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Dell Alienware m15 R7 Gaming Laptop Review

Alienware, the legendary gaming brand, has been offering an update to its m15. The latest Intel Alder Lake processors and Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti graphics cards are on the horizon. A slew of new features, but not enough to distinguish the Alienware m15 r7 from its many competitors?

The Alienware m15 r7 is a high-powered gaming laptop that comes with some great features. But is it worth the price tag? Read on to find out in our full review.

PROSCONS
Premium looks and featuresAverage battery life
Comfortable RGB keyboardHighermodels are expensive
2.5 Gbps Ethernet port720P webcam
Display is fast and colorful
Incredible performance

Specification

Dell Alienware m15 R7
$CHECK PRICE
BrandDell
ModelAlienware m15 R7
Dimensions356 x 272 x 24mm
Weight2.42 kg (5.34 lbs)
Screen size15.60-inch IPS
Resolution1920×1080 pixels
Aspect ratio16:9
Refresh Rate360Hz
Display features100% sRGB 300cd/m
CPUIntel Core i7-12700H
Base frequency2.3 GHz
Cores14 cores
RAM32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz
Graphic cardGeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8 GB
Storage2x 512GB M.2 SSD
Ports2x USB 3.2
1x USB 3.2
Thunderbolt 4,
HDMI 2.1
Wifiv6E
Bluetooth5.1
Ethernet (RJ45)Yes
Keyboard typeMechanical
Backlit KeyboardYes, RGB, 1.8mm stroke
NumpadNo
Audio2 Nahimic speakers
Operating systemWindows 11 64 bit
Battery Li-Ion 6 cells 86Whr
Battery lifeUpto 5 hours

Design

The Alienware m15 r7 is pretty quiet, like the brand’s most recent products. The backlit alien logo is now the thing that stands out the most. But you can still turn off the backlighting for more privacy (or change the colour) and blend in without standing out in most places. At least if you can get past the intimidating “15” on the back of the screen.

The inside is also very quiet. Only the power button, which is again in the shape of an Alien, will stand out. But this is also what an Alienware computer is meant to do. The finish on the M15 is really good. Even though the centre of the keyboard and the screen are a little more sensitive to pressure, the whole thing gives you confidence and the magnesium chassis is very strong.

The bottom of the chassis is just as nice, and it has some nice air vents to boot. There is no trouble getting to the parts. RAM and SSDs can be changed out if they break.

Display

The Alienware M15 R7 from Dell now comes with 3 screen options. Two Full HD options are available: 165 Hz for the entry-level model or 360 Hz, 1 ms for the model we tested. Lastly, a QHD (2560×1440) 2 ms. panel is available. In the event that your future laptop will be used for purposes other than gaming, this is the one to go with. Gaming performance isn’t affected by the higher resolution, but it provides a better viewing experience for other purposes.

99 percent of the sRGB colour space is covered by the AU Optronics panel (AUO8092) (compared to about 75 percent for RGB and DCI-P3). 323 cd/m2 is the maximum brightness, with a 979:1 contrast ratio. For games, these are adequate, but they may not be enough for photographers, content creators, or anyone else who needs a lot of flexibility.

There is no mention of a fingerprint sensor in the product description from Alienware. An infrared webcam can be added to the Alienware 15 r7 if it has a 165 Hz display. Having the ability to unlock your Windows session without having to type in your password is a great convenience. Images lack definition and are extremely noisy, on the other hand. I am wondering how a computer that costs more than $2500 can have such a poor webcam! Of course, most gamers already have excellent USB webcams, but in this day and age of telecommuting and remote meetings, manufacturers should make an effort as well.

Connectivity

Rear side

Left side

Right side

Connectors can be found on all three sides of the Alienware M15’s chassis, with a preference for the rear. In terms of day-to-day management, however, the backlighting can be distracting when trying to connect a peripheral. It’s also nice to see a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port on the laptop, a feature that is still rare. There are three USB-A ports, one Thunderbolt 4-compatible USB-C (and Power Delivery), an HDMI 2.1 output, and an audio-jack/microphone port.

