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Alienware 15 R4 Review

Say hi to a sleeker, extra subtle Alienware 15 (beginning at $1,299.99, reviewed at $1,649). Like its larger brother, the Alienware 17, the 15 has passed through a colour exchange and misplaced just a little girth within the procedure. However by no means worry, you continue to get all the same old Alienware chocolates, together with customizable LED lighting fixtures. Along with its new, intergalactic glance, this attractiveness packs some beastly chronic within the type of an eighth Gen Intel Core i7 processor and an overclocked Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card. Whilst it will get a little bit scorching and lacks a G-Sync show, the Alienware 15 stays one of the crucial best possible gaming laptops you’ll be able to purchase on this value vary.

Specifications

Design

A blackout by no means seemed so just right. Alienware has thrown every other colour into the combo, swapping out the Epic Silver paint task at the anodized-aluminum lid for the not obligatory Epic Black. The corporate additionally added extra lighting fixtures zones to the computer, for a grand overall of 13. On the other hand, very similar to what you discovered at the Alienware 15’s predecessor, the one lighting fixtures you’ll be able to in finding at the lid comes from the massive alien head within the middle. The remainder of the customizable gentle display can also be discovered alongside facets of the lid and keyboard deck.

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The computer inside serves up much more lighting fixtures by means of the keyboard, the touchpad, the Alienware brand inscribed at the backside bezel and the alien head serving as the ability button. The remainder of the keyboard deck is swaddled in delectable, black soft-finish.

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The Alienware 15 continues to be the heavyweight at the block, due to its 7.Eight-pound, 15.Three x 12 x 1-inch body. The PowerSpec 1510 (15.Three x 10.Eight x 1.Three inches) is not too a long way in the back of, at 6.five kilos, whilst the Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501 (15.1 x 10.Three x zero.7~zero.Eight inches) weighs in at five.five kilos. The MSI GS65 Stealth Skinny (14.1 x Nine.Eight x zero.7 inches) and Razer Blade (14 x Nine.Three x zero.7 inches) are at the decrease finish of the size, at four.1 and four.6 kilos, respectively.

Ports

As is normal for many gaming laptops, the Alienware 15’s cup overfloweth in the case of ports, with the bulk living within the again.

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That is the place you’ll be able to in finding the Thunderbolt Three port, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, chronic jack and the proprietary port to attach the Alienware Graphics Amplifier.

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At the proper sits a unmarried USB Three.1 port with every other at the left along a USB Kind-C port, jacks for a headset and a microphone, and a Noble lock slot.

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Show

The Alienware 15’s 1920 x 1080 matte panel delivers brilliant colour and a number of brightness. Once I watched the “Night time Comes On” trailer, a Muslim girl’s magenta get dressed and matching head shawl took flight within the wind, providing up a fantastic distinction to the red-brick church with its light-blue doorways. Element used to be sharp sufficient that I may just make out the sophisticated curl trend in actress Dominique Fishback’s jet-black hair in addition to the chips and scrapes on her submachine gun.

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The display additionally appears nice if you find yourself gaming. I were given buttery-smooth body charges as I hunted down a goat whilst keeping off a pack of wolves in The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt. I used to be enthralled by means of the red-orange blast of flame I introduced into the middle of the attacking animals, singeing fur and leaving them open to a sword assault. As lovely because the motion seemed, I want the panel had Nvidia’s G-Sync era. Syncing the show refresh price to the GPU makes for an excellent smoother render.

I were given buttery-smooth body charges as I hunted down a goat whilst keeping off a pack of wolves in The Witcher Three.

The Alienware 15’s show can produce 119 p.c of the sRGB colour gamut, a ranking that falls beneath the top class gaming computer common of 132 p.c. On the other hand, the Alienware 15 did higher than the Razer Blade, PowerSpec 1510 and Zephyrus, which were given 112 p.c, 113 p.c and 120 p.c, respectively. The Stealth Skinny proved to be essentially the most colourful, at 150 p.c.

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Whilst the Alienware 15’s show is not essentially the most brilliant, it is surely the brightest a few of the festival, at 311 nits. It handily beat the 281-nit common. The PowerSpec 1510 used to be a detailed 2d, at 306 nits, whilst the Stealth Skinny, Zephyrus and Blade posted 293 nits, 286 nits and 260 nits, respectively.

