Unique: Alienware m15 – Full Overview and Benchmarks
Editors Be aware: This assessment has been up to date with corrections based mostly on the unique configuration’s worth and show, together with extra assessments from a less expensive configuration.
Welp, it lastly occurred. After years of making BBS (large, stunning methods), Alienware has jumped headfirst into thin-and-light gaming in grand model with the Zero.7-inch slim m15.
And for such a light-weight laptop computer, the m15 (from $1,379, $three,629 as examined) has lots of weight on its shoulders. It is a latecomer to a class the place its rivals have agency footing.
However rocking an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia Max-Q GPU, over 6 hours of battery life and a drool-worthy show, Alienware is able to tackle all comers. And whereas the m15 has a number of hiccups it must clean out, it would simply be the brand new king of thin-and-light gaming.
Oh my God, Becky! Have a look at how slim. Alienware, the final of the large, chunky gaming rigs, has joined the thin-and-light league.
At four.Eight kilos, 14.three x 10.Eight x Zero.7-Zero.Eight-inches, the m15 is the slimmest Alienware laptop computer ever. This is not the lightest system in its class, although, as each the MSI GS65 Stealth Skinny (four.1 kilos, 14.1 x 9.Eight x Zero.7 inches) and the Razer Blade 15 (four.6 kilos, 14 x 9.three x Zero.7 inches) weigh much less.
The OriginPC Evo15-S (14.9 x 9.9 x Zero.7 inches) and the Asus ROG Zephyrus GM501 (15.1 x 10.three x Zero.Eight~Zero.7 inches) are a bit heavier at 5 and 5.5 kilos. The m15 is even lighter and slimmer than the Alienware 13 R3 OLED (5.four kilos, 13 x 10.6 x Zero.9-inches)
Slim or not, there is no mistaking that that is an Alienware, albeit with some new thrives. The Epic Grey lid continues to be constituted of anodized aluminum with the massive backlit alien head within the middle. The standard three traces intersect towards the underside half, like an inverted vivisection. The highest of the lid has a delicate downward slope whereas the black plastic vents alongside the again provide the feeling the system’s going to hit warp velocity at any second.
At four.Eight kilos and Zero.7 inches slim, the m15 is the slimmest Alienware laptop computer ever.
If you happen to like your intergalactic house cruisers masquerading as gaming laptops to have a bolder presence, you may get the m15 in an ever so tantalizing Nebula Pink, which felt extremely nice because of the soft-touch paint.
Opening the lid is directly acquainted and unusual, like a techie deja vu. The palm relaxation and keyboard deck are coated in a lush, black tender contact end. The total-size keyboard sits in a slight recess, glowing an expectant turquoise. The highest of the deck is manufactured from shiny plastic with the alien head/energy button gleaming in a fiery yellow. A vent runs instantly beneath the button, creating a cool, honeycomb sample the size of the deck.
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Alienware has executed a little bit of downsizing on the subject of the customizable LED lights strategically positioned across the m15’s body. Whereas a full-sized Alienware 15 has lighting alongside the perimeters, you will solely discover the LEDs within the lid-mounted alien head, the keyboard and the ability button.
Configurations: How a lot does the Alienware m15 price?
I had enjoyable with the $three,629 mannequin of the Alienware m15. It has a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 32GB of RAM, two 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSDs, an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU, a Nvidia GeForce GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM and a 60Hz 1920 x 1080 panel.
For these of us that basically do not want two 1TB SSDs (and even one for that matter), the $2,099 configuration that we additionally examined drops the RAM right down to 16GB, provides a 144Hz FHD (1920 x 1080) show and swaps out the earlier storage choice for a 512GB SSD.
The $1,379 base mannequin will get you the Core i7-8750H CPU, 8GB of RAM with a 1TB (+ 8GB SSD) Hybrid Drive, an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU, a Nvidia GeForce GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM and a 60Hz 1920 x 1080 panel.
You may as well add a UHD (3840 x 2160) 60Hz panel to a configuration for an extra $275.
Simply because the m15 is slim doesn’t suggest that you’re going to be making any compromises on the subject of ports.
