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Alienware m17 R3 Overview: Large, Daring & Beastly



Alienware laptops are among the boldest gaming machines out there, and the agency arguably kickstarted the demand for gaming laptops within the first place – so new notebooks from Dell’s offshoot entice loads of consideration.

That is the third iteration of the m17 pocket book, and unsurprisingly it’s a giant rig full of high-end {hardware} from Intel and Nvidia. Equally unsurprising is the worth – the m17 R3 for 2020 will set you again £2,999 within the UK and $3,179 within the US.

A minimum of the mannequin examined right here will, anyway.

Design & Construct

The mannequin I’ve reviewed makes use of Alienware’s Lunar Mild color scheme and reveals off the m17’s eye-catching appears. The lid has the acquainted, RGB LED-lit Alienware emblem and the rear reveals off hexagonal air vents and extra lights. The world above the keyboard has extra honeycomb venting, one other glowing emblem and a single enormous hinge.

The magnesium alloy physique delivers wonderful construct high quality. The thick display screen barely flexes, and the underside panel is sturdy. There’s slightly motion across the keyboard, but it surely’s minor and is best than most 17.3in gaming machines. It’s definitely not trigger for concern.

Alienware’s machine weighs 2.94kg and it’s 22mm thick, so it’s hardly a bruiser – you may shave off just a few grams and millimetres on the slimmest and lightest 17.3in gaming notebooks, however the distinction doesn’t make a big effect. Impressively, it’s barely heavier than the Razer Blade 17 and solely slightly thicker than the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, which is £1,000/$700 costlier.

The m17 R3 has three USB 3.2 Gen 1 and a Thunderbolt Three port that helps USB-C 3.2 Gen 2. There’s a microSD card reader, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs and a slot for an Alienware Graphics Amplifier. On the within, Killer-branded Ethernet chip is paired with dual-band WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

Nonetheless, there are some omissions right here: no quicker USB 3.2 Gen 2 or 2×2 ports, and no 2.5Gbps Ethernet both.

The inside is definitely accessible, and there are two full-size M.2 sockets and a smaller 2230 connector. Disappointingly, the reminiscence is soldered down, and the wi-fi card isn’t inside attain.

Keyboard & Trackpad

The keyboard is a full-size unit with a numberpad, a double-height return key, correct cursor keys and 4 devoted macro keys alongside n-key rollover. Within the UK, the Alienware comes with per-key RGB LED lighting by default, however within the US the default is a four-zone mannequin and the per-key lighting is a $30 additional. No matter your selection, the lights may be customised simply.

The keyboard itself is great. The recessed design permits the buttons to have a beneficiant 1.7mm of journey, and the buttons are quick, crisp and constant, with first rate weight and with a strong base.

It’s about pretty much as good as a chiclet keyboard can get for gaming, and higher something that Razer or the dual-screen Asus machine can present. You’ll solely get a big enchancment by searching for out a machine with a mechanical keyboard.

The trackpad is first rate however might be higher. Its buttons are quick and shallow, so that they’re good for gaming, however the pad might be bigger, and it’s a too far to the left – it’s too simple to your hand to catch the when utilizing the WASD keys. A USB or wi-fi gaming mouse is the superior possibility, after all.

Display & Audio system

This m17 R3 has a Full HD (1080p) show with a monster 300Hz refresh fee and a 3ms response time. It’s not bought Nvidia G-Sync, which is restricted to the 144Hz variant, however that hardly issues – the 300Hz design delivers sensationally sharp, {smooth} gaming, and it’s simply fast sufficient for eSports.

In fact, solely the keenest aggressive gamers will discover a big distinction between 144Hz and 300Hz – as refresh charges go larger, they ship diminishing returns.

High quality ranges are top-notch. The Delta E of 1.63 is nice, and the color temperature of 6,564Okay is unbelievable. The brightness degree of 332 nits is nice sufficient for any indoor situation, and the black level of 0.26cd/m2 is strong. The distinction ratio of 1,277:1 delivers nice depth and vibrancy. The strong benchmark outcomes are rounded out by an inexpensive 93.3% sRGB protection degree and wonderful uniformity figures.

There are few weaknesses right here – video games will look unbelievable on this display screen. A handful of laptops are brighter, however additional backlight power will solely help outside use. The Alienware m17 R3’s show additionally isn’t adequate to deal with the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 gamuts. If you happen to do want Adobe potential, then the Alienware’s 4K 60Hz panel is your solely possibility.

The audio system are mediocre – tinny, with a crushed mid-range and poor bass. There are totally different audio modes, however none make an enormous distinction. You’ll be capable of use this audio equipment for informal gaming and media duties, however a gaming headset will all the time be higher.

Specs & Efficiency

This m17 R3 deploys Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Tremendous 8GB graphics on this evaluate pattern – and it’s the full-power model slightly than a cut-back Max-Q version, too.

The processor is equally highly effective. The Intel Core i9-10980HK is Intel’s quickest new i9 Comet Lake chip, and it’s bought eight Hyper-Threaded cores alongside base and enhance speeds of two.4GHz and 5.3GHz. It’s hefty {hardware}, and it’s paired with 32GB of reminiscence. Within the UK this machine comes with a 512GB SSD, within the US it’s offered with a 1TB boot drive and a 512GB secondary SSD.

