. My m15 has an Intel: i7, 9750H processor, 90 watt, Nvidia RTX 2080, Max Q, graphics, 16gb of memory in dual channel, a 512gb NVME M.2 SSD and a 15.6 1080p 240Hz screen. For network connectivity, its got 2.5 gigabit ethernet WiFi, 6 and Bluetooth 5.. The m15 is available with different specs, though you can find examples and updated prices linked in the description.. The newer R3 version was recently announced. Hopefully I can get that one to review faster than this one.. The laptop is made out of a magnesium alloy and comes in two finishes: lunar light, which Ive got here or dark side of the moon, which is a dark finish.. The build quality felt great. The edges were smooth, however, the two front corners could feel a bit sharp if you rub them straight on.. The interior of mine is all white, and so is the lid with a subtle number 15 towards the bottom. Corner. Dell lists the weight of the m15 R2. As 2.16kg, though, my configuration was above this and the total weight rose by over a kilo with the fairly large 240w power, brick and cables for charging included. In terms of dimensions. Its perhaps a little deeper than other 15 inch laptops as the back sticks out a bit, but its just 2cm thick at the thickest part.. The bezel is 9.5mm thin on the sides. However, its a bit thicker underneath – and this is where the Tobii eye tracking hardware is found.

. The 15.6 1080p 240Hz screen has a matte finish and viewing angles looked fine., Unfortunately, theres, no G, Sync or option to disable optimus here so youre stuck with Optimus, which will reduce performance in games.. This is the first laptop review featuring my new response time testing.. I recently invested in the tools required to test this and in my testing the panel has a 6.7ms GTG response time, which seems fair, given Dell advertises it as a 7ms. Panel. Ive got a full breakdown, explaining all the components of this graph linked in the description which I suggest you read to understand what it means going. Forward. Ive tested the screen with the Spyder 5 and got 96 of sRGB 68 of NTSC 74 of AdobeRGB and 74 of DCI P3. At 100 brightness. I measured the panel at 323 nits in the center, with a 7601 contrast ratio so all round pretty similar compared to most other high refresh rate gaming laptops Ive tested, though a little lower on the contrast. Backlight bleed, was minimal. Just a subtle, glow patch was detected down the bottom left corner, but I never noticed this during normal use, though this will vary between laptop and panels.. The m15 R2 is also available with 60Hz 1080p or 4K panel options too, so expect different results with different options.. There was more screen flex than expected when you consider that the hinge runs along the majority of the base. I found the hinge sturdy enough though.

. It was just possible to open the laptop up with one finger, its definitely more back heavy, but no issues using it. On my lap., Despite the thinner bezels, the 720p camera is found above the display in the center no Windows, Hello, support, though.. This is what the camera and microphone look and sound like on the Alienware m15 R2. Heres. What typing on the keyboard sounds like, and this is what it sounds like if we set the fan to maximum speed. So you can still hear me. Ok over the fan., The keyboard has per key RGB backlighting, which illuminates all keys and secondary key functions, and this can be controlled in the FX tab in the Alienware command center. Software. Theres no numpad, so it doesnt feel cramped and the key presses feel nice and tactile with 1.7mm of key travel heres how it sounds to give you an idea of what to expect.. Overall, I liked typing with the keyboard, but it took some getting used to.. When I first used it, it felt a bit far off to the right, so I had a lot of mis presses. Above the keyboard. At the back. There are air intake vents to help with cooling, and the power button is up. The top right and gets lit. Up. Keyboard flex was on the lower side when pushing down hard. It was quite solid and I have no problems at all during normal use.. The precision touchpad physically clicks down anywhere, when pressed it, makes an above average audible click sound when doing so.

. At times it did feel a little small compared to others, and I had this strange issue where basically, two finger scrolling was choppy and inconsistent.. Apparently its an issue with the Tobii eye tracking software. However, due to other issues with the software, I wasnt able to attempt the suggested fix either way. It happened with Tobi disabled, so doesnt seem like a great feature and honestly, this isnt good enough, if its the default. Fingerprints, dont really show up due to the white finish. But Id expect this to be more obvious with the darker model.. The white version, as you can see here, does appear to yellow over time with use, which is happening to the left of the touchpad and did not go away after a clean. On the left. From the back theres, a noble, lock slot air exhaust vent 2.5 gigabit ethernet port, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type, A port and 3.5mm audio combo jack. On the right. There are two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type: A ports and an air exhaust vent.. The back has two air exhaust vents towards the corners, then from left to right. There are HDMI 2.0b and mini DisplayPort, 1.4 outputs, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C, Thunderbolt 3 port with 4 lanes, which also supports DisplayPort 1.2, no type c charging, though the port for the Alienware, graphics, amplifier, eGPU and the power input.. I confirmed the Type C port is wired to the Intel iGPU. However, both the HDMI and DisplayPort connections go directly to the Nvidia GPU, so this could be used for VR or to boost FPS with an external monitor.