You will discover a pair a USB three.Zero ports on the best with one other on the left, together with a Gigabyte Ethernet jack, a headset jack and a Noble lock slot.
The again facet homes an HDMI 2.Zero port, mini DisplayPort, a Thunderbolt three, energy jack and a proprietary port in case you need to join an Alienware Graphics Amplifier.
It isn’t 4K, however man is the m15’s 15.6-inch, 60-Hz show enchanting. Colours simply appear to go off the display screen on each shows that we examined, however the 144-Hz refresh price configuration stored the gaming motion particularly clean. After I watched the trailer for Slice on this show, actress Zazie Beets’ purple sateen jacket was particularly vibrant, and I used to be impressed with how clearly I might see the curl sample from her twist out.
On a visit again to the Bloody Baron in The Witcher three: Wild Hunt, I ran throughout a pack of untamed canine, the most important of which has hairless resulting from mange. As I dodged and attacked, I could not assist however stare at its cover, pink and uncooked with an infection rendered earlier than I set it alight with Igni, my fireplace spell. Glowing purple and yellow embers floated within the air because the poor, mangy beast burst into flames.
Colours go off the display screen, and the with its 144-Hz refresh price retains the gaming motion clean.
As standard, Alienware has some of the vivid screens within the land. The 60-Hz panel is able to reproducing 150 p.c of the sRGB coloration gamut, matching the Stealth Skinny and beating the 132-percent premium gaming laptop computer common. The Evo15-S got here in second with 126 p.c, whereas the Zephyrus hit 120 p.c. The Blade 15 delivered a good 112 p.c. In the meantime, the m15’s 144-Hz panel did barely higher, at 154 p.c.
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The m15’s 60-Hz show has a median brightness of 284 nits, overcoming the 278-nit premium gaming laptop computer common, however on a par with its friends. The Stealth Skinny and Zephyrus reached 293 and 286 nits, respectively, whereas the Blade 15 and Evo15-S averaged a respective 260 and 249 nits. Nevertheless, the m15’s 144-Hz display screen hit solely 241 nits of brightness.
One thing needed to take successful with all this slimming down. I’ve gotten so used to our take a look at labs and places of work being awash in loud, wealthy audio that I used to be a bit greatly surprised by the tinny sound that greeted me on the m15. The 2 bottom-mounted audio system did their greatest, however Santana’s electrical guitar on “Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile) barely crammed our lab even at max quantity and it sounded a bit distorted.
After I performed The Witcher three, I appreciated that I might hear the wind whipping by the bushes as I trekked by the forest. And whereas the strings had been comparatively clear in the course of the battle music, they had been quieter than I am used to when taking part in on an Alienware system. I would positively advocate utilizing a gaming headset when gaming on the m15.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The minute I noticed that the m15’s island-style keyboard had 1.1 millimeters of key journey, I used to be prepared to write down it off. (We favor 1.5mm or larger.). However I used to be stunned to find how snug the keyboard really was. It wasn’t bouncy per se, but it surely had sufficient suggestions that my fingers by no means bottomed out. I simply hit my 70 word-per-minute common on the 10fastfingers typing take a look at.
The system’s backlighting is sweet and brilliant. And in contrast to on the corporate’s final 15-inch system, Alienware managed to slot in a nice-sized quantity pad.
One other change issues the four.1 x 2.5-inch touchpad. Alienware ditched the discrete buttons in favor of a unified pad. Home windows 10 gestures similar to pinch-zoom, two-finger scroll, three-and-four finger faucet had been quick and correct. The underside corners of the pad had been good and clicky, too.
Gentle Up (and Configure) My Life
The Alienware Command Middle I’ve come to know and love is gone, changed by one thing infinitely higher. The up to date Command Middle seems cleaner and has lots of performance to supply avid gamers who prefer to fiddle round with their methods.
One of many greatest adjustments is impressed by Nvidia GeForce Expertise. Now you can entry all of your video games from the Residence tab together with efficiency settings for the laptop computer, and you’ll change the software program’s background from mild to darkish. You may as well swap out the Energetic System Theme, the brand new time period in your personalized lighting profile from Residence. If you happen to’re seeking to get extra granular, you will need to discover the opposite tabs, beginning with Library.
