Alienware 15 R2 Laptop: Product Review
Hey everybody, I’m taking a break from the CSS Web Design lessons for today to write a review on an Alienware laptop that I purchased a few weeks ago. To be clear, this isn’t a gaming performance review. I’m not a hardcore gamer, but I do love high-end computer products. This is just one of three Alienware computers that I’ve bought this year and is by far my favorite. I wanted a laptop for the mobility that also performed as well as my desktop, and it has exceeded my expectations. Whether you’re looking for performance, storage, graphics, or just incredible design, Alienware delivers (even in its base models). Being an everyday coder/programmer and occasional gamer, the 15″ is perfect for me. I needed a big enough screen to easily have a few windows open at the same time, but not so big that it would become a hassle to carry around with me. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop, then I suggest the 15″ or 17″ screen. Hardcore gamers would probably want to add a few upgrades, but for me, the extra few hundred dollars would have been wasted with the amount of time I spend playing games. The games I do play have excellent quality. Games like GTA V and Battlefield 4 even looked better on this laptop than on my console. The 13″ would be great for portability and work on the go. I heard other people say the 13″ is fine, but I personally think it’s worth the money for more screen real estate. Below are some of the important specs for the Alienware 15 R2 in review.
Specs for the model in this review
- Windows 10 operating system 64bit English
- Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-6300HQ (Quad-Core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.2GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
- Display: 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-Glare 220-nits Display
- Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5
- Memory: 8GB Dual Channel DDR4 at 2133MHz; up to 32GB (Can easily be upgraded)
- Hard Drive: 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s
- Wireless: Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
- Battery: 8-cell Lithium Ion (92 Wh) Battery
Front: 1.339″ / 34.0mm
Rear: 1.339″ / 34.0mm
Height (base): 0.94″ / 23.9mm
Depth: 10.64″ / 270.2mm
Width: 15.19″ / 385.8mm
Average weight: 7.07Lbs / 3.207Kg4
1 Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet IPV6
3 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Port
1 Thunderbolt™ 3 Port (USB Type-C™ with Support for SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, 40Gbps Thunderbolt, and DisplayPort)
1 Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port
1 HDMI (2.0 with NVIDIA /1.4 with AMD) Output
1 3-in-1 Media Card Reader
2 SODIMMs Memory Slots
1 Noble Lock Port (Cable and Lock Sold Separately)
AlienFX Lighting Zones
10 unique programmable zones with up to 20 distinct colors providing over 10 trillion lighting combinationsCamera
FullHD 2MP Camera with dual digital microphonesExterior Chassis Color
4-Zone, multi-color RGB, keyboard with AlienFX lighting controls
5 user-programmable keys providing up to 15 distinct functions per application or gameMemory Slots
Software: Alienware Command Center
AlienAdrenaline w/ Accelerator
Backlit button image sensor trackpad with all-points addressable (APA)
STRUCTURE AND DESIGN
The structure and design of the Alienware laptops are super cool. They are built with a carbon fiber composite material that looks and feels good. The base around the keyboard has a rubber-like coating that’s comfortable after long periods of use. The only thing I don’t like about the base is how easy fingerprints and grease show up on it. The laptop’s lid is very rigid and stays in whatever position I put it in. All that said, it feels very durable. Because Alienware computers are built with gamers in mind, that’s what the keyboard design is based around. The keyboard is very quiet and I like how the buttons are laid out. There are 6 programmable macro keys on the left side which I absolutely love on a laptop. The separate number pad that you would usually find on a typical keyboard was excluded. This took me a while to get used to but didn’t really bother me that much although I do feel like there was enough room for this to be included. Lighting effects are a big part of Alienware products. There are 10 programmable lighting zones that give you the ability to create over 10 trillion lighting combinations. You can also set the lighting to react in real time for specific events with the computer like receiving an e-mail. I love the trackpad on this laptop. It’s smooth and the buttons feel great. And of course, the entire trackpad lights up. This feature is perfect for working in a dark lit area. The lighting on the trackpad can be customized as well. This laptop has an awesome unique design that just makes it look like a beast. As far as weight goes, it’s a little heavy coming in at just over 7lbs. For people that would want to upgrade, getting at the hardware is pretty simple with just a few screws.
At its core, the Alienware 15 R2 is a gaming computer. Occasional gamers looking for great performance and graphics will love it this model. For extreme gamers, upgrades are probably something to look into. If you’re looking for the absolute best, top speed graphics and framerate, then you might want to upgrade to the Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ (Quad-Core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.5GHz w/ Turbo Boost) processor. Other available upgrades are the video card, hard drive, memory, and even an external graphics amplifier for 4k gaming. Alienware computers are incredibly customizable to fit your every need. I purchased this computer expecting it to have excellent performance, battery life, and a great gaming experience. It has met or exceeded every one of my needs. It performs as well or better than my desktops and I take it everywhere. I recommend getting the Vindicator carrying case or backpack as well for easy transport. If there was one thing bad I could say about it; it’s that the bottom of the laptop gets fairly hot when you’re when running multiple power draining apps or games. But that was something I expected from such a powerful laptop. When I’m putting this laptop through the ringer, I plug in a tiny USB fan to keep it cool. I paid $20 bucks for it and it keeps the temperature down enough for me to comfortable have it on my lap.
About a year ago I started shopping around, comparing prices, and reading reviews on many types of high performance desktops and laptops. I found Alienware to be the perfect fit for me and my web development and computer programming needs. The prices of the products seemed a little high to me at first until I seen how well they perform. The little extra that I spent to get this much out of a laptop computer was totally worth it. I’ve purchased three Alienware computers in the past year. Two Console/Desktops and this 15″ laptop. I think it’s safe to say that I’m an Alienware guy now and it’s going to take a lot for me to switch to a different product; whether it is a desktop or a laptop. I give the Alienware 15 R2 4.5 out of 5 stars because of the heating issue under stressful situations and the base around the keyboard that is susceptible to fingerprints.
Products mentioned in this review
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posted by Clear Coded Programming