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Now I've done it...

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MikalE
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Now I've done it...

#1 Post by MikalE » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:20 am

I bought a Dell G3 about five minutes ago from the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), otherwise known as the BX on a military base.

It is one of their mid-grade gaming machines, though to me it seems rather high-end for the price of $1299 with free shipping and tax-free.

Specs are, Intel i7 9750H Hex-core processor, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, 500GB SSD and has a 1920x1080 FHD matt screen. No touch. The graphics are handled by the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of dedicated GPU memory.

The specs seem very good to me and I'm not a gamer. Perhaps I will finally try out something other than Flight Simulator, but I've never been into 'gaming' as a game per se.

I would be interested in hearing your opinions about the specs of this system. I couldn't afford a Lenovo with these specs so i thought this would be the next best selection. I haven't bought a new-in-the-box computer since 2006 so I thought it was about time to see and experience what's out there.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

Omineca
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:40 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Now I've done it...

#2 Post by Omineca » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:10 am

That seems like a very high end machine to me. The specs are well beyond my regular needs, though on occasion all that power could be useful (when compiling your own software, etc.).

It would actually be more interesting to hear from you what the machine is like. I've thought about purchasing a gaming laptop for non-gaming purposes before too. They seem to offer a lot for the money. You can get a lower-spec version of that laptop here in Canada for a little over CAD $900. So, here are my questions:

How's the keyboard?

Is the touchpad any good?

What's the screen quality like?

Is the battery life okay when undertaking regular tasks like browsing or office work?
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

MikalE
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Posts: 999
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:51 pm
Location: Marissa, Illinois

Re: Now I've done it...

#3 Post by MikalE » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:51 am

I received shipping notification a few hours ago. I'll be able to answer your questions on Tuesday when it arrives, or more likely Wednesday when I've had a chance to use it.

I did find out that this is an upgraded machine from the last G3 and it includes a brighter 300 nit 144hz refresh rate IPS screen.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

Omineca
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Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:40 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Now I've done it...

#4 Post by Omineca » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:53 am

MikalE wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:51 am
I received shipping notification a few hours ago. I'll be able to answer your questions on Tuesday when it arrives, or more likely Wednesday when I've had a chance to use it.
Looking forward to it!
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

UMPC2024
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: Now I've done it...

#5 Post by UMPC2024 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:00 pm

MikalE wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:20 am
I bought a Dell G3 about five minutes ago from the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), otherwise known as the BX on a military base.
Do you know why it's called the BX?

MikalE
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Posts: 999
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:51 pm
Location: Marissa, Illinois

Re: Now I've done it...

#6 Post by MikalE » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:20 pm

Yes, Base Exchange. I served in the USAF for eight years as an ICBM Technician. I have the privilege of buying from the on-line AAFES Exchange.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

UMPC2024
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Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:18 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Now I've done it...

#7 Post by UMPC2024 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:43 pm

MikalE wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:20 pm
Yes, Base Exchange. I served in the USAF for eight years as an ICBM Technician. I have the privilege of buying from the on-line AAFES Exchange.
Ah cool. Lol, I misread the original statement and thought the computer was nicknamed "BX" for some reason. :lol:

MikalE
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Posts: 999
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:51 pm
Location: Marissa, Illinois

Re: Now I've done it...

#8 Post by MikalE » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:14 am

Omineca wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:10 am
That seems like a very high end machine to me. The specs are well beyond my regular needs, though on occasion all that power could be useful (when compiling your own software, etc.).

It would actually be more interesting to hear from you what the machine is like. I've thought about purchasing a gaming laptop for non-gaming purposes before too. They seem to offer a lot for the money. You can get a lower-spec version of that laptop here in Canada for a little over CAD $900. So, here are my questions:

How's the keyboard?

Is the touchpad any good?

What's the screen quality like?

Is the battery life okay when undertaking regular tasks like browsing or office work?
I've had a couple of days to explore this new Dell G3 and Dell has impressed me with the price to performance ratio. The specs don't maybe look like much in print, but the performance of those specs is outstanding. You must remember though, this is coming from someone who's newest computer is a 2012 Lenovo T520 Quad-Core i7. That too is very nicely spec'ed for its age, but it is no where near the performance of today's newer hardware and the i7 9750H benches twice as fast as the i7 2760QM in my T520. In fact, there is only a small handful of processors that bench faster than the 9750H and those include mostly Xeon processors and the i9 processor.

The trackpad is OK. I don't seem to be able to find a scroll feature and I don't think it has that option. I use a mouse with all of my laptops so that is not a big issue. It's large, but it is not in the way of me typing and the sides of my thumbs rarely make contact with the trackpad area. The button presses are firm and give positive feedback when used.

