Dell’s new retro gaming laptops took me straight back to the ’80s — in a good way

As part of its lineup for CES 2023, Dell is touting a slightly retro new look for its G15 and G16 series of midrange gaming laptops. Apparently, there can never be too much love for the 80s (minus parachute pants, the Cold War, and ugly American cars).

To wit, Dell has decided to gussy up its popular mid-budget G15 (5530) and G16 (7630) gaming laptop lines with unique colorways, such as metallic nightshade (with a black thermal shelf), dark shadow gray or quantum white (with a deep space blue thermal shelf), or — my favorite — pop purple (with a neo mint thermal shelf), among others.

Thankfully, the homage stops there. No large display bezels or 3.5-inch floppy drives, although the G16 does bring us a clackety Cherry mechanical keyboard (with RGB, of course).

That said, the G-series comes in four 13th-gen Intel flavors, up to a Core i9-13900HX, supported by upgradeable x2 SO-DIMM DDR5 (max 32GB), and up to 2TB of NVMe M.2 storage (starts at 256GB). The laptops, of course, will also support Nvidia’s new RTX 40-series GPUs. Based on notes in Dell’s spec sheets, the laptops’ graphics options will range up to an RTX 4070.

Dell G15 series on desk.

Also getting a bump is the screen. For the G15, the previous 120Hz refresh rate 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit (250 nits) unit returns, but there is now a 165Hz refresh rate with TUV-certified low blue light (LBL) 300 nits panel for consumers to choose from.

The G16‘s regular 165Hz 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit (300 nits) with TUV-certified LBL will have a 240Hz refresh rate version available as well.

Dell G15 rear 3-quarter view.

Dell is also offering a larger 6-cell 86Wh battery for either G laptop if you want greater endurance over the standard issue 56Wh piece. There’s a decent number of ports around the machines, namely one HDMI 2.1, three USB-A 3.2, one USB-C 3.2 with DisplayPort alt-mode, one RJ45, and one 3.5mm audio port.

Both the G15 and G16 are expected to go on sale in spring. Prices for the G15 should start at $850, while the G16 starts at $1,500.

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