This Alienware 15 review features the new Alienware 15 R3 that was released in late 2016. This is Alienware’s latest revamped 15-inch gaming laptop that runs on a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and the Windows 10 Home operating system. It has 16GB of RAM which can be upgraded to 32GB of RAM and a hard drive space of 256GB.
Image Source: Dell
The Alienware 17 is too big of a rig for them, the Alienware 15 provides a smaller alternative without having to compromise on gaming experience or any other features.
Alienware 15 Design
This gaming laptop boasts a 25 percent reduction in thickness from previous models and a wider design as a result.
It’s made of anodized aluminum and magnesium alloy, topped off with steel reinforcements. It’s got a hinge-forward that is said to improve thermal management and contribute to the Alienware 15’s thinness. But, while it does look much sleeker than previous models, it is still the heaviest gaming laptop in its class weighing 7.1 pounds at measurements of 15.2 x 10.6 x 0.9.
However, despite that, this gaming laptop is incredibly attractive and eye-catching. The outside of the laptop is gray anodized aluminum while the inside is black plastic. It features the iconic Alienware logo: the glowing alien head both on the center of the lid and above the keyboard. Customizable LED strips attract the eye to these glowing features.
This laptop is also packed with ports. On the left side, it’s got two USB 3.0 ports, separate jacks for headset, microphone and power and a Noble Lock slot. To the right of the laptop, it has a USB Type-C port, another USB 3.0 port, a 3-in-1 card reader and a Gigabit Ethernet port. It also has ports at the back, including an HDMI port and a designated port for Alienware’s special graphics amplifier.
Alienware 15 Display
The display is a 15-inch, 1920 x 1080 matte display with anti-glare. It comes in both an FHD option and a UHD but the FHD option provides some pretty lackluster quality. It supports Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, for automatically reducing screen tearing and has 222 nits of brightness. It has an unimpressive 60 percent sRGB gamut which is well below the average for gaming laptops of the same kind.
The display has been said by some to lack vividness in gameplay and movie playback.
Alienware 15 Gaming and Graphics Features
In terms of gaming and graphics quality, the Alienware 15 holds its ground as one of the best gaming laptops. The 2015 model, the Alienware R2, ran on a Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M GPU with 3GB of VRAM which provided steady, playable 30 frames per second on ultra, 42 fps on high and 49 fps on medium settings. The 2016 version, however, runs on a new Nvidia GTX 1060 card which provides significant increases in overall and gaming performance.
When performing less challenging tasks such as watching videos or surfing the web, the Alienware 15 will switch to an Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU in an effort to save energy and reduce the heat of the laptop. The great thing about the Alienware 15 is that it is also VR ready and gameplay runs smoothly.
The graphics amplifier, in which Alienware is currently the only brand selling such a thing right now, provides gamers with the option of upgradable graphics, add dual-wide graphics and 4 additional USB 3.0 ports. This makes the Alienware laptop future-proof for upcoming improvements in CPU graphics as time goes on.
Alienware 15 Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard on this gaming laptop is large, black and has a soft-touch finish with 2.2 millimeters of key travel and 65 grams of force required to press. It is a new TactX model with an N-key rollover that enables over 108-key commands. It provides a fairly fast wpm rate and good accuracy, with a bright backlight that enables you to see the keys in dimly lit rooms.
The touchpad is equally as impressive. It is a large, 3.8 x 2.1-inch touchpad with a silky surface that provides rapid and accurate responses to all actions such as two-finger scrolling, three-finger swiping and four-finger tapping.
Alienware 15 Audio
The audio quality on this laptop is good, providing loud, clear and crisp sound during gameplay. This is a testimony to its upgraded design that provides a larger and more effective speaker box, as it is claimed on Dell Alienware 15 specifications and features tab on their website.
Alienware 15 Battery Life
The Alienware 15’s battery life is impressive not just in relation to previous models but also in relation to other gaming laptops that Alienware is in competition with. It boasts an incredible 11 hours of battery life but has been tested to last a solid 7 hours and 13 minutes of continuous web surfing on Wi-Fi.
- Very customizable
- Crisp audio
- Comfortable and accurate keyboard and touchpad
- Attractive, eye-catching design (chassis)
- Long-lasting battery life
- Lackluster display quality
The bottom line is that the Alienware 15 is a stand-out gaming laptop for its sleek, attractive, eye-catching design that can be customized to the gamer’s personality and preferences. With its 15-inch screen, it is great for those who want to travel around with it and think the Alienware 17-inch screen is a tad too big.
This laptop provides solid, immersive gaming experience with crisp sound and smooth gameplay while also being future ready with the additional graphics amplifier.
It is a great middle-of-the-line gaming laptop that is on par with, and even beats, most of the competition in the gaming laptop market.