Dell Alienware has become the well-known brands in the world of PC gaming. And like other rival brands, the US-based PC maker has been updating the line-up each year. In its latest upgrade, Dell launched the 2019 version of Alienware m15. This new gaming notebook was unveiled some time ago at Computex 2019 conference in Taiwan and is claimed to provide more powerful specs than ever before together with the massive OLED screen that is clearly a treat to your eyes.

We’ve been using Dell Alienware m15 notebook computer since the past little while. The m15 (R2) review unit we received sports 15.6-inch OLED UHD screen and Intel 9th-gen Core i9 processor. The top-of-the-line model will set you back Rs 3,29,190. The series, however, starts at Rs 188,490.

While the notebook computer looks attractive and powerful, the true question is how worth the gaming machine is in true to life? To learn, read our review.

Design

Dell has been nailing it with the look of its laptops. While for non-gamers, the XPS line gets the most intuitive and compact design language, for gamers it’s the Alienware series that brings an attractive design to laptops. The 2018 style of m15 is lean and slimmer than almost every other gaming laptops of rival brands. This time around it has added more power inside same canvas. Unfortunately, in case you are buying a massive change in the appearance from last year’s m15, it’ll be a disappointment. However, m15’s Black and White panda look does bring an factor of ‘change’ from the otherwise monotonous Black and Grey look of rival gaming laptops.

The gaming laptops look robust however the comparatively slimmer profile with sharp edges will be able to hide it well. At 2.1kg and with much adapter, it isn’t really lightweight but nonetheless could be carried around occasionally. Externally, you see the classic off-White cover with the glowing Alienware logo with Black hinges and the lid from where you open the screen. Much like the previous-gen m15, this also offers all of the ports at the trunk while keeping hardly any on either side. Inside, the screen bezels are jet Black while the complete keyboard area sports the same off-White colour. This consists of the touchpad aswell.

Although the off-White and Black dual-tone look in gaming laptops is a refreshing change, what increases it’s the hexagonal etching design on the region above the keyboard. But that’s not simply for the looks but is actually the air intake with the outlets being on the sides. As you can notice, there’s a major hinge area below the screen. That’s also not for the looks but Tobii eye-tracking tech, the application of which isn’t much but yet vital. That is also a significant addition from the last year’s m15 model.

Display

The display is among the critical indicators in a gaming notebook computer and Dell’s Alienware m15 comes near ‘impressive’ here. The 15.6-inch canvas isn’t your usual IPS LCD display but complete OLED panel that presents excellent colours and enhances the entire look, making the gameplay better and immersive. The variant that people received was the main one with the 4K resolution, therefore the games were really crisp and nice to check out. While gamers will like the OLED screen, what they could like even more may be the 1ms response time, a thing that is necessary in shooting titles. Add 100,000:1 contrast ratio to it with 400-nits brightness levels and you’ve got a near-perfect gaming notebook computer screen with almost zero compromises.

What’s worth adding here’s that as the 4K OLED screen supports 60Hz refresh rate, which is merely about fine almost all of the changing times, the FullHD (1080×1920 pixels) version offers you 240Hz refresh rate, which can make the knowledge smoother. However, everything you are losing this is actually the resolution of course along with 100-nits brightness and a reply rate, which is 7ms. May be a tough demand some, is probably not for others.

That’s not all in terms of the screen and how you connect to it. The largest change in this year’s Alienware m15 may be the inclusion of Tobii eye-tracking tech, which is located just underneath the display. We will speak about it in some time.

But all that aside, there is one major drawback in Alienware m15. The OLED screen is merely too reflective. While that may not be a concern for general users but also for gamers this really is important. The screen is super reflective and we often found ourselves adjusting the screen whenever we slightly changed our pose while gaming. In addition may be the screen wobble. Although it’s less, we did expect lesser wobbling since it is a gaming notebook computer and the hinge is currently an extended one spreading in one side to some other, unlike the prior generation m15.

Performance

Performance is where in fact the Alienware m15 (2019), expectedly, shines. But a disclaimer here, the review unit we received was on the bigger side of the specs list. The notebook computer uses the prowess of rather new Intel Core i9-9980HK (9th-gen) processor, which is supported by 16GB RAM. And the performance not simply limits there nevertheless, you also get Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2070 or RTX 2080 GPU options. We got the main one running GeForce RTX 2080 variant with a dedicated 8GB GDDR6 VRAM and Max-Q design. That appears like a whole lot for the graphics and animations but it can justice to games, employed in tandem with Intel UHD 630.

With that much power stuffed inside this gaming laptop, we were successfully in a position to survive the war in Battlefield One and drift through the streets and offroad in Dependence on Speed: Payback. And we could actually do that on maxed-out settings regardless if most gamers don’t really play all of the titles in ‘Ultra’ settings continuously. While setting up games didn’t take enough time, the animations including reflections, sharpness, rendering of lights, skin tones, smoke and other factors were effectively rendered. And watching all of this on a 60Hz OLED screen really amplified the entire experience.

However, we did notice a concern with Alienware m15 R2. After switching between Battlefield, NFS and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon – Wildlands we did spot the device often warming up within thirty minutes of continuous gameplay. And we aren’t discussing the ‘usual’ heat levels here. It gets considerably hot even after having two side vents and air inputs from top and bottom. Fortunately, no obvious frame drops have there been.

