Dell's line of Alienware has been nothing short of impressive. They've managed to stand out not just in their edgy designs and alien logo but also in terms of prowess. Even if they do come out as big and chunky (and yes, you can like it like that), this round we take a look at the Alienware M15 which is stated to be the thinnest Alienware design ever.
As powerful as gaming laptops are, it's not exactly easy to get them in light, portable sizes. So for the Alienware to boast its abilities while also being the thinnest 15-inch gaming laptop among their lineup is quite a feat. This is mainly thanks to NVIDIA's Max-Q architecture which allows portable computer makers to slim their gaming laptops down considerably, and the result is the M15.
But does a slimmer Alienware make it less of a powerhouse in terms of gaming?
A Stand Out Alien Design
Despite it being labeled as one of the slimmest Alienware gaming laptops, it's still a considerably sturdy one. Don't expect it to be really light, but it is still portable and can be carried around in a sizeable laptop bag easily, but together with the charger it will be a bulky load.
In terms of design, Alienware's laptops will always stand out in their own way and the M15 is no exception. It comes in a red and black design with some eye catching curves, which is of course customisable if you prefer a different colour scheme. The keyboard is also gorgeously backlit powered by AlienFX which means it can be synchronised with other peripherals such as mice or even games like Metro: Last Light.
The laptop also gives you all that you need for a great gaming experience; a Thunderbolt USB-C, GIGABYTE Ethernet, HDMI, Mini-Display Port, Noble Lock, Alienware Graphics Amplifier ports and a headphone jack.
Powerful features with a price
While NVIDIA managed to shrink its graphics tech down with the introduction of Max-Q architecture, the GTX 1070 GPU in the M15 is still a graphical powerhouse. This was also obvious during my livestream of the horror game Devotion, as it was not only capable of handling a stream at the same time with no lags, but the same gorgeous graphics I was looking at was also shown on the stream.
The downside was that the laptop did become incredibly hot to the touch, especially on the keyboards. This will set off the laptop's fan which was incredibly noisy, though if you're using headphones or are used to the noise, it's not that bad.
But if playing a first person walking simulator type game while streaming was enough to make the laptop that way, you can expect the same when playing open world and FPS games that demand a lot more. While the M15 continued to deliver stunning gameplay graphics, the laptop got really hot and noisy which may affect your experience. I can excuse the noise, but playing on a hot keyboard was not a pleasant experience.
Another downside is how fast the battery drains while playing. Sure, Dell claims the M15 can last for 9 hours, but when you're gaming the battery drains dramatically, and playing without it being plugged in means the graphics are not as powerful and the brightness reduced erratically to compensate the lack of power.
If you're not gaming though, the laptop is able to last the 9 hours mentioned with the usual social media, light work and Netflix binging while you bring it around. If you do intend to game though, you're going to need a power source for a much better gaming experience.
The Final Verdict
Sure, the price tag of the Alienware M15 is steep at almost MYR 9,000, but you can definitely expect quality gameplay experiences with no compromises whatsoever. The biggest downside remains with how hot it gets and its loud fan, but if those don’t bother you in your quest for a smooth, portable gameplay, then you should consider the M15.