“Alienware’s m15 is a gaming laptop computer you may lust after, and you need to indulge.”
It seems superior
Wonderful show choices
Tons ports in all the best locations
Stable efficiency in all video games
Cumbersome for its class
Battery life is predictably ‘okay’
I used to be fast to seize the Alienware m15 when it got here into the Digital Tendencies workplace. It’s a laptop computer I’ve been ready to check. Possibly even my most anticipated laptop computer all yr.
Why? As a result of it packs the design of Alienware’s beautiful Space-51M in a much more sensible 15-inch chassis that weighs simply four.75 kilos. The Space-51M was a looker, but it surely wasn’t a laptop computer constructed for most individuals.
The Alienware m15, although? This one’s for you. For me. For everybody. It’s not exaggeration to say Alienware m15 is, and has lengthy been, the Ford F-150 of cell PC gaming. Need to sport, but additionally want modest portability? It’s the default alternative. Now, it’s additionally a looker.
The whole lot concerning the new m15 is, properly, new – however I feel the rear mild bar, which loops fully outdoors the laptop computer’s rear silhouette, is the spotlight. It’s shiny and futuristic, but not gaudy or overbearing. That is probably the most engaging accent lighting on any laptop computer, ever. Critically. It’s beautiful.
The remainder of the laptop computer is nice, too. It abandons the exhausting edges so frequent in gaming laptops for a softer, rounded look that remembers the aesthetic of latest sci-fi movies. Shade path choices embody black “Darkish Aspect of the Moon,” or white “Lunar Gentle,” making it clear that connection isn’t any accident.
Appears to be like aren’t every thing, in fact, however the Alienware m15’s distinctive design is a bonus. You’ll really feel proud maintain it in your fingers.
It’s a beast
Don’t be fooled. Whereas the Alienware m15 seems trendy, it’s not probably the most moveable machine. It is a 15-inch gaming laptop computer that may deal with Intel’s Core i7 Ninth-gen processors and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics. Which means it has some heft.
Its weight of four.75 kilos is mid-pack. Razer’s Blade 15 can weigh as little as four.5 kilos, whereas Acer’s Predator Triton 500 weighs in at four.41 kilos. The Alienware m15 isn’t a brick, however you could find lighter choices. It’s a hair greater than 7/10ths of an inch thick, which is true on par with the competitors.
Numbers don’t inform the entire story, nonetheless. The Alienware m15 is all-new, but it surely retains the “junk within the trunk” design of earlier Alienware laptops. Critically. The show hinge is pushed ahead from the laptop computer’s rear, which juts one other inch past it.
That places the m15 a hair wanting 11 inches deep. The Razer Blade 15 is barely 9.25 inches deep, and the Acer Predator Triton 500 is 10 inches deep. Even the HP Omen X 2S, which has a second touchscreen above the keyboard, is 10.three inches deep.
In different phrases, the m15 is nearer to sq. than most gaming laptops. That may make it a clumsy slot in a laptop computer bag, even one designed with 15-inch laptops in thoughts.
Sadly, the sq. form doesn’t embody room for a big touchpad. It’s not all that small, but it surely definitely appears tiny on the m15’s in any other case massive physique. I had higher luck with the keyboard. The format is spacious, and keys reply with agency tactile suggestions.
My god. It’s stuffed with ports
Chances are you’ll curse the Alienware m15’s old-school measurement when stuffing it in a bag, however you’ll like it when it’s a must to plug in. This factor is full of ports. Take a deep breath. Okay. Prepared?
It has a proprietary energy jack, an Ethernet port, two USB-A three.1 Gen 1 ports, one USB-A USB three.1 Gen 1 port with PowerShare, one Thunderbolt three port, one Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, one HDMI 2.0b out, one Mini-DisplayPort 1.four, one combo headphone/microphone jack, and one lock slot.