Audio

The Alienware 15’s front-firing audio system are loud, able to filling my medium-size convention room. Once I listened to The Web’s gradual jam “Woman,” the audio system produced deep bass, with crisp percussion and blank keyboards accompanied by means of lead singer Syd’s seductive soprano. On the other hand, there used to be a little bit of distortion within the highs at most quantity.

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The audio system gave a greater efficiency after I performed Witcher Three. The full of life violin used to be the megastar of the display after I battled a nest of starving nekkers. Geralt’s grunts and the nekkers’ beastly screeches stuffed the air, blending with the tambourine and sharp claps for a symphony of destruction that used to be song to my ears.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The use of the Alienware 15’s keyboard is like typing on a number of tiny trampolines. The keys have a shuttle of two millimeters with an actuation pressure of 78 grams. That is well past our 1.5mm, 60g minimal. With all that bounciness, I hit 80 phrases in line with minute at the 10FastFingers take a look at, which is significantly sooner than my same old 70 wpm.

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The three.Nine x 2.1-inch touchpad had a number of room for my reasonably spindly palms to accomplish multitouch gestures, reminiscent of pinch to zoom, three-finger press and flick. Alienware is without doubt one of the few firms that also makes use of discrete mouse buttons, which can be virtually as springy because the keys.

Alienware Command Heart

For the previous seven years, the Alienware Command Heart has been your one-stop store for customizing the lighting fixtures for your keyboard and LEDs, programming macros, atmosphere power-management plans, and growing desktop shortcuts. It nonetheless does that and so a lot more, all with a blank, easy-to-navigate interface.

And with its new lighting fixtures zones, the Alienware 15 lets in for 80 quadrillion imaginable combos.

Two of the primary adjustments you’ll be able to realize in Command Heart are that you’ll be able to get entry to your entire video games from the House tab together with efficiency settings for the computer and that you’ll be able to transfer the device’s background from gentle to darkish. You’ll be able to additionally switch out the Energetic Device Theme, the brand new time period on your custom designed lighting fixtures profile from House. In case you are taking a look to get extra granular, you will want to discover the opposite tabs, beginning with Library.

The Library segment of Command Heart has some transparent influences from Nvidia’s GeForce Revel in. Very similar to Nvidia’s device, Library aggregated all of my video games, regardless of in the event that they had been Steam titles, GOG or Home windows. That eradicated the trouble of getting to trace down my video games, permitting me to get entry to and release the whole thing from one high location.

Taking a look to squeeze out extra efficiency out of your processor and graphics card? The Fusion tab allows you to overclock each parts by means of simply adjusting a slider. And Alienware used to be type sufficient to incorporate a take a look at function to make sure your new clock speeds are solid.

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After all, you’ll be able to nonetheless customise the entire zones and the keyboard lighting fixtures with Command Heart by means of the FX tab. On the other hand, by means of combining the additional zones with the 16.Eight-million-color palette and 12 results, Alienware claims you’ll be able to create as much as 80 quadrillion combos. After growing your customized theme, you’ll be able to pass to the House or Library sections and assign that theme (in addition to efficiency settings) to release with personally decided on video games.

Gaming, Graphics and VR

By no means let it’s stated that the Alienware 15 suffers from heart kid syndrome, particularly now not when it is packing an overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM. All the way through a romp round Velen in Witcher Three, I ran afoul of a big undergo. I hired a rather a success struggle technique of dodges, sword moves and hearth spells at 64 frames in line with 2d on Extremely settings at 1920 x 1080.

The computer used to be simply as dynamic on our different benchmarks; on Upward push of the Tomb Raider, the Alienware 15 delivered 72 frames in line with 2d on Very Prime at 1080p, handily defeating the 58-fps top class gaming computer common. With their respective Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPUs, the Stealth Skinny and Zephyrus scored 44 and 53 fps. The PowerSpec 1510 and its complete GTX 1070 GPU were given 56. On the other hand, the Blade, with its personal 1070 Max-Q graphics card, controlled 77 fps.

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After we switched to the Hitman benchmark, the Alienware 15 accomplished 92 fps, shattering the 86-fps class common. The Zephyrus used to be a detailed 2d, at 88 fps, with the Blade, Stealth Skinny and PowerSpec 1510 acquiring 82 fps, 79 fps and 60 fps, respectively.

