Geek Squad® Certified Refurbished products are thoroughly, painstakingly and lovingly tested, so you can be sure that your device will work right, right away. Learn more about Stay ahead of the pack with this refurbished Alienware gaming laptop. The Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM provide seamless multitasking, while the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card helps eliminate ghosting and tearing for immersive gameplay. This Alienware gaming laptop has a 512GB SSD and 1TB hard drive for ample storage and rapid load and boot times.Geek Squad® Certified Refurbished products.
Outstanding performance, first time using an Alienware laptop, but I am completely satisfied. For gaming and the clarity of vision it is a very competent item for the price.Apr 17, 2021 14:26
Alienware Laptop: Dive into your favorite titles with this Dell Alienware gaming laptop. The Intel Core i7 processor delivers efficient performance, keeping up with all the action, while the 16GB RAM and Windows 10 Home facilitate smooth and secure operations during multitasking. This Dell Alienware gaming laptop has NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card for delivering immersive media visuals on the 15.6-inch Full HD display, and Killer Wi-Fi ensures you stay connected to every open-world experience.
I have been using heavy programs on my laptop since last year. The experience has been smooth and flawless. I can load my mapping and design software without any lagging.
So far so good!Jul 12, 2021 11:36
Good product, my son live it. It is fast and powerful for gamesAug 15, 2021 16:53
Great laptop. Bought it for my son and he loves it. He plays games and is learning how to code!Mar 28, 2021 08:54
Purchased this it as new in box for my family member but the pc was actually re-boxed. It had the previous persons Microsoft info on it. Geek Squad reset the pc and Best Buy issued a credit to my account. I really appreciate the customer service that I received during this process. Thank you! Best Buy.Jan 17, 2021 14:55
What a gaming powerhouse! It has never felt so good to do gaming on a laptop before, very happy with my purchase!Jan 16, 2021 12:11
Exactly what is was looking for. Well worth the price.Oct 12, 2020 11:32
With the 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors enabling up to 8-cores and 16-threads of multi-threaded performance, the latest generation of Alienware m15 goes beyond its predecessor. Featuring the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 with Ultimate performance for gamers and creators. Realistic ray-traced graphics and AI-accelerated DLSS. Our latest thermal technology, Advanced Alienware Cryo-Tech, is an engineering approach where an Alienware system’s gaming performance is never compromised by means of electrical and mechanical methods while maintaining system stability during the highest performance states. The Alienware m15 offers incredible display options and the thinnest left and right bezels (5.6mm) among all Alienware gaming laptops for gamers who demand the best visual experiences possible.
If you are looking for a gaming laptop, I would highly recommend you get this laptop.
This is my 1st Alienware & I really cant say why it is my 1st. I have owned several Razer and MSI gaming laptops but never ventured out beyond that. What made me get this one is it was instock at best buy. I special order MSI with a RTX 3070 the raider 15" inch. Right before my best buy return policy expired the screen just died.
Lets me get this out of the way 1st. The ONLY downside or cons for me on this laptop is soldered ram. Come on Alienware the consumer that buys this laptop is the same consumer that will want to upgrade ram. There is 2 M.2 slots but no ram slots. Please figure this out, other companies have.
Now that I have that out of the way I can say that I am loving this laptop. Its my 1st 17" model but honestly its not too much bigger than 15" models that are out in the market. This is a light and slimmer 17". Not as thin as say Razer 17' Advanced but not the same thickness as say Asus Rog STRIX or comparable laptop.
The main reason I went for this one is the GPU. it has the RTX 3070 that will go up to 140watts out of the box! You have to be carefully because they no longer say max q on cards so you can get a 3080 that will perform worse than this with double the ram because it runs at lower performance for thermals.
Thermals by the way are amazing. This runs the GPU at 10 more watts than my MSI with Same GPU and it runs an average of 20c cooler. GPU when playing games for me on a table GPU doesnt get about 75c. The Fans are loud because of the power you get in such a smaller formfactor HOWEVER its not near as loud as the MSI GE Raider I just had and the Razer is on another level. You feel its going to take off when you are using it and sounds like a drone.
By the way it comes with 2 factory set overclock profiles too and you can undervolt as well if you like but honestly it runs cool now I am not going to touch anything
Bottom line if you want a killer gaming laptop you should by this. You will be happy you did.May 10, 2021 14:12
One heck of a Laptop! The 360hz Screen is Sick! The RTX 3070 is SUPER fast! I purchased this laptop as a Certified Geek Squad Open box. So it was pretty much brand new. It came with the Original Box, accessories and paperwork. With the Certified version you save a couple bills. I would say its totally worth it!May 24, 2021 14:39
It’s heavy, power hungry, and it runs hot. These are the things you get when you buy an awesome gaming computer. The batter “gauge” is a bit of a challenge in that it will tell you that at 100% you will have two hours if usage, then 10 minutes later it will tell you that your 80% battery will only last you for 50 minutes. In the end the battery will last you about two hours, just don’t listen the gauge. Better yet, keep it plugged in. You’re not exactly going to be playing Halo on the subway.May 21, 2021 20:00
This is seriously pretty cheap if you do the price match. The 3070 has more than 100w in this model and 360hz screen is sweet. The only thing I would complain is the fan noise. The fan sounds like a desperate woman screaming. Overall, I would suggest this laptop, even though the performance is not Alienware’s strength, the outlook of this laptop is sick.Mar 26, 2021 16:57
After trying out several other big name brands like Asus’s line of ROG (M15s), 4K displays, And even iMacs, for the extra money you’re paying for this laptop is 100% worth the investment.
-Build quality is top tier, no flexing anywhere, key board is super solid, the finish is coated with a smooth finish for prolonged protection.
Note that the number pad is very convenient on these 17 inch machines. A little on the heavy side but get yourself a good carrying bag and you will be just fine.
-performance is very impressive and has not let me down one bit. I’m able to play Genshin Impact on max settings with no frame drops or throttling. I do use a cooling fan to prolong the life of the internals, it’s a must IMO. You should easily be able to get 7-10+ from this laptop with minimal repairs. (Maybe a new battery or charging cable, normal stuff).
-visuals are so impressive, it’s not 4K or 1440 but the 1080 looks beautiful on this display that you won’t even care, and honestly most gamers would rather have the smoother game play that the RTX3070 offers you in a 1080 resolution. The 360 Hz is a godsend and you will never go back to 60 Hz ever again. Note you are able to play 8k videos on YouTube with no hiccups on performance mode. The 17 inch screen will never have you going back to anything smaller.
-overall if you can get this thing for 0% finance with the Best Buy credit card and pay less than 200$ / month, it’s the way to go.
My only complaint is that for some reason google chrome will not open up and I have been using fire fox. I have installed all the drivers and updates from dell so I might be giving the customer service department a call soon, but it’s not a big bothersome as I was originally a Firefox user pre chrome.
10/10Apr 06, 2021 18:19
This is a review of the Alienware M14 r4 Lunar Light laptop.
The laptop is probably the most beautiful piece of electronics I have ever owned. Very aesthetically pleasing, and it has a quality heft to it, although that is not something everyone wants in a laptop.
It is incredibly powerful. For it's size I'm surprised what this laptop is capable of. It has easily and quickly handled everything I've thrown at it. Steam games, WoW, Adobe Suite CS5 (!), LibreOffice. The M.2 SSD has nearly instant load times, and the Nvidia 3070 provides crisp, smooth frame rates on the 360hz 1080p screen. Magnificent.
Price. In this case one of getting what they pay for, but still it is a major consideration.
The laptop can get quite hot quickly. I'm not used to having a device get this warm. It's not uncomfortable to the touch, but I wonder what the future holds for an electronic device that needs to have internal fans running so hard they are plainly audible. I highly recommend having a 'cooler' base for this laptop, at least at home.
I would have liked a couple more usb ports. 3 ports is easy to use up! Also, there is no dvd drive.
I consider myself a knowledgeable computer geek, but I have not yet determined how to boot from a usb flash drive or usb dvd drive. I was able to make a full backup of the system, but there doesn't seem to be any options in the BIOS or F2 menu to alt boot (like for say a Linux boot). I haven't exhausted my options, but it's a shame it's not easier.Apr 13, 2021 18:00
Just got the Alienware R4 tonight and opened it up to immediate disappointment. The screen has a very bad vertical top to bottom screen line. I completed the setup just to make sure (also noticed the extremely bad screen edge bleed) and sure enough, the line shows up under blue light. I am returning tomorrow for a full refund. It is a sign to avoid Alienware moving forward.
*VERY DISSAPOINTED*May 21, 2021 22:48
I was super excited to get a real gaming laptop and unfortunately since I turned it on the screen froze. I returned it the same day I received it.Sep 25, 2021 17:03
The new Alienware x17 is super thin, extremely light laptop . Now’s your chance to game with gear that knows no boundaries. The Alienware x17 gaming laptops with advanced Alienware Cryo-Tech™ cooling defy boundaries. Introducing Element 31 thermal interface material and a Quad-Fan Design. We are incorporating more fan blades, more copper materials, and vapor chambers to deliver ample power while dissipating the heat more efficiently and allowing the fans to run less resulting in reduced noise. The x17 features five tailored power states, and grants access to thousands of games with Windows. Alienware laptops will bring your favorite games into hyper-reality with Windows DirectX 12 Ultimate. Constructed with magnesium alloy and aluminum parts gamers can experience the evolved Legend Industrial Design that reimagines the way you game. The Alienware x17 is equipped with 11th Gen Intel processors, has more storage options with dual drives featuring SSD and includes powerful NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 30-series discrete graphics.
I have been wanting to upgrade my 17” RTX 2060 laptop and when I saw the Alienware X17 R1 was available I jumped at the chance to get it as Alienware systems have been one of my favorites for years.
Unboxing / First Impressions:
The X17 arrived in a sturdy outer shipping box and inside was a perfectly designed box that was above most “and typical for an Alienware product”. Inside was the laptop, power supply, power cord and that’s it. The laptop itself was in a protective sleeve and had the usual keyboard / palmrest cover inside too.
The laptop itself is Lunar Grey and it looks spectacular with this color scheme, it’s a matte finish and barely shows any handling marks. On the lid there’s an Alien emblem that’s backlit with a large I7 in outline white, “looks great”. The bottom of the unit is the same “Lunar Grey” and has a lot of ventilation slits “some arranged in a honeycomb pattern”. There are also two rubber strips running almost the complete width of the laptop for feet and they are high enough to give it some breathing room on the bottom.
There are no ports on the front edge “other than speaker outlets”, the right only has a single headphone jack toward the back and the left has the power port. The back is where all the ports are located and they are “ USB-C w/ Thunderbolt 4 + Power Delivery + DisplayPort, USB-A 3.2 Gen. 1, RJ-45 2.5 Gbps, USB-C 3.2 Gen. 2 w/ Power Delivery + DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1, MicroSD reader, mini DisplayPort 1.4”, which should be plenty of ports for most anyone’s needs and having the MicroSD slot is a really nice addition.
I was really surprised how much this weighs, deceivingly heavy while being so thin, the nice thing is it’s also very very sturdy with really no flex to the bottom portion. The lid/LCD does flex “as most do” but it’s not as bad as my Eluktronics 17. The palmrest area and keyboard are all matte black and a nice contrast to the grey outer color. The keyboard does not have a keypad and is centered in the unit. I’m going to have to get used to that as It’s been years since I had a laptop without the keypad and now that I’m used to typing “off centered” being back to center is a little strange.