Talking about warming up, the Alienware m15 (2019), as claimed by Dell, gets the CryoTech 3.0 platform because of which the firm has the ability to raise the 10% CPU fan diameter, 20% GPU fan diameter and 10% more airflow intake. Although fitting it in a slim design is appreciable, it still struggles the fix the heating issue. You can, however, control a whole lot of it by tweaking the performance from the Dell Alienware Command Center. You’ll be able to change clocking thrust, fan speed, GPU performance and more from the platform therefore the device doesn’t stress an excessive amount of.

The Command Centre also enables you to customise the appearance of the laptop. You can transform the keyboard RGB colour, the Alienware logo colour on the shell and the strategically put rim light at the trunk where all of the ports are put. Besides visual changes, you can tweak the audio tracks performance as well predicated on different game genres. Not to mention, manually setting the bass, treble and other options are also possible.

We did just like the audio tracks performance of the Alienware m15 (2019) despite it featuring just two speakers privately in the bottom. The speakers are loud and also have Realtek drivers. What’s worth a mention is that despite having speakers located on the lower, they are loud even though continued a soft surface. Since there are lots of vents on the sides, back and above the keyboard, there are enough openings for the audio tracks and reverb.

As the OS, processor and the music performance are top-notch, the major addition this season may be the arrival of Tobii eye-tracking tech. With this located right below the screen, the gaming notebook computer can track your eye movements and head poses. Few applications support this for the present time but we did experience it in the necessity For Speed: Payback wherein you could turn your mind and eyes to rotate the camera angle while customising the appearance of the automobile. This works correctly and is surprisingly, pretty accurate in whatever it really is being used. However, it isn’t reliable enough to take the centre stage yet. Another make use of this and a fairly important one is that it tracks your mind movement and uses it to dim the screen or brightens up when you look from it or at it.

There are a few nifty additions that enhance the overall gaming experience. The support of live-streaming the overall game to others and showing them everything you are seeing on the screen is merely among the several features that you will get with it.

The keyboard plays a significant role for gamers whether its a notebook computer or a desktop. Dell claims it’s new Alienware M15 keyboard includes a 1.7mm key travel with anti-ghosting and a fresh precision-point glass touchpad. We’ve mentioned previously above you could customise the lights on individual keys. Increasing this can be a 0.2mm dish concave key design that’s tad-bit much easier to use. All this are advertised and you won’t feel almost any stress while playing onto it for extended hours as the keys are well spaced, not requiring you to exercise thooughly your fingers constantly. We didn’t utilize the touchpad for gaming purposes, as much might not. Nonetheless it sure is precise in day-to-day businesses and won’t enable you to down.

There are a couple of ports on the Alienware m15. While almost all of them are at the trunk, some are on the sides aswell. You get Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port, DC power input port, Thunderbolt 3 with DisplayPort, RJ-45 ethernet port, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, USB 3.1 Gen 1 with PowerShare, HDMI 2.0b port, Mini-display 1.4 port and an music port. That’s just about everything a gamer would have to play titles on a bigger screen with better sound and immersive experience.

Battery

Gaming laptops often stay behind in terms of battery life and Dell’s Alienware m15 isn’t an exception. Although you might expect the device to perform longer in comparison with others as a result of the OLED screen that consumes less power by killing pixels you should definitely needed. But that’s false. Inside our tests, the gaming machine clocked for about three hours maximum with Wi-Fi on and continuous gaming at 50% screen brightness. This may vary as well because of other applications that are being carried in the backdrop among other things. Having said that, like any gaming laptop, the Alienware m15 is meant to comfortably sit in your homes, powered all the time. You can, of course, extend the battery life by turning off the LED lights, lowering the settings of the games and more. But what’s the fun for the reason that.

Verdict

Dell Alienware is a good gaming laptop computer which has all the power you will need and will work stress-free with almost all of the titles. As stated above, the off-White look and the coloured LED is a refreshing change, at least in the gaming laptops segment. The OLED display is very well implemented and the games just look so much lively onto it in comparison with your typical IPS LED screens. The highly reflective screen could be a switch off for gamers but that’s simply a sacrifice you must make.

While these appear such as a natural upgrade from what Dell Alienware m15 offered this past year, what comes as a surprise factor this is actually the Tobii eye-tracking. It’s appreciable the way the firm has were able to move beyond regular gaming hardware to something new, nonetheless it still feels as though a gimmick which has no real or wider use for the present time. You can make make use of it in select games and choose sections but we desire to start to see the hardware get more integrated with the UI in future.

Having said that, it’s is among the finest choices out there in case you are addicted to buying an OLED-screen gaming laptop. Even famous brands Asus and HP don’t have a robust gaming laptop computer which has Tobii eye-tracking, customisable LED grilles, Intel Core i9 processor, 4K OLED display all in that slim build. However, if you’re not a huge fan of 4K OLED and Tobii eye-tracking hardware, Dell’s Alienware m15 might lose a few of its shine to rivals who are providing an equally powerful alternative at a lesser price.