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Product Listing

Alienware m15 R2 review: The best-looking Alienware laptop yet

By Koh Wanzi - 30 Dec 2019
Launch SRP: S$4498

Productivity & gaming performance

Test setup and performance

Here's a full list of the notebooks we're looking at:

  • Alienware m15 R2
  • Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro
  • Lenovo Legion Y740
  • Razer Blade 15

I compared the Alienware m15 R2 against other GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q notebooks to see how it stacks up against the most immediate competition.

Test notebooks compared
  Alienware m15 R2 Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro Lenovo Legion Y740 (9th Gen) Razer Blade 15 (9th Gen)
  Alienware m15 R2 Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro Lenovo Legion Y740 (9th Gen) Razer Blade 15 (9th Gen)
Launch SRP
  • From S$4498
  • From S$2799
  • From S$3599
  • From S$3839
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.60GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 32GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS-type display with Tobii Eye Tracking
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS G-Sync display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 240Hz IPS display
Storage
  • 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Phison 512GB NVMe SSD
  • Western Digital PC SN720 NVMe 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda Pro 1TB HDD
  • Samsung PM981 PCIe 256GB M.2 SSD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AX200
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
  • Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller
  • Intel Wireless-AX200
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Audio
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
I/O Ports
  • 1x Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A with PowerShare
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x audio out
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Audio Jack
  • 1x Microphone jack
  • 1x LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x DC-in jack
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 1x 3.5mm mic/headphone combo jack
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
Battery Type
  • 76Wh
  • 92Wh
  • 57Wh
  • 80Wh
Dimensions
  • 360.5 x 276 x 20.5mm
  • 356.4mm x 233.66mm x 20.5mm
  • 361.42 x 267 x 22.45mm
  • 355 x 235 x 17.8mm
Weight
  • 2.16kg
  • 1.88kg
  • 2.2 kg
  • 2.15kg

I ran the notebooks through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • AS SSD
  • 3DMark
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

 

How good is it for work?

PCMark 10 Extended evaluates systems based on workloads that can be categorized into four distinct groups, comprising Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, and Gaming. This includes tests such as app start-up times, web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets, photo and video editing, and rendering and visualization tasks. Finally, gaming performance is evaluated using the Fire Strike benchmark.

The Alienware m15 didn't do that well in PCMark 10 Extended, where it was around 9 per cent slower than the Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro. It wasn't that far behind the Razer Blade 15, but its performance was still much poorer in the Digital Content Creation benchmark, which was quite odd. This clearly dragged its overall score down, since the m15 actually did quite well in the other tests. 

 

What's the storage performance like?

The Alienware m15 comes equipped with a Toshiba XG6 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD. It's pretty competitive in AS SSD compared to the other notebooks here, consistently putting up numbers in the middle of the pack. 

 

How fast is it in games?

The gaming numbers are more or less what you'd expect from a GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q notebook. This means you'll have no trouble running all the latest games at 1080p, although you won't always be able to maximise the 144Hz refresh rate in the more demanding titles.

Separately, I had some trouble getting the laptop to run certain games in DirectX 12, but I was able to fix this by manually setting the GPU to the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q instead of leaving it in Auto mode in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

7.5
  • Design 8.5
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8
  • Value 6
  • Mobility 6.5
The Good
Stylish and unique design
Excellent build quality
Good gaming performance
One of the few gaming laptops to offer Tobii eye tracking
The Bad
Expensive
Mediocre battery life
Fans get really noisy
Thermal performance could be better