Theres, nothing going on on the front., The Alienware logo, on the lid lights, up with RGB lighting and youve, probably Noticed that theres also a ring of RGB lighting on the back too. In addition to the keyboard, this is all controlled through the Alienware command center in the FX tab. Underneath is pretty clean with just some air intake vents towards the back.. The white panel comes off easily by just taking out 8 phillips head screws of different sizes. The 4 at the front, dont come out of the panel. Once inside weve got the battery down the bottom, its split in an odd shape with the two M.2 slots in the middle of it. One slot supports PCIe and SATA, while the other is SATA only. Thats. All we get access to the RAM and WiFI are soldered to the motherboard and cannot be upgraded.. The two speakers are found towards the front on the left and right sides.. The speakers sound pretty average theyre clear, theres, not really any bass, but they get quite loud at maximum volume and the latencymon results look good.. The m15 R2 is powered by a 76Wh battery. Ive tested with the screen brightness at 50 background apps, disabled and keyboard lighting. Off. With the screen at the default 240Hz speed, it lasted for 5 hours and 5 minutes, while watching YouTube and Optimus was enabled as its not possible to turn it off. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidias battery boost set to 30 FPS.

The battery lasted for 44 minutes, one of the lower results, however, the FPS didnt dip below the cap at any point. Ill. Just summarise the thermals. You can check the card in the top right or link in the description for far more detailed information., The Alienware Command Center software lets you select different performance modes, including quiet, cool, balanced performance and full speed, and these adjust fan speeds and power limits.. There are also a couple of overclocking modes, 1 and 2, which overclock the GPU by these amounts. Thermals were tested with a 21 degree Celsius. Ambient room, temperature. Idle results down. The bottom were a bit warm, but no real issue with that. Worst case stress tests were done with the Aida64 CPU stress test, with CPU only checked and the Heaven benchmark at max settings. At the same time and gaming was tested with Watch Dogs 2. As I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics., The CPU would thermal throttle at 100 degrees celsius, which was happening at times, though no thermal throttling was ever observed on the GPU. Clock speeds were decent once we did some tweaking the cooling pad And undervolting allowed us to hit the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed, even under these heavy workloads. However, performance could vary a fair bit depending on the mode in use, and this was due to the power limit changes done by the different modes, for instance, quiet and cool mode cap, the CPU to 25 watts balanced and performance cap it to 33.

75w, while full speed Mode sets PL1 to 80W, meaning thermals will instead be our limit, as we saw earlier. Heres how CPU only performance looked in Cinebench with the different modes in use with the undervolt in place at the top were able to get one of the best multicore scores in This test, out of all 9750H laptops, Ive tested and thats, one of the benefits of the high power limit, were able to get more performance, but at the expense of thermals.. Basically, its a tradeoff and, despite being a thinner machine Alienware, have made the choice to pump up those power limits to boost performance, so hotter internals are expected when under heavy load as the thermal cap is 100. Many other laptops limit this lower to say 90.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was in the mid 30s in the center, but warmer up the back., With the stress tests going regardless of the mode in use. The center of the keyboard warms up to around 50 degrees. However, the keys themselves didnt feel hot. Its a little cooler in full speed mode. As this boosts. The fan lets have a listen. At idle in quiet mode. It was completely silent. There was some extremely subtle, coil whine, but this wasnt noticeable once the fans were going., With the stress test going in quiet mode, its still on the quieter side, cool was a little louder. Balanced and performance were a little louder.

Still, though, about the same as each other. Full speed mode was strange, when you first enable it, the fans spin up louder to about 58 decibels, which is quite loud. However, it only lasts for a few seconds before spinning down to around 52 decibels, which is where it remained indefinitely.. This is strange because full speed isnt actually giving us full speed. Well, it does for the first few seconds, then it slows down. Granted the slowed down. Speed is still faster than any other mode. It can clearly go faster.. I tried making a custom fan profile in the Alienware command center software and set both to max speed, but I had the same issue as the full speed profile. Considering thermals can run hotter in this machine due to the high power limits. It would have been good if we can actually utilize these faster fans if we want to. Next lets find out just how well the m15 R2 actually performs in games. Ive tested with full speed mode and the overclock 2 profile enabled for best results. In Battlefield 5. Ive got the m15 R2 highlighted in red and due to request, Ive started sorting this graph by average FPS. Out of this selection of laptops tested with similar specs. The m15 is performing quite well with one of the highest average frame rates in this game. However, the 1 low performance is on the lower side out of these machines, which I suspect is due to the CPU throttling back, which creates some inconsistencies.

