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Dell G7 17 7700 review – unprecedented battery life for a gaming notebook

Last year, the first iteration of the G7 gaming notebook from Dell wasn’t exactly the slam dunk, that the manufacturer expected it to be. It was too loud during gameplay, the keyboard deck got too hot to the touch and honestly, it was a bit clunky. For their second attempt, Dell has delivered a lot of changes, inspired by their Alienware subbrand. Now, the 17-inch beast is as thin as it can, and the design looks… well, looks are subjective, so we won’t be that harsh on it in this perspective.

And once again, Dell has chosen Intel for its flagship gaming notebook. This means it can be maxed out with the eight-core, sixteen-thread Core i9-10885H, and the GeForce RTX 2070 Super when it comes to the graphics. And to top everything up, you have a choice between a rather unimpressive 60Hz 1080p panel, a 144Hz one, and a super-fast 300Hz unit.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-g7-17-7700-dp-th3/

Contents

Specs Sheet

Dell G7 17 7700 review – unprecedented battery life for a gaming notebook - Specs

  • AUO B173HAN04.4 (AUO449D)
  • Color accuracy  1.5  1.4
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 8000GB SSD
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Home, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Pro
  • Battery
  • 97Wh, 6-cell, 56Wh, 3-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate, Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 398.2 x 290 x 20.7 mm (15.68" x 11.42" x 0.81")
  • Weight
  • 3.29 kg (7.3 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Thunderbolt 3
  • HDMI
  • 2.0
  • Displayport mini
  • Card reader
  • SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.1
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5 Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • optional
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Microphones
  • Speakers
  • 2x 2W, Stereo Speakers
  • Optical drive

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, you’ll find some mandatory paper manuals, as well as a 240W power brick (130W if you have the GTX 1650 Ti version).

Design and construction

As we said, this notebook is incredibly thin, especially considering the fact that it is a 17-inch gaming machine. Its profile goes from 19.3mm in the front to 20.7mm in the backside. However, it weighs 3.29 kg, which is something natural when you have beefy hardware, that requires a big and heavy cooling solution. In terms of building materials, Dell has utilized plastic and aluminum. Overall, the design doesn’t look bad. Its hinge placement/cover can be traced all the way back to the Dell G5 15 5587. However, there is a feature that is more puzzling. It is located on the backside and basically covers the heat sinks and it looks like a combination between Alienware design and the plastic blocks that toddlers use to play with. By the way, the front side of the notebook has an RGB strip.

So, you should expect opening the lid to be an easy task, using one hand, and indeed, that’s true. Also, the bezels around the top and both sides are pretty small, and there is the sizeable bulky chin on the bottom. By the way, we are happy to see that the camera isn’t located in a funny location.

Here we have a four-zone RGB backlit keyboard with a full-sized NumberPad segment, four shortcut keys, and almost good Arrow keys. We say almost good, because of the proximity of the “Page Up” and “Page Down” keys. Nevertheless, the unit is okay for gaming and typing, with a clicky but quiet feedback and a bit shorter key travel than the Omen 15 2020 (15-ek0000) for example. However, it has a fingerprint reader embedded into the power button, and on the left, there is a dedicated G-mode switch, which should provide a bit more performance, for the sake of more noise.

Next, we have a pretty average touchpad, which will definitely not be used for gaming purposes, whatsoever. And on the bottom panel, you can see the ventilation grill, as well as the speaker cutouts. Interestingly, at first glance, there are four exhaust grills – two on the back and one on each side of the laptop. However, upon further inspection, only one of the side vents is actually used for exhaust, while the other is just there for aesthetics.

Ports

This year, the ports are scattered all over the place. On the left, you’ll find the charging plug, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack, while on the right, you’ll see another USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an SD card reader. And lastly, the backside is home to the Thunderbolt 3 connector, a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI connector, another USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an RJ-45 connector.

Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

Here, we have a very easy notebook to open. Just undo all 8 Phillips-head screws and the two lower corners of the bottom panel would just lift up by themselves. Then, take the panel away with your bare hands and you’re done.