Upon setting up, getting my WiFi connected and getting things started up I was surprised that the setup asked if I would like to use Windows 11. I naturally said yes as Win 11 has been released and may as well get used to it. And with a new installation there are usually fewer issues than if I upgraded further down the road. It did mention that it had to download some things for it to continue but I assume that most of Win 11 was already there as the download only took a few seconds.
After completing and getting further I was greeted with the Windows Hello setup and was pleasantly surprised that this model does have the IR camera for the facial recognition. With that complete I was ushered into the new layout of Windows 11, “hmm not sure about this”, and there are a lot of visual changes here, one being the centered taskbar at the bottom of the screen “there’s a simple way to put it back left and that’s what I did, just didn’t care for the centered look “not used to it” and I’m focusing on how well the laptop performs hardware wise.
I’ve been using the X17 for a few days now and this is really a powerful laptop, the RTX 3070 easily handles any game I throw at it. I know the screen refresh rate is can go up to 360hz but I never got it close to that, “over 200 yes but nothing close to the full 360”. The screen itself is very clear, with nice color reproduction, the image does fade out from an angle so sitting straight on is a must but it easily matches and is a little better than the 120hz on of my Eluktronics.
There really isn’t any back light bleed in this one but the solid blacks could be a little better “but I haven’t tweaked the RTX color settings yet”, the bezel around the screen is thin enough for me, it doesn’t have to be completely borderless and does give some more rigidity to the lid, there’s a huge border at the bottom of the screen though “but this is a large laptop and they need to make it all fit properly” so at least they stuck that at the bottom.
The keyboard itself is not the Cherry MX mechanical that is offered on other models, but is the standard membrane full RGB lit keyboard they also offer. I have both mechanical and membrane keyboards on my laptops and I honestly can’t tell much difference other than the clickety-click of the mechanical keys, I’ve had and used so many different laptops over the years I just get used to what I have and don’t worry about it. The RGB lighting is nice, and each key can be configured independently. The only issue I have with it is that the secondary shift function of the number keys along with FN key symbols are not illuminated and in a dim / dark room there’s no way to see what those are. The keys on the Eluktronics are completely lit. Fortunately I rarely ever need to look at those but when I have my own personal glitch and can’t remember where a symbol is I have to really look for it.
If you are a fan of lights then the X17 won’t disappoint, while the trackpad isn’t backlit, the power button, rear panel alien head, and thee ring around the whole backside where the ports and vents are located then you’ll have fun customizing all the functions through the Alienware control software. Nice to see they’ve carried over a lot of the custom lighting options from the original models to the new line.
The trackpad is very smooth and accurate, it’s small but does its job, and with all my laptops I hook up a gaming mouse and turn off the track pack so that’s a moot point on my part, it’s not backlit like other Alienware laptops I’ve owned but that’s ok too as I always turned that off.
Now time for some gaming and see how the performance is.
I’ve been playing Borderland 3, The Witcher 3 and Fallout NV “for the heck of it” and I’m quite impressed. BL3 with the graphics set on Ultra and on Pandora in the Droughs I get anywhere from 88 to 126fps, “depends on complexity”, and when I’m in the ship “Sanctuary” I’m getting around 100fps. I’ve also tried setting the power settings from “Balanced” to “Performance” and didn’t notice any difference. Setting BL3 graphics to “High” my frame rate went up to 113-156fps, “also keeping field of view at 90”. These are all good numbers and even with the graphics maxed out the FPS is high enough to keep everything smooth.
Playing The Witcher 3 with the graphics set on Ultra I get a pretty consistent 110-142, also depending on environment and if you are indoor or outside. Outside environments during battle it was maintaining at least 130fps which looks great. Now turning the graphic quality down to “High” made the FPS jump to 165-190, that’s outstanding, and way more than really needed “at least my eyes can’t tell, so I’ll be playing on Ultra.
Now Fallout NV, it’s an older game and it’s maxed at 60fps, to my surprise the game played consistently at 78-94fps, so it’s above what the game was originally designed for and looks spectacular with everything set on “Ultra”, no need to test on lower graphics settings.
I’ve also done some benchmarking and I’ve attached photos of those. I have a MSI desktop as my main system, it has a RTX 3080 in it and 32gb mem, so it’s pretty hard to beat that one and this X17 actually does quite well “which you can see in the charts”. I’ve also posted the speeds of the drive which are on par with most every system I have, and the SSDs used are plenty fast.
I did take the bottom cover off “to my surprise it’s metal”, and there is an open SSD slot so you can and a second M.2 NVMe drive to it, there’s no space for a 2.5” drive, “I’ve noticed manufacturers getting away from that form factor in their thin laptops, just no room”. I was surprised to see that the Wi-Fi card is soldered to the motherboard and is not removable, although over the years I’ve only replaced one of those and it was a long ways back, just odd seeing that it’s not removable just in case. If you decide to remove the bottom cover there are different screw sizes used so keep track of where they go, and be sure to take all out but the lower left, closer to the track pad, “looking at bottom directly”, it’s a captive screw and made to help “pop” the corner up so you can release the rest of the bottom cover.
Other items of interest:
I was really impressed that there’s so much metal used in the construction of the X17, it makes it heavy but it’s also super sturdy. There are also 4 cooling fans instead of the usual 2 and sound levels were very good while gaming. I used my sound meter to do some measurements and during gaming at 24” from the outlets the sound measured a consistent 46db. 1” from the vents during gaming the sound was 56db, and it never got louder no matter how long I played. And during normal use the sound went down to 39db 24” from the vents, so not bad at all.
As for heat, yep it gets warm while gaming, and I took measurement after 30min of BL3 with my Flir camera, and have some pics posted of that with my review. The palmrest always stayed cool while the WASD keys did get a little on the warm side there’s no issue with them being too hot. I would recommend always using this “especially during gaming” on a solid surface so there’s plenty of air movement, otherwise heat isn’t an issue during normal tasks.
Wi-Fi speeds are plenty fast too, and I do have a Wi-Fi 6 compatible router, it connected without issue and easily maxed out our 150mb internet speeds using SpeedTest anywhere around the house so coverage with that is great.
I only tried out the webcam a couple times, it’s not the greatest but it does get the job done. It doesn’t have a sliding cover over it but since it’s Hello compatible you wouldn’t want to cover it anyway if you are going to be using that feature. The built in mOct 15, 2021 21:24
The Alienware x17 R1 sits near the top of Alienware’s current laptop lineup. This x17 features a large 17” display, per key lit RGB keyboard, and a super sleek design. It’s a fairly loaded laptop, and the only way to get one higher spec’d is to configure it yourself on Dell’s website. Nevertheless, this is one of the more impressive laptops I have had the opportunity to unbox. Benchmarking this laptop places it among other high end gaming laptops in 2021 with its combination of powerful processor and GPU.
Processor – Intel Core i7 118000H - CPU 8C/16T @ 2.3 GHz with boost to 4.6 GHz
Graphics – NVidia GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU w/ 8GB GDDR6 @ 1750 MHz
Memory – 16GB Kingston DDR4 3200 Dual Channel (22-22-22-52)
Storage – 1TB Micron PCIe SSD (M.2 NVME)
Display - 17.3” 1920 x 1080p LED IPS screen @360Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB with Advanced Optimus
Camera – single camera 720p @ 30fps – Windows Hello enabled
Network Adapter – 802.11AX (WiFi 6) adapter / 1X Gigabit LAN Port / Bluetooth 5.2 Radio
Ports – 1X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with DisplayPort and Power Delivery / 2X USB 3.2 Gen 1 with PowerShare / 1X Thunderbolt 4 with Power Delivery/ 1X HDMI 2.1 / 3.5mm TRRS jacks for headsets / 1X microSD slot
Battery – 87Wh with varying operating times and a 3hr charge while off
OS – Windows 10 Home – Several (7) Dell/Alienware Utilities, but minimal other bloat
The x17 R1 comes with an 11th gen Intel i7 and 3070 series NVIDIA GPU. The intel processor is a multithreaded Octo core with a 2.3GHz base clock with a single core boost up to 4.6GHz. The RTX 3070 laptop GPU is a slightly cut down version of the full desktop GPU (5120 shader pipelines vs 5888 and a reduced core clock of 1110 vs 1500MHz). The 3070 supports ray tracing and DLSS for some 4K gaming if you connect to an external screen via the HDMI 2.1, thunderbolt 4, or mini DisplayPort. To use this port you would need a USB-C 4.0 to Display port 1.4a adapter. The highest rates supported by these ports are: 4K @120 or 8K @ 60 for HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort. I couldn’t find what the external monitor limit was, but I have a similarly spec’d ASUS TUF laptop and it was limited to 2 external monitors.
The x17 comes with 16GB of DDR4 3200 RAM via 2X 8 GB SO-DIMM sticks. 16GB has been plenty of memory for me in the past, but If you are a heavy streamer or content creator then you might need to upgrade. Storage comes in the form of a 1TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 2280 NVME drive from Micron. There’s an additional PCIE M.2 slot available if more storage is need. Both storage slots support PCIe Gen 3 up to 1 TB or PCIe Gen 4 up to 2 TB.
The display is a 17.3” 1920 x 1080p IPS screen – Alienware dubs it a WVA (wide viewing angle) panel. It has a super high refresh rate at 360Hz. This allows the screen to display extra smooth visuals and keep pace with the highest framerates a game might put out. The response time for the display is 3ms which is pretty good for an IPS. Only the 165Hz panel the x17 is offered with has a faster response time at 1ms. The display gets Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus and G-Sync support which allows the display to switch seamlessly between the embedded Intel graphics and the 3070. This improves battery life when performing tasks that don’t require the dGPU.
I ran the x17 through a series of benchmarks to see where it stood in the world, and against my other similarly spec’d ASUS TUF Dash 15 laptop (Intel i7 11370H and GTX 3070 6GB), and high end (circa 2018) gaming tower (AMD R7 1800X and VEGA64). I ran it through 3DMark Time Spy, Cinebench R15, GeekBench, CrystalDiskMark 6, CPU-Z, and CrystalDiskMark 6. I have included a screenshot of my raw results table. Overall, the benches put it in pretty good standing with other high end gaming laptops, outpaced my TUF, and officially surpassed my full size tower in terms of raw performance.
I played a range of old and new games across Steam and my library from the Xbox Gamepass. My favorite game to throw back to on Steam is Portal and Portal 2. These are Directx 11 games that for the most part won’t push the computer to its limits by any means. However, these are games I like to play casually and it gives me a metric for how much the fans might spin up under a low-medium load. I didn’t experience any screen tearing or framerate issues playing these games – all good there. The fans spun up moderately but weren’t audible at all with headphones on.
My favorite game to play, even on Xbox, is the Halo MCC. It had no issue running games on the highest settings – both single and multiplayer matches. I tossed on Halo Reaches campaign and played through a mission – RIP Jorge. The 360Hz kept things looking nice and smooth even with a framerate cap at 120Hz. I did have some mild tearing in cutscenes but that was pretty minimal. I’m sure this could have been eliminated by capping my refresh rate.
I let my partner’s son test out a few games he likes to play as well. He booted up Geometry dash and Grounded. Geometry Dash relies on smooth screen playback and low input lag. For both of these metrics the x17 performed great. With Grounded he was able to bump the settings up to epic, but encountered some lag and framerate drops. I ended up capping the frame rate at 120FPS and that seemed to smooth things out for him, and I didn’t hear anymore complaints.
