OK, so now we are well into November. Veteran’s, or Armistice Day, has just passed so the sales should start to begin for the holiday season. In a couple of weeks, we’ll be rushing to the storefronts waiting for Black Friday. And then it’s on till the break of Christmas dawn. Just last night while watching Monday Night Football there were a ton more of Christmas advertisements for the Microsoft Surface… so yeah, sales are on their way to a store near you.
Perhaps by now you’ve been to a local Walmart and took a glance in their electronics aisle and upon perusing the laptop section you ran across Walmart’s gaming laptop, the Dell G5 OP. The OP stands for Over Powered Gaming. Now, on paper at first glance, it may look good. It’s coming in under $1,000.
These $1,000 laptops these days have NVIDIA video cards in them, they have fast screens, and they are not physically too think. I mean, yeah, boom… upon first glance, it looks like it might be pretty tight. However, hold that thought though.
Tong Fend is a Chinese laptop making company, and this particular laptop chassis is made by them. They make a whole bunch of bare-bones chassis that they sell to other companies like Origin, Eluktronics, PCSpecialist, and Maingear, to name a few. Then the “boutique” laptop company will put their hardware in them and resell them as one of their own. There’s nothing wrong with that, but this is how it is.
Walmart’s selling configuration should not exist on the market. You’re getting a 15.6″, 144 Hertz, LED Anti-Glare display, an 8th gen Intel i5 processor, 8GB of Memory, 128 GB SSD + 1TB HDD, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB, and that looks pretty good. Until you think about it. Very few games are able to hot good frames rates on this. You can lower the quality and resolution, but at the end of the day, you’re dealing with a very unpowered video card.
We recommend that if you’re looking at this particular laptop, that you look elsewhere because there are definitely some better options out there at the same price point. The Asus Strix, HP Pavillion, Asus FX504, and the Acer Helios 300 to come mind right away.
The best part about this laptop is its screen. it’s a 144 Herta panel and looks really good. It has a 1920 x 1080p, 300 nits, RGB 93%, Adobe RGB 62% spread. The problem is in order to showcase this screen properly, you need a much better video card. And the $999 base model at Walmart, doesn’t have a good video card. If you want to pick this up you need a minimum of q GTX 1060 or faster.
A unique feature about this modern selling laptop is the mechanical keyboard. It’s a pretty featured aspect of this laptop in its marketing materials, but thing about a mechanical keyboard is they are always going to have a audible feedback and in quiet settings or school-type settings, that’ just not going to work out very well if you want to keep others in mind. After all, you don’t want to be that lone dude sitting there tapping away pissing everyone off with your over-hype, and over-anxious keyboard, do you? This isn’t for everyone and it’s a very niche keyboard.
The main thing to think about when getting this type of laptop is the customer service aspect of it. When Tong Fend sells these chassis the boutique laptop brand that tweaks them to your heart’s desire is just that, a boutique laptop company, and they are going to have the killer customer support, like when you spring for a Dell or an Apple device. These particular OP ones are also bumped up in price just enough to yield a good profit for the mega-store chain, but they’re going to leave you hanging when it comes to servicing them or anything to do with customer service. If I’m dropping a grand on a laptop, I want to have it serviced as well. I mean, who wouldn’t? Basically, if you buy this at Wallyworld you’re not going to get the good customer service from the giant chain store, granted, you’ll spend a couple hundred dollars less than if you bought it at a boutique store with good customer service, but there lays the price difference as well.
All of that being said, as soon as you jump up to the $1,499 configuration of the OP gaming laptop, you will see major differences and a much better product. The video card will be sufficient enough and the overall performance is going to be better. At the $1,499 model and above, you are getting a really good gaming laptop that’s worth buying at those price points. I feel those are very well priced for the performance you will get. However, customer service will still be an issue no matter what.