By Anuj Bhatia,
For me, Alienware enjoys a creme-de-la-creme status in the gaming PC 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. I spent a few days with it to check if this laptop promises the thrills I expect from a high-end gaming machine.
Design and aesthetics
The m15 R7 has a sci-fi vibe to it and the honeycomb vents, rear-ringed LED and the illuminated alien head logo accentuate the aura of a laptop true to Alienware DNA. The laptop has a feel of “uncomplicated luxury”. While not all-metal, the body is made of fairly strong plastic. Considering the specs it comes with, the notebook is surprisingly thin.
You will find ports on the right and the left sides as well as on the back of the laptop. The left flank of the laptop includes two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, while the right side hosts a headphone jack and a full-sized 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.
Below that display is an array of honeycomb cooling vents that let the machine breathe cool air in, along with the machine’s bottom vents, and it is then ejected 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 colour and intensity.
Display and speakers
Once you open the lid, you will notice a 15.6-inch QHD LCD (2560 x 1440) screen. There is no OLED or mini LED option here, but the screen itself looks fantastic, ideal for gaming, content consumption and editing videos. The display offers strong colour reproduction and the refresh rate has been pushed to 240Hz. Serious gamers, the ones who are the target audience of this laptop, will love the display’s ridiculously fast response times and high refresh rate. The m15 R7 has great speakers. They sound full and well-balanced, good enough for playing games, watching movies, and listening to casual music.
The m15 R7 has a great keyboard. The keys are good enough for everyday browsing, though typing for longer periods did become a little uncomfortable. The RGB backlighting looks especially nice.
Performance and gaming
Inside the m15 R7 is an impressive set of specifications. The base model starts at
1,69,989 and comes with a 12th generation Intel Core i7-12700H processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, a 512GB solid-state drive, 16GB DDR 5 RAM and the 165Hz display. My review unit, which costs2,74,989, ships with the same Core i7 processor but has 1TB of SSD storage, 32GB of DDR 5 RAM, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU and the 240Hz display. 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.
What about the battery?
I watched a couple of 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 four and five hours on a single charge. I was expecting this kind of battery life with a high-end gaming laptop like this.
Should you buy it?
The Alienware m15 R7 brings power previously only available in the form factor of a desktop. It’s a high-end gaming notebook with a high-refresh-rate display and serious computing power, all in a clamshell you can close and stuff in your backpack. The m15 R7 is a tool for professional gamers and podcast editors, and it has to be built with their needs in mind.