The cooling solution of our unit includes two heat pipes, shared between the CPU and the GPU, which is not the best idea if we have to be honest. Additionally, the GPU is cooled by one more heat pipe, which is smaller than the other two.

When it comes to memory, this notebook has two RAM SODIMM slots. Interestingly, Dell states that it can be configured with up to 32GB of DDR4 memory in total. However, we are pretty sure you can actually fit 64 Gigs instead. And in terms of storage, the laptops that come equipped with a GTX 1660 Ti and above, have two M.2 NVMe slots, while the GTX 1650 Ti-equipped model only has one M.2 slot.

Out particular notebook comes with a huge 97Wh battery pack. Keep in mind, however, that some devices will be equipped with the smaller 56Wh unit.

Display quality

Dell G7 17 7700 is equipped with a Full HD 144Hz IPS panel, model number AUO B173HAN04.4 (AUO449D). Its diagonal is 17.3″ (43.94 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 127 ppi, and a pitch of 0.2 х 0.2 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 69cm (27″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

The measured maximum brightness of 331 nits in the middle of the screen and 332 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 5%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6500K – matching the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is good – 1320:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Dell G7 17 7700’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers only 90% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Dell G7 17 7700 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 10 ms.

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

The backlight of the Dell G7 17 7700 doesn’t use PWM to adjust its levels of brightness. This means the display is comfortable for use, without presenting any excessive eye strain in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusion

Dell G7 17 7700’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and adequate default settings. Moreover, its backlight doesn’t flicker, and it covers 90% of the sRGB color gamut, while it produces a very color-accurate image even without any profiles applied. And of course, the icing of the cake is its 144Hz refresh rate, which is paired with quick response times.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dell G7 17 7700 configurations with 17.3″ FHD IPS AUO B173HAN04.4 (AUO449D).

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at bg.laptopmedia@gmail.com.

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount

Sound

Dell G7 17 7700’s speakers produce a clear sound with good quality. The maximum volume isn’t that loud, but the low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/product-support/product/g-series-17-7700-laptop/drivers

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This notebook’s humongous 97Wh battery pack delivers unprecedented screen on time for a gaming beast. We got 12 hours and 50 minutes of Web browsing and 12 hours and 36 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.

CPU options

This device comes in a variety of Intel Comet Lake-H CPUs. On the bottom end of the performance spectrum, you have the Core i5-10300H (4c/8t). Then, there is the six-core Core i7-10750H, and finally, the eight-core/sixteen-thread Core i9-10885H.

GPU options

When it comes to the graphics cards, you can pick from the GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (which will come with a smaller charger and fewer functions), then the GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 2060, RTX 2070, and the RTX 2070 Super.

Gaming tests

Far Cry 5Full HD, Normal (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060100 fps92 fps86 fps

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060125 fps66 fps44 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon WildlandsFull HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 206074 fps65 fps43 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Highest (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 206083 fps79 fps51 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-10750H (45W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
Dell G7 17 77003.84 GHz (B+48%) @ 94°C3.70 GHz (B+42%) @ 95°C3.48 GHz (B+34%) @ 98°C
HP Omen 15 2019 (15-dh1000)4.03 GHz (B+55%) @ 96°C3.87 GHz (B+45%) @ 97°C3.65 GHz (B+40%) @ 96°C
MSI GF65 Thin 10Sx3.59 GHz (B+38%) @ 95°C3.48 GHz (B+34%) @ 95°C3.08 GHz (B+18%) @ 91°C
HP Pavilion Gaming 16 (16-a0000)3.74 GHz (B+44%) @ 97°C3.17 GHz (B+22%) @ 88°C2.98 GHz (B+15%) @ 78°C
Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-53)3.56 GHz (B+37%) @ 76°C3.52 GHz (B+35%) @ 85°C2.98 GHz (B+15%) @ 75°C
Dell G5 15 55003.82 GHz (B+47%) @ 75°C3.63 GHz (B+40%) @ 99°C3.01 GHz (B+16%) @ 81°C
ASUS ROG Strix G15 G5124.16 GHz (B+60%) @ 81°C3.99 GHz (B+53%) @ 95°C3.52 GHz (B+35%) @ 87°C
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-55)3.02 GHz (B+16%) @ 82°C3.04 GHz (B+17%) @ 92°C2.67 GHz (B+3%) @ 92°C
Lenovo Legion 7 (15)3.78 GHz (B+45%) @ 80°C3.69 GHz (B+42%) @ 83°C3.51 GHz (B+35%) @ 83°C

