The game laptop from the family Alienware, we are testing is not the first time. From a relatively recent and close on the topic – about a year ago, through the laboratory 3DNews passed "stranger" series R1 with the old Intel processor of the 4th generation. The laptop showed high results, subdued the first-class assembly, materials and its cooling system. Meanwhile, unlike competitors, Dell's solution could not please the user with a small thickness and weight.
But if Alienware notebooks did not change much outwardly, then with the release of the third reincarnation of Alienware 15, Americans still worked on the dimensions, slightly updated the design, installed the most recent interfaces for connection, added a couple of nice features and, of course, used one of the top accessories. Where is without them in a powerful gaming laptop?
| The processor
|Intel Core i7-6700HQ, Skylake (Quad-Core), 2.6 @ 3.5 GHz|
|Chipset||Intel Sunrise Point CM236|
|The graphics adapter||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, 8 GB GDDR5 + Intel HD Graphics 530|
|Displaying the display board||IPS, 15.6 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD), 60 Hz, Semi-matched (LG Philips LP156WF6)|
|Operative memory||16 GB DDR4-2400 (1200 MHz), dual-channel mode, two SK Hynix 8 GB modules|
|The data storage system|| 1 x SSD, Toshiba THNSN256GPUK NV, 256 GB, M.2 2280, PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, in RAID0;
1 x HDD Hitachi TravelStar HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB, SATA3, 7200 rpm, 32 MB buffer;
|The connector of flash cards||No|
|Interfaces|| 2 x USB 3.0 | 3.1 Gen1 Type-A;
1 x USB 3.0 Gen1 Type-C;
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3 Support);
1 x HDMI 2.0;
1 x miniDisplayPort 1.2;
1 x LAN (RJ-45);
1 x 3.5 mm Audio-In;
1 x 3.5mm Audio-Out;
1 x Alienware Graphic Amplifier Port;
|Wi-Fi||802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (Killer Wireless-n / a / ac 1435)|
|Bluetooth||4.1 LE + HS|
|The network adapter||Qualcomm / Atheros Killer e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet|
|The sound of the||Realtek AL2298 + speaker system 2.0|
|Additionally||1.3 Megapixel (720p) Webcam + IR Tobii EyeX Lite|
|The food||The battery is non-removable, lithium-ion 99 W · h (7570 mAh, 13.1 V)|
|External power adapter 240 W (19,5V, 12,3A)|
|The size, mm||389 x 305 x 25.4 mm|
|Weight, kg||3,49 kg + power supply unit with 0,75 kg cable|
|Operating system software||Windows 10 Home x64|
|Warranty of the manufacturer||12-48 months||170 000-180 000+ rubles|
Dell updated three of its Alienware models with diagonals from 13.3 to 17.3 inches in early September 2016. Perhaps, this is the first significant update that happened with the ruler over the last couple of years. These laptops were the first to take on board the new NVIDIA GPU, and the manufacturer obviously takes pride in this.
Dell clearly delineates the models on the possible stuffing, and therefore even the most expensive version of the 15.6-inch Alienware is equipped with the GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of memory and the familiar to us the Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor (i7-6820HK is available as an option). GTX1080 "spot" is not allowed. The amount of DDR4 memory varies from 16 to 32-64 GB (as an option), and total storage capacity is from 1256 to 2048 GB (PCIe SSD with NVMe support + 1 TB HDD). At the heart of the most affordable modifications – with the GTX 1060 and 6 GB of video memory – the Core i5-6300HQ processor and 8 GB RAM are used. Also, there may be modifications from the AMD RX 470 with 8 GB of VRAM.
Full HD and 4K screens are available in choice and in different variations: 60 Hz IPS-type or 120-Hz TN + Film with support for NVIDIA G-Sync technology (both Full HD), well, or 4K IPS-type panel with the use of IGZO-transistors for an ideal image stability on the screen at any viewing angles.
The manufacturer finalized the lighting system by installing additional RGB LED modules on the ends of the case and the screen, and a one-third the height of the case forced the engineers to increase the casing in depth to install the optimum performance of the air cooling system. The keyboard module has also been updated (the key stroke has increased to 2.2 mm), but only users of previous Alienware models will notice this change.
The capacity of the lithium-ion battery in Alienware 15 R3 is from 68 to 99 W * h, depending on the selected filling. For a 15.6-inch laptop this is very good performance, at the level of previous generations. The cost of the review hero in the conditions of the Russian reality, according to our estimates, should not be lower than 170 000 rubles – he was not seen at the moment of writing the article. Initial modifications are already sold at a price of 50,000 rubles less. In general, this is not the most affordable solution with similar TXs, but you will be sure of the quality of the product, in which there is no savings on the materials used and other important elements.
