Alienware m15 R7 gaming laptop review

To me, Alienware enjoys crème de la crème status in the gaming PC market. Although still expensive, Alienware laptops are the most capable gaming machines on the market. Its latest m15 R7 is a 15-inch laptop with 12th Gen Intel Core H-series processors and the latest RTX 30 Series laptop GPUs. But who should buy a gaming laptop as powerful as this in 2022? I spent a few days with the Alienware m15 R7 to check if this laptop promises the sensations I expect from a high-end gaming machine.

Alienware m15 R7 review: Design and aesthetics

If I was the casting director for the next Star Wars movie, I would have played the Alienware m15 R7 in an important role. Seriously, the m15 R7 has a sci-fi vibe to it, and the honeycomb vents, ringed LED on the back, and illuminated alien head logo accentuate the aura of a laptop true to its DNA. ‘Alienware. The m15 R7 has a “simple luxury” feel. The dark side of the moon black paint job is refreshing to look at: sometimes playful, and sometimes whimsical and quirky. I like the design; it is modern but has an artistic style. The build quality is also solid. While not all metal, the body is made of fairly strong plastic, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Considering the specs provided, the laptop is surprisingly thin. I won’t say the m15 R7 is as thin as a MacBook Air – it’s stupid to think about. For a pro-level laptop, the m15 R7 is comparable to a powerful gaming laptop in terms of weight and thickness. But yes, the bulky power adapter that comes with this laptop needs to lose some weight.

The dark side of the moon black paint job is refreshing to look at: sometimes playful, and sometimes whimsical and quirky. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

When designing the m15 R7, Alienware made no major omissions in terms of ports. You will find ports on the right and left sides as well as the back of the laptop. The laptop’s left side features two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, while the right side hosts a headphone jack and a full-size Ethernet port. A full strip on the back has the maximum number of ports, including the power connection, an HDMI 2.1 port, and a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4. The lack of an SD card slot is a big omission . Beneath this screen are a series of honeycomb cooling vents which allow the machine to breathe in cool air, along with the bottom vents of the machine, and it is then exhausted through the side and rear vents of the laptop. On the back there’s this eye-catching LED ring, which looks really cool. Interestingly, you can adjust its color and intensity.

Alienware m15 R7 review: screen and speakers

Once the lid is open, you’ll notice a 15.6-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) LCD screen. There’s no OLED or mini LED option here, but the display itself is fantastic, ideal for gaming, consuming content and editing videos. The screen offers strong color reproduction and the refresh rate has been pushed to 240Hz. Serious gamers, who are the target audience for this laptop, will love the ridiculously fast response times and high refresh rate of the screen. Centered above the screen is a 720p webcam with two mic arrays. Sadly, the lack of a 1080p webcam on such an expensive laptop is appalling. The m15 R7 has excellent speakers. They sound full and well balanced, good enough for playing games, watching movies and listening to laid back music.

alienware, alienware m15 r7 gaming laptop, alienware m15 r7, alienware gaming laptops, alienware gaming laptop price, alienware m15 r7 The screen offers strong color reproduction and the refresh rate has been pushed to 240Hz. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Alienware m15 R7 review: keyboard and trackpad

The m15 R7 has an excellent keyboard. The m15 R7’s keys feel great to type on; the key travel is relatively deep at 1.5mm with nice tactility. The keys are good enough for day-to-day navigation, although typing for longer periods did get a bit uncomfortable. The RGB backlighting is particularly nice. The touchpad has a glass surface that provides smooth tracking, but its smaller surface area is a little odd. But those who buy this laptop are probably professional gamers and I think they will have a gaming mouse plugged in all the time. Still, a larger touchpad would have made a huge difference.

The keys are good enough for day-to-day navigation, although typing for longer periods did get a bit uncomfortable. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Alienware m15 R7 review: Performance and gaming

Inside the m15 R7 is an impressive set of specs. The base model starts at Rs 169,989 and comes with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 512GB SSD, 16GB DDR 5 RAM and the 165Hz display. My review unit, which costs Rs 274,989, comes with the same Core i7 processor but has 1TB SSD storage, 32GB DDR 5 RAM, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU and 240 display Hz. This is the model that is designed to run the most demanding games on the market, which is why it costs as is. To test the performance of the m15 R7, I used this laptop for both work and play. When playing Red Dead Redemption 2 and Doom Eternal, the m15 R7 delivered smooth frame rates.

Performance was different for each game, depending on what settings they were running, but I got phenomenal frame rates for some demanding games. To be clear, this laptop has the best hardware around, starting with 32GB of DDR5 RAM, 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake processors, and RTX 3080 Ti graphics. Not many people, including casual gamers, need this kind of setup on a laptop, something you should keep in mind before shelling out Rs 274,989 on the m15 R7. I tried to push the m15 R7 to the maximum. Still, I’m not the target audience for this laptop. Think of the m15 R7 as closer to a portable studio, an incredibly powerful workstation that a creative pro or pro-level gamer would want to buy.

Think of the m15 R7 as closer to a portable studio, an incredibly powerful workstation that a creative pro or pro-level gamer would want to buy. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

And what about the battery?

I watched a few videos on YouTube, played games for a few minutes, wrote and filed a number of stories, surfed the internet…and guess what? The battery lasted between 4 and 5 hours on a single charge. I won’t lie. I expected that kind of battery life from a high-end gaming laptop like this. If you are traveling, you will want to keep the AC adapter with you.

Alienware m15 R7 review: Should you buy it?

If I compare gaming laptops of the past to new ones, I see a big change. Sure, high-end gaming laptops will still blow you away when it comes to performance, but now they’re much lighter and more versatile. The Alienware m15 R7 brings power previously only available in desktop form. Now I can imagine a high-end gaming laptop with a high refresh rate screen and serious computing power, all in a shell that you can zip up and stuff in your backpack. It’s not cheap. But it is okay. The m15 R7 is a tool for professional gamers and podcast editors, and it should be designed with their needs in mind.

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