You possibly can combine and match the 16.Eight million out there colours with 12 out there results and create one thing that is uniquely you.
And it simply would not be an Alienware in case you could not trick it out with a bunch of eye-catching colours and results. That performance resides below the FX tab the place you’ll be able to combine and match the 16.Eight million out there colours with the 12 out there results and map them throughout the 6 designated zones on the laptop computer and create one thing that is uniquely you.
Gaming, Graphics and VR: The Energy of Max-Q
A part of the rationale the m15 is so skinny is the usage of Nvidia’s Max-Q GPUs — on this case, we’re speaking a few GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM. Centered on energy effectivity, Nvidia claims these chips permit for a slimmer and quieter machine with out sacrificing an excessive amount of energy.
Throughout a battle with a roving group of deserters in The Witcher, I used Igni to set a horseback marauder on fireplace. When he fell from his horse with a sickening thud, I ran him by with my sword at a median body price of 79 fps on Extremely at 1080p. After I dropped the settings right down to Excessive, the body price rose to 86 fps.
Through the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark, the m15 produced 49 fps, which missed the 62-fps premium gaming laptop computer common, however beat the Stealth Skinny’s (1070 Max-Q) 44 fps. It wasn’t sufficient to topple the Zephyrus (53 fps) or the Blade 15 (77 fps), which have their very own 1070 Max-Qs.
Switching over to the Hitman take a look at, the m15 reached 79 fps, tying the Stealth Skinny. The Zephyrus delivered 88 fps whereas the Blade 15 and EVO15-S achieved 82 fps.
After we ran the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark, we noticed the m15 tie the Blade 15 at 66 fps. It was barely in need of the 73-fps class common however sufficient to surpass the EVO15-S (64 fps) and Stealth Skinny (61 fps). Nevertheless, the Zephyrus staved off the competitors with 70 fps.
Simply because it is Max-Q doesn’t suggest you’ll be able to’t do VR. Scoring 10.1 on the SteamVR efficiency take a look at, the m15 is prepared and capable of assist both an Oculus Rift or a HTC Vive. It simply missed the 10.5 common, however beat the EVO15-S (9.three), Stealth Skinny (9.5) and Blade 15 (10). The Zephyrus was barely larger at 10.9.
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While you’re not saving a digital world, destroying or creating it, the m15 will change over to its Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU for less-intensive duties.
Wielding a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor and a whopping 32GB of RAM, the Alienware m15 is critical about its multitasking. I had 35 tabs open in Google Chrome, a few of them streaming video from Twitch, whereas watching an episode of the Dragon Prince on Netflix–and the m15 confirmed no indicators of sluggishness.
The m15 additionally fared properly on our artificial benchmarks, scoring 22,873 on Geekbench four.1 (21,865 with 16GB of RAM). That beats the 21,849 premium gaming common. Armed with their very own 2.2-GHz Intel i7-8750H CPUs, the Blade 15 and EVO15-S hit 20,256 and 20,472 respectively, whereas the Zephyrus and Stealth Skinny (with their three.9-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processors) obtained a respective 21,735 and 18,046.
After we ran our Excel productiveness take a look at, the m15 took 1 minute and three seconds to pair 65,00Zero names and addresses. That is in need of the Zero:44 class common, in addition to the instances put up by the Stealth Skinny (Zero:54), EVO15-S (Zero:43), Blade 15 (Zero:40) and Zephyrus (Zero:35). The m15’s configuration with 16GB of RAM did, nonetheless, nail the take a look at right down to 41 seconds.
My configuration of the m15 has a pair of 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSDs. One in all them copied four.97GB of multimedia recordsdata in 5 seconds, which interprets into 1,017.9 megabytes per second, completely decimating the 485.7MBps common. The Zephyrus (256GB NVMe SSD) was a distant second at 509 MBps with the EVO15-S (500GB SSD) shut behind with 462 MBps, adopted by the Blade 15 (512GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD, 424MBps). The Stealth Skinny (512GB M.2 SSD) was the odd man out with 193.three MBps. The m15’s configuration with a 512GB SSD transfered the information at a sluggish price of 212MBps.
