As with virtually any other product, the quality and features of a gaming laptop can vary significantly depending on its price. Premium models can be compared to the smallest detail, while options in the entry-level price range usually have more compromises. Our editorial team got a 17-inch gaming laptop Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28, the advantages and disadvantages of which we will consider in today’s review.
|Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28
|IPS, 17.3″, 1920 resolution ×1080, 16:9 aspect ratio, 144 Hz frequency/span>
|Intel Core i7-13700H
|16 GB DDR4
|NVIDIA GeForce 4050 (6 GB)
|HDMI 2.1, mDP, RJ45, 2×USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, USB-A 2.0, USB-C
3.2 Gen 2, separate jacks for microphone and headphones, SD
|Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2
|Speaker system with 2 speakers and microphone
|Island-type keys with RGB backlighting
|Battery and power supply
|46.7 W-h, 230 W power supply
|Recommended price of the test configuration
|57 969 UAH
Complete set of Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28
The traditionally simple package, which includes only a laptop and a charger, is also relevant for this model. In order to maintain the relatively low cost of the laptop, the manufacturer does not supplement the package with additional accessories.
However, it is quite possible that the user will still have to spend a little extra money if they plan to travel with the laptop frequently. Even with its relatively small size, the 17-inch Dream Machines will not fit in every backpack. So you should take this into account right away.
Design and usability
The relatively simple “stealth design” familiar to Dream Machines is also retained by today’s guest. But it also has its own interesting moments. The RG4050-17UA28 model is offered only in a black case, but the buyer can still order their own design of the top cover of the display unit, which will be printed with any image (the service costs an additional 999 UAH). Otherwise, only the company logo will remain there.
I don’t know if it’s just my impression, but the design of the bottom of the display is reminiscent of the previous generation of Alienware. Yes, the hinge here looks different, but such “cut-off” bottom corners are not very common. And even if the original intention was different, this detail complements the overall appearance quite well.
But given the budget, there are no other “decorative” elements, such as the popular dominance of RGB backlighting. The case consists mainly of matte plastic, and only the aforementioned top panel of the display is metal. The weight of the case is approximately 2.5 kg (for transportation, you should count on the additional weight of the power supply). As for the dimensions, the 17-inch laptop is not going to be a “compact” solution – 392.9×260.6×24.9 mm. Traveling with this will not be very convenient.
The bottom of the case has four large rubber feet that more or less fix the position of the laptop. Here, the manufacturer also did not forget about a large perforated cooling zone, which looks more interesting than ordinary slots. In addition, the bottom panel noticeably narrows closer to the side edges, which makes the topcase visually thinner.
Like all the other Dream Machines models, the RG4050-17UA28 looks restrained and hints at its relation to the gaming series only with the aforementioned design around the hinge. Otherwise, it is a rather ordinary working machine that does not attract much attention. And in fact, there’s nothing wrong with that, because for those buyers who primarily need a powerful laptop with a neutral appearance, this finish will definitely be enough.
One of the advantages of large chassis is the ability to “scatter” ports for external devices on three sides instead of two. Also, there is additional space for more different connectors, which will not be superfluous. Thus, on the left side of the Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28 topcase you can find USB-A 2.0 and two separate 3.5 mm headphone and microphone jacks. Two more USB-A, but 3.2 Gen 1, and a slot for SD memory cards are located on the right side. Behind are mDP, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet, and a power port. There is also a Kengsington lock.
So there should be no problems with the ability to connect external devices in general. However, the two USB-A ports could be more conveniently placed than under the right arm, where the wires get in the way when playing games. But you can also get used to it.
Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28 has a classic 17.3-inch screen, which is still the maximum for the manufacturer. The resolution in this case is 1920×1080 pixels, and the aspect ratio is 16:9. As with most gaming laptops, the display is also quite high, thanks to the large bottom bezel, hinge, and high topcase. And working under such conditions is really more pleasant than with conventional laptops.
Of course, as is typical for all the latest gaming models, the matrix has a high refresh rate of 144 Hz. However, all of the above is not the “ceiling” for Dream Machines, the manufacturer also offers WXQGA with 240 Hz, but such samples are much more expensive.
Interestingly, this time the manufacturer found room for various image settings. Thus, the IPS-matrix, which already has a pretty good image, has several additional modes: Vibrant, Video, Internet, Cinema, Photo and Low Blue. Moreover, in each of them, the user can adjust the brightness, color temperature, contrast, gamma, and RGB shades separately. Changing modes generally does not affect the color gamut, but it can change the gamut, temperature, etc. In general, one of the most successful and versatile options is Cinema, which can be left for all popular work scenarios. Standard is very close to it.
The overall brightness level can be adjusted from 13.5 to 289 cd/m². The maximum is not as high as for a large display, although together with the matte finish, it is enough for indoor use. On sunny days, of course, it’s more comfortable to keep the backlight at the highest level. Sometimes I would like to have a little more margin, but it’s not a critical issue.
