Alienware m15 R4 Gaming Laptop Review | One PC Panda

For gaming laptops, it’s not just about having the most powerful computer to play your games on, though that certainly helps. A gaming laptop needs to have high enough specs to run the games you want to play with solid frame rates, but still be portable enough to fit in your backpack or briefcase and not weigh you down while you’re moving around between classes, work meetings, and coffee shops. The Alienware m15 R4 fits this bill perfectly; in fact, it’s one of the most impressive gaming laptops out there today!

Specs and Design
Standing screen display size 15.6 Inches
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor 2.2 GHz core_i7
RAM 16gb DDR 4
Memory Speed 2933 MHz
Hard Drive 1 TB SSD
Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070
Graphics Card Ram Size 8gb
Price Check on Amazon

A gaming laptop can be plain or overdesigned. But the Alienware m15 R4 finds the perfect balance between the two extremes. It has simple aesthetics, an elegant white chassis with hexagonal vents on top and just enough light details to keep it interesting without taking away from its functionality (a colorful Alienware power button, a tasteful geometric pattern on the lid). And while its appearance is striking enough for most offices, it also looks like something out of sci-fi movie set in 2030.

A plus about this laptop is that it's size and weight are just right. A 15-inch laptop weighs around 5.3 pounds which isn't too big or heavy for anyone to carry around for long periods of time. It has an ergonomic keyboard with shortcut keys so you don't have to switch your hands every now and then while typing, which makes it easier on the fingers.

Sure, the aesthetics may not please everyone but there is a lot of good stuff going on here. There are two USB-A ports on the right and a microSD slot on the left. You also have an Ethernet port and a few more things to mention.

Along the back, you'll find a few keys that don't offer much design flair. Namely, it has an Alienware Graphics Amplifier port as well as a USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support. However, those ports come at a cost of not having much room for your HDMI or Mini DisplayPort connector for hooking up to monitors or other devices.

USB-C is what connects the laptop to its eGPU module, and we need to include one on the back. On the other hand, USB-C ports are becoming standard for charging phones and connecting peripherals; having only a single port and putting it on the rear of the device makes it seem like this laptop isn't future-proof.

Keyboard, Trackpad, and Touchpad

A perfect balance of simplicity and quality, this laptop comes equipped with a sleek membrane keyboard. As satisfying as it is functional, each key has short travel, quick actuation time, and rapid rebound so you can work at your fastest without interruption. And while returning to my old laptop made me remember how much I missed the feel of typing on a physical keyboard, the Alienware m15 R4’s keys were easy enough for me to get used to during my testing.

The m15 R4's touchpad has earned the highest praise I have ever given to a gaming laptop's touchpad. Unlike most laptops' touchpads, this one never gets in the way even when I rest my hands on either side of it while typing. It's positioned so that you can't do errant palm input, and will track your motions accurately. Of course, you're better off using a mouse - especially for gaming - but sometimes more gaming laptops' touchpads were like the m15 R4's would be nice too.

Monitor and Display

When it comes to the screen, the Alienware m15 R4 has two options - a 4K, 60 Hz or a 1080p, 300 Hz option. I've been fortunate enough to test out both of these screens and can't speak for the latter but from what I've seen of the former, this screen is exceptionally bright and offers a deep color palette - no surprise there as it's an OLED display.

The m15 R4 has a high brightness rating of 460 nits, which can make colors stand out better even during nighttime viewing. You'll never miss those bright reds or deep purples! Colors from the m15 R4's screen will always come out looking crisp and clear thanks to its accurate color representation, with a delta-E color accuracy score of 0.32. This is much better than competing devices such as the G14 at 117% or the Helios 300 at 106%.

Sounds and Speakers

After testing the M15 for a while I found that the built-in speakers get the job done, although they never got used. This was because even during productivity tasks, the fan blasted loud streams of air at default settings which made it hard to hear anything else. To counteract this issue I had to turn up my volume which could cause distortion in sound quality fairly easily. My suggestion would be to just buy a gaming headset which eliminates this problem entirely

Battery Life

An Alienware M15 doesn't live up to expectations when it comes to battery life. Our general laptop battery test -surfing the web constantly in Microsoft Edge-rated the M15 at 4 hours and 1 minute, which is short compared to most laptops we've seen. But I wasn't able to get anything close, even just working with Microsoft Word and Google Chrome.

With medium brightness and a stable internet connection, it had at best 2 hours of life in it.

When we tested its battery under heavy use- Gaming- we were surprised by how fast it drained from full charge! In practice, I only got 45 minutes from it before it died on me. And yes, luckily they include an AC adapter for those times you're away from an outlet!

Value and Conclusion

The Alienware m15 R4 is an absolute powerhouse of a laptop. It’s not just powerful, but it’s also portable and gets great battery life. If you have a larger budget to work with, I would definitely recommend checking out a 15-inch gaming laptop such as the Alienware. For example, if your budget is $1,999 to $2,700 you should consider one of these laptops as they are going to offer more power than any other option in that price range.


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