Dell experienced a amazing demonstrating in 2018 when it came to laptops. The excellent XPS thirteen and fifteen were between the best laptops we reviewed all calendar year, and our hands-on with the Alienware-branded M15 left us salivating more than the winter split. We’re back again now and completely ready to expose our complete overview following investing months with one of the most fascinating updates to Alienware‘s laptop lineup in a although.
I use the phrase ‘interesting’ since the M15 represents a departure from what we’ve come to know and like about Alienware pcs — the M15 is neither Huge nor lined in flashy lights. My worldview has been shattered I exist in a pit of despair.
At least, I did in advance of I observed this beauty:
The overview device TNW acquired includes a GeForce GTX 1070 (Max-Q) with 8GB GDDR5 RAM. I mention this since Nvidia declared at CES that the Alienware M15 would assist its new RTX cards. The RTX cards aren’t at the moment readily available in the M15 and, presumably, the overall performance raise they provide will also come with a expense raise. In any other case, this overview really should be applicable to both of those variations.
Below are the requirements for the model we reviewed:
- Processor: 8th Technology Intel Main i7-8750H (six-Main, 9MB Cache, up to 4.1GHz w/ Turbo Increase)
- GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 Max-Q structure with 8GB GDDR5
- RAM: 16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4, 2666MHz
- Screen: fifteen.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS, 300-nits seventy two% coloration gamut
- Storage: 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
- Power supply: 180W
- Battery: Lithium ion 90Wh
- Wi-fi: Killer Wi-fi 1550 2×2 AC and Bluetooth 5.
- Proportions: 21 mm. x 275 mm. x 363 mm
- Bodyweight: 2.16 Kg. (4.seventy six Lbs.)
- Ports: (4x) SuperSpeed USB three.1 Type A, HDMI 2. Output, Mini-Screen Port 1.three Output, Thunderbolt three, Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port, Power/DC-In, Noble Lock, Killer Networks E2500 Gigabit Ethernet NIC, Audio Out 1/8″ Port
The M15 arrives in Epic Silver and Nebula Crimson. It’s worth mentioning that you just cannot get a 4K screen choice in the crimson model (at least not that we could uncover). Below are the readily available configurations for the M15’s screen, per Dell‘s website:
- fifteen.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz IPS, 300-nits seventy two% coloration gamut, Slim-Border – Epic Silver
- fifteen.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS, 300-nits seventy two% coloration gamut, Slim-Border – Epic Silver
- fifteen.6″ UHD (3840 x 2160) 60Hz IPS, 400-nits, sRGB 100% coloration gamut, Slim-Border – Epic Silver
- fifteen.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS, 300-nits seventy two% coloration gamut, Slim-Border – Nebula Crimson
Avid gamers may be rapid to position out the 144Hz refresh price will almost certainly be much more useful than the UHD screen with 60Hz, but one thing to consider is that I utilized the M15 mainly for VR.
And, although I individually do like the FHD screen with 144Hz refresh price since I participate in non-VR video games way too, I just cannot help but feel I may get much more use out of the M15 if I could look at Netflix or Primary Video in 4K on it. If you like the Epic Silver to the Nebula Red you can choose either screen.
The FHD screen I utilized on the Nebula Crimson model was fantastic – virtually. The colors were lively and seemed to pop right off the screen. I’m generally amazed by Alienware’s capability to make its displays seem unnaturally vivid and deep, the M15’s is no exception.
I like almost everything about the screen, even the significant (but compact by Alienware benchmarks) bezels and the angular form of its lid. This is the bridge involving the monotonous new sq. gaming laptops that are trending and Alienware’s aged split-out-the-wheelbarrow notebooks that the world requirements.
The overall performance is also out of this world.
Throughout my testing I maxed out State of Decay 2, The Witcher three, and Forza Horizon 4 to see what it felt like to place the squeeze on an Nvidia GTX 1070. Turns out, I was not seriously capable to. The M15 gave much more than 60 FPS at max configurations for all three video games. It executed so buttery-easy, and seemed so superior, that I’m now not able to participate in them on my Xbox One without right away seeking to switch back again to the superior Alienware device.
