If you’re looking for a gaming laptop, you might have considered Alienware, one of the top names in the gaming laptop world. One of the brand’s latest offerings come in the form of the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 – a gaming laptop that features a powerful AMD Ryzen processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 graphics card, Windows DirectX 12 Ultimate, and a smooth 15” G-Sync display.
While that all sounds exciting, it’s important to take a closer look at what the laptop has to offer. In this review, we’ve tested the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 for you so you can decide if you’d like to invest in this gaming laptop.
Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5: Specifications at a glance
There are loads of different configuration options available for your choosing:
Note: Specifications of the review set will be bolded.
|Processor options||AMD Ryzen R7 5800H (8-Core, 20MB Total Cache, up to 4.4GHz Max|
AMD Ryzen R9 5900HX (8-Core, 20MB Total Cache, up to 4.6GHz Max
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 8GB GDDR6|
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6
|Memory options||8GB DDR4 3200MHz|
16GB DDR4 3200MHz
32GB DDR4 3200MHz
|Storage options||Single Storage Configurations: |
– 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD
– 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
– 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD
– 2TB PCIe M.2 SSD
Dual-Drive Non-RAID Configurations:
– 512GB (2x 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD)
– 1TB (2x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD)
– 2TB (2x 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD)
– 4TB (2x 2TB PCIe M.2 SSD)
|Display||15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 165Hz 3ms with ComfortView Plus|
15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 360Hz 1ms with ComfortView Plus, NVIDIA GSYNC and Advanced Optimus
15.6″ QHD (2560 x 1440) 240Hz 1ms with ComfortView Plus, NVIDIA
G-SYNC and Advanced Optimus
|Networking||802.11ax Killer Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Ports||USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 x 3, HDMI 2.1, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 x 1 (DisplayPort), RJ-45 Ethernet, 3.5mm combination headphone/microphone port|
|Camera||Alienware HD (1280×720 resolution) camera with dualarray microphones (Standard)|
Alienware HD (1280×720 resolution) camera with dualarray microphones and Windows Hello IR support
|Operating System||Microsoft® Windows® 10 Home 64-bit|
Microsoft® Windows® 10 Pro 64-bit
|Dimensions(WxDxH)||14.02 x 10.73 x 0.9 inches (356.2 x 275.2 x 22.85 mm)|
|Weight||5.34 pounds (2.42 kg)|
|Colour||Dark Side of the Moon with High Endurance Clear Coat and|
Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5: Overall design & build
The Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 comes only in one colour option: the Dark Side of the Moon shade – a fancy way of saying “black”. But the laptop’s design is far from boring. In fact, you’ll find that the m15 Ryzen Edition R5 follows the typical design language of Alienware’s other laptops. For those who are unfamiliar, that means you’ll see hexagonal grilles and rear-mounted RGB LEDs.
If you ever felt that Alienware’s laptops are plasticky, this laptop comes with a new finish added to this chassis. Alienware claims that this is a “high-endurance clear coat with silky-smooth finish,”. It does feel good, and fingerprint marks are also less of an issue on the semi-matte surface.
The m15 Ryzen Edition R5 isn’t the lightest and most portable laptop you’ll find. At 23mm thick, the laptop weighs about 2.5kg. But the weight translates to the sturdiness of the laptop. The m15 R5 feels solid and premium in the hands. You can easily open the lid with one hand and the hinges feel good and smooth.
In terms of connectivity, the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 features plenty of ports.
- 1 x RJ-45 2.5Gbps Ethernet NIC Port
- 1 x Global headset jack
- 1x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port
- 1x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port w/ PowerShare 2
- 1x Power/DC-in Port
- 1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 Port with 3A/5V PD-Out
- 1x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port
- 1x HDMI 2.1 Output Port
Additionally, the Alienware notebook offers 3200Mhz DDR4 memory that is user-upgradeable post purchase with its two SO-DIMM slots. For everyday gaming, the ports on this laptop will suffice. But if you need it for work, you might lament that the laptop lacks a card reader.
Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5: Display
The Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 notebook is the first 15” Alienware notebook with an FHD 360Hz, QHD 240hz, or FHD 165Hz display options. All three options include low blue-light technology TUV certification and finally, both the 360Hz and the 240Hz displays are enabled for NVIDIA G-Sync and Advanced Optimus technology.
It is also the first Alienware notebook engineered with AMD processors and NVIDIA graphics since the Aurora mALX in 2007. Colours look nice, and the bezels on the top and sides are quite thin. The bottom border, however, is thicker as it is designed to blend into the hinge. This isn’t noticeable, though.
Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5: Keyboard & trackpad
The laptop comes with a default chiclet keyboard with a 1.7mm key travel and anti-ghosting technology. It’s comfortable to use and relatively quiet. You can also configure the 4-zone illumination as you’d like.
For mechanical keyboard lovers, the m15 Ryzen R5’s keyboard can be upgraded to the CherryMX ultra low-profile mechanical laptop keyboard with per-key AlienFX lighting and N-key rollover technology.
On the trackpad front, we weren’t as impressed. It’s pretty small (4.1 x 2.4-inch) and clicks quite loudly. It failed to register some of our clicks. You’ll probably want to plug in a mouse to use this laptop comfortably.
Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5: Performance Testing
Enough about the laptop’s fancy features. Let’s put it through some tests to see how it fares against competing laptops.
We’ll compare the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 with the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 and the AORUS 17G. The former has a similar processor to the m15 R5 while the latter, like the m15 R5, has a top of the line graphics card.
The PC Mark 10 Extended test simulates multiple real world usage of a computer to determine its performance. On most fronts (essentials, productivity, gaming), the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 was tested to be significantly faster than the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 and the AORUS 17G. Tests show that the Alienware m15 R5 is more than capable. The laptop only falls slightly behind the AORUS 17G in the aspect of digital content creation.
In the PCMark 10 Battery Test, however, we can see some tradeoffs between performance and battery life. This isn’t surprising, though, because the AORUS 17G (99Whr) and the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (90 Whr) both have bigger batteries.
Charging the m15 R5 Ryzen Edition up from 0% to 100% took a little over two hours, which wasn’t too bad.
Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5: Pricing & Availability
The laptop is available here, with prices starting from $2,899.
The Alienware M15 R5 Ryzen Edition is part of a new range of wallet-friendly Alienware gaming laptops, and we’re excited about it. While it is not the most portable laptop due to its weight and slightly chunky design, its superior display and frame rates, wide range of RAM, GPU, storage, and display options and upgrades, fast CPU and GPU, and a slew of additional game-ready features make it easy to recommend.