No matter what games I played the fans/cooling system started to kick up. It wasn’t until I moved into games like the MCC or Grounded that the system fans really kicked up to full blast. One thing I noticed was how much cooler the keyboard and laptop body stayed compare to my TUF. The side exhausts work well and I’m happy with how much ventilation there seems to be. I never felt like the x17 was going to overheat, even if it sitting in my lap while I played a game.
The design of the x17 is what Alienware calls the Legend 2.0 Industrial Design. What that really means is a sleek outer shell that comes in Alienware’s well known Lunar White. On the screen shell is a large ‘17’ silkscreened onto the surface and the Alienware logo lights up with an RGB LED. Opening up the case you are greeted by a large, center set keyboard that features media controls along the right side. The numberpad is absent on this 17.3” laptop, which somewhat perplexed me since there is ample space. Beneath the keyboard in a large clickable trackpad with multitouch input. Above the keyboard is the power button (an RGB alien head) and a honeycomb pattern of slots. These slots appear to be part of the ventilation and help passively vent some radiant heat upwards.
Opening the screen is limited to around 135° by the rear portion of the laptop. Most laptops have all their ports on the sides, but the x17 only has its power cord port (left) and headset jack (right) located near the rear. Spinning around to the backside you are greeted by a loop of RGB strip that encircles the entire I/O port panel. I would liken this back section to my docking station for my work. I wish the power cord would have joined the rear of the laptop – its unfortunate that you will always have that hanging off the side. This setup, I would have to assume, is mainly for airflow/cooling purposes since the sides are lined with vents.
The size of the x17 has its pros and cons. The large screen is a benefit if you want to plop it down on a desk and sit back. At the same time a 17” laptop is quite a lot to handle if you have it on your lap. I traveled with it and it was too large to nicely sit on the tray table during my flights. Its also a lot of laptop to carry around – coming in at a little over 7 pounds it’s a good sized chunk of hardware.
Overall, the design is the polar opposite of my TUF, which was pretty sleek and unassuming. This design screams gamer to everyone that sees it. It’s a real head turner, and I love how excessive it is. All of the RGB elements are controlled via the Alienware Command Center. You can turn everything off or light it up however you please. The tool is a little clunky to navigate, but it works.
I was hoping this would come with the slim Cherry MX mechanical switches, but it doesn’t. Instead the keyboard has a per key RGB backlight that is sitting atop a traditional laptop chiclet-style membrane. The keys have decent actuation force and have about 1.5-1.7mm of travel. The main key function is all that is highlighted by the keys’ RGB, so secondary key functions remain unlit. This can be a little hard to see if you turn off the RGB because the shine of the keys allows the reflection of the screen to washout what the secondary function is.
There are 2 main ways to upgrade the x17 – storage and RAM. There is an available M.2 NVMe x4 slot that supports 1TB Gen3 drives or 2TB Gen4 drives. After installing 6 games I have utilized 1/3 of my overall space. I can see this upgrade being necessary in my future, but for now I have enough space.
The RAM is pretty easy to upgrade as well. There are 2 removable RAM sticks that can be upgraded to 32GB per stick (64GB max) at a max speed of 3466Mhz via XMP.
There is also the OS to upgrade. At the time of release Windows 11 hadn’t quite rolled out, so these machines shipped with Windows 10. I’d assume stock of these laptops will come preloaded with Windows 11 once the stock of Windows 10 machines is depleted.
Overall the x17 is an undoubtedly cool looking gaming laptop. It has the performance to match the looks as well. I really enjoyed getting to mess around the with lighting and customization. The cooling system is powerful, and appears to be plenty adequate. I like the rear panel design and how it makes the overall setup look more compact and neat. There are a lot of ways to bundle the same core components, so what sets these laptops apart is the overall design and look.Oct 28, 2021 03:28
To date the X17 R1 is the thinnest 17" gaming laptop from Alienware. The exterior has kind of a simplistic yet elegant look to it, with dozens of inconspicuous air vents laid out across the machine.
The air vents are almost hidden due to the dark core design feature. The interior architecture is actually pretty impressive with a new independent quad fan system, a newly designed heat distribution panel system with a newly engineered thermal paste, new hyper efficient voltage regulator, a Cherry mechanical keyboard (that was co-developed with Dell to be their thinnest latest design), Advanced Optimus, and a "Comfortview plus" display with G-Sync. All these things combined make this a very impressive gaming laptop. Everything about all the new elements in this design really pushes this build for marathon gaming sessions.
Let's start with what I think is one of the most important features, the Comfortview Plus display. Blue light has been found to cause harm to the optic nerve in several clinical studies. Most people are unaware of the dangers of overexposure to blue lights or even how much blue light they are exposed to. Virtually all types of digital displays emit blue lights. However the new X17 R1's display comes with the Comfortview Plus, which by default is set to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the 17" screen. The low level blue light mode complies with TUV Rheinland's specifications for blue light safety.
One study found blue light triggered the release of toxic molecules in photoreceptor cells. This causes damage that can lead to age related macular degeneration. Aside from the long term effects of blue light, there are also short term effects that can cause eye fatigue, headaches, and even problems with sleeping. Reducing blue light will not only make it healthy but also more comfortable for a person to game for hours at a time. It used to be disregarded as a myth that overexposure to tv screens could cause blindness, but today it is becoming more apparent that blue light emitted from any type of display screen can be hazardous to your eye's health. It's nice to see that Dell is being proactive with using low level blue light displays. There are several apps out there for pcs and mobile devices to help reduce blue light emissions as well. In addition to the hardware and software blue light filters, you can also buy eyeglasses with blue light blockers, in both script and no script forms.
The new thermal solutions make keeping your system cooler a lot easier. The independent quad fan design, ties each fan to a specific component, and regulates the speed of that fan based on the need of it's related component, completely independent of the needs of the other items associated with the other fans. The fans can also work in tandem as needed.
Element 31 is an encapsulated gallium-silicone thermal interface material, that was designed by Dell to improve thermal resistance 25% more efficiently than previously used thermal compounds. Element 31 works with a specialized heat pipe and cooling fin design to pull heat away from internal components and push it out through the ample supply of vents.
The quad fan design is a patented technology in which a some fans move air through the system , while opposite fans move air through the chassis and over various internal hotspots creating a pressurized environment that dissipates heat quicker.
The TCC Offset (Thermal Control Circuit ), is a feature than can be set in the BIOS to put the fan control on automatic based on your own personal temperature limit.
The hyper efficient voltage regulator allows the processors to run at their highest levels of performance for extended periods of time, without losing quality game play.
The Cherry keyboard is really a plus. What a bonus it is to have a Cherry mechanical keyboard in a laptop as thin as this. It took Dell 3 years of collaboration to finalize a Cherry keyboard with a 1.5mm travel to fit this application.
The Advanced Optimus increases battery life by dynamically switching from the discrete GPU to the integrated GPU, and back when the extra GPU power is needed. The Advanced Optimus directly connects the display to the discrete GPU making all this possible, and gives it the ability to use G-Sync. G-Sync is a newer technology that delivers the smoothest and fastest gaming experience by syncing the GPU to the refresh rate of the display. The 17.3" FHD display is 360Hz with 1ms refresh rate, 300-nits brightness and a 100% sRGB color gamut. During some cut scenes the performance overlays were reporting 400 to 500+ fps.
I played with the different overclocking options for days trying to get into the top 10% tier for similar types of gaming pcs. While the closest I got was only at 91%, that doesn't mean this is a bad machine, or even incapable of playing demanding games, because it could definitely play everything I threw at it and it played them very well. While this machine might not beat everyone in the highest FPS numbers, it does put out some respectable numbers, and will most likely beat everyone in the long haul. Like I said earlier, all the industry firsts in the machine are designed for stability and extended use. I tested the X17 on several different benchmark apps and it returned favorable results beating 82 to 91 percent of other computers with the same tests.
The Alienware Command Center and NVIDIA 's GeForce Experience offer modest yet safe overclocking options. Third party overclocking software such as Afterburner, offer a wider range of overclocking numbers. However, If you are not well versed in overclocking then the simplest way to improve the machines performance is with NVIDIA's GeForce Experience app. All you need to do is enable "experimental features" in the general settings, and then hit the "alt" button and "z" , click on performance and enable "automatic tuning"
This feature will safely overclock the GPU based on your current hardware and what it thinks you might need.
The other option for automatic overclocking is to use Alienware's Command Center, and click on the "Fusion" tab.
Here you have a little more control over which parts of the performance you would like to change. You can change the "Power options", "Overclocking", and "Thermal"
If you click on each of the tabs, you will see the available choices. There are two preset overclocking profiles, the 2nd options yields the highest gaming performance of any of the automatic options.
You can also test and save your own overclocking or performance profiles in the command center.
A word of caution, third party overclocking apps do run the risk of causing heat damage to the internal components and break your laptop. It seems everyone is in pursuit of higher frame rates, but I would like to think there is such a thing as going to far. The X17 R1 puts out high frame rates that will show off the nice visuals, and give some advantage to the player. However if you are skilled at using 3rd party overclocking software there are a few options in the BIOS you might want to check out as well.
Typically higher FPS = better gaming for a few different reasons. The first is obvious, and that's because the general look of all the visuals will be improved, the action will be more fluid and edges will be smoother. The second benefit is timing, the faster the frames, the sooner you will notice enemy fire, or other animations in the game that depend on your reaction time for a better outcome. If the frames are slower than the action, then pretty much you have already died before you even saw the gun fire. The higher the frame rate, the more you will see, and have a better chance to react and counter whatever comes at you.
During actual gameplay of "Destiny 2" I was getting 115 to 155fps , averaging around 120
"Call of Duty Warzone" runs between 62 to 110, but primarily closer to 65
"Control" ran around 110 fps
"Fortnite" stayed at 60fps ( performance mode )
"Fortnite" in Alpha mode - around 170 FPS
according to 3DMark the following games should play at these frames per seconds in 1080p:
Battlefield V - 130+ FPS
Apex Legends - 140+ FPS
GTA V - 100+ FPs
Red Dead Redemption 2 - 50+ FPS
Also the best thing you can do for yourself and your laptop is to keep everything up to date, including the drivers and all software.
I must mention that I did have to update several drivers and pieces of software before downloading and playing any games.
There are a few add-on pieces of software that the laptop will automatically download, when you try to access different features within the Alienware and NVIDIA software.
There is an unlimited amount of visual customizations you can do with this laptop as well. You can do per key, key sections, or whole keyboard RGB lighting patterns, You can even change the Alien logo, and rear Tron LED strip ( which has 100 micro LEDs ).
I think I mentioned most if not all the items that set this laptop apart from others, the rest is typical gaming pc stuff, like the Xbox Game Bar, The GeForce Experience overlays, the Alien Command Center and custom profiles for individual games, the Killer Control Center to prioritize your laptops internet traffic, and then general personalized setting preferences.
Overall this is a great gaming laptop that is also perfect for any type of creative or design software. It runs everything perfectly and has a strong CPU and GPU that will still be very capable in the next few years. There are more expensive options out there, but unless your job depends on it, I can't see spending the extra 1 to 2+ thousands of dollars just to say I have the latest of the latest, especially when a slick laptop like the X17 R1 can do it just fine.Oct 26, 2021 01:08
If you’re looking for the best gaming laptop out there that is not an RTX 3080 the X17 deserves your attention and here’s why.
