Alienware X15 R2 Review: A premium yet portable gaming laptop … – Moneycontrol

Alienware X15 R2 Review: A premium yet portable gaming laptop … – Moneycontrol

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Alienware is a brand synonymous with gaming. The company is renowned for its over-the-top approach in gaming desktops and laptops, not to mention their unique aesthetics. However, the Alienware X15 laptop arrives in a new world, where manufacturers are looking to slim down and deviate from the traditional chunky gaming laptop designs.
With the X15 R2, Alienware accomplishes this by offering a powerful gaming laptop in a thin and light design. I never got around to testing the Alienware X15 R1, so this is my first experience with Alienware’s slimmest gaming laptop series. But just how much has Alienware had to compromise to deliver a powerful gaming laptop in this slim chassis, let’s find out!
Design and Build
First off, it is nice to say that despite the slim form factor, Alienware has retained its traditional futuristic design on the X15 R2. The notebook is offered in a Lunar Light dual colour scheme, which tends to stand out from the matte black crowd. The off-white lid has the Alienware logo in the middle that lights up and the number ‘15’ on the bottom right corner. The ring light that runs through the back of the laptop looks like something out of the sci-fi film Tron. On opening the laptop, you are greeted by an all-black interior, ranging the entire length of the keyboard and scree bezels.
alienware x15 r2 laptop

Moving on to the build, Dell has used CNC aluminium for the entire chassis, which gives the Alienware X15 R2 a premium feel. The Alienware X15 R2 measures 0.62 inches thick and weighs 2.35kg, making it relatively light. While it isn’t your ideal slim and light notebook, it is still comfortable to use while travelling. I used the laptop briefly at the airport and on the plane for about an hour. And while it was comfortable to use, its size makes it slightly more difficult to use than a 14-inch laptop. The laptop also has a coat to protect it from fingerprint smudges. Overall, the Alienware X15 R2 looks phenomenal and appears to be very well built.
alienware x

While the slim and light form factor is convenient, the lack of adequate ports on the X15 R2 isn’t. Most of the action here is on the back, with a USB Type-A port, two Thunderbolt, 4 USB Type-C ports, an HDMI port, and a microSD card slot. The only thing to the side of the laptop is the power output. I found using the laptop quite inconvenient, especially considering the sole full-size USB port, the lack an Ethernet port, and no audio jack in sight. If you use accessories with your laptop, which is the case with all gaming laptops, you’ll find the ports here insufficient.
alienware x15 R

The Alienware X15 R2 boasts a full-size keyboard that is quite spacious and extremely comfortable to use. The keyboard features per-key RGB lighting that is fully customizable using the Command Center app. Apart from the regular keys, you also get dedicated media keys on the right of the keyboard, but no Numpad, which didn’t seem like a bother. Additionally, the keys have a nice travel distance making them excellent to type or game on. The palm rest area is also soft-to-the-touch, which makes it rather comfortable for use during long gaming sessions.
alienware gaming

You also get some useful media keys to the right of the keyboard that allows you to control playback or mute your mic. The touchpad is on the smaller side but tends to get the job done as and when required. The touchpad is smooth to the touch and supports gesture-based inputs. While I did enjoy using the keyboard on the Alienware X15 R2, the trackpad does leave a lot to be desired.
When it comes to the display, Alienware has opted for a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel. The screen boasts s 1080p resolution, a 1ms response time, and a 360Hz refresh rate, although other options include a 1080p resolution at 165Hz and a 1440p resolution at 240Hz. The display supports G-Sync and Dolby Vision HDR. The panel also supports Advanced Optimus, which helps conserve battery life when the notebook isn’t being used for gaming or content creation. The X15 R2 does have a particularly bright panel considering its 1080p resolution, peaking at 400 nits with HDR.
alienware x15 R2

