- Dell’s Alienware laptops are renowned for being one of the most powerful machines in the consumer market.
- The Alienware M15 R7 is the latest offering by Dell with Intel’s 12th-generation i7-12700H CPU and RTX 3070 Ti graphics.
- It also gets a 240Hz screen, for a better gaming experience.
- The Alienware M15 R7 also appeals to gamers with its special honeycomb design and RGB lighting.
As a cricket fan and technology fanatic, only two things come to mind when I hear the word “alien.” First, AB de Villiers for his out-of-this-world batting skills, and second, Dell Alienware. This is a reputation that the Alienware series has earned over the years in the consumer market PC.
The Dell Alienware M15 R7 is the company’s latest offering in its Alienware lineup, which now features Intel 12th-generation CPUs. As an Alienware device, the M15 R7 is equipped with an RTX 3070 Ti graphics card and a 240Hz display.
Dell Alienware M15 R7: Build and Design
Even at first glance, the M15 R7 speaks to its unique identity with honeycomb vents surrounded by an RGB ring. The lid also features the signature Alienware logo, also with RGB. The notebook has a muscular form factor with a thickness of 24 mm and weighs about 2.6 kg.
The overall construction is a mix of plastic and metal, with the lid made of plastic and the bottom made of metal. The entire device feels very sturdy, and we could not detect any flex or wobble. The hinge feels lively, and you can easily open the lid with one finger.
The RGB lighting on the ring and the Alienware logo can be customized to your liking. You can also turn them off completely if needed. The Alienware M15 R7 clearly stands out from the competition in terms of design. However, if you are a long-time Alienware user, the design may feel a bit familiar since not much has changed from the previous iteration.
Dell Alienware M15 R7: Display
Our unit of the Dell Alienware M15 R7 is equipped with a 15.6-inch screen LCD with a resolution of 2560×1440 and a refresh rate of 240Hz. The colors on this screen are very vibrant, but sometimes we felt that the saturation was a bit too high. The text looks sharp, and viewing angles are wide, with no color shifts.
We enjoyed watching Amazon Prime Video content on this panel and never felt the need to set the brightness above 50%. This panel does not have HDR certification, but we never had any issues with color reproduction. The 240 Hz screen feels very smooth and provides the best experience when gaming.
The Dell Alienware M15 R7 offers two display options to choose from:
- 2560×1440 LCD screen with 240Hz (Our unit)
- 1920×1080 LCD screen with 165Hz
The latter is slightly cheaper in price, so you can flexibly choose between two options depending on your budget and needs.
Dell Alienware M15 R7: Performance
The specifications of the Dell Alienware M15 R7 are nothing less than “Best in the Business”. Our variant comes with the 12th generation Intel Core i7-12700H paired with an RTX 3070 Ti and 16 GB RAM. With such powerful cards up its sleeve, the M16 R7 is nothing less than a portable workstation. However, do not forget that the overall weight of the device increases to 3 kg since you have to take your charger with you!
Here are some benchmark results of the Dell Alienware M15 R7 in Cinebench and CrystalDiskMark.
The M15 R7 impresses from the first moment it is asked to perform heavy tasks. However, as the benchmark cycle progressed, the device became noticeably warm near the trackpad, which ended up being uncomfortable to touch.
For comparison, we also tested the Acer Predator Triton 500 and the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro, both equipped with 12th-generation Intel CPUs and the same RTX 3070 Ti graphics. These two devices ran much cooler in the same tests, and the keyboard did not feel as warm as the M15 R7.
But do not worry; performance does not suffer, and the Alienware M15 R7 continues to shine. In our opinion, Dell needs to work on the cooling around the keyboard and palm rest.
We let the notebook cool down and started gaming tests the next day. In our test, we played games like Valorant, Fortnite, and Apex Legends.
The Dell Alienware M15 R7 is a gamer’s paradise, especially if you are into FPS gaming. We were able to get up to 250fps, and the 240Hz screen made the gaming experience even more enjoyable. The screen’s response time is really good, and we did not notice any input lag while gaming.
Even while gaming, the Alienware M15 R7 got slightly warmer than our previous review units. If you plan on gaming on the M15 R7 for longer than an hour, consider connecting an external keyboard. Other than that, you can safely enjoy your favorite games on this device.
We also tested the M15 R7 with Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, and the device was able to handle 4K video editing with ease. The timeline feels smooth, and the 12th generation Core i7-12700H allows for faster rendering speeds. So if you are someone who jumps between video editing and gaming, you’ll love the Dell Alienware M15 R7.
Aside from the big stuff, the device is capable of handling everyday tasks like browsing and typing without breaking a sweat. We were able to keep 25-30 Chrome tabs open without the laptop even catching a whiff.
Overall, the Dell Alienware is an excellent device that handles any task with ease.
Dell Alienware M15 R7: Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard of the Dell Alienware M15 R7 is equipped with a row of function keys. There are two separate keys for volume control, but a numpad is missing. The power button is located on the upper right side, which represents the Alienware logo and is equipped with RGB.