It’s a good-looking laptop that feels very solid and comes in somewhat heavy around 7lbs without the charger (maybe close to 10lbs with the charger). Battery life sucks and I’m totally fine with that since you’re dealing with a high-performing power-hungry 8 Core CPU and a 140watt RTX 3070 GPU. For basic tasks like web browsing or streaming video, I got around 4-5hrs of usage with Advanced Optimus on aka Mux Switch. Turning off Advanced Optimus (disables the integrated GPU) expect battery life to drop half of what you were getting before. When turning it off the laptop runs on the RTX 3070 all the time even when you’re not gaming. Now, this is also good if you’re looking to get every performance juice out of the X17 since the RTX 3070 no longer has to go through the integrated GPU before reaching your internal display. In some games, you will see up 10% increased in performance. The keyboard is nice to type on with some good depth and the backlit is bright but I don’t know why they didn’t bother lighting the secondary keys. The trackpad is nice to use, it uses Microsoft precision drivers with a glass surface. My only complaint is I wish it was slightly bigger. Speakers are decent not the best but not the worst. They do get loud but minus the bass.
The port selection is generous, if you’re worried about having to bring a dongle along well with the X17 you can leave it home. Most of the ports are in the rear except for the 3.5mm headphone jack and the charging port.
HDMI 2.1 (up to 4K 120hz resolution)
1x Thunderbolt USB C port and the ability to charge with a USB Type C charger (must be 65w or over) You won’t be able to game while charging via USB C, but for basic tasks like web browsing or streaming video, it’s fine. The only time I used the 240w charger is when I’m gaming.
1x USB Type C port that can also charge with a USB Type C charger.
2x USB 3.2 ports
1x Gigabit Ethernet Port
1x Mini Display Port
Micro SD slot
Performance is amazing for how well it manages to keep the temperatures under control with a chassis that is slim for its size. There are times the GPU was pulling more than 140watts of power and the CPU going over 45watts. Here’s my experience with some of the games I was playing with maxed-out settings at 1080p. This is without messing around with the overclocking capabilities through the command center. I personally don’t have any experience with that part but if you do I’m sure you can gain even more performance out of this laptop. I just kept it at the balanced profile.
Back 4 Blood: Unlocked Frame Rate from a low of 120fps during intense scenes like when the zombie horde starts to attack up to 240fps inside the building with a couple of zombies. No stutters, temps hover around 70-74c for the GPU and 82-89c for the CPU. I would estimate my average FPS was around 140fps for most of the game.
Forza Horizon 4: 90fps with GPU temps around 68c and CPU around 80c.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Right around 80fps average during gameplay with GPU temps around 70c and CPU 66c.
Call of Duty Warzone: Right around 120fps average with GPU temps around 75c and CPU 80-87c. This game along with Back 4 Blood are some of the demanding CPU games which is why you tend to see CPU temps sightly higher.
This is actually the first gaming laptop that I did not bother to use a laptop cooler. Maybe it might help drop the temps by 1 point.
What I also like the only area that was hot to touch was the top part of the keyboard deck and the sides of the keyboard deck were just slightly warm. There was no heat that I can tell on the keyboard itself or the palm rest area. Even with 4 fans at full load, the most noise level I recorded was 50db The fan noise is noticeable but not jet engine loud like on some of my previous laptops. This was with the balanced profile for the fan and power. There are a couple of other profiles like high performance and full speed, but what I noticed with them is that fan speed just stayed on fast, instead of how the balanced profile adjusts the fan speed based on the current load. Another thing I noticed is how quickly is able to cool down after a long session of gaming. This might explain why they ditch the numerical keypad since there are also fans located on the outer edge of the keyboard deck.
The 17.3 1080p 360hz display is nice looking. The colors are nice and it’s sharp looking. My only complaint since the brightness maxes out at 300nits it can be a struggle outdoors. Indoors is not a problem. It’s a very good display to game on no doubt about it.
Overall, there’s plenty of features that the X17 comes with that helps make it future-proof for a good couple of years. One last thing it supports PCIe Gen 4. Right off the bat I went ahead and replaced the stock SSD (by the way is fast for a stock SSD, speeds were around 3300 for read and write) with a 2TB Samsung 980 Pro I was getting 6900 Read and 5058 for the write speed. Unfortunately, only 1 of the NVME ports can take advantage of the higher Gen 4 speeds. For the secondary NVME port, I went with a 2TB 970 Evo Plus that was getting around 3522 for read and 3323 for write speeds. If you can definitely get you a Gen 4 SSD to take advantage of those higher speeds. Besides being able to upgrade the storage, both ram slots can be upgraded up to a max of 64GB of XMP ram (32GB on each slot). The RGB lighting is customizable through the Alienware command center including each individual key. The command center also allows you to change the profile of the fan speed, power and including some overclocking abilities.
The X17 is not pricey for the looks it’s for the performance that it brings to the table. It does all of this in a slim package without sacrificing thermals for the sake of style points. The good looks are the cherry on the top the way I see it. It doesn’t have the best battery life and portability can be questionable since it’s a big laptop. If you want something slightly smaller that can be easier to carry around considered the X15 model since they’re pretty much identical on the cooling system. But for me, I’ll gladly take the X17 as my new daily driver. I highly recommend it for those that want the best performance from an RTX 3070 laptop.
“Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.”Oct 17, 2021 01:50
Alienware is well known for its gaming PCs and laptops and this one more than lives up to the brand.
The 17” screen on this is just plain wonderful. The 360Hz refresh rate is super nice and crisp. Good colors and not issues so far. I know that some people complained about light bleed on their units but I’ve not experienced anything like that fortunately.
The i7 and RTX 3070 pair wonderfully together and deliver power/performance to run any AAA game out there. There are different modes/profiles you can set for either performance or power saving as with any other gaming PC. I’m currently playing Destiny 2/RDR2 on High and there’s been no hiccups with either game. The 1TB NVME drive is super fast and fine, for now, however I’ll probably upgrade to a larger drive in the future. There is another slot for another drive as well.
Even with these high end components, the cooling on this laptop is quite surprising. I set my mode to performance and even after hours long gaming sessions, the laptop remains right around the 40c-44c temps. Keyboard gets a tad warm but nothing out of the ordinary.
The RGB on this laptop is subtle but still good. The keyboard has per-key lighting but the most noticeable is the tron ring on the back. Very nice touch and adds a bit of pizazz along with the logo on the lid.
The weight of this laptop is good. It’s a bit heavier than your typical laptop however it’s a good heavy. It feels super sturdy and just feels like a quality build. The matte coating on the keyboard tends to get a bit of a fingerprint magnet so just be aware of that. You’ll probably need to bring along a microfiber cloth with this thing wherever you go. The keyboard feels very nice and the keys have a pleasant touch to them and provide good feedback when typing.
I updated the RAM on mine to 64GB and was pleasantly surprised by the layout of the internals. The case comes off pretty easily unlike other laptops I’ve had where I had to, literally, pry the bottom off the latptop. This shows this laptop was well engineered and it shows.
There were two minor, but irritating, issues I had with the laptop and both were wth the keyboard. While the fit and finish of the keyboard is well done, two things prevent it from being perfect IMO.
Even though there’s RGB on the keys, the secondary characters are not lit up....why? Aesthetics aside, I can’t understand why the secondary characters aren’t lit up on this laptop and really just....sigh....just irritating.
This is a 17” laptop and there’s no number pad on it. I realize it’s probably due to the fan layout on this laptop but, c’mon, a number pad should be standard on a laptop this size.
That said, this is a fantastic laptop. For any advanced gamer, they’d be proud to have one of these to play on. I’m really digging this laptop and hope it’ll work for years to come.Oct 13, 2021 21:23
I've owned a number of gaming level laptops in the past including some previous Alienware products and there's always a level of 'premium' that you want to feel when it comes to a gaming machine, laptop in particular. I will say that Alienware has hit all the marks with the construction of this machine.
To start, opening the machine was an absolute joy. Sure it comes in your standard rectangular laptop box, but then inside, there is a wonderfully embossed smaller box which contains the laptop itself. The box is individually wrapped, magnetically closed, and has the word Alienware in silver lettering on the side. Opening this box you're greeted with not only the laptop (also individually wrapped) nestled and packed well inside the box, but also with a very cool design on the box itself. To borrow a quote from John Hammond in the movie Jurassic Park - "They spared no expense". Truly even from the outset, this has been designed to deliver a premium experience. In the larger box you'll also find a small amount of documentation and the charging cable.
The physical design of the laptop itself is just beautiful. In removing it from the box and wrapping you can immediately feel the quality of the build. While it is indeed plastic, there's a finish on this machine that speaks of quality. It's smooth, feels good under the hand, the action of the lid is smooth, it doesn't hold fingerprints, and really it's just a wonderful thing to behold. They didn't even skimp on the underside of the laptop where in most cases you'd see just plain black plastic, but here it's the same white as the top with the same luxury finish. I will say that it is heavy, but I would not mark it as a negative because of what it is designed to be. With the specs and cooling that a laptop of this design should have, it could only have some weight behind it.
Initial boot is much as you'd expect from any Windows laptop, although interestingly this did not ship with Windows 11 which I expected because I received it after the Windows 11 general release announcement. I can't say that's a bad thing though unless you're just wanting Windows 11, as I prefer the Windows 10 experience, so at least for the time being these are still being shipped with Windows 10. The laptop lights up on the keys, the lid and in a ring around the expansion ports on the back with the AlienFX lighting which is fully adjustable inside the Alienware Command Center application. To anyone near you, it will be obvious that you're not only using an Alienware, but that it has all the bells and whistles. The screen is beautiful, the specs tout it as a 360hz refresh rate, although I will say that even the included RTX 3070 might have a hard time driving a game with a refresh rate that high. There's extremely little bloat installed, just Office 365, MyAlienware, as well as some warranty and customer support apps, and the Alienware Command Center for controlling lighting and profiles for the machine. The keyboard is a standard membrane chiclet keyboard with Alienware's backlighting. It would have been nice to see a mechanical keyboard in a laptop of this calibre, and purchased directly from Alienware, that is an option, but this model does not have it.
Now for the fun part.
The specs of the machine are no slouch, the near-top end mobile i7-11800H and the Geforce RTX 3070 drive the laptop and do a wonderful job at it. It's important to know something about current generation mobile graphics; NVidia does not require manufacturers to specify whether they have implemented the 'Max-Q' (low power) or 'Max-P' (full power). That said, this laptop clearly comes with the full power 'Max-P' version of the 3070, which is great to see, but is expected of a laptop of Alienware's quality. The 3DMark Timespy score came out to 10662 with no overclocks enabled, which was actually a full 3000 points above the Max-Q version of the graphics. There will be zero issues running all current games at high settings on this beautiful 1080p screen. I will say that I am a little disappointed in the performance of the included nVME SSD. The processor and graphics are capable of full PCI-E Gen4 performance, the included Samsung PM9A1 SSD is a Gen4 drive, but the benchmark from the drive will show I'm getting Gen3 performance from it, which means the M.2 slots are Gen3, not Gen4 capable. I've searched the bios settings to ensure there wasn't a setting misconfigured for this, but there seem to be no controls for PCI-E generation. It is very fast, but not as fast as it should be.
This takes me to the gaming portion, I then installed World of Warcraft Shadowlands, Cyberpunk 2077 and Back 4 Blood. The automatic settings for each placed them in the highest configuration for graphics and I experienced no issues playing any of them. The display is a 360hz refresh rate display which according to the Dell website should support Gsync, however I seem to be unable to enable Gsync on this display. I can tell you, however, that it is still an enjoyable experience to use this display. There's no frame shearing or stuttering, and really just all around fun to see. The responsiveness from the keyboard is good despite being a membrane keyboard, and the performance from the included Killer wireless NIC is good for downloads as much as for gaming.
