Alienware m15 R2: Alienware’s New Gaming Laptop is Quite Powerful than Expected

Alienware m15 R2

The Alienware m15 follows squarely within the footsteps of the Alienware Space-51m. When that absolute unit of a laptop computer was revealed again at CES 2018, we had been fully blown away not just for its upgradeability but additionally its clear ‘Legend ID’ design language. And now that design language is currently in a gaming laptop computer, you may really carry it around with you. 

That design makes it one of the vital fashionable gaming laptops in the marketplace proper now.

On high of that uncooked, unadulterated model, in fact, is the ability that this laptop computer holds. The Alienware m15 we examined was the costliest mannequin within the lineup. However, it could destroy any sport we threw at it – even the extremely demanding Pink Lifeless Redemption 2. 

One factor that will disappoint some people (however excite others) is the show. At this value level, some could also be anticipating to see a 4K OLED panel at 60Hz. Whereas that sounds good in principle, laptop computer computing {hardware} is not precisely nice at that decision but, particularly in video games. As an alternative, you are getting a 1080p show at 240Hz – one thing significantly better for gaming, although at a decrease decision. 

In quite many methods, the Alienware m15 is the brand new gold normal for skinny and light-weight gaming laptops in 2019. We simply want a greater trackpad and audio system to take the expertise to the subsequent stage essentially. 

Worth and availability

It is in all probability not terribly shocking that the Alienware m15 is a costly piece of equipment. Even on the entry stage, with an Intel Core i5 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, you are dealing with a hefty $1,399/£1,349/AU$2,099 price ticket. Simply taking a look at Dell’s personal lineup, you may get the very same specs (although with a slower and fewer color-accurate show) for $869 with the Dell G3 15.

Dell G3 15 is thicker, and it would not have the eye-catching design laced with RGB both. But when all you are after is the flexibility to run your video games, you may get the identical {hardware} elsewhere for much less. 

Since this can be a gaming laptop from Alienware, you may clearly stuff this laptop computer with probably the most highly effective laptop computer {hardware} in the marketplace. However, you will need to pay for it. The very best-end configuration you should purchase in-store – which is the model we reviewed right here – will set you again $2,979/£2,518/AU$5,898. However, there are even higher-tier choices if you happen to purchase on-line. (Additionally, understand that within the UK, that high-end price ticket solely comes with a 256GB SSD compared to the 1TB supplied for each the US and Australia.)

 You may improve from two 512GB SSDs in RAID 0 (which basically provides you one 1TB drive) to 2 2TB SSDs for an additional $800. What will get us right here is that that is the “Alienware really useful” spec. Believe us – you do not want 4TB of SSD house. 

You may as well improve to a 4K OLED show with a 60Hz refresh fee if you happen actually to need that eye sweet. Once more, we might solely suggest that for inventive professionals because the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q is not fairly prepared for 4K gaming, although it will get shut. 


Because the years go on, Alienware design retains getting higher. We must always clarify that we favor cleaner aesthetics in gaming laptops – these edgy “gamer” designs flip us off. The brand new Legend ID design language that Alienware has been utilizing all through 2019 works extraordinarily effectively for a laptop computer in this class. 

The laptop computer is available in two finishes – Lunar Gentle and Darkish Facet of the Moon – basically white and black. The mannequin we received for assessment is the Lunar Gentle mannequin, and if you happen to like the aesthetic of white-colored tech as we do, it is undoubtedly a looker. The laptop computer’s chassis is all white apart from the slim again bit that stands proud of the again. There’s additionally a strip of black with a pleasant shiny end on the entrance of the chassis. 


There’s a ton of airflow right here, too. The laptop computer again has two strips of honeycomb-shaped vents interrupted by a small assortment of ports. That is where you will discover the ability, Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and the Alienware Graphics Amplifier ports. Nevertheless, the airflow would not finish there – understand that that is an especially highly effective laptop computer without a ton of room for cooling. 

There are two extra cooling vents on both facets of the laptop computer, together with extra airflow on the underside. When the laptop computer is open, you will see many more honeycomb vents above the keyboard, which act as a consumption, sucking in the chilly air and blasting the new air out again. This cooling system does its job, as a lot as any cooling system may do on this kind of issue. 

The keyboard is ludicrously snug to kind on. In a laptop computer this skinny, we merely do not anticipate a ton of key journey; however, not solely do these keys go deep, they’re additionally snug as hell to kind on. They are not clicky, nor are they loud, and virtually really feel cushiony; the Alienware m15 keyboard actually is the very best of each world and will make lots of people actually completely satisfied.

We won’t let’s imagine the identical factor in regards to the trackpad. Whereas indeed, many individuals will simply be plugging a mouse into this laptop computer for gaming, the unit is transportable sufficient that it needs to be usable as a cell workstation – particularly with this class of {hardware}. The trackpad is just not nice for doing something: it is means too small for the chassis and laggy occasionally. Should you go along with this laptop computer, believe us, you will need to choose up top-of-the-line gaming mice. 

The opposite main challenge right here is the audio system. Whether or not you are enjoying video games, watching {movies} or listening to music, it is best to do it without depending on headphones. That is a hill we’ll completely die on – bottom-mounted audio systems were merely inexcusable in 2019, and so they’re inexcusable right here. 

Once we first opened the laptop computer, we even received excited about the honeycomb vents on the high, pondering it might be a speaker grille. Alas, all of the sounds will get blasted out of the underside of the laptop computer, and it is a rattling disgrace, particularly since there’s ample room on both facet of the keyboard for audio system – have a look at the speaker setup on the Razer Blade or MacBook Professional. Because of this, the sound is not fairly the premium expertise you’ll anticipate from a product in this class.

