Dell Alienware m15 R2 gaming laptop review

OUR VERDICT

  • High performance
  • Much RAM for multitasking
  • Pretty solid and sturdy-enough build
  • Thunderbolt-3 port
  • Pretty high refresh rate display
  • Display is above an average bright
  • Pretty good screen color gamut
  • Pretty tactile keyboard
  • Decent key travel when pressed
  • Good thermal management
  • Speakers are enough loud and well clear at max volume
  • Fans are completely silent during normal use
  • Gorgeous RGB lighting effect ring on back
  • Keys have individual RGB backlit
  • Bigger and well-placed 4 arrow keys
  • Smooth and responsive touchpad
  • Touchpad clicks down anywhere
  • Fingerprints don't really show up on this white version
  • No flex during normal typing on keyboard
  • Much more air intake vents
  • Faster storage
  • GPU amplifier port
  • No G-Sync available
  • No 180-degree hinge
  • No option to disable the NVIDIA optimus
  • White version looks slightly yellowish over the use
  • Video editing is smooth but the export time too high than average compared laptops
  • Full-speed mode of this laptop found doesn't work really like full-speed mode.
  • WHAT IT CAN DO
  • Web Programming
  • Android Programming
  • Desktop Programming
  • PC-Game development
  • Graphics & Video Editing
  • Small-scale Deep Learning
  • Run high-end PC games
  • WHAT IT CAN’T DO
  • iOS/Mac Programming
  • Medium to high-level of machine learning
Buy at Amazon

Hello, guys! So, today, in this article, I'm going to review the Dell Alienware M15 R2 gaming laptop by sharing what I have observed during 9 days of use. All things will begin with the technical specs followed by the explanation of each. The review unit which I have received from New Delhi was luckily a brand-new.

Dell Alienware m15 R2 is the most popular gaming laptop and achieved the 5th position in our article on the best gaming laptops to buy. Despite the super high performance, there some cons because of which I have placed it in the 5th position.

So, let's dig into it and find out what's good and disappointing inside it, what it can and cannot do for you. In addition to that, I have written a detailed easy-to-understand explanation of laptops specs that might help you to understand some of the technical terms I am gonna use in this review article.

Table of Contents

Technical Specs of Dell Alienware m15 R2

  • CPU: 2.2GHz 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H Processor | 6 Core.
  • GPU: Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6.
  • RAM: 2666MHz 16GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD.
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD Display | IPS technology | 240Hz refresh rate.
  • Battery: 76Wh Li-ion battery | Lasts up to 44 minutes on Gaming.
  • Weight: 4.92 Pounds (2.23 kg)
  • Product dimension: 36.05 x 27.6 x 2.01 cms

The Build Quality and Material

The lid of the Dell Alienware gaming laptop is made of the magnesium-alloy.
Mg-alloy lid of Dell Alienware m15 r2.
White Magnesium-alloy matte finish interior of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.
White Mg-alloy matte finish interior of Dell Alienware.

This Dell Alienware m15 R2 laptop has a magnesium-alloy build with a black and lunar matte finish. The edges are not as sharp as they are rounded. Furthermore, the front corners feel sharp when you go through the base. Overall, the build feels quite sturdy and solid enough despite little more screen flex. Pretty premium build quality I have found in it like Razer Blade Pro 17, Lenovo Legion 7i, and MSI GS65 gaming laptop.

During the 9 days of use, I have done gaming, small-scale machine learning, and video editing on it to check the performance at every corner.

The weight of this gaming laptop is found 4.92 pounds. With charging cables, it has raised to 7.21 pounds, measured using propert weight meter.
This laptop is just 5 pounds heavy!

I have also measured the weight of this gaming laptop and found it 4.92lb (2.23 kg) heavy, but with charging cables, the total weight has raised to 7.21lb (3.3 kg).

This laptop is 14.19 x 10.9 x 2.01 inches big.
Dimensions of this laptop

The dimensions of this gaming laptop are 14.19 x 10.9 x 0.8 inches (36.05 x 27.6 x 2.01 cms). It found more thicker than the Legion 7i (0.8-inch), Pro 17 Razer Blade (0.78-inch), and MSI GS65 (0.7-inch) laptop.

Moreover, this Dell Alienware m15 R2 has RGB backlit logo on the lid, an RGB lead ring on the back, and an RGB backlit keyboard. It has no backlit on the ports, unlike Lenovo Legion 7i. So, If you need a laptop that is surrounded by RGB backlighting then go for Legion 7i gaming laptop.

Display Quality and Color Accuracy

Size and Quality

15.6-inch big FHD 240Hz refresh rate IPS enabled display of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop. It has no G-sync.

The 15.6-inch FHD display has a 240Hz refresh rate and good viewing angles due to the IPS panel with a 760:1 contrast ratio. Also, there is no G-Sync available even no option to disable the Optimus. So, you will get high performance during gaming at a cost of more than average battery drain. Pro 17 Razer Blade gaming laptop has also a 240Hz display with G-Sync available, unlike this one.

See, below how color accurate the display when measured the accuracy using Spyder 5 PRO for color gamut results.

Color Accuracy

Spyder 5 PRO is measuring the color reproduction capabilities of this m15 r2 laptop.
For color reproduction capabilities, I have used the Spyder 5 PRO.

I have tested this gaming laptop using Spyder 5 PRO and the results are in the below image.

The screen color gamut measured using Spyder 5 PRO are 96% of SRGB, 74% of AdobeRGB, 68% of NTSC, and 74% of DCI-P3.
Pretty better color reproduction capabilities the display does have.

The color gamut results are pretty awesome for a decent gaming laptop as you can see in the just above the image. The results obtained seem to be nearly identical with Razer Blade Pro 17 and MSI GS65 Stealth-004 gaming laptops. But, Legion 7i's display has returned pretty higher color gamut results than this one and the other two laptops.

Although, this laptop also comes with different variants. So, all different variants may return different results according to the panel. In addition to the color gamut results, I have tested it to measure the Nits at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the brightness of the display. The results are displayed in the following image.

Graph of the % level of brightness vs nits achieved by Dell Alienware's display. At 100% of brightness, the display has reached 323.4 Nits.
Display found above an average but not incredibly bright.

As per the above figure, the results are not impressive not even below the average. At 100% of screen brightness, the display has reached beyond 323 Nits which is nearly similar to but higher than the Razer Blade Pro 17 (307.1 nits) and MSI GS65 (281 nits). When compared to Legion 7i (474 nits), All three laptops suck.

So, Lenovo Legion 7i's display was found to be brighter and better in color accuracy with a little less contrast ratio. Razer Pro 17 has a very high contrast ratio (1050:1) followed by Lenovo Legion 7i (970:1) gaming laptop. But, It doesn't mean that M15's display isn't better. It is okay what the display should be for a decent gaming laptop. It can also help in better content creation in addition to gaming needs.

Is there any screen flex?

Intentionally moved the screen to check the screen flex.
Did you notice any flex on screen?

While intentionally moving on the screen with fingers, there is some flex found. But, overall build found pretty solid and sturdy enough due to the mg-alloy lid. I have found no issue during normal use.

The hinge of the laptop, running along the most of the base. Moreover, it's not 180-degree hinge.
Look at the hinge running along the most of the base, still not able to turn the laptop display right back parallel to keyboard.

The flex is present perhaps due to the hinge that runs along the most of the base. However, the hinge doesn't allow the display to turn right back at 180-degree like Razer Blade Pro 17.

Tried to open the Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop display using just one finger. And, it has opened up.
Just tried to open the display by just one finger. And, found yes, it's just possible.

Besides the flex and hinge, I have also checked whether it is possible to open the display with just one finger. Overall, I found it a bit problematic but yes, it is just possible. But, It seems that the weight is not distributed fairly along the hinge between the display and a base. When compared to Legion 7i, Blade Pro 17, and MSI GS65, this one loss to all of them.

Keyboard – Tactile, Flex, Build, and RGB Backlit?

Keyboard Flex and Build Quality

Pushed down the keyboard using two fingers with a fair pressure to check the keyboard-flex.
Look at the little bend occurred over the middle of keyboard due to fair pressure I have applied using the fingers to check the flex possibilities.

There is some keyboard flex found when pushed it down hard, but the overall build feels quite sturdy enough. Unlike the MSI GS65 gaming laptop, the flex hasn't extended to the palm rest area. Overall, I found no issue during normal typing.

Individual Key RGB Backlit

Pretty attractive RGB backlighting on the keyboard. Not just primary but also secondary functions have light up.
Pretty attractive RGB backlights of keyboard. Fair enough to light up primary and secondary key functions.

The keyboard has an individual key RGB backlit instead of zonal backlighting that light up the secondary functions also. The keyboard's RGB lighting effect can be controlled using Alienware command software.

The keyboard of Dell Alienware m15 r2 laptop is well-placed at the center.
Though the keyboard is well-placed in the center, I have experienced like it has moved slightly towards the right at initial. But, over the use habit, I was used of it.

The keyboard looks placed at the center but during typing on it, I found it is slightly towards the right side. When compared to Legion 7i, MSI GS65, and Razer Blade Pro's keyboard, it's not good despite pretty tactile feedback.

In addition to the keyboard's RGB backlighting, the RGB backlit isn't limited to the keyboard like Razer Blade Pro 17 and MSI GS65 gaming laptops. It has a ring lighted up with RGB lighting at the back of the laptop. See it in the below image.

RGB lighting rectangular ring placed at the back of the laptop.
Pretty attractive rectangular shaped ring on the back with RGB lighting effects.

Tactile Feedback

Testing the keyboard by typing 3 pages on it to check the tactile feedback experience.
Typing on the keyboard of this laptop was really a good experience for me, thanks to the tactile keys.

Typing on the keyboard is a pretty good experience but when you will use it. I have typed two pages on Microsoft word to test the tactile feedback. During typing, I found the keys were giving pretty tactile feedback with 1.7mm of decent key travel. Unlike MSI GS65, the keys don't look mushy. Also, I haven't experienced the flex on it during normal typing.

The typing sound is also found similar to MacBook Pro 16-inch's magic keyboard.

Are Arrow Keys Bigger and Well-Placed?

The 4 arrow keys are are bigger and placed well on the keyboard.
Look at the bigger and nicely placed 4 arrow keys.

So, as you can see in the above image, the arrow keys are enough bigger and well-placed on the keyboard. Hence, no miss press possible here. Seems pretty similar to Razer Blade Pro 17, Legion 7i, and MSI GS65 Stealth gaming laptops.

Touchpad – Precision, Smooth, and Accurate?

Tested the Dell Alienware touchpad for smooth, responsive, and accurate gestures handling. Also, for precision drivers.
Touchpad? Yes I have tested. Smooth? Yes. Responsive? Yes. Accurate? Except for 2-finger scroll gesture. Precision drivers? Yes.

The precision touchpad is good and physically clicks down anywhere when pressed. The clicks make above an average click sound. It's smooth and responsive. Although, I found it a little smaller than the average touchpad of other gaming laptops. The touchpad is 4.1 x 2.36 inches big. It was found smaller than the touchpad of Legion 7i (4.13 x 2.76 inches), Razer Blade Pro 17 (5 x 3 inches), and MSI GS65 (4.1 x 2.7 inches).

In addition to that, the touchpad found not accurate while handling the 2-finger scroll. When I have tested it, I found it was not responding well. For games, I recommend buying an external dedicated gaming mouse because it'll help you out a lot while escaping from enemies, saying from my personal experience on The Witcher 3.

Fingerprints

Heavily used this laptop for 9 days to check the fingerprints are show up or not. Luckily not on this white version.
Fingerprints weren't show up on the white version of this Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.

Fingerprints don't really show up on the white version unlike MSI GS65 and Razer Blade Pro 17 gaming laptops. But, with the matte black version, It will be more obvious. Also, note that despite a matte black finish, there was little to no fingerprints have shown on the Legion 7i laptop. But, here is something strange shown up on the white interior of the laptop. Over the use, I found the white interior was turned to slightly yellowish at some of the parts, you can see that in the below image.

Heavy use of this Alienware laptop has shown some yellowish signs on the white interior.
I have seen some yellowish signs on the white interior of this gaming laptop. Also, I couldn't remove it easily.

And, on the worse side of that, for me, it wasn't easy to remove the yellowish part.

Processor and Graphics Chip

Removed the bottom plate for better visibility of the CPU and GPU.
Are you guys able to see the processor and graphics chip?

I have just removed the bottom panel and captured the image for better visibility of the processor and GPU chip. I think on this laptop, it seems not possible to see when compared to Legion 7i and Razer Blade.

This gaming laptop is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor with NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6 chip. In addition to the CPU and GPU, with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, you gonna enjoy the super multitasking. 16GB of RAM is much more to run many things in parallel in smooth. To make the laptop even faster, Dell has put 1TB of faster PCIe-based solid-state drive to load files faster.

To check the CPU performance, I have run the Cinebench 3 times on this laptop. The average of the results of my 3 tests is shown in the following image.

The chart of the Cinebench R20 score for average of the 3 runs for single and multi-core CPU score of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.
CPU scores look fine but less when compared to Legion 7i Cinebench score.

As per the above results, In cool and quiet mode, the CPU's single and multi-core score seems very identical. When the mode changed to Balanced followed by Performance and Full speed mode in series, the multi-core score has jumped considerably high. It is to note that Cinebench hasn't shown any drastic change in the single-core score.

Here, in the case of this laptop, Undervolting the CPU has positively impacted on the multi-core score of the CPU. In the Full-Speed mode, The single-core score was at 429 and the multi-core at 3001. When tested in the same mode with -0.1v undervolted CPU, the single-core was reduced by 1 and a multi-core score has raised to 132 units.

In addition to the CPU Cinebench score, I have also measured the CPU and GPU clock speed 3 times in different modes of stress tests using AIDA64 and gaming tests. And, the results of the tests are shown in the following image.

The chart of the average CPU and GPU clock speed in MHz measured for gaming and stress tests in different modes on Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.
I have to accept that the clock speeds seem to be near to Legion 7i's clock speed.

In my tests, I found something weird on this laptop. Use of the cooling pad on this laptop during stress tests at full speed mode with overclocked CPU which was also -0.1v undervolted resulted in an average CPU clock speed of 3913MHz. But, the same test in the same configuration without a cooling pad reduced the CPU clock speed to 3678MHz.

But, during gaming tests, I have no considerable change in the CPU and GPU clock speeds measured in full speed mode with overclocked and -0.1v undervolted CPU with and without a cooling pad.

In gaming with performance mode, the CPU and GPU clock speed were 3243 and 1732MHz. By increasing the gaming mode to full speed mode with overclocked GPU, the CPU and GPU clock speed were reached 3768 and 1781MHz. But, -0.1v undervolting the CPU has increased the clock speed noticeably high. I have recorded 3971MHz for CPU and 1803 for GPU by doing so.

In stress tests with performance mode, the CPU and GPU clock speed were 3001MHz and 1534MHz. By increasing the mode for the same test to full speed mode with overclocked GPU, the CPU and GPU clock speeds were reached 3417MHz and 1529MHz. And, -0.1v undervolting the CPU in the same tests has raised the CPU and GPU clock speed to 3678MHz and 1524MHz.

So, overall, I found that during gaming, the use of a cooling pad impacts void on the clock speed performance. During other tests except gaming, the use of a cooling pad has positively impacted. Undervolting the CPU has shown a positive impact on CPU and GPU clock speed during both gaming and stress tests.

Furthermore, I have overclocked the GPU core for 100MHz and a GPU memory for 300MHz. That's what the term "OC2" in the just above figure belongs to.

In addition to that, I have performed the following tests to check the CPU and GPU performance.

  • Gaming - Full Speed + OC2 - 0.1v CPU UV + Cooling Pad
  • Gaming - Full Speed + OC2 - 0.1v CPU UV
  • Gaming - Full Speed + OC2
  • Gaming - Performance mode
  • Gaming - Balanced mode
  • Gaming - Cool mode
  • Gaming - Quiet mode
  • Stress Test - Full Speed + OC2 - 0.1v CPU UV + Cooling Pad
  • Stress Test - Full Speed + OC2 - 0.1v CPU UV
  • Stress Test - Full Speed + OC2
  • Stress Test - Performance mode
  • Stress Test - Balanced mode
  • Stress Test - Cool mode
  • Stress Test - Quiet mode

So, that's all about the average clock speed I have measured for each test with 3 runs. Furthermore, see the below image that consists of the FPS data of games I have played on this Dell Alienware M15 R2 gaming laptop that might give you an idea of what to expect from the processor and graphics chip.

I have played the following PC-games on this machine and recorded the FPS data in the image shown below.

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Far Cry 5
  • Battlefield V
The chart of the gaming FPS data recorded by playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry 5, and Battlefield V games.
Gaming FPS results at high settings.

Such high specs can give a speedy performance in graphics and video editing. So, I have also tested the video editing capabilities of this laptop.

Video Editing Performance

The chart of the video export tests to record the export time. The tests were conducted using Adobe Premier CC video editing software on this Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.
Pretty slow in exporting the video in 4K preset.

As shown in the above image, I have exported the same 16 minutes and 13 seconds long video in YouTube 4K H.264 preset for 5 times using Adobe Premiere Pro CC and measured the export time. So, my testings ended up with 951 seconds of export time on average.

So, Pretty bad results by this gaming laptop. When compared to Lenovo Legion 7i (597 seconds), Razer Blade Pro 17 (585 seconds), and MSI GS65 Stealth-004 (591 seconds), this laptop loses the battle against all of them.

At the same time, I have also tested the smoothness of this laptop. For that, I have done massive gestures activities on this laptop and checked whether this laptop lags or not. And, I have ended up with a good impression except for two fingers scrolling which was fixed by Dell's update. Though I always recommend the Apple Macbook Pro 16-inch for video editing due to its outstanding smoothness, responsiveness, and Final Cut Pro video editing software which is designed and optimized for the Mac OS.

Thermal and fans Performance – Throttling, Rise in Keyboard Temperature, and more

Thermal Performance

The chart of the average CPU and GPU temperature for gaming and stress tests in different modes on the Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.
Avg CPU and GPU temperatures attained by Dell Alienware.

I have tested the CPU and GPU temperatures for different tests and ended up with the results shown in the above image. Note that the results are the average of 3 runs.

In the gaming test at full speed mode with overclocked GPU, the CPU and GPU temperature were measured to 99 and 77 degrees C. By -0.1v undervolting the CPU, both reached 96 and 73 degrees C. In the stress tests at the same mode with overclocked GPU, both CPU and GPU found ended up to 98 and 73 degrees C temperature. And, -0.1v undervoting the CPU has left the CPU and GPU at 99 and 73 degrees C.

In the gaming test at full speed mode with overclocked GPU, the use of a cooling pad has reduced both CPU and GPU temperatures to 92 and 68 degrees C. And, in the stress test at the same mode and GPU overclocking, the use of cooling pad has reduced the CPU temperature noticeably to 82 degrees C while keeping the GPU at the same position.

By doing such tests revealed that the use of a cooling pad has shown a really positive impact on the reduction of the temperature of CPU, but found neutral for GPU temperature reduction. And, undervolting the CPU has also shown a slightly considerable reduction on both CPU and GPU temperature.

Power consumption

In addition to the temperature measurement, I have also tested the CPU and GPU power consumption at different modes for 3 runs and shown the average results in the image below.

The chart of the average CPU and GPU power limit measured through gaming and stress tests in different performance modes.
This much Power the CPU and GPU of this Alienware m15 r2 do require.

In gaming tests at full speed mode with overclocked GPU, the CPU and GPU power consumption reached 48.8 and 89.2 watts respectively. At the same time, -0.1v undervolting the CPU has reduced the CPU and GPU power consumption to 47.5 from 48.8 watts and to 88.8 from 89.2 watts respectively. Here, in the same test with the use of a cooling pad found neutrally impacted.

In stress tests at full speed mode with overclocked GPU, the CPU and GPU power consumption reached 45.9 and 88.9 watts respectively. At the same time, -0.1v undervolting the CPU has reduced the power limit of CPU to 45.3 and increased the GPU limit by 0.2. Here, the use of a cooling pad has revealed an increase in the power limit of CPU from 45.3 to 52.7 watts and GPU by 0.1 watts.

So, overall, no incredible difference has been recorded. But, I have to accept that doing undervolting or the use of a cooling pad has improved the power consumption slightly.

Furthermore, to cool down the laptop, 2 fans are working hard. The number is small compared to Razer Blade Pro 17 (4 fans) and MSI GS65 Stealth-004 (3 fans).

The rise in the Temperature of Keyboard and Palm Rest

I have not only checked for the CPU and GPU temperature, but also for the palm rest and keyboard temperature. As the palm rest and keyboard are the places where you gonna in physical touch with the machine. So, both of them must at cool temperatures or at below the noticeable limit. So, for this laptop, I have tested them for different modes using a temperature gun.

Temperature gun was testing the keyboard and palm rest temperatures in Idle - quiet mode of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.

At idle - quiet mode, the base found at mid 30 degrees C in the middle and around 30 C at both sides of the keyboard. The palm rest found cool. At the top of the keyboard, It was getting warmer.

Temperature gun was testing the keyboard and palm rest temperatures during CPU+GPU stress test in quiet mode of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.

In the CPU+GPU stress test at quiet mode, the middle of the keyboard getting slightly warmer. It was getting over mid 45 C at the middle and mid 30 C at the sides. The palm rest found completely cool.

Temperature gun was testing the keyboard and palm rest temperatures during CPU+GPU stress test in balanced mode of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.

In the CPU+GPU stress test at balanced mode, the middle was touching 50 C and the top of it felt average hotter. The sides were still at mid 30 C with cool palm rest.

Temperature gun was testing the keyboard and palm rest temperatures during CPU+GPU stress test in full speed mode of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.

In the CPU+GPU stress test at full speed mode, the middle was reaching 50 C and the top of it found going beyond 55 C. The sides were found at below 45 C temperature with cool palm rest.

Fans Noise

Digitech's sound level meter was measuring the noise produced by fans at idle - quiet mode of Dell Alienware m115 r2 gaming laptop.

At idle quite mode, the fans were found completely silent. A Digitech sound level meter has measured 31.4dB which less than Lenovo Legion 7i (36.3dB), Razer Blade Pro 17 (35.2dB), and MSI GS65 (35.2dB).

Digitech's sound level meter was measuring the noise produced by fans during CPU+GPU stress tests at quiet mode of Dell Alienware m115 r2 gaming laptop.

At the CPU+GPU stress test in quiet mode, the fans were still silent, not loud. When compared to Legion 7i (43.9dB), it has lost the battle.

Digitech's sound level meter was measuring the noise produced by fans during CPU+GPU stress tests at cool mode of Dell Alienware m115 r2 gaming laptop.

At the CPU+GPU stress test in cool mode, the fans were not loud. My sound level meter has measured 42.3dB sound.

Digitech's sound level meter was measuring the noise produced by fans during CPU+GPU stress tests at performance mode of Dell Alienware m115 r2 gaming laptop.

At the CPU+GPU stress test in performance mode, the fans were heard and measured 46.1dB by the sound level meter.

Digitech's sound level meter was measuring the noise produced by fans during CPU+GPU stress tests at full speed mode of Dell Alienware m115 r2 gaming laptop.

At the CPU+GPU stress test in full speed mode, the fans were initially quite loud. My meter has measured 57.9dB. But, after a few seconds, the sound level was reached 52dB.

During my testings, I have found that the full speed mode is really not a full-speed mode. As you can see from the results of my last test on fans' noise, the fans are not as fast as they should be. When compared to Legion 7i and Razer Blade, the fans' performance of this laptop sucks. All I can say that for full speed mode, the fans seemed a little average but for the rest of the modes, they are fine.

Air Intake Vents

Air intake vents at the top of the keyboard of Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.
Air intake vents underneath the laptop of Alienware m15 r2.