Gaming is better on the M15, in my view, than Alienware’s other contemporary products way too. And it’s not just the GTX 1070 or tremendous-quick Intel 8th Technology i7-8750H that tends to make it specific. The laptop’s structure is phenomenal.
One of the first matters you’ll see is that Alienware’s packed a complete keyboard and selection pad into a compact body. It can take a tiny having utilized to – especially if you’re heading to be typing a large amount – but after you do, it’s really superior adequate to use without a devoted gaming keyboard.
Preserve in brain that “good enough” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a complete-on replacement for your beloved mechanical or gaming keyboard. But, from time-to-time I uncover myself someplace it’s uncomfortable to use an external keyboard, like on an plane – now I don’t have to change my hotkeys to adapt.
Aside from modifications to the keyboard and an excellent contact pad, the slimmed-down case also eschews some of the standard lights found on Alienware‘s machines in trade for a thing that appears a little bit much more modest.
In the car world this is identified as a “sleeper” or “Q-car.” Men and women who see this laptop, and don’t know what it is, will probable feel it just cannot hang with the giant fifteen-inchers they’re utilized to looking at from providers these as Razer and, also, Alienware. They’ll be wrong.
Other capabilities I seriously favored provided the port placement — Alienware stored the HDMI port in the back again, producing it a lot easier to use VR headsets, and unfold the USB ports to both facet. And I’m a large lover of the deluxe delicate-contact paint on the prime of the Nebula Crimson model’s chassis — a thing the Epic Silver variation lacks.
It’s also moveable, many thanks to a very good battery and its demure stature. I acquired about six hours of battery existence browsing the world-wide-web, operating, and observing video clips. Focused gaming or VR dropped that time by much more than half, but over-all the Alienware M15 with the 90Wh battery choice seemed to present for a longer time existence than very similar-priced gaming laptops these as the Razer Blade.
The battery existence, merged with the truth that this is Alienware‘s slimmest fifteen-inch laptop ever, built me want to develop into a travelling VR-evangelist.
Fortunately, the business tends to make a backpack that’s perfectly sized to in good shape an M-fifteen and its AC adapter as perfectly as an Oculus Rift headset and its sensors and contact controllers.
The Alienware Elite backpack is perfect for this, but if you have currently acquired a gaming backpack that’ll in good shape a fifteen-inch laptop it’ll almost certainly perform way too. Finally, Alienware suits in a usual-sized bag.
For the first time ever I can provide an Alienware laptop on an plane without feeling like I really should obtain a independent seat for it. The next time I’m on a very long flight, I’ll provide the M15 so I can address my fellow travellers to a round of Turtle Rock Studios’ Facial area Your Fears. That’s sure to be a hoot (don’t try out this, it’s a poor idea).
Speaking of VR, the M15 handles it wonderfully. I performed Star Trek Bridge Crew, Skyrim VR, and Fallout 4 VR with the configurations dialed up as significant as they’d go and did not experience from any stutter or dropout. LA Noire: The VR Circumstance Information, which has minimum method demands that include things like a GTX 1080 card, performed smoothly after I dialed the configurations down a tad.
There was not considerably I did not like about the Alienware M15. The most significant detail that arrives to brain is lackluster audio overall performance. The speakers aren’t dreadful, but it’s clear that seem was not a precedence for the M15 staff. I did not treatment since I video game with headphones on.
There are a large amount of gaming laptops out there, but, if you question me, none of them glimpse as superior as the Nebula Crimson M15. And, past pores and skin-deep, I’m hard-pressed to feel of any other laptop that’s as streamlined and moveable although maintaining prime-tier overall performance (GTX 1070 and Intel 8th gen i7-8750H) at a very similar cost.
The M15, as we reviewed it, costs $2,259.ninety eight. If you’re heading to game on a laptop, especially in VR, this is the one I propose.
Printed January 24, 2019 — 00:50 UTC
1,379.ninety nine and up ($2259.ninety eight as configured)
ItemM15 by Alienware