068) and the Dell G7 15 ($1,778) at wildly different prices, they're seemingly identical, especially when it comes to design and configurations. What divides them is that the G7 15 boasts more premium components and the G5 15 SE is more of a budget build. And in case you're looking to save a few bucks (who isn't?), check out our Best Dell Laptop Deals page. 

Here's how these two Dell gaming laptops stack up.

Dell G5 15 SE vs. Dell G7 15: Specs Compared

  Dell G5 15 SE Dell G7 15
Starting Price (as configured)  $1,043 ($1,068) $1,049 ($1,649)
Colors Alpine White Abyss Grey
Display 15.6 inches, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz (144Hz available) 15.6 inches, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz (3840 x 2160 available)
CPU Core i7-9750H (Core i5 available) Core i5-9300H (Core i7 available)
RAM 8GB (16GB available) 16GB
SSD 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD
Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 (GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2060 available) Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (GTX 1650/1660 Ti or RTX 2060/2070/2080 available)
Ports One Thunderbolt 3, three USB 3.1, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet, Noble lock slot, headphone jack, SD card slot One Thunderbolt 3, three USB 3.1, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, RJ45 Ethernet, Noble lock slot, headphone jack, SD card slot
Size 14.3 x 10.8 x 0.95 inches 14.37 x 10.8 x 0.78 inches
Weight 5.6 pounds 5.51 pounds

Design

The Dell G5 15 SE and the Dell G7 15 sport the same discreet design, apart from being painted Alpine White and Abyss Grey, respectively. Their lids are home to a glossy blue Dell logo and curved hinges that feature the G5 and G7 logo.

Dell G5 15 SE

Meanwhile, the interior takes the same route, as the keyboard and deck look mostly the same. The main difference is that the G5 15 SE's keys sport blue font with blue key lighting, while the G7 15's keys feature white font with four-zone RGB lighting. There's an option to get RGB lighting on the G5 15 SE as well, which will run you an extra $30. Just above the keyboard, on both systems, is a glossy part of the deck that holds the power button and the G7 and G5 logo.

The bezels are a little different, too, as the G5 15 SE's top bezel and the G7 15's bottom bezel are slightly bigger than the other's. However, what's unique about the G5 15 SE is that its underside sports a glass panel that peeks into the heating pipes and fans, which just looks cool.

The sizes are slightly different, as the G7 15 weighs 5.5 pounds and measures 14.4 x 10.8 x 0.8 inches, while the G5 15 SE comes in at 5.6 pounds and 14.3 x 10.8 x 1 inches. The G7 15 is slightly thinner and slimmer, making it more portable.

Dell G7 15 back

Both systems are nearly identical in design, and both colors look good. But the G7 15's slimmer and lighter chassis takes the win.

Winner: Dell G7 15

Buy the Dell G7 15

Ports

The Dell G5 15 SE and the Dell G7 15 share nearly identical ports. Each has one Thunderbolt 3 port, three USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, an RJ45 Ethernet port, a Noble lock slot, a headphone jack and an SD card slot.

Dell G7 15 ports

However, the G7 15 has one extra port in the form of a Mini DisplayPort.

Winner: Dell G7 15

Display

The Dell G15 15 SE and G7 15 both have 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 panels, but the G7 15's is locked at a 144Hz refresh rate, while the G5 15 SE's is capped at 60Hz.

Dell G5 15 SE display

I watched the trailer for Dark Phoenix on both systems, and when the X-Men were up in space, the orange sparks emanating from the cosmic entity popped and revealed more shades on the G5 15 SE's panel, while the G7 15's looked a hint duller. When Jessica Chastain stood ominously on a rooftop, I spotted more detail in the background on the G5 15 SE's panel due to the warmer colors providing contrast.

However, the G7 15's brighter screen shines with its better white balance, specifically while web-browsing. Of course, the desktop experience on the G7 15 is a lot smoother due to the higher refresh rate.

According to our colorimeter, the G5 15 SE's panel covers 154% of the sRGB color gamut, while the G7 15 covers a lower 114%.

In regards to brightness, the G7 15's panel nailed a solid 303 nits, while the G5 15 SE's screen averaged a slightly dimmer 270 nits.

The G7 15 has better color accuracy, hitting a Delta-E of 0.18 (lower is better), compared with the G5 15 SE's 0.63. But both scores are under 1.00, making them both strong performers.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors: Top Picks for 1080p and 4K Gaming

Overall, the G5 15 SE takes this round due to its bolder color. And if you really care about the refresh rate, you can outfit the G5 15 SE with a 144Hz panel.

Winner: Dell G5 15 SE

Buy the Dell G5 15 SE

Keyboard and Touchpad

You might expect the Dell G5 15 SE and the Dell G7 15 to have identical keyboards, but surprisingly, the G5 15 SE’s keys felt more clicky as I typed on them. This is especially interesting given that the G5 15 has shorter key travel.

