The Alienware 15 R4 we see here is very similar system to what I have reviewed few weeks ago. I already review the Alienware 17 R4 and overall gives a good impression to both quality and hardware performance. Unfortunately, due its larger screen the portability is being a problem for many users as it takes good amount of space. Thankfully, now you can find its smaller 15 inch version with the same exact hardware configuration and design. I do not find any difference at all and everything is promising as it’s supposed to be. The lower price point is also being a huge selling point here as the 17 inch version is much more expensive.
The hardware specification featured here included of I7 8750H processor which has a Hexa core CPU and accompanied with GTX 1060 that being said as fully overclockable. For price under 2000 dollars, the system is sure having a rough time since many its competitors offer higher performance and better display. The good example is Gigabyte Aero 15X 2018 at around 1500 dollars. Still, the design and huge name from Alienware could be your important consideration here. Let’s take a look inside and see how it’s worth to our budget.
Case and Connectivity
And yeah for another year we once again get a similar design here. For years the manufacture has not yet thrown away their unique chassis and colorful design. The color finishing is seen here is pretty familiar to my experience, but impressively they add of more lighting zones surrounded the chassis and looks so wonderful. There are total of 13 LED lighting found here, but keep in mind most of them are located in its centre and alongside the lid and keyboard areas. It surprises me a lot considering how easily customizable the lighting is. If you are kind of person who loves of good exterior design, then you should be in right place here.
Moving into the inside, you soon find similar design impression. The full size keyboard is noticed as soon as you open the lid and finding its big screen size which sadly surrounded in black thick border. Yeah, the bezel is too thick for 2018 standard. Once you get used with a laptop with smaller bezel, then you would find it as annoying at this case. The design is impressive, then what about its connectivity? Well they put of good connectivity options included of standard USB 3.0, USB type-C gen 1, and Thunderbolt 3 port for multiple purposes work like plugging external GPU and other important cases.back to menu ↑
Display and Input
The 15 inch display is fully covered in matte finishing and producing of very colorful and bright images. Unfortunately, I do not see the point of putting matte finishing since most of users will use it indoor and not outdoor especially considering how small the battery capacity is. Having a normal non glare display is so much better since the brightness supposed to be better. In term of quality, it covers of 98 % SRGB color and 305 nits of brightness. The quality is never being a big problem, but sadly the screen still features of 60 Hz refresh rate rather than 120 Hz one. They actually have the 120 Hz one, but it costs you lot of more money here.
As for the input, the experience and quality won’t surprise you that much. The full size keyboard features of 2 mm travel distant and required of 78 grams of punctuation force. The keys are well spaced here due its missing numpad keys. The numpad keys are completely and I do not really its useful or not since I really rarely using of these keys. One thing you can expect here is the backlighting support. They offer fully customizable keys to its zones depending on your needs.
|Alienware 15 R4 15 Inch||Main Specs|
|CPU||Intel 8th Gen Core I7-8750H 2.2 GHz|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GTX 1060|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Memory||16GB (Dual 8GB) DDR4 Memory|
Gaming and Battery Performance
The performance found is similar to what you see on similar systems with 1060 graphic card. The I7 8750H shows good amount of performance upgrade over its last generation CPU, but this case is only helpful in doing multi-tasking works and won’t give you further upgrade over the gaming performance. I have tested couple of new games like Far Cry 5 and basically I only get 5 to more FPS in comparable with my old laptops which have similar specs, but with lower end CPU. Thankfully, the GTX 1060 powerful enough and should run almost every your games in high setting. Almost every game means some games are better to put at medium setting like Final Fantasy 15 that needs some tweaks here.
The battery is being my next concern here. On my battery test by testing through browsing nonstop for some hours, I always get around 3.5 to 4.5 hours of battery. I put the brightness into half and setting the Windows to Balanced mode. Gaming battery is totally different and depends on what kind of setting you have here. Sometimes it even lasts for 1 and half hours with maximum setting at Overwatch. The battery is never being a huge selling point for gaming machine.back to menu ↑
In conclusion, the Alienware 15 R4 is still considered as one of the best gaming laptops in 2018 you can afford right now. But, like I said before you will find much better choices at lower price in 2018. The competition is becoming tougher every year and you should see a company like Eluktronics is brave enough to provide high level performance hardware in much lower price. If you do not really care about LED lighting and their huge names, then you should find better alternative here. The choice is yours, so feel free to take any consideration about it.