Alienware m15 R2 Review (2019)

by birtanpublished on January 13, 2021

This is Lisa from mobile tech review and this is the Alienware Emma 15 r2 when did you ever think there was an alien where you could do that with right 4.75 pounds which is two point one six kilograms twenty millimeters are so thick that's pretty amazing right this is also obviously a redesign from the last generation the old language was called epic now this is called legend which meant matches the Alienware area 51 M that rear view which is a really big desktop replacement chassis it's a my eye it looks a little stargate sg1 but maybe that's because it's in white or what they call lunar light a little

Bit more chill maybe a little more subtle if you go with the Dark Side of the Moon which is another way of saying black now they've improved the cooling on this they have nifty new fan design they have more ventilation top and bottom on this does it work we're gonna find out now and now a shout-out to our sponsor – Lane passwords are such a headache right well – Layton manages your passwords free but they don't just do that they have a lot of other features too including dark web monitoring they actually have a built-in VPN with countries selection they have

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Decide to purchase it's not exactly that the old epic design language is that all with the m15 line also available as the m17 as always you can get either 15 or 17 they're sizes with the Alienware but they're going with this new legend design now because there's so much pressure to make things thinner and lighter I suppose and while the aesthetics are uniquely delos by this way you won't confuse this laptop of the sea of black and red gaming laptops that are out there it starts at about fourteen hundred and fifty dollars which hey sounds cheaper this is a

Configuration that probably don't want the ninth gen core i7 six core CPU that parts all good but eight gigs of DDR 426 66 megahertz Ram as a single Channel eight gigs of ram you don't want that 256 gig boot nvme SSD that's not bad the full HD 300 PS despite all these display options by the way are gonna be non touch on this machine mostly it's that single channel round and while you save yourself well guess what I could just I prayed that myself ah ha no you can't because with this new SuperDuper thin and light model here they've soldered the RAM on that's

Right there are no RAM slots on a gaming laptop given the gaming laptop purchasers tend to often be enthusiasts who might want to tinker and upgrade after the fact I think this is gonna hurt a knee and we're honestly and you know the competition they have RAM slots and put that way the the worst that it gets is the asou rogue Zephyrus s-line where they do have some ram soldered on the motherboard but you still get an additional RAM slot so you can ensure that you've got dual channel increase it's um yeah also in this vinification it was never a

Joy to get inside of an alienware mostly because you can remove the bottom lid very easily to get to your SSDs your RAM back in the days when you couldn't get to ram your Wi-Fi card that sort of thing about and you had to take off a secondary inner chassis cover to get to the motherboard all that one guess what now you actually have an inverted motherboard much like the MS IGS 65 stealth only whereas at least there you do have RAM slots – two of them but here just to get to the heatsink say you want to repay stit or something like that you've got to check out the entire

Motherboard hmm the good news is if you just take off the bottom cover with phillips head screws which is pretty easy peasy you do have m2 SSD slots accessible bad news is that the Wi-Fi card is soldered onto a daughter card so you can't upgrade it but when Dell first started shipping this they actually shipped it with like two generation old Intel 82 65 AC Wi-Fi which is what our review loaner has but now they do have a killer Wi-Fi 6 ax card in there which is really a rebranded Intel card which is a good card so if you're buying now going forward at least the Wi-Fi card is

Something we'll be happy with but yeah Toby eye-tracking is now available on the 15 model as well as a 17 inch model you spent only 17 inch models got that there's a sensor strip at the bottom below the display it's really well hidden so you wouldn't notice is there I personally don't have much of a use for Toby I find that sometimes it even makes my Jim Ames jerky because it's responding to my eye movement but one thing one way that I do actually like it is if you happen to get the OLED display OLED displays use a lot more power than

IPS display so what it does also is it notices if you're in front of the machine or not so if you walk away in dims of display you come back and brightens the display so all that little bit of power saving actually really helps here while we're talking about displays yes you can get the 4k OLED display and it's the same Samsung 4k uhd panel that every laptop manufacturer who offers an OLED display is using because Samsung is only making that one display for 2019 and we saw it actually in the last generation anywhere m15 and guess what it got better because they

