I was blessed to be at PAX 2018 in Melbourne, Victoria and went hands-on with the all new Alienware m15 Gaming Laptop.
After years of hoping and wishing, Alienware has significantly slimmed down the Alienware m15 laptop to an unbelievable 2.1 kg in a chassis that is 17.9mm thick. This makes the m15, 5% thinner and 20% lighter than the smaller Alienware 13.
For anyone who knows anything about Alienware’s laptops will know how chunky they’ve always been. Calling them laptops was a generous term at best. A desktop replacement was more like it.
Eduardo Goyanes, Product Marketing Coordinator at Alienware explained the reason for this was Alienware’s commitment to performance. To achieve the highest performance requires high-end performance parts which inevitably require more power and cooling.
From Alienware’s perspective, anything less would have been a compromise. Until today.
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The new Alienware m15 packs some impressive hardware including an FHD 144Hz screen powered by Nvidia max-Q 1070 GPU for buttery smooth gameplay. Also included are 8th gen, Intel Core i7 processors, up to 64gb of RAM and 512GB nVMe Drive for blistering performance in an incredibly portable frame.
Supporting this is a new 90wHr battery that Alienware says will last unto 17 hours on standby and 6 hours video playback. Obviously, gaming on the battery is going to burn right through it but nobody serious gamer does that, right?
Obviously, we couldn’t get a feel for how performant it is on the show floor but we will review it thoroughly when we get our hands on it.
Skinny chassis that remains cool under load
Eduardo says this is all thanks to the new dual intake/exhaust design and Gyro-Tech v2.0 thermal tech in the m15. This allows the Alienware m15 to maintain top performance without throttling like its thinner rival, the Razer Blade 15.
Alienware also used a magnesium alloy to build a tough, heat resistant but a very light shell to house the components. A 2.1kg Alienware laptop is nothing to scoff at.
And despite the thinner chassis, the Alienware m15 keyboard still offers great key travel for a pleasant typing experience. The AlienFX keyboard has 1.4mm travel and individually backlit keys which you can assign one of 16.8 million colours and combinations.
Another critical addition to the m15 is a dedicated PCI-Express X4 Gen 3 port on the back that allows you to connect to an external GPU or eGPU like the Alienware Graphics Amplifier for even more performance. Simply plug in the eGPU and Alienware Command Center has you set to go.
On display at the booth was an example setup with an Alienware m15, a Razer eGPU connected to an Alienware 34-inch Ultrawide Gaming monitor.
The Alienware m15 starts at a base price of $2779 in Australia and is available in the fourth quarter of 2018.