The processor remains at high clock at all times, but the temperatures are critically high. Ultimately, this gives little headroom for the graphics card.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min + fan boost)
Dell G7 17 77001468 MHz @ 72°C1440 MHz @ 77°C1450 MHz @ 75°C
Dell G7 17 77901432 MHz @ 73°C1462 MHz @ 73°C
MSI GF65 Thin 10Sx1434 MHz @ 84°C1421 MHz @ 86°C
Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-53)1506 MHz @ 77°C1457 MHz @ 82°C1671 MHz @ 76°C
MSI GL65 9SE1590 MHz @ 71°C1588 MHz @ 73°C1590 MHz @ 68°C
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU5021454 MHz @ 76°C1394 MHz @ 85°C
MSI GS65 Stealth 8SE1305 MHz @ 77°C1267 MHz @ 80°C
Lenovo Legion Y7401526 MHz @ 70°C1499 MHz @ 74°C

Well, the temperatures are not that bad, opposing what we thought. However, when you look at the MSI GL65 9SE, you can see that the 80W power limit of the GPU is the real problem here.

Gaming comfort

The laptop is both loud and warm on the outside. Period.

Verdict

Before we jump to the performance and the gaming experience that this notebook provides, we would like to get the other stuff out of the way. Let’s start by saying that this device has an amazing battery life. We almost got through 13 hours of Web browsing and 12 hours and a half of video playback. Indeed, it has a 97Wh battery pack, so people, getting the 56Wh unit should expect a lot less. Nevertheless, this is something very very rarely seen on gaming notebooks.

Expectedly, the upgradability is on point with two RAM SODIMM slots, with presumably 64GB of maximum capacity (Dell states 32GB though). Also, you can put two M.2 NVMe drives, but there is no word of RAID 0 support. And in terms of I/O, you are treated to three USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, a Thunderbolt 3 connector, an SD card slot, and many more.

Dell G7 17 7700’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and adequate default settings. Moreover, its backlight doesn’t flicker, and it covers 90% of the sRGB color gamut, while it produces a very color-accurate image even without any profiles applied. And of course, the icing of the cake is its 144Hz refresh rate, which is paired with quick response times.

By far, this sounds like the best laptop ever, right? Well… no. The G7 17 7700, itself, gets a bit too loud under heavy load, and when we consider the gaming performance, it stays slightly behind the MSI GF65 Thin 10Sx, which was a heating disaster. Thankfully, Dell treated their customers with a dedicated G-button, which boosts the performance ever so slightly, but with that, comes the penalty of more noise.

All in all, we were extremely impressed by the dimensions of the laptop, which is now more in the league of MSI’s GS75 series, and ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus S GX701. However, if we were looking for a gaming notebook for ourselves, we would be more likely to get the HP Omen 17 2019 with its absolute giant fans, that are barely audible during gaming, or the Lenovo Legion 7 (15), which employs vapor chamber, thus bringing temperatures and noise down. But if you are a fan of Dell, there is no reason to worry, as every new G-series notebook inherits more and more features from the Alienware brand.

Pros

  • 90% sRGB coverage (AUO B173HAN-9K35D (AUO429D)) and great color accuracy by default
  • 144Hz display with quick pixel response times
  • RGB keyboard options
  • Doesn’t use PWM to adjust screen brightness (AUO B173HAN-9K35D (AUO429D))
  • Really thin profile for a 17-inch gaming notebook
  • Thunderbolt 3 and SD card reader on board
  • Two RAM SODIMM slots and two M.2 NVMe slots
  • Unprecedented battery life (97Wh battery)


Cons

  • Its surface heats up excessively
  • Loud noise during gaming
  • Gets warm both on the inside and the outside

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-g7-17-7700-dp-th3/