The typing experience on the M15 R7 was good. The keys don’t feel too clicky, but at the same time provide good feedback. No wonder this keyboard comes with RGB backlighting that can be synchronized with the LED ring on the back.
The trackpad, on the other hand, is relatively small compared to other gaming laptops. It’s very precise and responsive, and the click buttons feel very good.
Dell Alienware M15 R7: I/O Ports and Connectivity
The Dell Alienware M15 R7 offers plenty of I/O ports. These are accessible on the left, right, and rear sides of the laptop.
- 3.5mm combined headphone jack
- 2 x USB-A 3.2 Ports
- Thunderbolt 4 Port
- USB-A 3.2 Port
- HDMI Port
- Charging Port
As for connectivity, Wifi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 are supported. There is also a 720p webcam. The notebook also has a Windows Hello IR scanner. Face recognition was very accurate, and we never had any problems unlocking Windows Hello on the M15 R7.
Even if you pay a premium, you do not get an SD card slot or a fingerprint scanner. So if you are a creator, the lack of an SD card slot could be a deciding factor. We would like to see OEMs consider these two aspects since they are really useful features.
Dell Alienware M15 R7: Software Experience
The Dell Alienware M15 R7 comes with Windows 11 and a bundle of Microsoft Office Home. The Windows experience on the machine was really good, but we did find a few hiccups with Dell’s in-house features within the software.
We encountered two small but annoying software issues with the Alienware M15 R7. The first is the T-Pad button on the F11 key, which is supposed to activate and deactivate the trackpad with a tap. Disabling the trackpad with one tap works fine, but when we tried to enable the trackpad with the T-Pad button, it just did not work. There is no way to turn the trackpad back on. We had to plug in a mouse, search the Windows settings > Touchpad > More settings, and flip the switch a few times to get the trackpad working again.
The second problem involved the power switch, which baffled us. We found that the Windows + L key combination did not work on the M15 R7, which is used to lock the laptop. Other key combinations that include the Windows key, such as Windows + S, D, E, etc., worked fine. But the key combination for locking did not respond.
So we tried pressing the power button once, which worked, and the laptop was locked. After some time, when we tried again to lock the laptop with the power button, it did not lock but shut down. We were careful to press the button only once and not for too long. In another case, pressing the power button caused the device to restart.
To be on the safe side, we reformatted and updated the device to the latest version after completing our benchmark and gaming tests. Without success, we had the same problem.
Other than these two bugs, we had no issues with the Dell Alienware M15 R7’s software. You also get the Alienware Command Center, which offers different profiles for your gaming needs. From here, you can also overclock and tune your CPU and GPU.
Dell Alienware M15 R7: Battery Life
A 6-cell 86Wh battery powers the Dell Alienware M15 R7. During normal use, such as browsing, typing documents, and occasional video streaming, the laptop lasts for about 4 hours. That’s certainly not impressive, but that’s the case with all Windows gaming laptops. If you decide to use the Dell Alienware M15 R7 as a work partner or gaming companion, the charger will be your best friend.
With the Alienware M15 R7, you get a 240W charger that can charge the laptop from 0-100% in about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Dell Alienware M15 R7 Review: Verdict
The Dell Alienware M15 R7 is one of the best gaming machines you can buy. The combination of i7-12700H and RTX 3070 Ti, along with the 240Hz screen, makes for a pleasant and easy-on-the-eyes gaming experience. The trackpad area can get a bit warm during prolonged use, but this is not at the expense of performance.
However, the Alienware M15 R7 lags behind the competition in terms of cooling. Of all the high-performance machines we tested, such as the Acer Predator Triton 500, Lenovo Legion 5i Pro, and ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15, the Alienware M15 R7 was the warmest, and we felt that the cooling was not adequate. Note that all of these laptops have the same specifications, so cooling becomes a big differentiator between them.
If you are looking for a gaming laptop with a special design and RGB, the Alienware M15 R7 is a good option if you are using it with a keyboard. Alienware has always charged a small premium over the competition, but this time we feel that the premium is hard to justify. You can take a look at the ASUS TUF F15 and the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro, which offer similar performance but better thermal management.
The Dell Alienware M15 R7 pricing is as follows
- i7-12700H + RTX 3060 for Rs. 1,76,000
- i7-12700H + RTX 3070 Ti for Rs. 2,26,000 (Our variant)
- i7-12700H + RTX 3080 Ti for Rs. 2,85,000
- 240Hz high refresh screen for gaming
- Unique design with honeycomb theme and RGB lights
- Plenty of I/O ports
- Microsoft Office bundled with Windows 11
- Thermals are on the higher side.
- Software issues with T-Pad and Power button
- Sub-par battery life
- The trackpad size is small.
|Build & Design||
Dell's Alienware M15 R7 is a treat for gamers with its 240Hz screen, RTX 3070 Ti, and RGB lighting. Unfortunately, it lags behind the competition in terms of heat generation and software sophistication, which makes it hard to justify the premium price.