Dell G7 15 keyboard

I blasted through 78 words per minute with the G5 15 SE's keyboard on 10fastfingers.com, which is only one word ahead of the 77 wpm I scored on the G7 15's keyboard. The G5 15 SE's key travel falls out of our 1.5 to 2.0 mm preferred range, measuring 1.2 millimeters. The G7 15's keys travel a little farther, at 1.4 millimeters. Both keyboards made it above our 60-gram minimum actuation force, as the G5 15 SE's keys require 66 g while the G7 15 need 76 g.

Dell G5 15 SE keyboard

Another surprising difference is that the G5 15 SE's touchpad (4.1 x 3.1 inches) is much taller than the G7 15's (4.1 x 2.5 inches). Apart from the size, they felt the same. Of course, the more real estate, the better.

Winner: Dell G5 15 SE

Gaming, Graphics and VR

The big price difference between the Dell G5 15 SE and the Dell G7 15 comes down to performance. The G5 15 SE sports an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM, while the G7 15 packs a more powerful RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM.

Dell G5 15 SE gaming

On the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Very High, 1080p), the G7 15 nailed 61 frames per second, which crushes the G5 15 SE's 37 fps.

The G7 15 did incredibly well on the Hitman benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), hitting 117 fps and soaring past the G5 15 SE's 85 fps.

Dell G7 15 gaming

On the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark (Very High, 1080p), the G7 15 averaged 66 fps, once again beating the G5 15 SE (40 fps).

The G7 15 scored a perfect 11 on the StreamVR Performance Test, which is double the G5 15 SE's performance, as it hit 5.6.

Winner: Dell G7 15

Performance

Both systems boast 9th Gen processors, but the G7 15 is armed with a stronger Core i7-9750H processor and 16GB of RAM, while the G5 15 SE is outfitted with a Core i5-9300H CPU and 8GB of RAM.

On the Geekbench 4.3 overall performance benchmark, the G7 15 scored a whopping 23,863, a significant boost compared to the G5 15 SE's 16,722.

The G7 15 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p on our HandBrake benchmark in just 8 minutes and 5 seconds, which is almost half of the G5 15 SE's time, at 14:31.

Both of Dell's 256GB SSDs are pretty slow. The G7 15 copied 4.97GB of data in a sluggish 40 seconds, translating to a mere 127 megabytes per second. Meanwhile, the G5 15 SE's SSD had a transfer rate of 130 MBps, which isn't much better.

Winner: Dell G7 15

Battery Life

Although the G7 15 boasts more power, it has a much shorter battery life as a result. After the G7 15 continuously surfed the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, it lasted only 3 hours and 12 minutes, while the G5 15 SE survived for an impressive 6 hours and 53 minutes.

Winner: Dell G5 15 SE

Value and Configurations

Since the G5 15 SE and the G7 15 are both from Dell and are in the G-Series line, they're similarly priced, but there are more configurations of the G7 15.

Dell G5 15 SE lid

The G7 15's base model starts at $1,049 and comes with a Core i5-9300H processor, a GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, a 1TB HDD and a 1080p 60Hz panel. Meanwhile, the G5 15 SE's base model comes similarly specced but costs $1,044.

MORE: Best Dell and Alienware Laptops

The G5 15 SE that we tested costs $1,068 and upgrades to a 256GB SSD from the base model. But the G7 15 that we tested costs $1,649 and comes outfitted with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, a 1TB HDD and a 1920 x 1080 144Hz display.

Dell G7 15 lid

The $1,369 version of the G5 15 SE jumps to a Core i7-9750H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD + 1TB SATA HDD, a GTX 1660 GPU and a 1920 x 1080 144Hz display.

However, the closest model to our G7 15 is the G5 15 SE's high-end model, which costs $1,519. It ditches the 144-Hz display, but comes with a Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and RTX 2060 graphics.

The souped-up version of the G7 15 costs $2,799 and is configured with a Core i7-9750H CPU, an RTX 2080 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and a 4K OLED panel.

The G5 15 SE and the G7 15 aren't too far off in price on most specs, but the G7 15 is entirely more configurable, and its slimmer chassis and additional goodies justifies the price difference between them.

Winner: Dell G7 15

Bottom Line

The Dell G7 15 triumphs due to its slimmer design packed with an additional port as well as its better performance. It's also more configurable, for those who want to go all-out.

  Dell G5 15 SE Dell G7 15
Design (10) 7 8
Ports (10) 7 8
Display (15) 13 12
Keyboard/Touchpad (15) 13 12
Graphics, Gaming and VR (15) 11 13
Performance (15) 11 13
Battery Life (10) 8 4
Value and Configs (10) 7 8
Overall (100) 77 78

However, the G5 15 SE is one of the best budget gaming laptops around. If you want to spend less, you'll get a more colorful display, a clickier keyboard and a significantly longer battery life than most budget gaming laptops.

But, since the G7 15 packs more premium components, it's the better choice overall.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Author Bio
Rami Tabari
Rami Tabari,
As soon as Rami Tabari sprung out of the College of Staten Island, he hit the ground running as a Staff Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline in Tom’s Guide, taking on the latest Souls-like challenge.
Rami Tabari, on