Review: Alienware 15R3 gaming laptop

Sleek and sexy gaming on the go.

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Review: Alienware 15R3 gaming laptop
Supplier: Alienware
Price: $3099.00

Alienware has come out of its corner swinging this quarter, releasing two sexy new laptops that adopt a beautiful new chassis design and top-end specs. Being Alienware we can expect some premium pricing, but with that comes build quality that’s hard to beat. 

We’re not big fans of overt neon lighting schemes, but Alienware has pulled it off perfectly here. A very slim line of neon extends around the sides of the chassis, including the lid, and the touchpad magically glows the same colour. The rest of the design is comprised of sharp lines, carved from anodised aluminium, and it simply reeks of high-end manufacturing. 

The entire unit is based around a 15.3-inch screen, available in 1080p or UHD displays; ours came with the former. Dell is renowned for its beautiful desktop displays, and that same love and expertise has been poured into the display here. Rich colours, stunning contrast – it’s almost as if you’re looking at an OLED. 

But it’s the gaming features that make this screen stand out. With a 120Hz refresh rate and G-Synch, it’ll deliver the smoothest gaming experience that the hardware within can pump out. It even has Tobii eye tracking, allowing you to control the camera in-game simply by glancing in a certain direction, or making a Window active just by looking at it. In reality it’s a neat little party trick that we never got comfortable using while gaming. 

Alienware hasn’t aimed for portability with this machine – as a 15-incher, it could have been super lightweight, but instead they’ve gone for a fatter base to fit faster hardware. At 3.49kg it’s surprisingly heavy. So what gives it the weight of a larger, 17-inch model?

To nobody’s surprise, it’s packing Intel’s 6th Generation Core i7-6700HQ CPU, which seems to appear in at least 75% of gaming laptops. The top speed of 3.5GHz is nice, but we’ve seen a few manufacturers using the desktop i7-6700 piece instead, which ups this to 4.2GHz, and would have been lovely to see here. This is accompanied by the now obligatory amount of DDR4 memory, with a total of 16GB spread across dual channels. 

I/O Options are very generous, with three USB 3.0 Type-A, twin USB 3.0 Type-C, audio in/out, mini-DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0. There’s also Alienware’s proprietary connection for its external graphics acceleration box. 

You probably won’t need this last port though, as Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 1060 mobile powers the show. It’s Nvidia’s entry-level mobile product, so is probably this machine’s only flaw, but as you can see from our benchmarks, it still has the grunt to deliver an average frame rate in the ever-demanding Metro Last Light benchmark.

We love the look, feel, and features of Alienware’s stunning new 15 incher. We’d suggest selecting the GeForce GTX 1070 mobile option come purchase time though, just so you can really see what that incredibly fast display is capable of. 

PROS
• Amazing screen
• Stunning and sturdy construction
• Great specs
 
CONS
• GTX 1060 is underpowered
• Pricey
• Loud fan noise
9 10
Verdict
When it comes to quality, this stunner is hard to beat – if only it was just a tad bit faster with the 1070 instead.
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