All the way through the Grand Robbery Auto V take a look at, the Alienware 15 received 74 fps, which used to be a few frames wanting the 76-fps common. Nonetheless, it used to be sufficient to best the Zephyrus (70 fps), Blade (66 fps), Stealth Skinny (61 fps) and PowerSpec 1510 (60 fps).

The Alienware 15 slightly ignored the 84-fps common within the Heart-Earth: Shadow of Struggle benchmark, with a body price of 82 fps. On the other hand, that used to be greater than sufficient to topple the Blade’s ranking of 68 fps.

Be at liberty to position on no matter digital fact headset you have got to be had, since the Alienware 15 simply maxed out the Steam VR take a look at at 11, matching the PowerSpec 1510 and beating the 10.2 common. The Zephyrus, Blade and Stealth Skinny were not too a long way in the back of with rankings of 10.Nine, 10 and Nine, respectively.

General Efficiency

Observing an episode of Luke Cage Season 2 on Netflix, whilst working a full-system scan in Home windows Defender with a minimum of 18 different tabs open in Google Chrome? I did that and extra at the Alienware 15, and it slightly broke a sweat. Due to its 2.1-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of RAM, the components is a multitasking monster on a par with its friends.

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The computer notched 17,109 at the Geekbench four.1 total efficiency take a look at, which is wanting the 20,031 common for top class gaming laptops. Armed with their very own Core i7-8750H CPUs, the Zephyrus, Blade and Stealth Skinny hit 21,735; 20,256; and 18,046, respectively. Understand that the competing rigs run at upper clock speeds.

Due to its 2.1-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of RAM, the Alienware 15 is a multitasking monster on a par with its friends.

After we ran the HandBrake take a look at, the Alienware 15 transformed a 4K video into 1080p in 10 mins and 28 seconds, beating the Blade (11:46), Stealth Skinny (12:01) and PowerSpec 1510 (14:00). The Alienware’s ranking is just right, however now not just right sufficient to overcome the Zephyrus’ mark (Nine:43) or the class common (10:17).

The Alienware 15’s 256GB PCIe m.2 SSD duplicated four.97GB of multimedia recordsdata in 23 seconds, for a file-transfer velocity of 221 megabytes in line with 2d. That is higher than the 193.Three MBps that the Stealth Skinny’s 512GB m.2 SSD scored. On the other hand, it wasn’t sufficient to compare the 472.Eight-MBps common, the Zephryus’ 509 MBps (256GB NVMe SSD), the Blade’s 424 MBps (512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD) or the PowerSpec 1510’s 391.five MBps (256GB NVMe SSD).

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The Alienware 15 paired up 65,00zero names and addresses in 50 seconds at the Excel take a look at, a time that is longer than the zero:44 common. It is sooner than the Stealth Skinny’s and PowerSpec 1510’s occasions of zero:54 and 1:04. The Blade and Zephyrus finished the duty in zero:40 and zero:35, respectively.

Battery Lifestyles

The Alienware 15 lasted five hours and 15 mins on our battery take a look at, which is composed of constant internet browsing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. That used to be sufficient to overcome the three:40 common for top class gaming laptops and the Zephyrus’ time of two:47. The Stealth Skinny and the Blade outlasted the Alienware 15, with occasions of five:40 and five:54.

Warmth

I spent 15 mins trying to find a goat in Witcher Three and killing murderous nekkers. After that, I measured the touchpad, heart of the keyboard and undercarriage of the components, and were given temperatures of 74 levels, 97 levels and 129 levels Fahrenheit, respectively. The touchpad temperature is inside of our 95-degree convenience threshold, however the backside used to be in particular toasty.

When the components cooled down, we ran a full-screen HD video for 15 mins after which remeasured the important thing issues of the computer. The touchpad measured 86 levels, whilst the middle of the keyboard and the ground measured a reasonably heat 102 and 113 levels.

Webcam

The Alienware 15’s built-in webcam captures stills and video which might be lovely color-accurate. My vibrant purple blouse popped below the fluorescent lighting fixtures within the place of business. There may be surely some graininess, however now not sufficient to hide the more than a few peaks and valleys within the white spray-foam ceiling.