. These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark.. This time the average frame rate was more around the middle of the pack, and the 1 low was more in line with many other laptops.. This test seems to be more CPU heavy than GPU, though, which would explain why the undervolted Helios 300 is only just below it, despite having a 1660 Ti.. These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider with the built in benchmark at highest settings., As this is a more GPU demanding test. The m15 is back towards the top of the bunch and was able to beat a few 115 watt 2070 machines granted the GS75 with lower 80 watt power limit 2080 Max Q was a couple of frames ahead. Here., If youre after more gaming benchmarks check the card in the top right corner or link in the description where Ive tested 20 games in total on the Alienware m15 R2.. Overall, the gaming performance was good with the m15 R2, at least at these higher setting levels. Where the GPU can actually get put to work as youd expect. At lower settings in many titles tested, there was notably lower performance compared to other laptops, Ive looked at.. Some of this will be due to the inability of disabling optimus and its unfortunate that were not given this option to further boost performance or gain the benefits of G Sync. Ive used Adobe Premiere to export one of my laptop review videos at 4K and the results Werent that great given the GPU weve got available.

. I generally find a 1660 Ti and above to offer diminishing returns. Now for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike Timespy and Port Royal from 3DMark just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results. For the first time in a laptop review, Ive, also got some VR testing.. This test is basically only used for comparison purposes. The FPS values dont mean much.. In any case, I found it interesting that the m15 R2 was able to outperform the GS66 with higher tier 2080 Super Max Q, granted that is lower wattage. Ive also tested SPECviewperf, which tests out various professional 3D workloads. Ive used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage And the 512GB NVMe M.2 drive was performing quite well but expect different results with different storage options. For updated pricing check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US. This configuration of m15 R2 goes for 2500 USD., Based on the CPU already running quite hot. I dont think its worth spending 1000 extra to go for the i9 unless youre running multicore applications and time is money. Here in Australia were looking about 5000 AUD. For the same config, though, its less of a jump to go for the i9 more like 400 USD there, but in most cases, still not worth it if gaming is the priority. With all of that in mind, lets conclude by summarising the good and bad aspects of The Alienware m15 R2 gaming laptop.

The design is definitely quite unique and different compared to most other gaming laptops out there with plenty of RGB lighting. The over the top RGB is definitely going to come down to personal preference, but you can turn it off and customize It. Overall, I thought the build quality was good. However, Id probably go for the black version rather than white, as the area near the touchpad on my unit has yellowed over time.. Speaking of the touchpad, I had a strange issue with mine, where two finger scrolling in any app was barely working. According to the Internet. This is due to the Tobii eye tracker software. However, I was not able to change the required settings to fix this due to some other unknown issue with the software.. Another software issue was that I couldnt install some of the updates through the Alienware update software. It just sat there for hours saying installing, but never did anything. On multiple occasions I still havent been able to fully update it.. The m15 R2 has some decent IO, its got 2.5 gigabit ethernet, a good range of display, ports, Thunderbolt and the port for the Alienware graphics amplifier, which will outperform thunderbolt. If you plan on using an external GPU., It would have been good to see USB 3.1 Gen2 for the Type A ports at this price rather than Gen 1 though.. There are limited upgrade options with the m15 R2 as the RAM and WiFi are soldered to the motherboard.

Pretty much all we can change is the M.2 storage drives.. Honestly, I dont think this is great. While you could argue that its required as part of a thinner machine, there are other options of similar thickness that dont have these compromises say the MSI GS66.. It would have been good if we had the option of disabling optimus or otherwise G Sync, as this would have offered a nice performance boost. However, with these higher end, specs and above average, power limits were still able to get some nice gaming results. The battery life wasnt great, but it was able to give me the best VR score Ive had so far.. The good performance seems to be due to Alienwares preference of power over thermals, so as a result under heavier loads in the full speed mode, temperatures definitely do get up there, particularly with the CPU, though, with undervolting and using a cooling pad, it was still possible to Get some improvements. All things considered. The m15 R2 is a visually striking laptop, but for me personally, theres not enough good features to recommend it over alternatives, especially at the price point.. Hopefully the new R3 model that was just announced resolves many of these issues and I look forward to comparing the two in future.. Let me know what you thought about the Alienware m15 R2 gaming laptop down in the comments and, if youre new to the channel get subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech.