Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Content

  1. Positioning
  2. TECH SPECS
  3. Appearance
  4. Screen and webcam
  5. Keyboard and Touchpad
  6. Performance
  7. Battery life
  8. Impression and competitors

Positioning

Alienware is Dell’s premium gaming brand. Traditionally, the most powerful and optimized solutions for gamers come out under this brand. If other brands have moved away from gaming design and made their laptops gray, then the Dell Alienware m15 R3 shows that this is a gaming brand. There is a defiant design, unusual lighting, and a recognizable logo in the form of an alien head.

The company identifies the following as the main selling elements of the Dell Alienware m15 R3:

  • Powerful iron
  • Compact dimensions, minimum weight
  • Magnesium alloy case with a special anti-fingerprint coating
  • New cooling system using: steam chamber, dual design fans, high voltage driven polymer fan, dense stacks of copper plates
  • 4K OLED screen + eye tracking technology
  • Variety of ports
  • Keyboard with 1.7mm key travel
  • Wi-Fi 6, the ability to combine SSD drives in a RAID 0 array.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

TECH SPECS

  • Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i10980-8HK (16 Cores, 5,3MB Cache, up to 2.0 GHz, Turbo Boost XNUMX)
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER, 8GB GDDR6 Memory, Max-Q + Intel UHD Graphics
  • Memory: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
  • Storage: M.2 PCIe SSD 1TB
  • Screen: 15.6 ″ OLED, Ultra HD (3840 x 2160), 60 Hz, 1 ms, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, Tobii gamut, 85-degree viewing angle, 100000: 1 contrast ratio
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Battery: 86 Wh Li-ion battery with Alienware Battery Defender technology
  • Connectivity: Killer ™ Wi-Fi 6 AX1650W, 802.11ax 2 × 2, WLAN and Bluetooth 5. + Killer ™ Ethernet 2,5 Gbps
  • Webcam: 720p + with dual integrated array microphones, IR camera, Windows Hello unlock
  • Keyboard: Full-size keyboard, 1.7mm extended key travel, anti-ghosting, RGB backlit
  • Touchpad: gesture support, 10.5 x 6 cm
  • Audio: Quad (woofer / treble) stereo speakers
  • Ports:
    • 1 power connector / DC input connector
    • 1 x RJ-45 Killer ™ Ethernet E3100, 10/100/1000 Mbps or 2,5 Gbps
    • 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports
    • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A with PowerShare
    • 1 Thunderbolt ™ 3 port (USB Type-C ™ with support for USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps), Thunderbolt (40Gbps) and DisplayPort 1.2)
    • 1 port of Alienware GPU
    • 1 x HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 output
    • 1 Mini DisplayPort 1.4 Output (Certified)
    • 1 x 1/8 ″ audio output jack (compatible with line-in microphone and headset)
    • 1 x microSD 5.1 card reader, UHS-II HD312
    • 1 wedge-shaped lock slot (cable and lock sold separately)
  • Materials: magnesium alloy outer shell and copper alloy heat sinking components
  • Dimensions: 18.3-20.7 x 360.3 x 276.2 mm, weight from 2.1 to 2.5 depending on configuration
  • Price: 305 690 rubles

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Appearance

Visually, the laptop is no different from last year’s model. As the company’s engineers say, all changes are inside, not outside. But that’s good. The design is cool, the materials are good. As the reviews about the operating experience show, the materials are selected well, the case does not get dirty or rubbed off. In promotional materials, Dell says the magnesium chassis is coated with a ‘High Performance Clear Coat’ with a formula that makes the cool, tough magnesium alloy feel to the touch while maintaining high color contrast, specifically selected as part of our award-winning color strategy “. Sophisticated advertising wording means fewer prints and longer shelf life. I focus on the coating, since tactilely this is perhaps the most pleasant laptop in the last year (I mean 2020). A matte body, a little rough, not a soft-touch, but there is a certain velvety. At the same time, there really are no prints on the case. Take a look at the photo below. The touchpad is less resistant to prints, although even there they are almost invisible. And the hull remains pristine.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

On the lid is the head of an alien that glows. The backlight color can be customized or turned off.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

The ventilation grill is tasteful.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Maximum opening angle.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Left side: USB Type-A, Ethernet, 3.5 mm headphone and microphone jack.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Right side: microSD slot, 2 USB Type-A.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Back: HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 out, Thunderbolt 3, Alienware GPU port, power connector.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Under the screen is an IR sensor for Windows Hello.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

The power button is made in the form of an alien head.