Multimedia and manipulatives
Another advantage of the large topcase is the ability to place the keyboard with a full-size NUM pad relatively comfortably. Due to the peculiarities of the navigation keys location, you still need to adapt to the latter, but otherwise the keyboard is quite satisfactory both for “blind” typing and for games. In addition, it is not noisy and has a basic (not very bright) RGB backlight.
An interesting feature here is the separate keys for powering on and changing performance modes. The latter has its own indicator that clearly shows the current level of system power, which in practice will be convenient for users who often change such parameters. On the other hand, there are also quite bright activity indicators, without which it would be better.
The Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28 trackpad surprised us with its considerable size – 155×100 mm (roughly the same as a Macbook Pro). In the upper corners, it additionally has double-tap zones, which can be used to quickly lock the sensor. Personally, it didn’t bother me during games, but it’s still convenient to have such a quick locking method. And during use, there were no problems with it.
The sound, as always, is lacking (which is a common feature of most laptops, even those with higher price tags). This, of course, doesn’t mean that they’re not capable of anything at all. Such speakers are quite capable of supplementing YouTube videos or movies with sound. However, you can’t expect much more, and players definitely have headphones or external speakers.
The image from a megapixel webcam can be “noisy” even in daylight, not to mention artificial lighting. However, it should be enough for basic video communication. On the other hand, a much better option would be to use a smartphone instead.
And to use the built-in microphones, you’ll definitely need to find a powerful noise-canceling solution, because they “hear” keystrokes better than the owner’s voice. Of course, this will definitely not be a problem for gamers, as headsets are on the list of must-have accessories.
Performance and software
The manufacturer offers a configurator for almost all of its laptops, and the Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28 is no exception. Thus, in addition to RAM and drives, buyers can pay extra for Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut/Kryonaut Extreme thermal interfaces (540 and 880 UAH, respectively) and pay extra for another year of warranty (3,800 UAH). However, there are no processor or video accelerator options for this model.
In the case of the test Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28, we have a 14-core Intel Core i7-13700H processor (6 powerful and 8 energy-saving cores, 20 threads, 24 MB, up to 5/3.7 GHz), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 discrete video (6 GB GDDR6, maximum power up to 140 W), 16 GB DDR4-3200 (two 8 GB slots), and a terabyte drive (the second slot is free). So even under these conditions, there is still room for upgrades. The wired network connection is established via Gigabit RJ45, Wi-Fi supports the AX201 standard, and wireless accessories can be connected via Bluetooth 5.2.
The system has three general modes of operation: Office, Balanced, and Turbo. Additionally, the user is given the option of customizing the system’s behavior, along with a warning about possible instability. Up to five custom profiles can be created. Separately, you can disable the hybrid mode of the video accelerator (NVIDIA Optimus) and leave the discrete card to do all the work regardless of current needs.
RTX 4050 and similar Core i7 models can be found in simpler laptops of non-gaming series. Due to the smaller space inside, such models react worse to “heavy” tasks, so their power may be limited. But the RG4050-17UA28 has much more space for cooling, so the performance indicators are noticeably higher. Of course, in the battery saving mode, these indicators are significantly reduced, although the performance will be enough for “quiet” work.
|3DMark (CPU Profile, max threads)
|CineBench R24 (single/multi core)
Higher graphics settings with Full HD resolution will also be fine. Moreover, in “heavy” games, such as Cyberpunk, you can leave ray tracing off. Yes, the difference in FPS will be noticeable, but you still have a choice between a more interesting image and a higher frame rate.
You can play for a long time, and the system stability doesn’t suffer. In addition to being far from the loudest 17-inch laptop we’ve ever seen, it also keeps the temperature well. Yes, the graph may show trotting, but it is not noticeable in games. The temperature is fairly stable, although it’s not exactly low (90°C). And even so, the working surface remains absolutely comfortable to use. At other times, with simpler tasks, even with Turbo mode enabled, the system can briefly turn on active cooling and then leave the user in silence.
All additional management of Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28 is performed through the Control Center. In addition to the mentioned operating modes and image correction, the application also has a set of switches for various keys and functions (Fn, Windows, remap other keys, USB, Wi-Fi, trackpad, etc.), backlight control, system monitoring and game overlay (with FPS and other indicators), as well as battery management. The app’s interface may differ from model to model, and here it also doesn’t look like the previous versions we’ve seen before. However, it is still intuitive.
Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28 battery life
This category of laptops has never set records in terms of battery life, especially when it comes to relatively inexpensive and large models. The Dream Machines RG4050-17UA28 has a relatively small 46.7 Wh battery, so our expectations were not very high. In the gaming autonomy test, such a battery was able to maintain operation for 1 hour and 17 minutes, and in the office test – 4 hours and 40 minutes. A two-hour movie depletes the charge to almost half. The results are not impressive, but they are not completely bad either.
Considering the laptop’s platform, the power supply can be called quite small. However, it is still not lightweight at 815 grams. And most likely, you will need it with you in most cases. The power of the PSU is 230 W, and it takes an hour and a half to fully charge the battery.