A quick note on the thermals while gaming. As expected the fans kick up a lot when gaming. No significant hotspots in the keyboard or palm rest while using it, most of the heat appears to be centered at the back side above the keyboard and of course out of the exhaust on the back of the laptop. If you're concerned about fan sound when just browsing the net or other less strenuous functions, there is a 'quiet' profile as well as a battery saving profile which turns down the usage of the fans so it is less intrusive.
This brings me to the sound. The Alienware Command Center application has prebuilt profiles for different types of sound. When playing music on Youtube with the music profile enabled it definitely gives a fuller sound, though you must still remember that these are laptop speakers. These are the signature front-edge-firing speakers that Alienware tends to include in their laptops. In gaming, with the shooter profile, you can tell where it plays up footsteps and gunfire. In 'com' mode for things like Zoom calls, you can hear voices are improved and it tones down background sound. The speakers are capable of being very loud, particularly for laptop speakers, however I feel like they could definitely put a little more effort into the sound. I will finish this by saying they are not bad speakers, but not as good as they could be. You will definitely not want to use them on the default sound profile as it's very bad.
To sum it up. Alienware has released another extremely well built laptop. The Best Buy version of this laptop has some slight caveats and sacrifices at the price point. I highly recommend it if you're in the market for a premium level laptop with excellent capabilities.Oct 19, 2021 14:12
The Alienware x17 is pure performance in a nice looking and well-built chassis. The first thing you notice about this machine is the fantastically premium build quality and unboxing experience. This model (the RTX 3070) comes out of the box with the compact power brick instead of the usual gaming laptop “BRICK” for power. It is almost half the size of the same 240-watt brick for my Dell G7 and similar in size to some Ultrabook chargers, still not small but definitely easier to fit into a backpack or computer bag. The device also has USB-C PD ability through either the Thunderbolt 4 or the 3.2 ports (tested with a 65-watt charger for a MacBook Pro 13 and it was able to at least keep the battery at the same level under medium demand office/productivity usage). The per-key RGB lighting and chassis lighting accents can be as subtle or flashy as you would like, utilizing Alienware Command Center FX Lighting to make setup easy and pretty intuitive. Nice key travel that make for a great typing experience and definitely usable for gaming on the go. Well balanced hinge and very stable feet, with a finish that isn't totally grease and sweat-proof, but it cleans easily and resists a fair amount of fingerprints. The i7-11800H processor and it’s 8-cores/16-threads paired with 16 GB (fully upgradeable/not soldered), 1 TB NVMe SSD (with a second empty slot), and RTX 3070 is an absolute dream for gaming and workstation performance with the best cooling I have ever experienced on a laptop! The fans produce more of a "whoosh" than a "whirr" at higher usage, making it easier to use without a headset and less likely to annoy others in the room with the fan noise, the beefy cooling system also means the fans don't have to ramp up for every minor workload. Throughout multiple hours of gaming, I never felt the keyboard was too warm to comfortably rest my hands on nor did the system chassis get too hot to comfortable hold or move. The upgradeability and flexibility of this svelte machine makes it an absolute winner for a well-rounded high-performance laptop. Sounds is pretty good for a laptop and the microphones are good are picking up you instead of the fans. The drawbacks are mostly limited by software, much of the pre-loaded software can be viewed as unnecessary, especially at this price and performance, much of the initial setup is spent deleting certain programs in favor of your preferred ones and some may decide to just do a fresh install of Windows and download the essential software to minimize system usage. This isn’t a big deal and something that is expected with any OEM computer, much less a laptop. The Alienware Command Center is fine but feels like it needs a refresh sometime soon, especially the game library and home sections that are difficult to get functioning and are better left alone in favor of GeForce Experience. The trackpad is also adorably small on this behemoth of a 17-inch laptop, it is more than usable, but expect jokes from your Mac friends. That said, pairing it with a mouse is extremely easy through either of the two USB-A ports, USB-C ports, or through Bluetooth. The rear I/O is very nice, it would be nice to have a USB port on one of the sides, but its still more than most competitors and easily keeps your cables & connectors well managed away from your gaming space. The webcam is terrible, but it is there, works and provides Windows Hello support, which is very nice to have! The system does lack a 10-key number pad, which is almost a sin on a 17-inch laptop, but this should be forgiven as it has been replaced with superior cooling for this gaming laptop.
All around, this is an incredible system whose pros definitely outweigh the few cons, namely the cooling being some of the best on the market and the generously easy upgradeability of the components in a laptop that is still pretty light, relatively, and definitely thin for a high-performance gaming laptop! This is an excellent desktop replacement for those who want minimal compromises from their gaming machines to make them portable. The lighting is excellent, chassis is solid and looks amazing, and the cooling is ultracool and has a very tolerable fan noise, more of a whoosh than a whirr. I would highly recommend this system, especially if it is on sale!Oct 17, 2021 23:02
The Alienware X17 R1 gaming laptop is the best laptop I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned a lot of them over the years). I initially got it for my son, since I already had a pretty good PC that I use for gaming and creating content through various Adobe applications. I decided instead to give my son my PC and keep this awesome laptop for myself. It is an improvement over my PC and it’s portable! Win-win for me!
So starting with the looks: Awesome. If you like RGB lighting on your rig, this has it. There is programmable lighting in three areas: keyboard, back panel where most of the ports are, and Alienware alien head logo on the lid. You can make the laptop your own with all of the lighting options; even having custom lighting for each game you play.
Next is build quality: Awesome! This thing is sturdy! You can open the lid with one hand without the bottom lifting up or the lid bending. It’s solid. The off-white color on the exterior, combined with the matte black interior is a striking look. Plus the “17” on the lid makes this laptop look like some futuristic military laptop. Super cool look.
Specs: Mostly Awesome! The screen is FHD, which is fine for a 17” screen. The keys on the keyboard are mechanical with a nice sound and feel. The secondary functions on keys don’t light up though, making them hard to find in low light situations. The speakers are not very good. The sound is very hollow and light out of them. The good news is, you can plug your own speakers or headphones in via 3.5mm jack on the side of the laptop and the sound is great. The version I got has an 11th gen Intel Core i7-11800H @2.30GHz processor, which has been working out great. It also has (my favorite part) an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU! Games look gorgeous, especially when I output the video to my separate 4k monitor via a mini DisplayPort cable. Ghosting and tearing are history! This also comes with 16GB of high density RAM @3200 MHz, which is okay, but I plan on upgrading to 32GB of low density RAM in the near future to help with my video editing. Both the RAM and the SSD are upgradeable. I’m having difficulty figuring out if this can be upgraded to 64 GB of RAM or just 32 GB though, as I’ve been told both things. Hmmm. I shouldn’t need to upgrade the SSD though, as 1 TB is fairly substantial, considering many things get saved to the cloud anyway. There are a substantial amount of ports on the back of the laptop. Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, 2 USB, ethernet, thunderbolt, etc.
Finally, the fan noise and cooling: Pretty darn great! For such a powerful machine in such a small footprint, this is remarkably quiet! The new cooling system that Alienware has in here seems to work really well, and I haven’t had any overheating issues as of yet.
Bottom line, this is a really good gaming laptop for those of us who want to just be able to buy a laptop and start gaming and being productive without having to mess around with it too much. Perfect for me!Oct 21, 2021 12:37
The new Alienware x15 is a super thin, extremely light laptop. Now’s your chance to game with gear that knows no boundaries. The Alienware x15 gaming laptops with advanced Alienware Cryo-Tech™ cooling defy boundaries. Introducing Element 31 thermal interface material and a Quad-Fan Design. We are incorporating more fan blades, more copper materials, and vapor chambers to deliver ample power while dissipating the heat more efficiently and allowing the fans to run less resulting in reduced noise. The x15 features five tailored power states, and grants access to thousands of games with Windows. Alienware laptops will bring your favorite games into hyper-reality with Windows DirectX 12 Ultimate. Constructed with magnesium alloy and aluminum parts gamers can experience the evolved Legend Industrial Design that reimagines the way you game. The Alienware x15 is equipped with 11th Gen Intel processors, has more storage options with dual drives featuring SSD and includes powerful NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 30-series discrete graphics.
The Alienware X15 are for folks who appreciate the ultimate in a thin gaming laptop. I expect this gaming laptop to have excellent progress in performance, display quality, battery life, and build quality on a premium level. This is my first Alienware product and based on reputation, I’m pretty excited about it but no laptop is perfect so will go over its strengths and weaknesses.
SETUP: Initial setup is quick as you create an account name and password, then your prompt to setup Windows Hello that logs you in with face recognition via web cam. (really liked this feature) Once logged in after all the privacy policies, updated Windows and got an error after a couple of reboots that stated that a driver installed was better than the Windows driver, ignored it then updated with Alienware Update app which updated 5 apps and took awhile to install them. There is a bios update (08/11/2021) that I could not update via the app, but you can update manually by clicking on the blue up arrow on the end within the app. Overall, the update software is not as streamline as I’m used to, but it does work. On the Windows update error I just clicked on retry and it installed the remaining drivers without any issue. After I did all that, I get a pop-up notification from the Dell Support Assist app and realized I probably could have use this to install the proprietary software, oh well. Attempted to install Geforce Graphics driver and got an error message which is common for this driver since I get this on other laptops, you just reboot and reopen the app to install. The Alienware Command Center app UI is a bit clunky and would not detect games from Game Pass on auto scan to set up performance profiles, but I prefer to use Geforce for that anyways.
BUILD QUALITY: It has a slim very modern design body made of metal (CNC aluminum and magnesium alloy) with outer surface being white textured paint, this with the Alienware logo, RGB lights, number 15 graphics on the lid gives this laptop a strikingly unique presentation visually. When I first unboxed it, noticed how sturdy and well-built it felt in my hands, hinges are stiff while the rest of body is free of any flex or bending. Overall, this thin and lightweight (5 lbs) just screams quality gaming laptop in its design and build.
GAMING & PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKS:
Cinebench R23 (Single-Core) 1510 (Multi-Core) 12280
PCMARKS 10 6495
3D MARKS TIME SPY 9615
Control (High) RTX & DLSS ON 82 AVG FPS
Dirt 5 (Ultra High) RTX ON 55 AVG FPS
Doom Eternal (Ultra) RTX & DLSS ON 120 AVG FPS
All games were tested on latest GeForce Game Ready Driver Ver 471.68 08/10/2021
This laptop offers a free trial to Xbox’s Game Pass so you can try out games and see how they play. Even if you’re not interested in a long-term subscription, you can try out unrestricted games for free before buying them.
PERFORMANCE & THERMALS: The Alienware X15 will generally handle anything you throw at it from heavy multi-tasking to intensive photo/video programs and let’s not forget the star of the show: cpu/gpu intensive gaming. Thinner laptops usually struggle with heat management, but Alienware’s Quad Fan systems moves a lot of air on its components and has the new “Element 31 thermal interface material” that provides better thermal heat resistance than previous Alienware laptops. During general tasks the CPU temp is around 65-70C with the bottom of laptop getting warm with some hotter spots in the middle and towards the back main exhaust, fans are fairly quiet. On keyboard area there are no hot spots on keys or palm area, but top exhaust gets hot and the opposite sides of exhaust vents also. In gaming the bottom gets hot on your lap, not unbearable but you will notice it. Temps for the CPU while gaming was 80-88C and GPU at 77C while nose is high pitch whine sound that’s not too loud.
