Alienware m15 and m17 gaming laptops get a slimmer, more attractive design

Julio Franco

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Earlier this year, Alienware presented a new “Legend” design language for its laptops, debuting with the hefty Area-51m. That is Alienware's top of the line gaming notebook that can pack up to desktop-class CPU and the latest GeForce RTX GPUs, multiple storage configurations including RAID, on an attractive yet still weighty 17.3-inch screen/footprint.

That design is now trickling down to Alienware's mainstream laptop models, the m15 and m17. These are meant to compete with the likes of MSI's GS Stealth, Gigabyte Aero and Razer Blade. When we reviewed Alienware's m15 last year (previous model, was a new design) we applauded the company's efforts to slim down coming from the chunky Alienware beasts. Build quality was also good, but we were rather unimpressed by the cooling setup that was holding down the full potential of the hardware.

Seeing that Alienware has decided a makeover for the m15 and m17 after less than a year, hopefully this kind of kinks have been ironed out. Both new laptops look similar with a thinner profile apart from the obvious footprint difference. They're based on Intel’s 9th-gen Core mobile processors (Core i5-9300H up to i9-9980HK) and will use Max-Q versions of new GeForce GPUs (GTX 1650 up to the RTX 2080). Alienware is touting a 6-phase VRM for the CPU and a separate 8-phase digital VRM for the GPU. As before, laptops will be fully customizable so the price range can vary widely depending on the hardware of your choosing.

Alienware says the redesigned keyboard improves key travel distance in spite of the slimmer profile and the trackpad is now larger and glass.

Display choices on the m15 include 1080p screens at 60Hz, 240Hz or 4K OLED 60Hz with HDR-400 and Tobii eyetracking. The m17 only gets a 1080p resolution option at 60Hz or 144Hz.

Connectivity includes gigabit or 2.5 gigabit ethernet by Killer, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen 1, HDMI 2.0b, mDP, and a headphone jack. Both m15 and m17 models will use a 76 Wh battery and will start at $1,499, shipping in June.

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
I recently bought an Alienware 15" because my 17" was too big and too bulky for flying. Emirates and Asiana take those 23Kg limits seriously.

The 15 weighs about 10 pounds.

I recently went to check out the M15 model with the RTX 2070. It only weighs less than 5 pounds - which is pretty amazing when you consider it packs a 2070.

$2399

The Area 51m is a bit excessive and I'm not a fan of the RGB design this time around. I prefer the RGB on the older model.

I also wasn't sold on the "upgradeability factor".

Dell parts are expensive and if I bought one of these, I'd rather just buy it fully loaded with the 2080. When something replaces the 2080, I doubt Dell will be able to offer an upgrade beyond it.
 
Last edited:

Knot Schure

TS Addict
I recently bought an Alienware 15" because my 17" was too big and too bulky for flying. Emirates and Asiana take those 23Kg limits seriously.

The 15 weighs about 10 pounds.

I recently went to check out the M15 model with the RTX 2070. It only weighs less than 5 pounds - which is pretty amazing when you consider it packs a 2070.

$2399

The Area 51m is a bit excessive and I'm not a fan of the RGB design this time around. I prefer the RGB on the older model.

I also wasn't sold on the "upgradeability factor".

Dell parts are expensive and if I bought one of these, I'd rather just buy it fully loaded with the 2080. When something replaces the 2080, I doubt Dell will be able to offer an upgrade beyond it.
Emirates has generous baggage policies, which is why I pay extra to fly with them. Cathay too.

Avoid the 'Aeroflot of the Middle East', Etihad, as they are not only 23kg strict, but they weigh your carry-on for 7kg - every bloody time - my pet hate for flying.

When I encounter an airline that phucks with my carry-on (few, and far between), I dump everything except the laptop in my checked-in case, pay extra baggage, and don't fly them again.

One time, an airline tried to tell me my carry-on bag was over, I had just the M18 in it, which I knew was 5.4kg, and the Alienware backpack. 8.x kg she told me, no way was this going in the overhead. I said I'm not dumping a 4,000 GBP laptop in the check-in. We had a stand-off, or so it would seem. So I said to her, since the weight of the laptop is known to be 5.4kg, allow me to weigh just that for a second. Scales indicated 6.4 or 6.5kg, hard to remember. I grimaced at her, and she printed me my boarding pass, and on I went with my laptop. To me, this was criminal, that the scales could be so off. But that is another story.

As for my Area-51m, the only LEDs that light are the power button and the rear vents. So the 'style' of them doeesnt' affect me.