Gaming laptops tend to sacrifice on visuals for fast 1080p panels but that doesn’t seem to be the case here as this was one of the best Full HD displays we’ve tested on a gaming laptop. The screen here definitely strikes a nice balance between gaming and content consumption. However, I’d advice opting for the QHD (240Hz) panel for the best experience as most titles on this laptop won’t surpass the 240fps threshold.
At the helm of the Alienware X15 R2 is a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H CPU paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Ti laptop GPU. Our unit came with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. However, performance has always been a thorn in the side of the thin and light gaming laptop. But let’s find out if the Alienware X15 R2 can overcome this hurdle.
intel core

#CallofDuty on the #Alienware X15 R2#Intel Core i7, #Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti@IntelGaming @Dell @Alienware @NVIDIAGeForce @CallofDuty

We also ran a few benchmarks on the X15 R2. In our Geekbench test, the laptop scored a single-core score of 1801 points and a multi-core score of 12981 points. In Cinebench R23, we saw the X15 R2 score 16290 points in the multi-core CPU test and 1821 points in the singe-core test. Switching to the Cinebench’s 10-minute throttling test, yielded a single-core score of 1740 points and a multi-core score of 15312 points. In Crystal Disk Mark, we saw read speeds just under 7000 Mb/s (6931 Mb/s to be precise) and write speeds of 5102 Mb/s.
#Overwatch2 on the #Alienware X15 R2#Intel Core i7, #Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti@IntelGaming @Dell @Alienware @NVIDIAGeForce

There’s no doubt that the Alienware X15 R2 packs a ton of power but how does it run? To put it simply, ‘hot’. While gaming, the CPU hits 100 degrees C and the GPU maxes out at around 80 degrees C. To deal with the intense heat, Alienware does have a reliable cooling system that keeps all the heat away from the keyboard surface, limiting it to the top and back of the machine. You might also want to use a pair of headphones when those fans ramp up to full speed as they can get loud. Considering its form factor, the Alienware X15 R2 certainly packs a ton of power. These are some of the best benchmarking and gaming results we’ve seen on a gaming laptop that has more portable ambitions.
Battery life has always been the bane of gaming laptops, although some brands like Asus and Acer have made huge strides in that department. However, the Alienware is not one of those brands, particularly with the X15 R2. While the 6 Cell 87Whr battery is quite large, the X15 R2 is below average at best. In my testing, I got little over three hours of battery life on a single charge. My usage included running MS Word, while browsing the internet and watching videos on YouTube.

alienware gaming laptops

During my testing, screen brightness was set to 150 nits, less than half of the peak brightness, which seemed a little too dull in my opinion. We ran the laptop in MSHybrid mode with power settings, while turning the refresh rate down to 60Hz. Raid: Shadow Legends is a popular mobile title; I frequently ran while using the laptop in battery mode and working simultaneously. But battery life was limited to less than an hour, so don’t waste your time running graphic intensive titles on battery.
Audio & Webcam
One key advantage of the Alienware X15 R2 is that it opts for four stereo speakers that surround the keyboard. The speakers offer rich and well-balanced audio that can easily fill a room even if you have a fan running. Considering the size of the chassis, the audio quality here is quite impressive and doesn’t distort easily. Additionally, the X15 R2 also uses Dolby Atmos spatial audio. The X15 R2 also comes with a 720p webcam with an IR sensor for Windows Hello facial recognition. While I found the camera adequate for video calls in good lighting, its overall performance was sub-par and face unlock was quite inconsistent.
So should you buy the Alienware X15 R2? The simple answer would be “yes”! Disclaimed: If your budget permits. The Alienware X15 R2 boasts a premium build, a futuristic design, tons of power, an extremely comfortable keyboard, thumping speakers, and a vibrant display. And Alienware has packed all of this in a slim and light chassis that is quite portable. The only area of contention for me are the webcam, which doesn’t quite live up to its on-paper expectations. And then there’s battery life, which was abysmal. However, these are seldom dealbreakers when picking out a gaming laptop.
dell alienware

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