Fortunately, the show is usually glorious, so if you happen to pair it with a gaming headset, it is best to anticipate pleasant expertise nonetheless. Whereas it is just 1080p, the show covers 100% of the sRGB shade gamut, so video games actually pop, particularly colorful experiences like World of Warcraft. 


In all probability, it is not massively shocking that the Alienware m15 achieves robust efficiency given the {hardware} inside. It doesn’t matter what sport we threw at it; this gaming laptop computer is completely dominated by efficiency. 

Even Pink Lifeless Redemption 2, which might be the toughest sport to run – a minimum of within the mainstream – is a breeze on the native decision. With all of the settings turned to excessive, we get a flawless Pink Lifeless Redemption 2 efficiency of 68 fps, after which 63 fps in Whole Struggle: Three Kingdoms. Each of those titles gives desktop gaming programs a tough time, so it was good to see a laptop computer this transportable capable of energy using them. 

Nevertheless, as a result of this laptop computer has an excessive refresh fee, we, in fact, needed to try it out in World of Warcraft. In most conditions, we had been capable of getting upwards of 120 fps with all of the settings turned as much as 10. Even in Orgrimmar, on an especially high-population server, we had been capable of sit comfortably at 60 fps flying above the doorway to the Public sale Home. It is an outdated sport, to make sure. However, anybody acquainted with it ought to know the way demanding that space of the sport is. 

Nevertheless, this robust efficiency resulted in some excessive temperatures. Out of sheer curiosity for the particular cooling system, we determined to emphasize a look at the laptop computer by making Cinebench R20 run on a loop for 300 seconds. Utilizing the balanced energy profile within the Alienware Management Heart, the CPU temperature instantly jumped as much as the Thermal Junction Max temperature at 99°C, earlier than a night out to 91°C after several seconds of operating the take a look at. 

This tells us that, principally, each laptop computer goes to thermal throttle when pushed to its absolute limits as of late. Even spectacular cooler designs will not cease highly effective {hardware} from producing a ton of warmth. 

Realistically, although, it is unlikely that you will do a lot that may pin the CPU to 100% utilization like that, so it is in all probability, not one thing you actually have to fret about, except you are planning on doing a little hardcore video modifying on the machine. Fortunately, the laptop computer is straightforward to open up and clear out, so preserving the followers away from mud ought to assist temperatures sooner or later. 

Software program and options

We’ll by no means perceive why laptop computer producers really feel the necessity to throw a ton of bloatware onto a laptop computer as costly because of the Alienware m15. It is sensible whenever you’re promoting a funds machine; however, whenever you’re dropping a lot of money, it is best to be capable of anticipating comparatively clear expertise. 

Sadly, there are a ton of Dell-provided applications loaded onto the laptop computer right here. It is only a ton of bloat taking on laborious drive house that may probably be all however ineffective to an overwhelming majority of customers. Nonetheless, a minimum of you may uninstall it.

There’s a piece of baked-in software program that genuinely helpful, although: Alienware Command Heart. The Alienware m15 is packed entrance to again with RGB lighting, all of which could be managed and customized using this software program. The command heart can even allow you to overclock your CPU and GPU.

The laptop computer also consists of Tobii eye monitoring expertise, which can observe eye motion to boost gaming experiences. For example, in a sport like Far Cry 5, you may transfer your eyes to maneuver the digital camera. It is undoubtedly singular expertise, and it really works fairly effectively. Personally, we did not prefer it, so we stored it disabled more often than not. It’s helpful for one factor: a setting that brightens the show whenever you look at it and dimming it when wanting away. 

Battery life

It is, in all probability, not terribly shocking. However, the Alienware m15 is not precisely a laptop computer that you’ll work on all day while not having a battery. In our anecdotal battery, take a look at the place we loop a video time and again till the laptop computer dies; the Alienware m15 solely manages 2 hours and three minutes. That is barely sufficient time to even watch one movie. 

The PCMark8 battery takes a look at would not fare significantly better, both, solely lasting 2 hours and 26 minutes. That is all with the show turned all the way down to 50% brightness and all of the exterior lighting disabled. We truthfully weren’t anticipating a lot out of this laptop computer by way of battery life, which is about what we anticipate. 

Purchase it if

It would help if you sported on the go.

As a result of the Alienware m15 is filled with the very best cell parts in the marketplace, you’ll play the very best PC video games on a laptop computer that is simple to hold in your backpack. 

You are into the aesthetic.

Amongst gaming laptops, the Alienware m15 is among the greatest examples of finding out how to construct a beautiful piece of {hardware}. From the color to the fashionable lighting, all the things actually take it to a different stage.

You recognize good help.

As a result of Alienware is owned by Dell, you may benefit from its almost peerless help community. If something goes mistaken along with your laptop computer, Dell is among the firms we believe probably the most to repair issues. 

Do not buy it if

You want a good audio system.

Sadly, the Alienware m15 has a bottom-firing audio system, making the audio expertise a bit lackluster. If you are going to purchase this laptop computer, you are going to want some good headphones. 

You want longer battery life.

This principally goes for any gaming laptop computer – although there are some exceptions on the market. This laptop computer solely lasts a few hours on battery, without operating video games on it. Should you carry this laptop computer round, you will want to hold the charger, too.

You are on a funds

Alienware makes among the greatest {hardware} in the marketplace. However, you will need to pay a premium for it. If all you are after is the parts on this laptop computer, you may get it for much less in one laptop computer. However, no different laptop computer appears to be like just like the Alienware m15, both. 

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