GAMING PERFORMANCE: This laptop does not have a Mux Switch but does have Advanced Optimus that can disabled in bios. (Enable Hybrid Graphics/ Advance Optimus) With this disabled your looking at a 10% increase on graphic card but with battery life dramatically decreased. The GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile 8GB dedicated card has a TGP of 90-110 W. The Control game is good benchmark since it gives a graphic card a run for its money on high settings, most lower end cards can’t get past 30 FPS on high so the fact that this laptop can run it with ray tracing/w DLSS in the 80’s is impressive. Of course, you can tweak the settings for better frame rates such as lowering ray tracing to medium or just turn it off.
KEYBOARD: Keys offer a good typing experience with decent travel and fairly quiet keystrokes; however, on keyboard layout the right shift key is in slightly different position than I’m used to. Secondary functions on keys are hard to see in a dim light environment. The smaller touchpad is Premium Precision Glass with multi-touch gesture and integrated scrolling that is a smooth and responsive experience when using it.
PORTS: 1 Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port, with PowerShare 2, 1 Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 Port, with Power Delivery (5V/3A), 1 Type-C Thunderbolt 4 / USB 3.2 Gen 2 Port, with Power Delivery (5V/3A), 1 MicroSD Card Slot, 1 HDMI 2.1 Output Port.
DISPLAY: The matte IPS LCD screen on this laptop is FHD 1920x1080 Wide Viewing Angle with max brightness around 300 nits, 360HZ refresh rate, 141 ppi, 16.9 aspect ratio, G-SYNC, Advanced Optimus, 100% sRGB, Response time 10 ms. Screen is just gorgeous with vibrant colors and clear, sharp images.
SOUND: Speakers are fair and get loud enough at less, I watch YouTube videos with sound level at 67%.
WEBCAM: Just your average 720p camera, the best thing about this camera is the IR features that use the Windows Hello option.
WIFI: The Killer 1675x Wi-Fi 6 (WiFi 802.11ax) card speed test was 470 Mbps on my 400 Mbps plan. Connection was stable with no drops. Note: I have the newest router from my ISP that supports and is optimal for 802.11ax speeds, so speeds will vary on older routers.
UPGRADABLE: One M.2 2230/2280 slot is open for additional SSD. Ram is 16 GB, 2 x 8 GB, DDR4, 3200 MHz, dual-channel is soldered on board so ram cannot be upgraded, not a deal breaker for me but may be for some.
BATTERY LIFE: I got around 6 hours and 40 minutes with mixed usage of browsing and YouTube.Aug 18, 2021 09:59
This is a truly incredible gaming laptop, and I am truly very VERY happy with it.
The laptop has two USB type-C ports, 1 USB type-A port, a micro-SD card reader, a full-size HDMI port, and a headphone / mic port. With the exception of the headphone / mic port, all of the ports are on the back of the device.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. The back of the machine makes a lot of sense for plugging in a wired mouse (you don’t have to worry about “left-side” versus “right-side” and whether or not the cable is going to be in the way), but it makes less sense when plugging in things like flash drives (since you have to flip the device around to see where you’re plugging the drive into). This doesn’t matter as much if you’re not using this device for content creation.
The laptop apparently comes with an empty hard drive slot if you need to expand the storage. At 500GB of solid state storage, the laptop has enough room for the operating system, your browser of choice, and “a few” modern games. Personally, I’m a little hesitant to break open brand new tech for the sake of installing more storage for games that I’ll probably never even get around to playing. Fortunately for me, this laptop has a micro-SD slot. I can pop in a 256GB card and install my older (smaller) games to it instead of the SSD. Yes, the read/write speed will be slower. But for older titles, it doesn’t make all that much difference. If you’re careful with your installs (and don’t mind carrying an SD card case with a few different cards), then you can swap cards and take a TON of games with you on the go.
I LOVE the fact that they included this slot.
Battery life comes in at just a little bit more than 2 hours with light usage (i.e. browsing the web and not actively gaming). This isn’t terribly surprising given the high quality screen and GPU that this device is powering. Lower battery life is a small tradeoff for the sheer quality of this device.
I was able to play my go-to MMO on maximum settings with no issues. Image quality was seriously impressive.
The fan speed did kick up as I ramped up the quality settings. It was loud, but it wasn’t just crazy loud. And while the device did get quite warm, it didn’t feel like it was getting dangerously warm. Fun fact, if you want to manually kick the laptop into overdrive, press the F1 function key to immediately go into “High Performance Mode.”
The F2-F6 function keys are unassigned macro-keys. The included Alienware software can be used to easily program them for a variety of functions. This software can also be used to control the keyboard and accent lighting with a nice range of effects.
Volume controls are along the right-side of the keyboard. This is a little unusual, but it seems to work well.
The typing experience on the keyboard is pretty good. The keyboard has virtually no flex to it, but I did find that I had trouble with periodically missing keystrokes. I attribute this to the relatively shallow key travel and not to a true hardware fault. I do find the extra “bump” on the “S” key to be more distracting than helpful.
The exterior of the laptop is covered in an off-white, “ceramic-like” material. I was more than a little concerned with the white finish as I worried that it would look worn and shabby in minutes. The slight, off-white color softens the look some; and whatever this material is seems to resists fingerprints well.
The power brick is surprisingly small given the fact this is a gaming laptop. I had no trouble fitting it into my laptop bag.
On my first outing with this laptop, I had people literally coming up to me at the coffee shop to marvel at it. It definitely has a striking look.
I think this laptop will last me a good long time, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a premium gaming laptop.Aug 22, 2021 10:46
Alienware’s new x15 R1 is part of the new lineup of premium Alienware gaming laptops. Alienware is known for its beefy gaming PCs and high-quality gaming gear. The X15 is no different and provides some of the best laptop features a gaming laptop can have. The latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU allows for a high-performance all the way around. Whether you are gaming, 3D modeling, or simply word processing. You will be satisfied with the speeds the X15 provides. The X15 also comes with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3070. This graphics card allows for some magnificent visuals in all your games. The display also allows for smooth gameplay with up to a 360Hz refresh rate. After a couple of days of using the X15, here are my complete thoughts.
*TLDR at the bottom
Unboxing the laptop was a wonderful experience. The box it came in was sturdy and opening the “double-door like” box was an experience and honestly a neat design. As soon as you turn on the laptop, you are greeted with a flashing keyboard with a myriad of colors. Something you will notice is that the X15 does come with plenty of customizable RGB. The power button, alien head, and rear stadium are also customizable! Set up should not take too long if you already have a Microsoft account. As soon as I was logged in, I tweaked a few settings, deleted some bloatware, and started downloading my software.
Alienware’s X15 is designed with portability in mind. Most gaming laptops are bigger and while portable, they do take up a lot of space due to their size. The X15 is a thin gaming laptop that can easily fit inside a school bag. Coming in at a bit above 5lbs, the X15 is impressively small for a gaming laptop. But there are a few caveats due to how compact the X15 was designed.
First, you will receive fewer ports compared to other gaming laptops. Most of the ports are located behind the laptop. The only two ports that are located on the sides are the power-in port and the headphone jack. There is no Ethernet jack, but Alienware did include a USB-C to Ethernet adapter. The power-in port would’ve been better placed on the back, which would’ve allowed better maneuverability while the other ports are being used. Now, I’m not sure if this was due to how compact the laptop is or if it is just the general design, but the trackpad is a lot smaller than most laptops. On the other hand, I do seriously enjoy how sturdy the X15 is built. The materials used are high-quality and the amount of RGB implemented is great.
The X15 should be able to run all the games on the market. When running “Can You Run It,” the laptop received a CYRI score of 100% minimum and 99% recommended. This score shows the percentage of games that can run on the laptop at the minimum and recommended requirement levels. You won’t have to worry if a game will run or not while using this laptop since all of them should be able to run!
Like I’ve mentioned before the latest CPU in the X15 allows for incredible speeds all around. Opening applications, loading screens, gaming, switching between applications all take little time. The GPU on the X15 allows for great visuals. I played a variety of games from AC Valhalla to Control on maxed settings. I enabled Ray Tracing in Control and wow, it made a huge difference! I also managed to run a gaming performance benchmark using 3D Mark’s Time Spy. It gave me a score of 9568. Overall, the visuals were truly stunning for every game I played. The gameplay was also smooth, and I did not experience any stuttering even with max settings.
The 1080p display is clear, vibrant, and did a great job at showcasing the graphics in all the games I played. The display is also NVIDIA G-Sync compatible for an even more, smoother gameplay experience. One problem I did experience with the display was random display flickering. I did not experience the flickering while gaming but mostly while doing other things. I have updated the drivers and installed any Windows updates and it seemed to fix the problem for the most part, but I still get them (a lot less) at random times.
Here are other notes:
- Alienware Command Center can be used to customize and view many things on the X15. From RGB, overclock profiles, viewing thermal profiles, and playing around with EQ settings.
- Command Center keeps requesting to download additional components but when I click on “Update,” nothing happens. The software is clunky and not very user-friendly.
- Windows Hello uses facial recognition as a quick way to login into your computer. Very efficient!
- Another problem I experienced was my keyboard would randomly stop working at times. It did not happen often but restarting the computer fixed it.
- I would recommend using an external display while gaming, I found my gameplay experience a lot more enjoyable using an external display.
- RAM is not upgradable since it is soldered. There is an available M.2 SSD storage slot though.
- Sound is decent for a laptop but I do recommend using external speakers or headphones.
- The four fans do an excellent job at cooling down the laptop. They are quiet when not running anything hefty but do get noisy when running a game for example.
- Battery life is not the best, I do recommend using the laptop while plugged in
Overall, the X15 is a great gaming laptop for the most part. The X15 is thin and is a lot more portable compared to other beefy gaming PCs. The latest-gen Intel Core i7 processor allows for high-performance all around and the RTX 3070 GPU allows for some gorgeous visuals while gaming. The hardware in the X15 should be able to run all the games on the market. The display is FHD and is clear and vibrant. I did experience a couple of bugs using the laptop such as random screen flickering, but I’ll be reinstalling some drivers and hopefully, it’ll fix the problem. Some software such as Alienware’s Command Center is buggy. But fortunately, these problems did not interfere with performance. Now is this for you? The X15 is pricey but if you want a quality gaming laptop with performance in mind, go ahead and try the X15 out. Otherwise, if you are looking for a laptop to do general work, I do recommend you go for something else.Aug 22, 2021 23:06
Thin, sleek and fast. This has been one of the most powerful laptops I have seen in such a thin format. With that power though, comes a lot of heat. Dell/Alienware’s design choice makes sense, in the way the motherboard is upside down compared to most other laptops. However, this leads to the heat being closer to the surface, meaning watch your fingers near the edges. Even with four fans, this is trying to move a lot of heat in high demand gaming sessions. The fans aren’t the loudest I have heard, but you can certainly hear them when they get going. If they can’t control the heat, the computer will drop clock speeds, which can lead to some lower frames and stutter in long gaming sessions. This thin format also leads to little to no room for expansion, with no removable RAM, but it does have an extra M2 slot for an additional SSD. The 16GB of RAM is good though, especially for a laptop.
In good “gamer” fashion, this laptop allows for a good bit of customization. From lighting individual keys on the keyboard, the lights on the back, down to the power button in each state. The Alienware Command Center also allows for overclock options as well as thermal and sound profiles based on the game you are running.