Sound

In terms of sound quality, it’s a decent laptop with two speakers under the wrist rest. Even at a volume of 50%, the sound isn’t saturating (too much) or lacking in power. Both the fine details and the spatialization are faithfully reproduced.

Keyboard

In spite of its lack of a numeric keypad, which some people may find annoying, the m15’s keyboard provides an excellent typing experience. It has keys that are the standard size for a 15-inch laptop (15.915.9 mm). The spacing is the same (3.2 mm). The 1.8 mm stroke, on the other hand, stands out. As an added bonus, the cushioning and muffled noise are barely audible, making the touch even more pleasant. The keyboard is a resounding success, but it appears to be better suited to typing than hours of gaming.

The keyboard’s RGB backlighting system enhances its functionality. The Command Center utility also lets you change the look of the Alienware logos and the light strip on the back of the laptop. However, it is still not the most user-friendly, so a complete overhaul is needed to improve the user experience.

As for the touchpad, its dimensions (105 x 60 mm) make it look like an afterthought. The mouse is still the standard for gaming laptops, so this shouldn’t be an issue (and will remain so).

Performance

Alienware, a high-end gaming PC, has chosen to use the fastest processors in the Intel Alder Lake range. The Core i7-12700H or Core i9-12900H processors are available on the m15 r7. It has a total of 14 cores in each of these two processors (including 6 powerful and 8 efficient threads). The higher maximum frequency and higher TDP are the two main differences. In theory, at least, because the differences are so minor in practice. You’re better off not upgrading at all and sticking with the Core i7.

There is a wide range of Nvidia graphics cards to choose from in this Alienware m15 r7, including the RTX 3060, the RTX 3070 Ti, and the RTX 3080 Ti. The RTX 3070 Ti (TGP 140W) is the best performance/lifetime/budget combination in the tested configuration. We don’t think the 650 dollars required to upgrade to the 3080 Ti is reasonable unless Ray-Tracing is a top concern (and still).

When it comes down to it, the performance is right on par with what you’d expect from a high-end gamer laptop. Simply put, all current games are capable of running at least 90-100 frames per second in ultra settings (without tracing). Creators of video content, in particular, can benefit greatly from having a powerful graphics card at their disposal. Certain calculations in Davinci Resolve, Première Pro, and After Effects can be accelerated using OpenCL or CUDA cores. However, the difference in performance between an RTX 3060 and an RTX 3070 Ti isn’t as dramatic as you might expect. Depending on your gaming requirements, the former may be an interesting option for mixed use.

There has been a significant increase in CPU power over the previous generation. Alder Lake processors now feature “high-performance” cores (6) and “efficient” cores (4). It is therefore important not to focus solely on the total number of cores. Apple’s mobile chips for the iPhone and iPad already use this design, which is now found in the venerable Mac M1. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that the goal is to provide better performance while reducing energy consumption in phases that don’t require much power.

Battery

The m15’s battery life has never been its best feature, and this seventh version won’t change that. Even with light use (web browsing with the brightness set at 140 cd/m2), it is hard to get more than 5 hours out of the battery.

Conclusion!

Choosing an Alienware gaming laptop is all about the brand’s long history of focusing on gamers. In addition, the buyer has the right to expect the best because it’s a high-end model. Everything about the chassis is perfect. As is customary with Alienware computers, the aesthetic has a decidedly pro-gaming bent. If you want to stand out in a crowded marketplace, you may want to be a little more daring than your competitors.

The gamer who is willing to spend more than $2,500 on a laptop for gaming expects the most up-to-date components. If you have a 12th generation Intel processor and a newer Nvidia graphics card, you can take advantage of Advanced Optimus. An excellent product that ranks among the best in its category.

If you’re looking for something discreet and comfortable to type on, the Alienware m15 r7 has you covered. There are no issues with overheating or overheating, and the 360-Hz screen is a huge bonus for gamers. There should have been more research into the fan frequency to improve the user’s perception of noise. Lastly, even a gaming computer will be able to function autonomously in 2022. In terms of cost, an RTX 3070 Ti entry range is $2,000, which may appear excessive at first glance. The m15, on the other hand, is quite comparable to its main rivals in terms of quality.

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