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2018 I can safely call the year of thin andlight gaming laptops. It seems that a new category was born for those gamers who do not want to carry a huge and heavy laptop. And Dell proves that this is not an easy trend. This time, the Alienware m15 hit my review.
Immediately, I note that the prices for the base modelstart with 90 000 p. and for this money we get a six-core Intel Core i7, a GTX 1060 or 1070 Max-Q video card. In addition, the m15 received a gorgeous 15-inch display with a resolution of 1080p and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. All this is enclosed in a stylish bright case "Nebula Red".
It may seem that the Razer Blade has an alternative; however, it is not. Next, I will explain in detail why.
Alienware m15 Specifications
Intel Core i7-8750H
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 Max-Q (8 GB GDDR5)
32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz
FHD 60 Hz IPS;
FHD 144 Hz TN;
4K 60Hz IPS
Up to 1 TB PCIe M.2 SSD and 1 TB Hybrid Hard Drive
20.3 × 274.3 × 363.2 mm
60 Wh (standard);
90 Wh (optional)
Design and construction
While Dell is trying to bring something new toAlienware notebook design, familiar features are still guessed here: the same angular lines, high build quality and glowing alien logo on the lid.
There’s no need to guess - obviously, thisgaming laptop. Interestingly, most manufacturers are trying to somehow hide the external features of gaming models, making them light and thin, with the design closer to professional devices. That is how it turned out Razer Blade, Gigabyte Aero 15X and MSI GS65. However, the Alienware m15 is a more outspoken laptop.
In my case, the laptop was very bright. It's hard not to notice the red “Nebula Red” color cover and the glowing alien logo. At first glance, I fell in love with this design, without even knowing how productive it is, the m15 looks great. The surface of the cover is soft to the touch and unique in color, as for the model with the 144 Hz display. Other versions are standard for Alienware screens.
As soon as your eyes take off the bright coverlaptop, you will see a lot of new. Here redesigned all the internal space: changed the keyboard, touch pad, ventilation holes, RGB lights, and even the display itself. All these changes have made the Alienware laptop more modern.
Engineers were able to resize even. The M15 is the lightest among all Alienware notebooks. Maybe this is not the most revolutionary innovation, but you will notice it if you carry a laptop with you in your backpack. It weighs a little more than 2 kg, and the maximum thickness is 2 cm. But, the device looks large. This is partly due to the large frames around the screen. What else spoils the impression is a glossy plastic, which here reduces the cost of appearance.
I have not found a single excuse for whyThe screen of Alienware m15 is such a wide frame. Such a laptop should look modern and elegant in everything, and I had no such comments either to Razer Blade or Asus ROG Zephyrus S.
I often noticed that the weakest point ingaming laptops often had a display. But there is no need to worry about it. Laptop Alienware m15 got a very high-quality screen. Despite the glossy frames, there is a bright matt IPS-display with maximum viewing angles and no glare.
The maximum screen brightness m15 iscomfortable 318 nit. This is enough for everyday use, but the MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 15 have more than 400 nits. The same situation with the contrast - the laptop bypasses most of its competitors, but does not reach the premium ultrabooks.
A wide range of colors reveals all colors ingames. In Fortnite, I was surprised how bright and juicy the game was. Fast game titles also look impressive on screen with an update rate of 144 Hz. If you have a low resolution of 1080p, then you can choose a more expensive version of the m15 with 4K display, but with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
I compared both models and I advise you to take the version with Full HD and 144 Hz. For gaming, this laptop will be more comfortable, besides the performance of the m15 is not enough to draw out demanding games in 4K.
Ports and connectors
As for the connectors, Alienware m15 got 3USB-A, Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet ports and even Alienware branded external video card support. As you can see, there is everything you need for a gaming computer. All ports are located conveniently. Perhaps there is not enough slot for SD-cards, but all manufacturers are already beginning to get rid of them.
Keyboard and trackpad
Keyboard m15 was less than othersAlienware laptops. I'm sure this will appeal to fans of the brand. Although its dimensions have changed, typing is still convenient here, the buttons are elastic, have a quiet click, there is a digital block on the right.
But, there is one item that upset me. Alienware in m15 has simplified the ability to customize the RGB key backlight. We still have the backlight setting for each of the six zones, but the backlight has disappeared along the side of the case and on the touch panel.