The RTX 2070 Tremendous zips via Far Cry New Daybreak and Wolfenstein: Youngblood’s Extremely benchmarks with common framerates of 92fps and 138fps. There’s sufficient tempo to play single-player titles easily at method past 60fps – and eSports video games will run shortly sufficient to successfully use the 300Hz show. The Alienware m17 R3 has the ability to output to 1440p screens, VR headsets and widescreens, and it’ll deal with 4K if you happen to dial again graphics settings.

The m17 is quicker than the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, which makes use of an RTX 2080 Max-Q with cut-back clock speeds. The Alienware’s 3D Mark Sky Diver rating of 48,054 illustrates the ability of the GPU – the Max-Q model of the chip scores round 35,000 factors.

The processor is great, but it surely’s not essentially the most suitable choice. The m17 R3’s Geekbench 5 rating of seven,976 is comfortably forward of the favored Core i7-10750H, but it surely trades blows with the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, which is gaining popularity in cheaper laptops. The Alienware outpaces the AMD chip in PC Mark 10 however is slower in Geekbench Four and nearly degree in Geekbench 5.

The Core i9-10980HK is excellent – it’ll deal with content material creation and difficult multi-tasking simply. Nonetheless, this chip and the 32GB of reminiscence are literally overkill for gaming, and AMD’s Ryzen 7 4800H is best for productiveness. Frustratingly, AMD’s chip isn’t at the moment out there in laptops alongside the RTX 2070 Tremendous, however it might nonetheless be a greater and extra reasonably priced guess for CPU energy alongside a weaker GPU.

Listed below are all our benchmark outcomes in comparison with the Zephyrus Duo and different rivals.

Noise ranges are by no means an issue – the laptop computer is quieter than most giant gaming machines. Warmth is a matter, although; the underside will get heat, so desk use is suggested and the realm above the keyboard turns into extraordinarily scorching. Heat air is pumped out of the right-hand facet slightly than the again, which may develop into uncomfortable if you happen to’re utilizing a mouse.

Alienware’s Core i9 CPU nearly reaches 100 levels throughout a stress-test, and when confused throughout benchmarks the chip’s clock speeds are throttled to enhance thermal efficiency. These throttled speeds aren’t horrible, however they do imply you gained’t get probably the most out of this CPU for productiveness.

Don’t count on nice battery life, both. The Alienware m17 R3 lasted for 2 hours and eighteen minutes in our video playback take a look at, and simply over an hour when gaming. It’s very a lot a laptop computer that ought to keep rooted to the mains.

Worth & Availability 

The Alienware m17 R3 I’ve reviewed is among the costliest UK-based fashions – you’ll solely must spend extra for an RTX 2080 Tremendous, and costs rise to £3,649 for that GPU and the Core i9 CPU.

Two fashions can be found for beneath £2,000, however they use weak AMD Radeon RX 5500M and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics. Mid-range choices embrace the RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 Tremendous for lower than £2,500.

Within the US, the Core i9 and RTX 2080 Tremendous possibility prices $4,169, and the most cost effective fashions value $1,599 and $1,849. Impressively, US patrons can pay money for an RTX 2060 machine for $1,849.

On either side of the pond, patrons can select between the 1080p 144Hz and 300Hz shows and the 60Hz 4K possibility and totally different storage configurations are additionally out there. Some fashions may also be bought with a extra discreet Darkish Facet of the Moon color.

Customers could make huge financial savings by eschewing high-end choices just like the Core i9 CPU, 32GB of DDR4 and 300Hz display screen. Within the UK, an RTX 2070 Tremendous machine with a Core i7 chip, 16GB of reminiscence and a 144Hz show begins at £2,349; within the US, it’s $2,099.

Shopping for direct from Dell offers you the selection of the complete vary of fashions, however you could find sure SKUs on the likes of Amazon, Very and Currys PC World if you happen to favor.

And, as ever, Alienware machines are costly – even if you happen to dial again the internals. If you happen to’re keen to forego the model and high-end trappings just like the 300Hz display screen and the Core i9 CPU then you could find the RTX 2070 Tremendous in 17.3in laptops that value £2,000 or $2,000 – or solely slightly extra.

There’s additionally the query of Nvidia’s new GPUs. There’s no phrase but when Nvidia Ampere will make its option to laptops, but it surely’s price holding out for just a few months if you need the final phrase in GPU energy.

Try some options in our finest gaming laptop computer chart.

Verdict 

The newest Alienware m17 R3 excels in a number of essential areas.

It appears unbelievable, it has an excellent keyboard and a high-quality, butter-smooth display screen, and it’s massively highly effective – it’ll deal with any gaming process and its CPU will scythe via work purposes.

The audio system and trackpad ought to be higher, though these points are simply solved with the headset and mouse mixture that almost all avid gamers will certainly use.

Battery life is poor, however that’s no shock, and never distinctive to this explicit 17.3in gadget. Some elements and the 300Hz show might be overkill for a lot of customers, and individuals who want CPU energy might be better-sated by AMD {hardware}.

If you happen to select applicable elements and don’t thoughts paying slightly additional, although, the Alienware provides nice efficiency and high quality inside a big, spectacular exterior.

Specs
Alienware m17 R3 (2020): Specs

Display: 17.3in 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 300Hz

Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core i9-10980HK

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Tremendous 8GB

Reminiscence: 32GB 2,666MHz DDR4

Storage: 512GB Micron 2200S NVMe SSD

Ports: 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-C/Thunderbolt 3, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x mini-DisplayPort, 1x microSD, 1x audio jack

Connectivity: Twin-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.1

Dimensions: 400 x 294 x 22mm

Weight: 2.94kg

Guarantee: 1yr RTB

About the author: SubSellKaro

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