The 15.6” FHD screen is clear, sharp and fast while I had to purposely look for something to test the 360hz refresh. There are two microphones, an IR camera and a 0.92MP/720 camera at the top. The ports are mostly on the back except for power and headphone, so easily avoiding any cables protruding from where your mouse may rest. There are two USB Type-C ports, but one is Thunderbolt 4.0 and the other is USB 3.2 Gen 2. There is only one USB Type-A port, 3.2 Gen 1, but if you need more there are plenty of USB-C expansions out there. Also a Micro-SD card slot and HDMI 2.1 port. The speakers are under the laptop and best if on a hard surface to reflect the audio up to you, but really lost if on any other surface, like your lap. The sound level is enough to drown out the fans, but you're better off with headphones.
Overall, this laptop is up there in the gaming capabilities. It will play pretty much everything you throw on it and with pretty decent settings at that. The thin profile makes it easier to transport yet looks impressive with its customizations. Any PC gamer will recognize that Alienware logo glowing on the lid and will surely ask about the specs.Aug 30, 2021 12:45
I decided to test this laptop because I wanted to see if Dell had worked out the issues I experienced with the Alienware laptop I tested a few years ago... so far, it appears they have.
Unboxing an Alienware machine is an experience of its own; Dell manages to even make the box impressive. Of course after opening the box, you can see that this laptop itself is no slouch. The first thing you notice is how thin, sleek, and relatively light this laptop is. The alloy frame gives it a solid, quality feel, and opening the lid reveals a well laid out keyboard/touchpad area, although the keys feel a bit stiffer than the previous Alienware I tested. My hands also feel a bit more cramped on this keyboard compared to the similarly sized laptops I've used in the past, but it's not a show stopper. Pressing the power button started the familiar kaleidoscope of colors flashing over every key of the keyboard. I decided to go ahead and hook up the power adapter at this point because I knew there would be updates for the system. One thing I noticed is that the power adapter has rounded edges, which prevents the adapter from being placed on its side; I place all of my adapters, when possible, on an edge to help with heat dissipation, and this adapter does get rather warm. Updating the system was fairly straight-forward, but I did have some trouble with the bios update. All of the other system updates were applied without an issue, but the Alienware Update as well as Support Assist couldn't apply the bios. I finally had to download it manually and then it applied without any problem... I believe the problem might have been with Bitlocker. After the system was updated, I attempted to update the graphics driver through Nvidia's GForce Experience. This also failed, but after another reboot, the driver was able to be installed without issue.
As far as gameplay goes, as of now, I've only installed World of Tanks, but the performance of this laptop is unbelievably good. The rendering on the display is gorgeous, and even on battery power, and high to max graphics settings, play was smooth and free of any jerkiness. However, using those settings, it was apparent that the battery wouldn't have lasted very long, but the CPU and GPU are power hungry, so what can you expect. I decided to hook the laptop up to my 34" 4k curved gaming monitor using the HDMI port, and this is where I wondered if I'd ever use the laptop display again unless I'm travelling; With the graphics set at ultra with 4k resolution in HDR mode, I got an average of 120 fps. The rendering was very smooth with no jerks at all even with the render distance setting in the game set to max. Since there is no dedicated ethernet port, even though I usually game with a cable when I can to cut latency to a minimum, I decided to just go with WiFi and see how it did. My ping hovers around 35ms which is only slightly higher than hardwired. One thing I was concerned about with this laptop is heat dissipation since it's so thin, and the previous Alienware I tested did have some initial heat concerns until they pushed out a BOIS update. So far, I haven't seen anything like that from this laptop. It does get very warm, and the area between the keys and the display gets almost hot to the touch, but the fans seem to be able to create more airflow than the earlier model, so the temps for the CPU and GPU are kept at an acceptable level. However, even at full power, the fans are nowhere as loud as the previous model I tested; you can hear them, but they're not overly loud; I had no trouble having the laptop right beside me and listening to the TV at the same time.
Of course you can customize the LED coloring of the keyboard to your liking using the Alienware Command Center, so I was anxious to see if I experienced the same problems I ran into with the previous laptop. Since I have several Logitech gaming devices, I installed Logitech's GHub software on the *previous* machine, and slowly everything started to go south; the screen saver stopped working, the lights on the keyboard changed to random colors, and then one day I powered it on and the keyboard was dead. Dell replaced the keyboard, which did nothing. They wound up replacing the motherboard as well as some of the other internal components. I was told the problem initially started with a conflict between the Alienware Command Center and the GHub software. Needless to say I was hesitant to install GHub on this laptop, but I decided to try. So far, I've seen no issues at all. I used a USB hub to connect a Logitech keyboard, mouse and headset, as well as a Belkin gaming pad... everything worked flawlessly. The conflict that existed between ACC and GHub has evidently been resolved... I hope I didn't just jinx it.
Overall, the Alienware Horizon x15 R1 laptop is gorgeous; it looks great and feels solidly built. It's slim, weighs almost nothing, and yet gives a ton of performance. The gameplay is stunning, and although the laptop does seem to run on the warm side, I haven't seen any of heat related the issues I saw in the Alienware laptop I tested a few years ago. I also haven't seen the major software incompatibility problems that caused me to send the previous laptop back for major repair, so I'm hoping they've truly worked out the kinks. I would definitely recommend this laptop for anyone wanting a very capable gaming laptop..Aug 26, 2021 14:54
This is the first laptop I have unboxed since my very first one about 12 years back, where I just went "Wow!" at how beautiful it is. The styling is going to blow you away. And not just the laptop itself, its even the way its packed. It's as if you are unwrapping a book. A book capable of shredding any AAA games out there. The care Alienware has taken to ensure your unboxing itself is an experience, definitely shows. Once you have marveled at the box and the laptop's styling, it's time to turn it on.
And now you are in the realm of the beast, you will notice immediately that this is snappier than any other laptop you've used. This feeling even when you are not playing, has to do with the great specs and also the emaculate display and the super responsive touch pad. You get the premium feeling in everything you do. Although the touch pad is a bit on the smaller side, compared to other modern machines, I am willing to make that sacrifice on a gaming laptop (since I'll hook it up to an external mouse anyways).
Well, enough talk - time to throw some games at it. But before that, you need to open the software for Alien ware Command Center and tweak what you need to.
There are 1-click options to overclock (2 modes), options to control how you would like the fans to behave (quiet, balance, battery saver, performance or full speed) - full speed just keeps your fans on high speed no matter what you are doing, even if you are browsing the net, and they are SUPER loud, so I wouldn't use it unless your situation demands it. You have a few sounds modes to choose from and power profile (balanced or Performance) - this takes over from the normal Windows power profiles, so you cannot change it from the task bar, and have to use this utility.
Once you have set it up according to your needs and preferences, you can load your choice of game and be confident that this machine will not disappoint. I have been playing a lot of GTA 5 on it (and I know it's an older game) but it still puts any system through its paces and I have not had the frame rate drop through any of the sequences. But with this laptop and this display I had to try Counter Strike, now I've seen videos online of how a great refresh rate gives you an advantage in FPS. I am not an elite level gamer, and I am not sure if this gave me an advantage, but it sure made playing a lot of fun, where you can definitely notice that the screen movement and draw rate is smoother. It's not something you can measure, but as soon as you load up the maps, you can just perceive how strafing and jumping just feels smoother and that adds to the fun.
Now onto some of my minor complaints about the laptop - I really wish they had found a way to fit a full size ethernet port in here. They do have a USB-C to RJ45 adapter in the box, but then that takes up one of my USB ports, and this only has 3 USB ports to begin with. I am happy though that they managed to squeeze in power delivery over USB-C, that was my complaint with the latest ASUS gaming laptop. Now the USB-C might not be able to deliver the power this thing needs for performance gaming, but at least in a pinch you can use your common USB-C charger to keep the system alive. Another issue I have is that some of the keys for me are a bit sticky, I am really hoping that this is going to get better, the more I use it, otherwise it might ruin the experience. And this a plea to all manufactures, to include a mechanical privacy switch on the camera, and if possible the microphone too. I am so used to it on all of my thin and lights that it just feels odd not to have that option on my gaming laptop. We all need it.
If you haven't gathered by now, I am definitely recommending this laptop to anyone and everyone who asks or otherwise.Sep 01, 2021 10:16
I'm just going to start off by saying that I absolutely LOVE this laptop. But that's not to say it doesn't have its' flaws.
First and foremost this is obviously a gaming laptop, and there's not much this can't do in that regard. It's powerful with some great specs, great looks and great features.
It happens that I already have a membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Being a Windows machine, the xbox app was already there and signed in to after going through the initial setup of the laptop.
So to really put this laptop to the test, I decided to start with some Microsoft Flight Simulator. This is a game I tried playing earlier this year on a less powerful laptop, but one also built specifically for gaming and released within the last year. Even so, it had trouble running this game, so I was extra excited to see how this Alienware x15 would handle it.
Once I got the game installed, I started it up and there were no performance warnings whatsoever. Everything loaded up super fast and I was on my way to takeoff. Graphics looked amazing and navigating through all the menus and options was a breeze. Taking flight was smooth and responsive. There was no struggling at all by the laptop and I didn't experience any type of slow downs or issues at all. Graphics and controls all kept up no problem.
But this game is definitely demanding of the laptops resources. And that's where one of the main features comes in, the new and unique cooling system. It has 4 fans and they're pretty much running non-stop and the keyboard can get pretty warm. Don't even try touching the top by the outlet vents as it gets pretty hot. I'm sure I could mess around with some of the settings to help, but with all the default settings, you need to be wearing headphones with noise cancellation to play this game.
This is one of the flaws I was referring to, but at the same time, it could also be a sign of how well the cooling system works. The whole point of which is to pull heat away from all the critical components so that they can do their job. That heat has to go somewhere, so as hot as the outlet vents get, the system must be doing a good job pulling it away from the processors. This is evidenced by the fact that even at its hottest with its fastest running fans, the game was still performing at its full potential.
But that is only an issue with new high-end games that have some serious requirements. Put in a simpler or older game with lower requirements and this laptop doesn't even flinch. I'm also currently playing through the first Witcher, the Enhanced Edition, and the fans barely kicked on at all for that.
Of course you don't have to only use this laptop for gaming. But as most people know, if you want something that can handle just about any type of school, personal, or business use, a good gaming laptop will have you covered. Because if it can handle the latest top-tier games, there's not really much else it couldn't handle.
In my case, I'm also a content creator. Outside of gaming, editing and creating videos is probably one of the biggest draws on a computers resources. But again, this laptop handles that for me easily.
Performance wise there's not much else more to say. The monitor and graphics, even though not 4K, still look amazing, and being 15", Microsoft Flight Simulator looks as good as it does on my 65" 4K TV being played through my Series X.
And as for aesthetics, this laptop looks the part, and feels solid with great build quality. The lighting is really cool too and I love the LED ring around the back side. Although that light ring can make it hard to see the ports when you're trying to connect a cable or usb to it because it's so bright it drowns everything out. But that's more of a small nitpick
Overall, I truly couldn't be much happier with this laptop. It does everything I want and need it to do and is perfect for flying around the world in Flight Sim. This is my 2nd Alienware product and I have no doubt I'll be using it for years to come like I did my 1st one.Aug 25, 2021 15:00
Amazing build quality! Feela solid with no flex or creaking. Screen is great and definitely brighter than 300 nits(around 350). Temps are great if you use throttlestop and undervolt. GPU stays below 80C in games. Fans sound great even at full RPMs. I ran timespy and scored 10.5k for the GPU and 9.8k for the CPU, which is very close to a full TGP 3070 system. This unit does have the ability to disable integrated graphics in the bios. Keyboard is amazing to type on and the new RGB LEDs on this unit are much brighter and more vivid than previous gen M15/17s. Im very impressed, even coming from a long history of custom desktops and large desktop replacement laptops.Aug 18, 2021 19:44
With the 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors enabling up to 8-cores and 16-threads of multi-threaded performance, the latest generation of Alienware m17 goes beyond its predecessor. Featuring the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 with Ultimate performance for gamers and creators. Realistic ray-traced graphics and AI-accelerated DLSS. Our latest thermal technology, Advanced Alienware Cryo-Tech, is an engineering approach where an Alienware system’s gaming performance is never compromised by means of electrical and mechanical methods while maintaining system stability during the highest performance states.
