If you would like your gaming laptop computer to be skinny, it’ll run sizzling. That is simply the physics of packing a robust CPU and GPU right into a 15.7mm-thick physique. And since we have managed to make gaming laptops moderately small, semistylish and highly effective sufficient to disgrace even the newest recreation consoles, warmth is actually the final frontier that nobody has cracked. 

On the small and trendy entrance, I can safely say the Alienware x15 R2 is without doubt one of the extra enticing gaming laptops I’ve ever examined, and exhibits simply how far we have come from the large cement blocks of yesteryear. My partner, who has labored in video games and video games media for a lot of the previous 20 years, mentioned it was one of many solely gaming laptops that wasn’t aesthetically offensive to her, so belief me, that is excessive reward. 

Like

  • Wonderful efficiency in a slim bundle
  • Mod design that appears good… for a gaming laptop computer
  • Devoted quantity buttons

Do not Like

  • Can get highly regarded
  • Customized software program is clunky
  • Small touchpad

Like virtually all Alienware and Dell computer systems, the x15 R2 (the second main revision of the present 15-inch x15 line) gives a wide selection of configuration choices, beginning at $1,999 and going up from there. This assessment pattern was $2,559, and highlighted by a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card and a couple of,560×1,440 show with an honest 240Hz refresh charge. It additionally consists of 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. 

You may drop the GPU to an Nvidia 3060 (though in a $2,000 laptop computer, why you’d do that’s past me), or increase it to a 3080 Ti. Likewise, the show can drop to FHD (1,920×1,080) at 165Hz or bounce to a quick 360Hz panel, though nonetheless locked in at FHD decision. All issues thought of, that is in all probability near the perfect configuration. 

Design and options

The matte-white outer chassis stands out as retro-futurism — I considered the clear strains of 2001: A House Odyssey — and the inset hinge each seemed good and made the laptop computer really feel very steady when propped up on a desk. There is a massive “15” stenciled on the again, as a result of possibly you’d neglect how massive your laptop computer display screen was? In addition to the enduring backlit alien head brand, which I as soon as discovered to be a cheesy instance of dorm-room-chic, however frankly, at this level it is bought some nostalgic appeal. 

However my absolute favourite function had nothing to do with the lid design and even efficiency — it is purely UX. Alongside the best aspect of the keyboard space is a row of media management keys, together with devoted buttons for elevating and reducing the amount and muting each the audio system and mic. 

The media keys alongside the best aspect are a giant plus.


Dan Ackerman/CNET

I cannot emphasize sufficient simply how essential this type of comfort is to my enjoyment of a gaming laptop computer. Urgent FN+F2 (or typically F5, and so forth.) to decrease the amount in a recreation looks as if an insane option to take care of sound. Just a few different laptops even have devoted audio keys or typically quantity wheels, however it’s nonetheless uncommon. You aren’t getting a separate quantity pad, which may present up in some 15-inch laptops. It is no nice loss for my workflow, however it’s one thing to bear in mind. 

The precise keyboard is okay for a shallow gaming laptop computer keyboard, with 1.5mm journey and respectable island-style spacing between the keys. The touchpad is small and frill-free. Avid gamers will likely be utilizing a mouse or recreation controller extra usually, however while you need to use this as a non-gaming laptop computer, which might be more often than not, the touchpad is a letdown. 

Efficiency and battery life 

Efficiency was proper in the course of the pack when in comparison with comparable high-end laptops with Nvidia 3070 and 3080-class GPUs. The efficiency increase from one thing just like the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE, which we reviewed with an Intel Core i9 CPU and the Nvidia 3080 Ti GPU, exhibits what an additional $500 to $600 will get you, and you may configure the x15 R2 equally. Primarily based on the efficiency we noticed, I nonetheless say the Core i7/3070 Ti combo is the general greatest bang for the buck.

Battery life was respectable for a gaming laptop computer, operating for five:12 in our video-streaming take a look at, which admittedly is not significantly difficult. Different 15-inch premium gaming laptops scored in the identical 4- to 5-hour ballpark. Satirically, Dell’s newest slim 13-inch laptop, the XPS 13 Plus, had a lot shorter battery life. 

Alienware x15 R2, closed.

Extra gaming laptops must be this slim. 


Dan Ackerman/CNET

My largest general problem with the system was how sizzling it bought. Working video games for some time, then pulling out the previous temperature gun, the world simply above the keyboard hit 130 levels F. With the massive rear vents (with its related rear ports) and followers, you might in all probability hold your espresso cup subsequent to the system to maintain it heat. It isn’t a specific-to-Dell downside, however by squeezing a gaming laptop computer right down to this skinny a profile, it is inevitably going to be a extra noticeable problem. 

My different gripe is the considerably impenetrable Alienware Command Middle software program for controlling system capabilities, together with the assorted lighting zones, fan pace and different system particulars. It is clunky, opaque and makes arranging customized lighting way more tough than it must be. It feels just like the Dell UX crew by no means bought close to this one. I’m not the only person that feels this way

Regardless of these points, and a normal sense that gaming laptop computer innovation has hit a little bit of a plateau up to now few years, the slim Alienware x15 R2 has earned a spot on my quick checklist of premium gaming laptops to strongly think about for those who’re fascinated about making a multiyear funding. 

One of the best laptops in each class

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022)

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Cinebench R23 (multicore)

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022)

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

PCMark 10 Professional

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022)

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

On-line streaming battery drain take a look at

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022)

Be aware:

In minutes, longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMark Wild Life Excessive

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022)

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Guardians of the Galaxy (Excessive @1920 x 1080)

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022)

Razer Blade 15 (2022) (Core i7/3070 Ti)

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58 (Core i5/3060)

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Highest @ 1920 x 1080)

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022)

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

System Configurations

Alienware x15 R2 Microsoft Home windows 11 House; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-12700H; 32GB DDR5 6,400MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti; 512GB SSD
Razer Blade 15 (2022) Microsoft Home windows 11 House; 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-12800H; 16GB DDR5 4,800MH; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Ti; 1TB SSD
Origin PC Evo17-S Microsoft Home windows 11 House; 2.9GHz Intel Core i9-12900H; 32GB DDR5 4,800MHz; 16GB Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080Ti; 1TB SSD
Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022) Microsoft Home windows 11 House; 2.9GHz Intel Core i9-12900H; 16GB DDR5 4,800MHz; 16GB Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080Ti; 1TB SSD
Lenovo Legion 5i Professional Microsoft Home windows 11 House; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-12700H; 16GB DDR5 6,400MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti; 512GB SSD
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58 Microsoft Home windows 11 House; 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-12500H; 16GB DDR4 3,200MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060; 512GB SSD



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