That’s quite a bit. And it will get higher. Many ports are on the rear of the laptop computer, making cable administration straightforward. Simply join equipment to the rear, slap on a Velcro tie, and also you’re finished.
And don’t neglect. The sunshine bar is on the rear, too. Plugging in a peripheral is a good excuse to remind your self how superior this laptop computer seems from the again.
Flip it as much as 240Hz
Finally, you may cease gawking on the Alienware m15 and resolve to play video games on it. Which means shifting your consideration to the display screen. It’s not as enthralling because the laptop computer’s design, although solely as a result of Alienware has (principally) chosen practicality over specs.
There are 4 panels on supply, three of that are 1080p. That may appear unusual given the fashionable obsession with decision (telephones usually have a extra pixels than this laptop computer), but it surely is smart. 1080p seems sharp on a 15.6-inch show, and it’s a greater match for the capabilities of recent gaming laptops. I don’t learn about you, however I’ll select most element at 1080p over medium element at 4K any day of the week.
As an alternative of upping decision, the elective panels enhance refresh fee. The entry-level alternative is a normal 60Hz show. You may improve from there to a 144Hz and even 240Hz refresh fee, which is what my assessment unit had. The improve panels additionally embody Tobii eye monitoring know-how however, to my dismay, it doesn’t assist Home windows Hi there facial login.
I loved the 240Hz panel each out and in of video games. Along with its easy refresh fee, it delivered sharp photos with distinction and shade accuracy that may sustain with something apart from OLED which, due to its far deeper black ranges, can crush any standard LCD. The 240Hz panel’s strong high quality is value your consideration. Prior to now, I’ve examined laptops with excessive refresh charges and disappointing picture high quality. You don’t should make that compromise right here.
And wow, this show is fluid. I observed that the majority in Battlefield V, a sport that pairs wonderful artwork route with fast-paced motion. The sport’s vibrant explosions and heavy use of post-process results could make any judder, stutter, or unintended blur apparent, however all was crystal clear on the Alienware m15’s 240Hz panel.
I’m nonetheless unsure the distinction between it and a 144Hz display screen is discernible, so don’t really feel unhealthy in case you “solely” go for that decrease however nonetheless spectacular refresh fee. In truth, the 144Hz choice is probably going the higher match for efficiency – as I’ll talk about extra later. When in comparison with a 60Hz OLED display screen, nonetheless, the distinction is tangible.
There’s one catch. Nvidia’s G-Sync, which synchronizes a show’s refresh fee with a sport’s body fee, isn’t out there on any mannequin. You’re extra prone to see display screen tearing if a sport’s body fee is mismatched with the refresh fee. That mentioned, display screen tearing and stutters by no means jumped out to me as an issue.
Do not forget that a excessive refresh fee is barely helpful in case you can get hold of it. A demanding sport, like Murderer’s Creed Odyssey, won’t ever come near 240 and even 144 frames per second.
In these circumstances, you may wish to go for most picture high quality. That’s the place the elective 4K OLED panel is available in. I didn’t have probability to check it on the Alienware m15, however OLED panels have universally scored properly in our show benchmarks. They obtain distinction ratio and shade gamut figures high-refresh IPS shows simply can’t match. The one draw back is value, because the OLED is a $330 improve from the bottom display screen. That’s $150 greater than the 240Hz display screen I reviewed.
All of the framerate you want
Alienware shipped me a high-end m15 with an Intel Core i7-9750HQ processor, Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB strong state drive. That’s an improve from the bottom mannequin, which has an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB strong state drive.
My upgraded unit represents the reducing fringe of cell gaming. You’ll solely discover higher outcomes from laptops just like the Alienware Space-51M, which really packs a full-fat Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics chip.
Which means 60 frames per second is definitely obtainable at 1080p and most element. I discovered that was true for Fortnite, Battlefield V, and Civilization VI. Solely Murderer’s Creed Odyssey, a notoriously strenuous sport at most element, dipped beneath 60 FPS. Even then, the Alienware m15 common 55 FPS.
