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The 360Hz model of the Alienware m15 R7 is a dream for esports gamers, allowing you to hit ridiculously high framerates in twitchy shooters like Valorant where speed means everything. Epblogs goal is to be the tech side of trust. We are proud of our independence and of our Alienware M15 R7 (2022) review thorough testing methods, in which we take our time with a product. We regularly check our test reports for changes and thus keep them up-to-date over a longer period of time – regardless of when a device was released.guaranteed reviews . Trust our Epblogs comprehensive reviews. We tested the products over a longer period of time and were able to see how they cope with everyday tasks. This is how we help you to find the best product for your read our guaranteed reviews.
With a really high screen refresh rate, Alienware’s most recent Intel-powered gaming laptop is a beast for 1080p Ultra gaming. Its lack of mobility and loud fans, though, do hold it back somewhat.
The Alienware gaming laptops from Dell may be quite inconsistent. There will always be some chaff that has to be distinguished from the (albeit more plentiful) wheat given the almost absurdly wide variety of models available. The new Alienware M15 R7, a well-rounded 1080p gaming computer with a bright 12th-gen Intel CPU at its core, thankfully falls squarely into the cereal grain category.
At first sight, the M15 R7 seems virtually identical to every other Alienware laptop that has been produced in recent years. It has an indented screen hinge, a large ring of RGB lighting down the back edge, and the familiar alien-head emblem that is brightly blue lighted. We can’t hold it against Dell for sticking with this tried-and-true design; after all, if it ain’t busted, don’t fix it.
Having said that, there is potentially one area where Dell might have made improvements in this case, and it has nothing to do with the laptop itself. Our big issue is with the enormous, hefty power adapter. The main chassis weighs roughly two and a half kilos, and its 15.6″ display makes it not the most portable laptop available. The Alienware M15 R7 is clearly less-than-lightweight because you’ll need to carry this brick along with the laptop because the battery life is underwhelming.
It doesn’t feel nearly as sturdy as some other models, but the general design is a touch more affordable than Alienware’s other X-series laptops (like the Alienware X14 we saw earlier this year), with more plastic utilized in its outside structure.
Even the most cheap model for this gaming laptop costs a respectable $1,499, placing it firmly in the luxury product category. However, the Alienware M15 R7 is highly customisable on Dell’s website, so you should be able to find one that fits your budget – providing you can afford to pay more than that starting price.
Naturally, a lot of RAM and an RTX 3000-series graphics card provide excellent gaming performance. It’s also a good thing because the 1080p display’s insanely fast 360Hz refresh rate, which is a love letter to esports players for whom framerate is king, is one of the main draws here.
Does the brand-new Alienware M15 R7 deserve to rise through the ranks and be on our esteemed ranking of the greatest gaming laptops? Even though it is more of a desktop replacement than a portable gaming device, we believe it has a decent shot.
Alienware M15 R7 Specs
|CPU||Intel Core i7-12700H|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti|
|Screen||15.6-inch 1920×1080, 360Hz, 1ms|
|Storage||1TB PCIe SSD|
|Ports||2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI 2.1, RJ-45 Ethernet, combi audio jack|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Size||2.4 x 35.6 x 27.3 cm|
Alienware M15 R7 Price and Availability
- Starting price of $1,499
- Version tested costs $2,350
- Wide range of models going all the way up to $4,045
The Dell website allows US and UK buyers to select from a massive range of possible configurations, essentially building your preferred Alienware M15 R7 before proceeding to the checkout. This feature is present on the Australian website too, albeit with a far more limited selection.
The most budget-friendly option comes with an Intel Core i9-12700H, RTX 3050 Ti, 16GB of DDR5, and half a terabyte of SSD storage. Clocking in at $1,499 (£1,399), this model also has a more refrained refresh rate on its display, a still-respectable 165Hz. It’s a lot of money for the given specs.
We’d actually be inclined to say that the model we were sent for review is better value for money, costing $2,350 (inexplicably more expensive in the UK at £2,479) but offering a much more powerful RTX 3070 Ti, double the RAM and storage, and that super-speedy 360Hz display. This exact version isn’t available in Australia, but a comparable model with a 1440p screen costs AU$4,505.
An RTX 3080 Ti is used in conjunction with an AMD Ryzen 6900HX CPU, 64GB of memory, and 4TB of storage in the highest-spec variant. This variant, which only exists in the US and costs a staggering $4,045 with Windows 11 Pro and Alienware’s various bells and whistles.
- Price and availability: 3/5
Alienware M15 R7 Design
- Bright, super-fast display
- Plastic feels a little cheap in some places given the price
- Keyboard is good
As we have stated, not much has changed in terms of the general design. A big ’15’ engraving occupies a portion of the lid, and the hexagon-patterned grille for the speakers and air intake is still located above the keyboard. The Alienware logo is still on the back of the screen, lighted by RGB LEDs, and another serves as the power button.