Calibrated it now I wonder if this because I threw such a hissy fit in the last review all the displays can look really cartoonish and overly garish if they're not someone calibrated at the factory or you calibrate it yourself if you actually own a color image or a piece of hardware to do that so they've calibrated it really well from the factory so no complaints there it's a beautiful shock and on display luscious colors they clean 400 nits and it measured close to that you can see the metrics on screen of course if infinite contrast because that's how OLED rolls

One thing with only sometimes the blacks can look a little crush so if you're playing something like shadow of the Tomb Raider and those dark scenes you might have a little trouble seeing but oh well it is a glossy display it does have reflections the other display auctions are pretty nice particularly there's a full HD 240 Hertz refresh display last year the 144 Hertz was all the range and you can still get that which is a 300 nits IPS display but they have the 240 Hertz 300 display option and what's nice about that is it has even higher contrast than the others the

Base model is your full HD IPS 60 hertz refresh also 300 nits and all of the IPS displays cover full srgb gama and about 75% of adobe RGB for processor options this is an alienware so we're not going to slum with the core i5 I guess so we have Intel 9 generation six core i7 CPU available and you've also got you show you some two different court I nine process and it's the overclockable one and they're not overclockable one I'm given the thermals in this laptop I don't really recommend spending the money on the core I nine

Get yourself a better GPU for that several hundred dollars and it's going to cost you now this isn't just against Alienware because I've said this about them 15-inch MacBook Pro the Dell XPS 15 even some others slim and light gaming laptops it's just really hard to cool that so if it's gonna throttle a lot anyway you're not gonna see so much of a performance benefit you get the idea for those core I know is aren't a court it doesn't make it a little tempting for the graphics the low end is the NVIDIA GTX 16 60 TI on that base model that's fourteen hundred and fifty dollars you

Probably don't want that if you're spending it on an alienware so the otherwise I see usual r-tx 2060 r-tx 2070 max Q or 2080 next few swimmin light chassis so the 27 T in the 20 and you're gonna be max Q which Alienware did with the last generation as well perfectly lovely GPUs and the cooling on those is pretty good so I'm happy with Ben other than the fact you have to be ok with max Q which I am if you want a third light laptop Ram here's a sadness I don't know why this is 16 gigs of ram is the max you can get any can you to get it a gig single

Channel you didn't want single cella room or 16 gig solder and on board you can't upgrade it after the fact go for the 16 gigs it's nice fast inspect for the RAM but I don't know why I don't think it's just cuz it's soldered on because there are other laptops with soldered Ram non-gaming ones that have 32 gig of ram available your ISOs these are a usual m2 nvme SSDs you start out with a 256 gig on the base model you can go all the way up to 4 terabytes of storage as 2 2 terabyte SSDs you can even get it configured in raid 0 if you want for the

Keyboard we have one point seven millimeters in key travel which is actually an increase from the previous generation that's nice and the keys now have a little bit of a concave feel to them so helps you stay home and on the keys keyboard does feel a little mushy to me though I'd like a little firmer a little bit more springy oh well but you do get perky RGB backlighting now our new goin zones – if you use alien F they have some pretty nifty zone selections at single onto WASD keys the number keys the function row Keynes you

Get the idea or you can program each key individually we have a Microsoft precision track fan on board which is fine but I find two fingers scrolling as a little lurchy I think it has to do with the coding that's on top of the trackpad to match our lunar light finish now ports on this really rock for something that's relatively compact like this they have everything you could want you've got USB C slash Thunderbolt three one of those ports you have of course the Alienware graphics amplifier three USB a 3.1 point some on each side so left handed right hand and you're gonna

Be happy either way hdmi 2.0 DisplayPort 1.4 Gigabit Ethernet and of course a headphone jack but still no SD card slot now Adel said they made significant improvements to the cooling on the chassis and they'd have to to make something this thin and light you've got three heat pipes one of them is independent for the CPU and the GPU in here and they've got the cryo tech 3.0 technology they always have a great marketing name for this but basically it's improved fans fitara blades fast and rotating better ventilation it exhausts out the rear and out the sides

