Dell Alienware m17 R4 Review

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Here is our Dell Alienware m17 R4 review for those who are looking for the best Dell laptop for ultimate gaming performance.

Since redesigning its flagship gaming laptop in 2019, Alienware has come up with a number of stylish machines that we appreciate in both 15-inch and 17-inch screen sizes. The new M17 R4 (starts at $1,812.99; $3,609.99 as tested) follows the 17-inch design we’ve seen before, but adds two key features: the Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Series GPU and Optional, low-profile mechanical keyboard co-developed with leading keypress manufacturer Cherry. Both were a hit, taking gaming performance to an impressive new level and delivering a uniquely satisfying typing experience. Battery life is still disappointing, and configuring a system with all the extras (like a 360Hz display) will cost you, but the basic design is top quality and the options are decent. is fine. rich. All of this adds up to our current favorite giant-screen premium control panel and Editors’ Choice award.

Dell Alienware m17 R4 Review

A Familiar, Yet Alien, Appearance

Dell Alienware m17 R4 Review

At first glance, you won’t know that the m17 R4 is a different laptop than the R3. The design is almost identical, although there are some differences in details beyond the keyboard.
Build quality remains strong, with a nice soft plastic exterior and sturdy frame. At 0.87 x 15.7 x 11.6 inches (HWD), it’s a hundredth of an inch thinner than the R3, which is commendable thanks to the mechanical keys and more powerful – if any – components. , you would expect it to be a bit thicker. Of course, the laptop still weighs 6.5 pounds and comes with a strong brick, which reduces its appeal as a casual companion.

The latest m17, on the other hand, gives you the sci-fi-inspired aesthetic that Alienware has used in all of its recent laptops and desktops.

A Low-Profile Mechanical Laptop Keyboard

The biggest difference outside is the keyboard, so let’s get to it. First, we should clarify that the mechanical keyboard is not standard equipment but an optional upgrade. Second, if you doubt or think that a low profile mechanical keyboard is a contradiction. We will say right away that it doesn’t give you the same typing experience as a mechanical desktop keyboard, mechanical keyboards have deeper key travel and allow for more complex keystrokes with sensitivity. faster. . Some compromises are inevitable with laptop design.

That said, this Alienware’s keyboard is great. It was developed in conjunction with Cherry MX, the leading name in mechanical key switches, although instead of a well-known product like Cherry’s Blue or Red switches, it features specially designed new switches. . . for this low profile design. The feel lies somewhere between a mechanical desktop keyboard and the pseudo-mechanical solutions that some laptops have taken over the years to replicate the real thing.

A Fast Display and Plenty of Ports

Dell Alienware m17 R4 Review
Dell Alienware m17 R4 Review

The keyboard may be the new attraction, but the screen is just as important. There are three options, 144Hz and 360Hz panels with full HD resolution and 60Hz screens with 4K resolution. Ours is a 360Hz panel, an ultra-fast display suitable for high-speed competitive multiplayer games. Good display quality, vibrant colors. If you’re not sure about the benefits of a high refresh rate monitor, read our explanation.
There are plenty of ports packed into this wide chassis, starting with a USB-A 3.1 port and Ethernet jack on the left side. The right side has two more USB 3.1 Type-A ports, as well as a microSD card slot.
As with most modern Alienware laptops, the rear block houses the rest of the connections, including HDMI and Mini DisplayPort video outputs, a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, and a proprietary connection for the laptop. hand. Alienware’s optional external graphics amplifier.
Other features include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, and a 720p webcam (with an optional upgrade to Windows Hello facial recognition). The system also comes with Alienware Command Center software for customizing lighting and other settings, notably performance settings and a bypass feature with the right components. This way you can increase the number of frames per second from your system, but we will explain that below.

Components and Performance Testing

Even the base model of the m17 R4 is expensive at $1,812.99, so it won’t be on any budget laptop list. For that price, you get an Intel Core i7-10870H processor, 16GB of memory, an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, a 256GB solid-state drive, and a 144Hz full HD display.

Our review configuration goes up in some respects, opting to upgrade every time for a whopping $3,609.99. Of course, there can be a wide range of prices between these extremes, but Alienware wanted to send us a potentially high-end showcase unit of the R4. The test system has a Core i9-10980HK processor, 32GB of RAM, a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, a 512GB boot SSD along with another 1TB of solid-state storage via dual 512GB drives in RAID 0 and a 360Hz display with resolution high prize. 1080p resolution.

We put these components to the test with our usual set of benchmarks and compared the results with the results of four other premium gaming laptops including the previous generation of this one. You’ll find the candidates and their basic specs below.

Components and Performance Testing

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