Tobii EyeX Lite

Very similar to the former type, the Alienware 15 contains Tobii’s eye-tracking era, albeit in a restricted capability. Dubbed Tobii EyeX Lite, the era depends on the IR tech within the webcam to keep an eye on positive purposes. On the other hand, with out the built-in sensors that you just in finding at the higher Alienware 17, you will not be capable of keep an eye on your video video games along with your eyes.

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However you’ll be able to put your components to sleep, close off the lighting fixtures or dim the display with a easy glance. The IR sensor fastened within the webcam module helps to keep observe of your gaze and executes instructions accordingly. The digicam can be used to release the computer by means of Home windows Hi. Putting in place the facial popularity provider is lovely easy; create a password and PIN first. From there, merely hit the Set Up button below Face Popularity within the settings menu and let the IR presence-detection digicam scan your face, and you are just right to move.

Tool and Guaranty

If it were not for Home windows 10, there would not be a touch of bloatware at the Alienware 15. However alas, there is masses to be discovered at the components, together with Drawboard PDF, March of Empires, Sweet Overwhelm Soda Saga and Disney Magic Kingdoms. Dolby Get right of entry to, which reinforces your audio enjoy by means of your headphones, could also be preinstalled, together with McAfee Safety and McAfee WebAdvisor.

Alienware-branded device contains Virtual Supply to make sure your device is up-to-the-minute. SupportAssist helps to keep an eye fixed on computer diagnostics and allows you to music efficiency, optimize your community and test for viruses, all on the contact of a button. The Docking Accent apps be certain a quick connection between the computer and any appropriate docking stations, whilst Cell Attach allows you to have interaction along with your smartphone by means of your PC.

Along with Alienware Command Heart, the Alienware 15 options Nvidia GeForce Revel in with its gamer-centric device suite, together with BatteryBoost and Sport Optimization. There may be additionally Killer Keep watch over Heart, which helps you to prioritize community bandwidth in addition to take a look at its velocity and power.

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The Alienware 15 R4 ships with a one-year hardware-service guaranty with on-site and in-home provider after faraway prognosis. See how Alienware fared on our Tech Make stronger Showdown, Best possible and Worst Manufacturers checklist and Best possible and Worst Gaming Manufacturers rating.

Configurations

I defeated rankings of werewolves, drowners and noonwraiths at the $1,649.99 configuration of the Alienware 15, which has a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of VRAM, a 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD with a 1TB and seven,200-rpm HDD, an Intel HD 630 Graphics GPU with an overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and 8GB of VRAM, and a 1920 x 1080 show with a 60Hz refresh price.

The $1,299.99 type scales down a few of that chronic, with a 2.Three-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB and seven,200-rpm laborious power, an Intel HD 630 Graphics GPU with an overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and 6GB of VRAM, and a 1920 x 1080 show with a 60Hz refresh price.

For $2,599.99, you’ll be able to get the among the finest model, which has an overclockable 2.Nine-GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK GPU, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD with a 1TB and seven,200-rpm HDD, an Intel HD 630 Graphics GPU with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU and 8GB of VRAM, and a 1920 x 1080 Nvidia G-Sync show with a 60Hz refresh price.

Backside Line

It is laborious to seek out a lot improper with the Alienware 15. For $1,899.99, you get a 15-inch components with a mighty Intel Core i7 CPU and an overclocked Nvidia GTX 1070, in addition to a at ease keyboard, beautiful show and virtually 6 hours of battery existence.

On the other hand, for the cash, it will were great to get Nvidia’s G-Sync era and a sooner SSD. The cooling may be higher. In case you are on the lookout for a slimmer components with related chronic and longer battery existence, you’ll be able to need to take a look at the $1,899.99 MSI Stealth Skinny. However if you are in search of a gaming rig that is as a lot a laugh to have a look at as it’s to play on, there is not any exchange for the Alienware 15.

Credit score: Pc Magazine

  • Execs /

    Putting design; Vivid, colourful show; Comfy keyboard; Robust graphics and total efficiency; Above-average battery existence

  • Cons /

    Heavy; Will get scorching right through gaming and common duties; Lacks Nvidia G-Sync era

  • Verdict /

    The Alienware 15 has a complicated new glance and robust specifications, but it surely will get just a little too scorching for convenience.

About Omar Salto

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