Screen and webcam

Dell has 3 display options to choose from:

  • 15.6 ″ display, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 144 Hz, 7 ms, 300 nits, 72% NTSC color gamut
  • 15.6 ″ display, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 300 Hz, 3 ms, 300 nits, 100% sRGB color gamut
  • 15.6 ″ OLED, Ultra HD (3840 x 2160), 60 Hz, 1 ms, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and Tobii eye tracking technology

The question of choice is relative. If you want to save money, then you need to take Full HD screens, and if you are not a super cyber athlete who cares about every millisecond, then you can take a 144 Hz screen. If you are ready to fork out, then the choice is between IPS 300 Hz and OLED. With 300Hz, you will have increased scrolling smoothness across all screens in your system. In short, like on smartphones. And, of course, you will win everyone in games. If you prefer not reaction games, but something like Cyberpunk, Assassin’s Creed, GTA (in short, beautiful graphics and an interesting story), then you should take the OLED screen with its infinitely deep black color, vivid picture and 4K resolution.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

I just had such a screen on the test. To be honest, this is my first OLED laptop. In general, laptops with OLED screens are very rare, despite the fact that OLED and AMOLED screens are considered a must in top smartphones. In laptops, manufacturers used to prefer not to use OLED screens. In general, there are exactly two reasons: it is very expensive and the OLED screen can burn out. In smartphones, the screen can also burn out, and sometimes this happens. This usually happens if the screen is on for a long time, and there is either a static image or static interface elements on it. For example, if the smartphone works as a navigator for a long time, as, for example, for taxi drivers. However, usually we still look at the smartphone screen when something is happening there, and not just at the interface elements. Computers are a different story. Too many scenarios where a static image is constantly on the screen. However, in the last couple of years, the problem with burnout has been solved, only a question of cost remains.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

The Dell Alienware m15 R3 also has an eye tracking system built in. In games, she helps to control the character, but she is also active in everyday tasks. As soon as he notices that the user is not looking at the screen, he immediately makes the backlight minimal. But once you look at the screen, it immediately becomes bright. The system works great. For example, I am now typing this text on the candy bar, and the Dell Alienware m15 R3 is standing next to me, but as soon as I look at it (my head does not move and is slightly turned towards the candy bar), the screen lights up. Eye tracking also works if you stand at a distance of up to 1 meter from the laptop.

The operation of the gaze control system. The movement of the pupil changes the position of the camera.

First, it is good for the battery. Secondly, it protects against situations when the user has left for several days (according to the information found, modern screens need 80 hours at maximum brightness for permanent elements to remain), leaving the screen at maximum brightness.

Just in case, I’ll calm you down. Dell has been putting OLED screens in its products for several years now. And so far there are no problematic reviews on the network that the screen burned out.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

The laptop has a declared color gamut of 100% DCI-P3. The picture shows how DCI-P3 outperforms standard sRGB (black triangle).

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Besides color gamut, one of the benefits of an OLED screen is increased brightness. The Dell Alienware m15 R3 apparently has a 500 nits panel installed. When measured, the brightness turned out to be 484 nits.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

As a disadvantage of OLED technology, it is worth noting the presence of PWM, that is, at a reduced brightness, the screen begins to flicker imperceptibly for the eye. I don’t react to this, but someone may have a headache because of this.

The laptop also has a webcam. Surprisingly, the 4K screen relies on a high-tech 720p camera.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Keyboard and Touchpad

Like any self-respecting gaming laptop, the keyboard on the Dell Alienware m15 R3 shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow. By the way, pay attention, there are different configuration options: with 4 backlight zones and optional backlight for each key.

The keyboard has an increased travel of 1.7 mm. The buttons are pressed quietly. It’s a pleasure to type. Well, for games it is better to buy a gamepad, if we are not talking about shooters.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

I am not a fan of rainbow highlights and prefer the traditional blue and white color.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

The function keys provide quick access to Dell-branded applications.

Alienware’s touchpad was disappointing after the 15 Dell XPS 2020 models, as it is a regular standard 10.5x6cm touchpad (the XPS series has a 15x9cm touchpad). In general, the logic is clear: it is impossible to play on touchpads and a mouse is always connected, so why bother. In general, the touchpad is good, it supports gestures, it is pleasantly pressed through, imitating the mouse buttons.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Performance

The Dell Alienware m15 R3 has a wide range of options. And processors from i5 to i9, and as many as 7 graphics cards to choose from. Even AMD has an option.