These outcomes are on par with the competitors. Throughout these 4 video games, I discovered the Alienware m15 was faster than HP’s Omen X 2S, about on par with Razer’s Blade 15, and a bit slower than Acer’s Predator Triton 500 (all had been examined with RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics).
There’s a sliver of me that’s dissatisfied by this end result. That has to do with the Alienware M15’s measurement. It’s on the bigger facet, so I hoped that could be higher efficiency on account of improved thermals.
Nonetheless, its efficiency is respectable, and the hole between all of the laptops we’ve examined with RTX 2080 Max-Q is sufficiently small that it doesn’t make-or-break gameplay. The HP Omen X 2S averaged 52 FPS in Murderer’s Creed Odyssey at 1080p and most element. The Alienware m15 averaged 55. You received’t discover that hole.
However what about that 240Hz display screen? Can the Alienware m15 use it to its full potential?
No. It may well’t. Fortnite, the least demanding sport in my checks, averaged 149 frames per second at 1080p and medium element. That’s nowhere close to the 240Hz panel’s full potential.
My suggestion? Save your money and keep on with the 144Hz panel. It’s the most effective match for the laptop computer’s efficiency in trendy video games, and also you’ll save $180 by ditching the 240Hz improve.
Predictably meh battery life
You’re going to wish to present the Alienware m15 off. There’s little question about it. Sadly, you’ll should be choosey with the humblebrag tour, as a result of this laptop computer’s battery life form of sucks.
That comes as no shock. Gaming laptops have picked higher show high quality and better refresh charges over lengthy battery life in recent times. It’s a trade-off that is smart. Players don’t count on to spend a lot time away from an influence outlet.
The Alienware m15 managed simply three hours in our internet looking battery take a look at. The extra demanding Basemark browser benchmark, in the meantime, ate by way of a cost in simply an hour and a half.
If it’s any comfort, these outcomes aren’t unhealthy for the section. A high-end gaming laptop computer with a excessive refresh fee show is fortunate to hit three hours. That is true for the Razer Blade 15, HP Omen X 2S, and Acer Predator Triton 500. It simply comes with the territory.
Alienware’s m15 beats the HP Omen X2. It primarily ties the Razer Blade 15 (with 240Hz show) and Acer Predator Triton 500.
Nonetheless, you’ll have to hold the charger useful. And that provides to the laptop computer’s bulk when touring.
The Alienware m15 is a very spectacular laptop computer. It has an entirely unique and distinctive design that delivers the gosh-wow issue a gamer craves however doesn’t look or really feel gaudy. I don’t have a mantel, but when I did, I’d put the m15 on it.
Alienware backs up the seems with strong efficiency, a variety of engaging shows, and loads of ports. The one draw back is the laptop computer’s measurement, which is cumbersome subsequent to the most effective competitors.
Don’t let that cease you, although. If you would like a gaming laptop computer that appears superior even when it’s off, you’ve discovered it.
Is there a greater different?
Sure. The Razer Blade 15 stays our total favourite, even when it’s not as engaging. The Blade 15 has a killer mixture of portability and efficiency. It feels much less like a gaming laptop computer, and extra like a terrific laptop computer that may additionally sport.
Acer’s Predator Trition 500 is an efficient choose in case you worth, properly, worth. It delivers wonderful in a number of inexpensive configurations. It’s not as engaging because the Alienware m15, nonetheless.
How lengthy will it final?
Alienware presents the standard one-year guarantee, however the laptop computer will in fact final for much longer than that. This isn’t probably the most strong laptop computer I’ve felt, but it surely appears sturdy sufficient to deal with on a regular basis use for a very long time to come back. I count on it’ll final at the very least 5 years. It might final a decade if dealt with with care.
Must you purchase it?
Sure. The Alienware m15 is a shocking gaming laptop computer wonderful nice efficiency. You received’t be dissatisfied.