The lighted keyboard is very nice with no noticeable flex while typing with a very positive stroke. My only beef with it would be not quite enough travel as compared to the keyboards from the T520 series and earlier models of the T series. Overall though I have no complaints. What I really like about this keyboard is the blue backlighting. I have always wanted this on the T520 but I know that was an impossibility. The backlight can also be turned on and off manually as well as being enabled in the BIOS to be on all of the time while on either AC or DC, or one or the other. It is still manually controllable though with a keyboard command.

I have mine set up to be on all of the time while on AC and has a 20 second timeout on DC. The time-out is also adjustable in the BIOS for both AC and DC if you choose not to have it on all of the time. It"s going to take a week or so to get used to typing on a US keyboard again as my two main Lenovos both have German keyboards. If I could have gotten one for the G3 I would have ordered it with a German keyboard too.

There is some flex on the plastic case both outside and on the keyboard area. Surprisingly, there is little to no flex in the palmrest area nor ahead of the keyboard near the monitor attachment point. The flex is understandable with an all plastic case and it helps to make the price point at which Dell is selling these. As far as I know, there is no metal in the chassis, but you sure wouldn"t know it. It"s nearly as heavy as my T520 but it is much thinner. It is barely thicker closed than the T520 lower when the T520 is open.

Battery life needs more time to evaluate. I will say this though. I was using it to browse for about four hours last night including playing videos, downloading a demo of X-Plane 11, and then flying the demo for around an hour+ all on battery. It was down to 22% at the end of these approximately four hours to I plugged it in again. I don't like running LiO batteries down to nothing.

If it wasn't for the flight simulator I probably could have gotten around six hours or more out of it including watching YouTube videos.

While it was plugged in, I was running iTunes with music, X-Plane flight simulator, 6 browser tabs in Chrome, and it never flinched. Settings on the simulator were maxed out and I've never experienced anything like that with older systems running MS Flight Simulator. I didn't know how to check the frame rate, but there was no tearing, no stuttering, and no discernible frame flicker. It had to be running at least 30 FPS or higher for the eye not to see that, and it was probably closer to 100 FPS.

This is a very nicely spec'ed system with decent build quality for the price you pay. I would spend the extra and get this model rather than the cheaper version. You will not be sorry.

Incidentally, almost two years ago I purchased Win 10 for my T520. After downloading it, it automatically upgraded itself to Win 10 Pro since I was running Win 7 Pro on the T520. I rolled it back to Win 7 Pro after a year as I was just not quite ready for Windows 10 yet.

Since I did that, I decided to try and use the COA number on the T520 sticker to upgrade the G3 to Win 10 Pro, and it upgraded right up and activated the Pro version. So my $99 wasn't wasted after all and now my G3 is running the Pro version.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

Omineca
Sophomore Member
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:40 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Now I've done it...

#9 Post by Omineca » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:06 pm

MikalE wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:14 am

I've had a couple of days to explore this new Dell G3...
Nice review. I have a Latitude 5480 at work. I barely ever use it (except to print ... they have a proprietary printing system they're unwilling to install on personal machines), but I'll check to see if it has scrolling on the touchpad.

The major issue with my Dell has to do with the keyboard. It misses keystrokes on a regular basis. Other than that showstopping flaw, the Dell has sturdy construction, with good styling, bottom buttons on the touchpad, and a nice screen. It's a TN panel, but much better than the panel in the T430 that IT gave me before that (which had quite possibly the worst viewing angles I have ever seen -- to the point that when you had it at the correct viewing angle for the bottom of the screen, you were out of the angle for the top!).

Anyways, if the keyboard hadn't skipped keypresses, I was quite prepared to like the Dell a lot. It sounds like yours might be a keeper!
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

MikalE
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Posts: 999
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:51 pm
Location: Marissa, Illinois

Re: Now I've done it...

#10 Post by MikalE » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:40 pm

This is my first Dell laptop. I had an old P4 Optiplex retired off-lease business machine I bought to use as a client for my flight simulator network and it did the job admirably, if not with a slight amount of lag. I probably should have turned the scenery settings down just a bit so P4 could keep up.

Other than that machine all of my desktop computers in the past have been IBM and you know how long ago that was!
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

MikalE
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Senior Member
Posts: 999
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:51 pm
Location: Marissa, Illinois

Re: Now I've done it...

#11 Post by MikalE » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:23 pm

The trackpad does scroll I found out. It's a two finger smooth scroll and can be used anywhere on the trackpad. Not just in a pre-defined margin.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

Omineca
Sophomore Member
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:40 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Now I've done it...

#12 Post by Omineca » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:18 pm

That's how I have scrolling set up on my ThinkPad Yoga 260. I like having the two-finger click set up as the right click as well. It makes a touchpad without bottom buttons bearable.
Home: R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260
Rarely Used: Satellite 2410 | 390X

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