All this is fine – it’s become an iconic design for Dell’s gaming laptop brand over the past few years, and while we’d be happy to see it shaken up a little, it’s still aesthetically sound. The all-plastic chassis feels a tad cheap (more of a problem if you opt for one of the $3,000+ models) but the matte finish looks good and does a great job of repelling fingerprints.
Naturally, the 360Hz display is a defining feature of the Alienware M15 R7, and we’re pleased to say that it’s just a good screen all around. Maximum brightness is good, and color reproduction – while perhaps not the absolute best we’ve seen in a gaming laptop – is vivid and clear. A 1440p version with a 240Hz refresh rate is available on certain SKUs, if higher resolution is more important to you.
The keyboard is decent, and the great amount of key travel (around 1.8mm) means that typos are minimized. If you push really hard on the keys in the middle, the keyboard will somewhat bend, but considering its plastic composition, this is to be expected. Although the trackpad is a little on the tiny side, it is quite responsive, and for gaming, you’ll probably be using a mouse anyway.
Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 are already built-in, which is a modern requirement for gaming laptops. There are three USB-A ports, RJ-45 Ethernet, an HDMI connector, a headphone jack, and a Thunderbolt 4 port in terms of physical connection; however, the latter is replaced with a normal USB-C port on the least expensive 3050 Ti versions.
- Design: 4/5
Alienware M15 R7 Performance
- Amazing for 1080p gaming
- Thermal performance is very good…
- …but the fans are very loud as a result
Naturally, the RTX 3070 Ti powering the Alienware M15 R7 review model completely crushed gaming benchmarks at 1080p Ultra settings, handily clearing 60 frames per second in everything we threw at it. Valorant and CS:GO, two esports games with framerates that can easily approach the hundreds, should benefit from the 360Hz refresh rate.
Our performance in Cyberpunk 2077 suffered because of the ray-tracing, but with a little tinkering of the settings, you should be able to reduce the visuals a little and maintain a frame rate of at least 60. If you choose a model with a 1440p display, we recommend sticking with the RTX 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti because the weaker GPUs will probably have greater difficulty at this resolution (though DLSS is still an option, of course).
Synthetic benchmarks offered solid performance too, with the RTX 3070 Ti storming through the suite of 3DMark tests with excellent results. Intel’s nifty performance/efficiency core design, found in the i7-12700H at the heart of this system, means that CPU-bound tests like GeekBench 5 also saw impressive figures.
The thermal design at play here is definitely solid, as the chassis never got more than a bit warm (never uncomfortably hot) and we didn’t see any significant component throttling even during stress testing. If you look after it, the Alienware M15 R7 should last for years without thermal issues degrading the lifespan of its internals.
Of course, this excellent heat dissipation comes at the expense of two incredibly noisy fans, some of the noisiest we’ve seen in the many years we’ve tested gaming laptops. Setting it to “high-performance mode” made us fear that it was about to take off and burst a hole in our office wall, but even while performing routine things like surfing Chrome or exploring the Windows settings, the fans would start to make a loud whine. Simply said, make a solid headset investment.
- Performance: 5/5
Alienware M15 R7 Battery Life
- Fine, but unimpressive
- Enough to watch a movie, at least
- Lots of RGB that must be turned off
Even if the battery life of gaming laptops isn’t exactly famous for being long, the 89Whr battery that drives the Alienware M15 R7 is noticeably subpar. In the PCMark 10 battery life test, the laptop lasted little over three hours, and that was with all of the unnecessary RGB lights turned off to save power.
Video playback performed a bit better, coming close to four hours, so assuming you start with a full charge, you should be able to watch at least a movie without needing to plug in. However, playing games won’t likely offer you much more than 2 hours before you need to plug in that bulky AC adaptor. Even if many gaming laptops are identical, we’ve still seen better.
Alienware M15 R7 Verdict
While a 1440p model is available, we’d argue that this laptop is actually best suited for high-framerate gaming at 1080p resolution with all the graphical settings whacked up to maximum.
It’s probably not for everyone, but we have to admit that Dell has produced an instantly recognizable and stylish aesthetic for its Alienware products. This laptop is no exception; it instantly screams ‘gaming’.
It might be par for the course with many gaming laptops these days, but we’re still a bit sad that the battery life on the Alienware M15 R7 falls somewhere between ‘just okay’ and ‘abysmal’.
While we actually feel that our RTX 3070 Ti model is relatively decent value, this is still a fairly pricey product and cheaper, similar laptops are out there – remember that you’re paying a premium for that sleek Alienware design and branding here.
The 360Hz model of the Alienware m15 R7 is a dream for esports gamers, allowing you to hit ridiculously high framerates in twitchy shooters like Valorant where speed means everything.