Usually touch pad in gaming laptopspaying little attention, although with the advent of the Razer Blade, this trend has changed. Alienware m15 follows in the footsteps of the older brother, the laptop got a larger and more accurate touchpad. It’s not as comfortable as the Blade’s, but still better than the Predator Heilos.
The blue illumination and separation ofleft and right buttons. The laptop also supports Windows Precision drivers for customizing gestures. I noticed that the recognition is not always accurate, but the touchpad itself is not centered, slightly shifted to the left.
Sound from speakers
Alienware m15 built-in speakers are locatedon the side that is not the optimal place in my opinion. They sound too flat and do not meet my expectations. For games, they are definitely not suitable. In any case, I recommend using either headphones or external speakers.
Choose a processor when buying Alienware m15 notit turns out, we only have a six-core Core i7-8750H. You should not get upset, because its performance is enough for all tasks. The system works quickly, regardless of how many programs or tabs you have running in your browser. You can even play Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey at maximum graphics settings.
In the test Geekbench test laptop decided to playsix-core muscles and even bypassed the Alienware 17 R5 on a Core i9 processor. The same situation was repeated in Handbrake, where the video encoding occurred in 4K. Most of the competitors are far behind the m15, I think that these results were obtained due to the improved cooling system and component layout.
Although this processor is under load and strongheats up, the cooling system easily copes with it. At elevated temperatures, the system sometimes throttles to cool down faster. Fortunately, this happens very rarely, with active cooling of the cooler, they work quite noisy.
Memory performance me here alsopleased. In this Alienware game, the Toshiba NVMe SSD is installed, I had a 512GB version. The basic version has a slower drive. Therefore, I definitely advise taking a laptop only with SSD.
Alienware m15 turned out small, it does not meanthat he does not have enough power for games. Let the laptop overlooked and does not occupy the top lines in the ratings of gaming machines, it is more affordable than competitors.
Gaming performance m15 compliessimilar configuration Razer Blade. In fact, both laptops showed the same results in games like Civilization VI and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The gameplay is smooth and responsive at maximum settings in 1080p.
I noticed a jump in performance in Battlefield1, where m15 beat Digital Storm Equinox and Razer Blade, delivering 93 frames per second on ultra settings. Even in Battlefield V, it showed an average of 72 fps.
Let me remind you that the model I test has FullHD screen with a frequency of 144 Hz. The full potential of such a display reveals a 1070 Max-Q video card. Most games started with 60 fps and more, what can I say, if in Fortnite I got more than 100 fps.
If you have a screen with a resolution of 1440p, then youYou can also get a decent frame rate. In Battlefield 1, the laptop shows 71 fps on ultra settings. In the demanding Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, I had about 37 fps, which can be called a playable parameter, although in most modern games, Alienware m15 will produce more than 60 fps.
Autonomy Alienware m15
Thin gaming laptops do not have to beeasy, because they need to have good battery life. Alienware's M15 shows a significant improvement over previous models, and it copes well with competitors.
Depending on the load, the laptop is capableWork about 4-5 hours on battery. In my m15 browser test, it lasted more than 5.5 hours, even Razer Blade was worse in this, like most competitors. In the looped video test, the m15 worked 4 hours and 44 minutes. At Razer Blade, the result is more than 7.5 hours. If you try to play on a laptop, then the battery will last about an hour.
The model I surveyed got a battery on90 watts / hour, that's where the extra energy comes from. If you choose a laptop with 4K screen or basic version, then the time of autonomy will decrease. For gaming laptops, the Alienware m15 shows excellent results, however, the standard XPS 15 with a GTX 1050 Ti video card and a similar processor will last twice as long.
Alienware m15 - evolution in the line of gaminglaptops. The laptop turned out smaller, more attractive and just as powerful. The games here “fly” thanks to the power reserve, effective cooling and an impressive 144 Hz screen. Appearance, ergonomics and mobility - the m15 also has no problems with that.
Should I buy?
Yes. Alienware m15 is not so thin and light, but its performance compensates for any shortcomings. It is a durable, well-balanced gaming laptop that is also more compact than most competitors.
- Reliable build quality.
- Fantastically good at games.
- Excellent keyboard and touchpad.
- Red, soft-touch cover.
- 144 Hz screen is fast, smooth and colorful.
- Still large compared to the leaders.
- No custom RGB for every key.
- Tin and mediocre speakers.
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