The very first thing you discover in regards to the m17 is how little it seems like an Alienware laptop computer.

Latest years have pushed gaming laptops in the direction of being thinner, lighter and slicker. Alienware at all times appeared a little bit proof against this development, with laptops that always resemble gaming warships. They’re pleased with their cultural heritage and diametrically against mixing in knowledgeable or school setting.

The Alienware m17, just like the smaller m15 ($1,430 at Dell House), is extra reserved laptop computer than current designs just like the R5 and positively the Space-51m. It is pleasantly lithe and moveable for a 17-inch gaming laptop computer. As a matter of truth, it is lighter than Razer’s new 17-inch Professional laptop computer.

However it’s nonetheless a large. The m17 line is powered by Nvidia’s new RTX 20-series graphics playing cards, which had been launched in laptops in January. These GPUs pump out extra horsepower and are specialised for nifty graphical methods like raytracing (jargon for reflecting transferring gentle on an individual or object).

Ian Knighton/Proinertech

On the high finish of the road is an m17 with a Max-Q RTX 2080, at present essentially the most highly effective GPU you will get in a laptop computer. That variant, which additionally comes with a six-core, eighth-gen Core i7-8750 processor and a 2,560×1,440 quad-HD show, is the one we acquired for assessment. You may configure it with cheaper RTX 2060 and 2070 graphics — or you possibly can go the opposite method and cram an ultrapowerful Core i9-8950HK CPU in there, enhance the RAM to 32GB and twin 1TB PCIe M.2 SSDs for storage and go for a 4K show.

These premium elements ain’t low cost. The RTX 2080 mannequin has an RRP of $three,149, though you will simply discover it for lots of much less for those who store round. (As I write this, Dell’s official web site has it discounted to $2,549.) For an additional $100 you possibly can improve to a 4K display — although it is 60Hz, versus the 120Hz QHD show — and $450 nets you the Core i9 chip. Extra Hz equals greater refresh charges, that means smoother on-screen motion.

Geekbench four (multicore)

Asus Zephyrus GX701 (Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q)

Razer Blade 15 (Nvidia RTX 2060)

Observe:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Conversely, the bottom RTX 2060 and 2070 fashions will set you again $1,749 and $2,699, respectively. (Reductions additionally apply right here, although. Proper now they’re promoting for $1,499 and $2,099.)

The m17 is not an ideal laptop computer. It emits critical warmth underneath duress, the battery life is poor and it would not actually have a power-sucking 4K show as an excuse. However the m17 has future-proof brute drive, which might be what you are largely fascinated about anyway, and it makes fewer design sacrifices than comparably sturdy laptops.

Really feel the ability

As you would possibly count on from a $three,000, RTX 2080-packed laptop computer, the m17 is highly effective. My machine had zero drawback with demanding blockbusters, even at maxed-out settings. I used to be capable of sit comfortably above 60 frames per second when enjoying Shadow of the Tomb Raider with the graphics settings blasted to max at 2,560×1,440-pixel decision. Far Cry 5 was even smoother. Reducing the decision to a Full-HD 1,920×1,080 pixels shot each video games as much as the 90fps vary.

And naturally, video games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, League of Legends and Overwatch, designed to play on any ol’ thang, will run like a dream on this monster.

However that energy comes at a worth past . The m17 will get hotter than your common gaming laptop computer when its GPU is engaged, such that having it in your lap is insufferable. That is the value you pay for a svelte physique, as there’s much less house for followers, vents and different cooling mechanisms.

The six-core Espresso Lake 2.2GHz i7 CPU will technically be quickly outdated, as Intel begins rolling out its ninth-gen Icy Lake chips. However how a lot of a tangible distinction that may make stays to be seen. As talked about, there’s an choice to configure the m17 with an i9 processor, however that’ll be an pointless improve for many. For those who want that energy, likelihood is you already understand it.

Equally, the RTX 2080-equipped m17 comes with 16GB of RAM. That is greater than sufficient for the video games of right now and tomorrow, so upgrading to 32GB is just for these notably anxious about futureproofing their gadgets.

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