This laptop is the most powerful one I have ever owned. I may end up ultimately upgrading to one even better… but even if I do.. owning an Alienware has been a privilege. To play games and not ever see your gpu go above 40 percent usage is impressive to say the least. Best Buy’s warranty and willingness to work with you to make changes on the products you own give me such a feeling of comfort when I make these big purchases. I just don’t feel comfortable buying from anyone else.Oct 15, 2021 23:32
I genuinly wanted a desktop. The Alienware m15 r4 delivers desktop performance. Purchasing this product and securing it was a 2 hour drive. I am a compulsive buyer and rarely opt to ship. The adventure begins... Two skeptical kids onlooking my split minute descision had questions. As if I have to validate my purchase. "It games like an xbox series x" all they had to hear. It really does. They actually perfer it over the series X with added periphials, Dell DG27 144Hz.
The 3070m games like a 2070 desktop and Rtx's like a 2080ti ray tracing beats my 2080 and fps is on par with our water cooled bios modded 5700. The Cpu is really is amazing the 10870h is like a mild overclocked 8700k. I have it perched on a cooler pad nothing special. I have also rebuilt the r4 m15 to apply kryonaught temps do rise its a gaming laptop. That shouldnt be a deal breaker. The build quality is impressive and logical. I added 2 additional m.2 drives to create a raid0 and retain the 512gb drive. The regular size m.2 fit but one cannot be properly secured it does fit' snug rode to work no issues. Its not probable to have issues. Reformating and installing software Dell spoils its consumers this is my first "prebuilt" so the first time I could reaquire OS software easily. The laptop supports Hdmi 2.1 and DP mini 1.4. The ability to drive Media at 8k makes this long down the road an applicant to be another generations streaming htpc. Back that up with Alienwares prestigious name in game for longevity. Its not really louder than any of my desktops its inline with all gaming laptops and is very photo genic espcially with RGB. Wifi 6 is killer literally - I have ethernet just dont use it.
The power button is an RGB aliens head.
The hard truth.
The lid is not scratch resistent. Ram is soldered. The m4 has a rear charging port its not bag stuffable friendly. It did not get along with the standard mopar 150w inverter but its a 250 watt inserter. (Nothing to knock it for) Would like to see varible charging because we all know the battery isnt great. Something to trickle charge and prolong life. Get with me Dell I got ideas. Its generally exceeding expectations for my application and im giving it 5 Stars. No one should be disappointed owning this product. Would I recommend it to a friend 'yes and talk about it all frekin day.Apr 23, 2021 23:19
What a beast of a machine. Playing games at 1080p on this actually looks really good coming from playing at 4K60. The keyboard is tactile without being obnoxiously loud there are plenty of lighting options to really make it yours. The fan is a turbojet while under load but gaming/working with headphones eliminates that issue. The mousepad is too small and too clicky but a good mouse fixes that as well. I haven’t had any games come close to 300fps, they usually are at 140-180 with maxed graphics settings. It looks big but it isn’t too heavy (it’s no MacBook).Oct 16, 2021 20:54
The Alienware M15 R4 (16GB, 300Hz, RTX 3070) provides full HD stunning graphics, enjoyable gaming, fast 3D/video rendering, and a solid performance overall. It has plenty of connectivity options, including HDMI and USB-C for your video needs. Style-wise, this machine is just beautiful, and not at all heavy for the capabilities it offers. I am a first timer in the laptop gaming world and I was just stunned by how good the laptop was at gaming and 3D rendering. I would recommend this device for gamers as well as for designers.
- Pros: powerful GPU for optimum gaming and 3D modeling. 300Hz refresh rate for gaming (and even for watching videos). Portable gaming (well plug it anywhere).
- Cons: only 16 RAM and 512GB SSD. No numeric pad. Battery life just below 2 hours, and about half an hour when playing a demanding game. Fans get noisy while playing or creating 3D videos. Well, I knew the specs; as a result, the cons are more like things I wished this machine offered (as higher specs would have meant higher prices as well).
>> Setup and configuration
I got to replace the first unit I got as it had some hibernation-resume issues. Sometimes it would take a long time to come back from hibernation, from seconds to minutes. The power button light would be blinking fast but the screen would just be black for a long time. Even updating the BIOS to the latest version wouldn’t fix the issue (original came with version 1.0.0., so I had to update to 1.3.1).
The replacement I got performed flawlessly, and I had no need to do any BIOS updates, it already contained the latest BIOS (version 1.3.1). Keep an eye on the BIOS version you got and I’d say, update it as soon as you can if you got an older version.
Onto the setup. From my experience, perhaps it is better to do the initial setup without network connectivity and just create a local account (as opposed to using a Microsoft account), as in my case, the machine took a long time in the “getting updates” stage of the setup, to the point that I left the machine in that state and went to bed. Early next morning, the machine was ready to continue the setup though, it had the Windows 10 License Agreement to act upon.
After the initial setup, it is a good idea to run the “Alienware Updates” recommended, as well as the latest Windows updates. After performing all the updates, I’ve had no issues with the device at all.
>> Refresh rate
Having a 300Hz refresh rate machine for the first time, I started noticing those little (or big) details that are overlooked at other refresh rates (e.g. the standard 60Hz one). Watching videos and playing games feels so smooth compared to the other machines I have that I am relying on this one for my portable media needs. Even the simple mouse cursor movement feels so smooth.
I am not sure how connecting to an external monitor with a refresh-rate higher than 60Hz would perform. This will be the next step.
I tried the gaming capabilities with two graphics intensive games: Forza 4 and Microsoft Flight Simulator. I tried Forza at different FPS: from 30fps to 200fps. I was impressed by how better the video details and flow looked at higher FPS and Refresh Rate. Flight Simulator was a delight; however, I wished the Alienware had a numeric pad so that some shortcuts for controlling the flight would have been easier to access without adding an external keyboard (well some people would say, to get a real joystick for a full gaming experience).
I am new to gaming laptops, I had been using my regular laptops, e.g. Surface Book Pro, for occasional gaming, and I always preferred gaming on a PC or Xbox. That being said, I definitely do enjoy playing on a laptop now, I am glad I put my hands on this device, I am happy that I can move around the house to enjoy gaming.
>> 3D Rendering Software
I tried Lumion on the M15 R4:
- Benchmark tool results: GPU and CPU exceeded recommended metrics, GPU memory met requirements, and System memory meet the minimum requirements. Despite System memory meeting the minimum, different tasks performed quite well on this device, with not all the memory being exhausted. Having 32GB RAM would have placed this machine above the minimum on all metrics by Lumion. I assume this machine will join the other recommended ones on the Lumion website at some point in the future.
- I tried 3D video rendering (very fast):
. To render a 1920x1080 at 60hz "Exterior rainy sunset" 984 frames took around 8 min.
. To render the same video at 4K 60Hz took around 18 min.
. To render the same video at HD 200Hz, it took around 32min.
>> Other notes
- The screen/lid is very thin and it doesn’t look very sturdy. When closing and opening the lid, it bends a little. I am definitely not planning on holding the machine by the screen/lid as I do with “regular” laptops, I don’t want to risk breaking anything.
- It has integrated graphics, but it is not used (Task Manager shows the integrated video card, but at 0%), so expect lower battery life as the main GPU is used at all times.
- It is not suitable to be placed directly on your lap while playing games or video/image rendering as it gets too hot.
- I wish I had the time and money to try performing 3Dmark tests, so I only did some Lumion and Forza benchmark tests.
- I didn’t try an external monitor with higher refresh rate than 60Hz, so I have no idea how good the graphics are displayed on them.Apr 25, 2021 19:22
This laptop is pretty light for a gaming laptop. It is very fast, the games have been running smoothly. The speakers are good and can get loud. Definitely better than most laptops. The keyboard is pretty responsive and the backlighting is great. I was worried I wouldn't enjoy this coming from a 17 inch but this is perfect, loving the back light effects and it is easier to really take anywhere. The addition of the microsd slot is a plus. I am loving the overall look and feel of this laptop.Apr 09, 2021 15:43
The display on this laptop is what separates it from other gaming laptops in its price range. The 300Hz refresh rate is very impressive, especially if you play a lot of first-person shooter games. Combined with one of the newest graphic cards available, this gaming laptop is extremely powerful and can play any game on high settings.
If you’re new to Alienware, I highly recommend getting familiar with their overclocking software that comes preinstalled on the machine. Known as Alienware Command Center, it’s where you can monitor and adjust fan speed, CPU and GPU settings, and keyboard lighting for any game or application. The software includes a couple of preset overclocking options, as well as the ability to further customize clock speeds for any game on your system. At the very minimum, selecting one of the preset options will produce very impressive graphics for pretty much any game you install and play soon after setting up the laptop. Another tip to keep in mind, you can also customize your fan settings. Again, there are a set of present options that are very useful to know and use. They are: Balanced, Performance, Cool, Quiet, and Full Speed. I usually switch between Performance and Quiet (see pic). Obviously, Performance when I’m playing a game, and Quiet fan speed when I’m doing mostly anything else. Do expect the fans to run fast and loud while gaming. But it doesn’t have to be that way all the time, switching to Quiet allows the laptop to run with barely a whisper.
In addition to playing various games on the laptop (Mass Effects, Star Wars Fallen Order, Fortnite, and Battle Front II), I tested it using a performance and stability benchmark tool known as Superposition by Unigine. The resulting frame rates were very impressive when tested with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 on extreme, high, and medium settings. The average frame rates were 53, 115, and 150 respectively (see pics). These results coincided with my real-world gaming results. In fact, most of them were running above 100 even on the highest settings.
I also want to mention that the battery life is not very long. This is typical with most gaming laptops. At most, you’ll get about 2 hours during basic usage, and about 45 minutes to an hour under heaving gaming usage. The battery life is sacrificed in order to keep the laptop’s weight and size down. The purpose of this laptop is portability. To be able to take a powerful gaming laptop on the go is its greatest convenience. I do expect to plug it in when I’m using it away from home.
Another area of concern is how hot the laptop gets. It’s best used on a hard surface and not on your lap. The laptop is designed to get very hot, up to 100 degrees Celsius. So, as long as you allow proper ventilation, the laptop will not cause damage to itself and overheat. Still, at times the keys themselves can get hot. But even under constant gameplay and continues holding down of keys (i.e., “W” key), my fingers never were hurt.
The rest of the laptop has a lot of nice features. The LED lighting under the keyboard is fully customizable, even down to the letter. And the lighting around the exhaust vents is also a nice touch, in my opinion. So, overall, I’m really impressed with this gaming laptop. But the real seal of approval came from my 9-year-old. When I showed him Minecraft with Ray Tracing, his mind was blown.Apr 11, 2021 05:30
Incredibly happy with this laptop. Picture is amazing and it runs so fast!Nov 07, 2021 08:16
I not the big gamer but playing Madden NFL the players moves were so fluent. I believe it's faster than my Son's gaming system. I edited a 20 meg video on the system and was very surprised on the render times.
So if you want a system the can edit video and gaming this is it.Apr 29, 2021 16:35