There are air intake vents placed at the top of the keyboard and underneath the laptop. Underneath, there is a huge belt of the air intake vents to cool the laptop down by letting the fresh air enter. The power button is placed at the top right corner and surrounded by air intake holes.

Air Exhausts

Placement of the air exhausts at the left, right, and back sides of the Dell Alienware m15 r2 laptop.

The Dell Alienware M15 R2 has two air exhausts at the corners on the back, one at the right side on the back corner, and the last one on the left side of the back corner. The air exhausts placed on the back are quite large compared to the air exhausts at both left and right sides.

Speakers, Microphone, and Camera

Speakers

2 Speakers are placed at sides at front corner.

The speakers are placed towards the front at sides. I have tested the sound level using the Digitech sound level meter as shown in the following image.

Digitech's sound level meter has measured the sound level produced by 2 speakers of this m15 r2 gaming laptop.
90;2dB of sound level measured at max volume.

I have measured the sound level produced by Digitech's sound meter and found 90.2dB. At max volume, the speakers are found well clear, enough, no tiny, but little bass present. Overall, near to the incredible results.

Also, the LatencyMon results are found good.

LatencyMon results for 2 speakers.

Camera and Microphone

The camera and microphone both are placed on the 9.5mm thin bezel of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.

The 720p camera and microphone are placed inside the 9.5mm thin bezels with no Windows Hello support here. Both are not incredible not good just okay. In terms of microphone, MSI GS65 has better microphone quality than any other gaming laptops I have tested.

Ports in Dell Alienware m15 R2

Ports on the left side of this m15 r2.
Ports on the left side of a laptop.

On the left side of the laptop, from left to right corner, there is

  • 1 Noble lock
  • 1 Air exhaust
  • 1 2.5Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port
  • 1 3.5mm audio/combo jack
Ports on the right side of this m15 r2.
Ports on the right side of a laptop

On the right side of this laptop, from left to right corner, there is

  • 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port
  • 1 Air exhaust
Ports on the back of this m15 r2.
Ports on the back of a laptop.

On the back side of this laptop, from left to right corner, there is

  • 1 HDMI 2.0 port
  • 1 miniDisplay port
  • 1 USB Type-C port which supports Thunderbolt-3 port but not charging
  • 1 Alienware graphics amplifier eGPU port
  • 1 power input and two air exhausts at left and right corners.

Moreover, there is nothing on the front as you can see in the following image.

A very clean looking front of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.
A very clean looking front of Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop.

Battery Life

The chart of the battery life tests conducted by gaming and YouTube watching tests.
Not longer but better power supplying battery to give the great performance at a cost of more than average drain.

I have tested the battery life of Dell Alienware M15 R2 gaming laptop for gaming and for normal use. For gaming, I have played The Witcher 3 because it's my favorite game, and based on my tests I found that it utilizes the CPU and GPU in the best way. For normal tasks battery life, I have tested it with background apps disabled, 50% of the screen brightness, keyboard backlighting and other lightings off.

So, while watching the youtube videos, the battery has lasted for 5 hours and 17 minutes. And, during The Witcher 3 gameplay at medium settings, the 76Wh battery lasted for just half an hour and 13 minutes. But, during the gaming time, I wasn't found the single performance drain as it was in the MSI GS65 gaming laptop. In MSI GS65, the 80Wh battery lasted for 1 hour and 38 minutes but The Witcher 3 was playable only for one hour. After one hour, the FPS was dropped heavily to 10 FPS that made the game unplayable.

So, In terms of battery capabilities for supplying the power, Dell Alienware, Lenovo Legion 7i, and Razer Blade laptops win the battle in parallel to one another but the MSI GS65 Stealth-004 loses.

Storage

The chart of the speed of SSD storage speed measured using CrystalDiskMark too.

I have measured the 1TB of SSD storage's speed using the CrystalDiskMark tool. Unlike Razer Blade Pro, Legion 7i, and MSI GS65, in this laptop, SSD speed was measured for whole storage, not of the partitioned storage. And, from the just above image, it's clear that this gaming machine has a pretty faster SSD storage.

So, that's all for Dell Alienware m15 r2 gaming laptop. I have also reviewed many laptops that you would like to read.

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