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The m15 took 9 minutes and 51 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p (9:35 with 16GB of RAM), which is quicker than the 9:59 class common. The Zephyrus (9:43) was a tad sooner whereas the Blade 15 (11:46), Stealth Skinny (12:01) and EVO15-S (12:57) lagged behind.
Regardless of all of the flashing lights and bells and whistles, Alienware laptops persistently have the longest battery life of their class. The identical goes for the m15, which lasted a formidable 6 hours and 25 minutes with its 60Hz panel and precisely 6:00 with its 144Hz display screen, outlasting the competitors and the three:37 premium gaming laptop computer common. The Blade 15 lasted 5:54 whereas the Stealth Skinny hit 5:40 and the Zephyrus tapped out at 2:40.
To check how sizzling or how cool the m15 can get, I spent 15 minutes taking part in The Witcher three. After I was executed, I measured the touchpad, center and undercarriage of the pocket book and noticed temperatures of 98, 118 and 123 levels Fahrenheit. Every of these measurements are above our 95-degree consolation threshold, however I had the laptop computer in my lap the entire time in relative consolation. I did, nonetheless, have denims on. I am unsure if I would strive it in shorts.
We let the system settle down for a bit and reran the take a look at switching out 15 minutes of gameplay for an HD video. When the allotted time handed, we remeasured every part. The touchpad hit 91 levels whereas the middle and backside reached 100 and 108 levels.
Why cannot all webcams be like this? The m15’s 1080p shooter did a wonderful job of capturing my pores and skin tone and the mottled coloration in my locs.
I used to be additionally impressed at how properly it captures the knit sample of my sweater and the way little visible noise was current.
Software program and Guarantee
Bloat free is the way in which to be. It is a mantra Alienware tries onerous to stay by. Except for the same old Home windows 10 flotsam like Drawboard PDF, Dolby Atmos and Sweet Crush Soda Saga, the m15 is fairly lean. Alienware-branded software program like Digital Supply serve to reinforce your computing expertise, making certain your software program is updated. SupportAssist retains an eye fixed on laptop computer diagnostics and allows you to tune efficiency, optimize your community and examine for viruses, all on the contact of a button.
Along with Alienware Command Middle, the Alienware 15 options Nvidia GeForce Expertise with its gamer-centric software program suite, together with BatteryBoost and Sport Optimization. There’s additionally Killer Management Middle, which helps you to prioritize community bandwidth in addition to take a look at its velocity and energy.
The Alienware 15 R4 ships with a one-year hardware-service guarantee with on-site and in-home service after distant prognosis. See how Alienware fared on our Tech Assist Showdown, Finest and Worst Manufacturers listing and Finest and Worst Gaming Manufacturers rankings.
It took some time, however Alienware has created a thin-and-light gaming laptop computer that is equal elements flashy, attractive and highly effective. The m15 is legitimately transportable with out sacrificing the efficiency and endurance I’ve come to anticipate from the model. And remember that beautiful, vivacious show.
However Alienware positively must work on the audio system, I do not anticipate to be starring in a Maxell industrial, however a gaming rig must have some punch. And I would not advocate breaking the financial institution for a pair of 1TB SSDs — $three,629 is some huge cash.
For that sort of money, you may get both the Asus Zephyrus or the Razer Blade 15, which provide higher gaming efficiency on some titles, though you will sacrifice battery life. However total, the Alienware m15 is a prime contender for the thin-and-light gaming crown.
Credit score: Laptop computer Magazine
Glossy, light-weight design; Nice total and gaming efficiency; Beautiful show; Snug keyboard; Lengthy battery life for gaming laptop computer
Audio could possibly be higher; Backside will get heat; Costly as configured
The Alienware m15 enters the thin-and-light gaming enviornment with a bang, providing Core i7 and Nvidia Max-Q energy in a really svelte body.