Dell’s premium gaming sub-brand, Alienware, is known for high-powered hardware in chunky plastic cases. But with the latest revision of its M15 laptop design, it’s finally elevating its aesthetics to compete with the likes of Razer, ASUS, and MSI.
The newest version of the Alienware M15 is the company’s thinnest laptop ever, with the 15-inch machine shrinking down to just .83 inches thin at its thickest point. That may not seem particularly svelte, but it’s about 20% thinner than the current 15-inch Alienware entry. The package weighs in a 4.78 pounds, with screen bezels on the side that are quite slim, even if the top and bottom aren’t quite so tiny. The M15 is only about an inch and a half wider than last year’s Alienware 13.
Inside the machine is some serious pixel-pushing hardware, built around 8th-generation Core i5 quad-core or Core i7 six-core processors and MaxQ graphics cards in GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1060, or GTX 1070 flavors. The new NVIDIA RTX cards aren’t ready for laptop hardware yet, but Dell wants you to know you can use the Graphics Amplifier eGPU enclosure to add the latest desktop cards to your setup. Maximum storage goes up to a 1TB SSD plus an extra terabyte of standard hard drive storage, with 16GB of RAM available at the highest level. The standard screen is 1080p and 60Hz, but you can upgrade it to either a 4K 60Hz panel or a speedy, gamer-friendly 1440p 120Hz version. Dell says the optional upgrade to a 90 watt-hour battery will last for 17 hours of idle use, though of course more intense gaming will cut that figure dramatically.
Naturally the Alienware design aesthetic shines through the chassis—literally, in the case of the “Command Center” RGB LED lighting on the keyboard. That keyboard manages to cram in a full number pad, by the way, not always a given at the 15-inch size, and an impressive 1.4mm of key travel.
The Alienware M15 will go on sale starting October 25th in red and silver, with the cheapest version costing $1300 USD. Dell says it will take a few weeks for some of the hardware configurations to become available.