  1. NVIDIA® GeForce GTX® 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6
  2. NVIDIA® GeForce GTX® 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6
  3. NVIDIA® GeForce RTX ™ 2060 6GB GDDR6 (overclocked)
  4. AMD Radeon ™ RX 5500M 4GB GDDR6 Memory
  5. NVIDIA® GeForce RTX ™ 2070 8GB GDDR6 memory
  6. NVIDIA® GeForce RTX ™ 2070 SUPER 8GB GDDR6
  7. NVIDIA® GeForce RTX ™ 2080 SUPER 8GB GDDR6 with Max-Q Technology

They sent me a top-end configuration with an RTX 2080 for testing.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

First of all, let’s talk about upgrades. I’ve always praised Dell laptops for being easy to repair and upgrade, and the site usually has a guide that tells you how to change any element in 5-7 steps. Apparently, Dell Alienware m15 R3 is an extremely complex product, so they decided to limit the user in the ability to somehow screw up the system. You can only replace the SSD drive. By the way, the laptop has 3 slots for SSD. Drives can be combined into RAID 0 arrays. As I understand it, Dell uses SSD drives from different manufacturers. Before buying, I recommend checking it out, because my test specimen did not have the highest performance. SSD drives can be faster.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Performance tests are below.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080
Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

The impression of passing synthetic tests by the laptop is twofold. On the one hand, the laptop performs well, providing high performance and stability. For example, the laptop passed the stress test at a very high percentage. And the stability of the work, and I can confirm, because when I was working on material about video cards, the laptop took about 10 hours or passed benchmarks, or ran games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed. Stable work, stable fps in 4K resolution. On the other hand, I could not help but notice that if the temperature of the video card was stable (range 60-75 degrees), then the processor in synthetic tests warmed up to 100 degrees. And the laptop itself becomes lukewarm, if not hot. But this is in synthetic tests, in games the CPU temperature is at the level of 80-90 degrees.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080
Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

The laptop copes well with any games. However, this is not 60 fps in 4K, but rather 30-50 fps, but at maximum settings. AC: Valhalla – 30-40 fps, “The Witcher 3” – stable 45 fps (but in Full HD at 100 fps). In general, games are characterized by temperatures as in the graph below.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080
Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

As a minus, it can be noted that the laptop is noisy. The measurements showed the noise level in the region of 55 dB under full load, that is, the rumble of the fans is noticeably audible.

Battery life

The battery life of the stars from the sky is not enough. Depending on the load and brightness, the laptop screen can last 3-4 hours. And at maximum load and 100% screen brightness, the laptop will not last even 50 minutes.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

The sleek and lightweight laptop comes with an impressive 240W adapter that weighs 910 grams with cables.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080


Impression and competitors

Despite the fact that the design has remained the same, the inside of the laptop has undergone significant modernization, so that maximum temperatures can only be knocked out by synthetic tests specially designed for this.

The Dell Alienware m15 R3 is a flagship product that not only has impressive performance, but also an unusual design, better body materials, unusual technologies such as eye tracking or OLED screen. Today, many gaming brands are trying to change their image, flirting with the so-called creative professionals. For example, HP’s gaming brand Omen changed its logo to a more austere one for this purpose. Lenovo’s gaming laptops can also be confused with gray office machines. But against this background, the gaming component of the Dell Alienware m15 R3 stands out even more clearly. Alienware isn’t trying to flirt with non-target audiences. It’s a 100% gaming laptop, from rainbow lighting to a pound-weight adapter and battery life designed to take your laptop from one room to the next.

A configuration like the test model costs more than 305 thousand rubles, so, perhaps, it is obvious that this is a laptop for very wealthy people.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 review: OLED screen and GeForce RTX 2080

Each brand has its own monster products flirting with the wealthiest gamers – Acer Predator Helios, MSI GT 76 Titan, Lenovo Legion 7i, ASUS ROG Strix. To some extent, the Dell Alienware m15 R3 is unique with its 4K OLED screen. Competitors do not have this. Otherwise, you can find products with similar characteristics. Some will be cheaper, some even more expensive. Unfortunately, the main competitor for the Dell Alienware m15 R3 is not some third-party brand, but time. Models with 30-series cards from Nvidia slowly started to enter the market. Of course, the Dell Alienware m15 R3’s performance margin will last for several more years, but I have a suspicion that such devices, in general, are bought by two categories of people: technologists and wealthy people who prefer the best. Probably the first category will prefer the most technologically fresh product, while the second will just buy and will not waste time reading reviews.

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