Dell’s gaming subsidiary Alienware is best known for two things: Its impeccable line of gaming computers/hardware and the cool alien themes that accompany them. In May, Alienware unveiled its latest gaming laptop, the Alienware M15 R2. The M15 R2 is a redesigned version of 2018’s M15 that features several of the same cool features and a few improvements. In this article, we will be reviewing this gaming laptop. We hope it can help you make a decision on whether or not to get this particular laptop.
So without further ado, let’s get going!
Alienware M15 R2: The Review
- This is a very beautiful computer; the sleek design makes it one of the best gaming laptops out there.
- For a gaming laptop, the M15 R2 is surprisingly light compared to the other competition in the market.
- It features all the high-end specs one would expect from a gaming computer as well as amazing screen options.
- For a gaming laptop, the M15 R2 is quiet and features reasonable thermal performances. You won’t be having as much problem with heating as you would on a typical gaming computer.
- The M15 R2 is one of the more expensive gaming computers out there. If budget is an issue, there are plenty of alternatives that are on par in terms of specs with a lower price tag.
- The battery life of the M15 R2 isn’t as good as one would expect.
- The main storage drive is quite small, that to some, could prove insufficient.
Now lets get to a more fuller review of the M15 R2:
What is the M15 R2 packing on the inside?
We tend to judge laptops like we judge people. How they look on the outside matters just as much as what’s on the inside. With gaming laptops though the inside tends to matter a bit more. The M15 R2 is without doubt a powerful laptop.
All options of the M15 R2 feature Intel’s 9th generation Core i processors. And depending on what you’re looking for (and your price range), you can get the Core i5-9300H, the Core i7-9750H or the Core 19-9980HK. In terms of RAM, you can choose between 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 2666Mhz options.
Although the latest gen Intel processors are quite adept at handling heavy graphics/gaming requirements, when it comes to a gaming laptop the dedicated GPU is a must. The M15 R2 comes with Nvidia’s Geforce GPU with options between the GTX 1650/1660 Ti, RTX 2060/2070 or the RTX 2080 Max-Q.
In the storage department, the M15 R2 comes with Dual Raid 0 SSD harddrives with sizes varying from 256GB to 4TB. Although the 4TB expansion will add around $500 to the price.
One of the very few downsides of the M15 R2 that needs to be mentioned is it’s measly battery life. Even at default (low) settings, the battery can run out after just a couple of hours. Anyone who plans on getting this laptop for anything more than gaming needs to consider this.
Design wise, the M15 R2 is without doubt one of the most beautiful looking gaming laptops on the market today. The sleek design comes with a magnesium alloy chassis with two different color choises: Lunar Light or Dark Side of the Moon. Classic Alienware move: The power button is the head of an alien and there’s another alien on the rear panel. The keyboard features RGB lighting and the thermal venting is designed in the form of a honeycomb. The razer thin screen looks as beautiful as it performs. The laptop on the whole is pretty light for a gaming laptop, starting at just 4.7 pounds. This makes the M15 R2 the perfect laptop for gamers who are on the go. And Alienware changed the position of the web cam back to its rightful place (Last year’s M15’s web cam had a ridiculous and widely criticized placement). What can you say. Its a 10/10 in terms of design for this gaming laptop.
A very important factor in any laptop, let alone a gaming laptop, is the display. It doesn’t matter how well the inner hardware can render a scene in a game unless the computer has a display that can showcase this. And Alienware really did a number with this one.
The M15 R2 features a 15.6-inch OLED display. The default option is Full-HD, although for $150 more, the most-expensive configuration (that starts at $2830), you could get a UHD 4k display. The M15 R2 display features an impressive contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and a brightness of 400 nits, with a response time of just 7ms. The screen also features refresh rate options ranging between 60Hz and 240 Hz. And it is worth mentioning that the 240 Hz display comes with a sRGB 100 percent color gamut.
The M15 R2 also comes with Tobii eye-tracking technology. This can be quite practical as you can get the computer to do things like automatically dim the screen when you leave it or wake the computer up by looking at the Alien logo.
Another very important thing to consider when purchasing a gaming laptop is it’s thermal performance. Video games tend to demand quite a lot from a computer’s inner hardware, specially if they’re being enjoyed in the highest qualities. And the M15 R2’s heat venting system does quite a good job at keeping the laptop cool even at peak performances. And the fans aren’t too loud either.
But what about that thing PC-aficionados tend to do? Over-clocking.
Well, the M15 R2 comes with a great software called the Alienware Command Center that lets users tweak and increase the performances of the computer’s processors. Furthermore, this software also lets you customize the settings. This lets you boost up the clock-speed and the cooling system when you’re doing things like playing a game and then automatically revert back to the quieter and less power consuming lower settings once you’re done. That can come handy.
To conclude, Alienware’s M15 R2 is a great laptop for gamers on the go. Alienware took notice of the complaints about the design of last year’s M15 and improved on them to create a beautiful and powerful computer. For a bit more, you could get one with a 4K display which is truly incredible. Of course, the price tag is a bit hefty as with all Alienware computers. The price of the M15 R2 starts at $1275. And depending on what option you choose, this can go well beyond $3000 (with the 4K display). But if you are serious about PC gaming and are looking for a long-term investment, the M15 R2 is the right choice for you.
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