And it intakes from both the bottom and the top where that honeycomb pattern is an intake from the top certainly makes sense given the inverted motherboard you've got the CPU and the GPU facing upwards they also are using a six phase CPU voltage regulation circuit for the CPU and eight phase for the GPU most gaming laptops have four so there's all of that make a whole lot of difference along with the really very beefy and involved he'd say that covers your VR ends and your video ram and all that sort of thing then that's so so much and some are more demanding benchmarks the

CPU does flirt with the hundred degrees centigrade which is the max allowable for the CPU temperature with some thermal throttling and we have the core i7 we don't even have the core a nine which will only be worse in that respect and when playing games again we are seeing thermal throttling with the i7 and our our TX 2070 max Q and just in case ok sometimes with some games it gets kind of spiky and if you're using some of the hardware info it just records the max temperature that you hit while you were gaming and Intel XT you running and you can see the graph here

So over time that was an entire apex legends running there it really did keep it up in the 90s so it's still hot and running and we had it both on the performance setting for power and for thermals because Alienware has a nice command center and then let you control those things how is the noise when you have it set to max like that well even if it's not doing anything it kind of ramps up everything I'd like to see it be a little bit more intelligent like only really use those really blasting fans when it needs it it is you certainly

Will hear the fans they're not grading they're not hissing but they make noise you'll know that somebody is using a gaming laptop it could be worse though in terms of sound the bottom does get pretty darn toasting it on this as well so you're probably not going to want to put it on your lap but that goes for most any gaming laptop the Alienware has stereo speakers that are facing downward they're okay they give you a nice software control panel for this you can choose from presets or use an equalizer on it they're not fantastic they're not terrible they're kind of the middle of

The road so how about battery life 76 one hour battery we have Nvidia Optimus your switchable switchable graphics between your video dedicated card and Intel UHD 630 graphics to help with them well it's gonna depend on which display you get particularly if you have the 4k OLED display that one is gonna consume a whole lot more power notice that ours has a black theme on it and yours will be black themed as well if you get the OLED display that really does help save power OLED displays don't use any power displaying black they use a lot of power displaying white but on average I would

Say for our oled ma we're doing about 5 hours of productivity and streaming media use so not too fantastic but given this capacity and the battery and the OLED 4k display yeah if you went with one of the IPS displays say the 144 horts even because that refresh rates not going to kill your battery life too much you'll certainly do better probably at least an hour better I would say and again with that OLED display it depends on what you're displaying if you're looking at a lot of white webpages your battery life will be lower than what I just quoted for the charger it will

Depend on which configuration you get but even still if you wish to up and you can actually order it with the 240 watt charger which is the higher-capacity one there's also a 180 watt and just for the base model there's a hundred and thirty one the 240 watt is certainly adequate enough to keep this machine juiced up even with the core i9 on born in RTX 2080 nice cube is an ice-cream car doesn't use that much power taking off the bottom cover is pretty easy Phillips head screws they're all visible lift it from the front edge over here because

You see these little tabs that locate into this black butt area and then we take it off and we see not a whole lot huh stuff that you can do with it this is stereo speakers right over here these are the 2 m2 SSD slots we have a single 512gb nvme SSD and ours here's our 76 watt hour battery partly covered over by this kind of Bridge cable over here our two fans and a decent size they are thin but they're a decent size and again they exhaust out the side and out the rear and then we have mylar I'm by the way the battery is it has a little hole in it basically to fit the SSDs and it

Continues over here interesting so let's lift up our tape over here and there's really nothing for you to do underneath parents tell me more for heat shielding than anything else again it would take a good deal of disassembly if you wanted to get to the other side of this to repay ste heat sinks and on this daughter card right over here this is us soldered on Wi-Fi card and the antenna leads running from it so that's the Alienware m15 are to the 2019 redesign it sure is thin and sure is light and is obviously going after the razorblade 15 and 17 inch since this is available on

The 17 inch model as well the issues rogues Zephyrus SEMS ice tell to get the idea there and there are few things I love about this display selection the 240 Hertz refresh Full HD display the OLED display now calibrating it's fantastic I like the fact that they've got perky RGB backlighting not just zone anymore and the port selection this is fantastic build equality on it is pretty sturdy too but that thermal performance is still a challenge and still a compromise for them it's hard for everything in light laptop manufacturer but they have

Some work to do here still I'm Lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more cool tech videos and hit that notification bell up there to make sure that you get notified of our new videos

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