The device comes with a relatively large power supply, power cable, a quick start guide, warranty conditions, a safe use guide and a card with a brand history. Nothing superfluous – minimalism in all its glory.
Despite the cosmetic changes, Dell's new product easily recognizes all the previous Alienware of the past few years. There seems to be a lot of changes, but they do not reduce recognition. The shape of the case was slightly changed, it became slightly less complex transitions, added a bit of gloss – a long insert above the keyboard.
Because of the reduced thickness (from 34 to 25.4 mm), the hull, as we have already said, became deeper by 3.5 cm – it was necessary to find a place for the placement of a productive CO, and the engineers did it this way. Due to this, in order not to change the proportions of the controls and the interior in general, the screen hinges were shifted from the rear by 3-4 cm to the user.
The new approach to their design allowed to increase the maximum angle of the screen tilt to almost 180 degrees against 130 degrees in the predecessors. The hinges of Alienware 15 R3 are metal and fairly stiff, holding the screen position well.
The hero of the review looks very modern and stylish. The manufacturer got rid of the two backlight bars on the screen cover, transferring them to its side faces, and added a pair of the same on the edge of the case itself. Pre-installed software allows you to create from a dozen custom modes or select one of the installed by the manufacturer. According to the company, the total number of possible color combinations exceeds 3 trillion – there is where to clear up when setting up the appearance.
Naturally, the backlit logo with alien aliens, the inscription "Alienware" on the bottom frame of the display and the proprietary power button are not gone anywhere. Previously, there were materials: aluminum, carbon fiber, magnesium alloy, soft touch-plastic. This combination looks and feels expensive and thoroughbred.
At the rear of the device is a special PCI Express port for connecting an external station Alienware Graphics Amplifier, equipped with four USB 3.0 ports for connecting accessories, with a full-sized desktop graphics card that increases the graphics performance of Alienware 15 R3.
However, according to our assumptions, it will cost no less than the laptop itself in the minimum or medium configuration. Therefore, this opportunity is more marketing than a popular accessory, especially if we take into account the updated TX of the laptop: it should already be very productive. Next to this port are much more famous mini Display Port 1.2, modern HDMI version 2.0, power connector, network port RJ-45 and one USB 3.0 Gen1 Type-C with support for fast charging.
The right side of the laptop offers to use one of two USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1 standard type. The second USB 3.0, 3.5mm audio output and audio input, and USB Type-C Gen2 with Thunderbolt 3 support are installed on the opposite side. The SD / SDHC / SDXC memory card reader in Dell was discarded.
Five rubber feet are used to grip the work surface, adding an additional 3-5 mm to the manufacturer's "piggy bank" to the specified manufacturer and creating a slight tilt of the device to the user.
On two labels on the bottom of the case, the customer can find out the year and place of production, the laptop version, the service number and the exact modification of the model.
The build quality is impeccable: to handle the elements do not carp, nothing creaks and crunches, the gaps between the parts are minimal. The laptop is heavy, tightly knocked down, it causes respect. With practicality, some of the materials chosen by the company do not really matter (in the first place it concerns the upper half-matt cover and the rubberized area around the keyboard), but what sometimes you will not do for the sake of appearance.
The acoustic system in Alienware R15 at this time is nothing special. The reduced thickness of the device, in all likelihood, negatively affected the dimensions and, accordingly, the power of the installed speakers. Perhaps it's also because over the past year we have tested many gaming models with outstanding audio training and acoustics of class 4.1 and even 4.2. In the case of the new Alienware 15 R3, the manufacturer did not make a big accent at this moment, saving two usual dynamics, without a separate subwoofer, which are now in fashion in mobile PCs. As a result, the sound is such that even there is nothing to talk about.
The keyboard is not full-sized, there was no room for a digital block. But there is a separate sector on the left with five customizable keys. The actions they perform can be quickly changed by switching using the sixth key in the same row to one of the three saved configuration blocks. In other words, a user can have up to 15 buttons assigned to him with quick access in quick access.
All buttons with bevelled edges. The size of the main keys is 18 × 18 mm, however, the zone for pressing is smaller: 15 × 15 mm – the standard indicator for the keys of many notebooks with island type keyboards. About the allegedly increased key stroke, we already said, but it did not add any new sensations.
The buttons are pressed with a soft, deaf sound, do not stagger. They are pleasantly spring loaded, they have good tactile feedback. Long work does not create problems, as in Alienware 15 R1, because the novelty of the body is thinner – the wrists lie much more comfortable and do not strain. However, one problem still remains: because of the separate block of five keys on the left side, with the blind method of printing, my fingers often fall on other buttons-they shift one or two keys to the right. And it seems that this is not the first such laptop and it was possible to work for it for almost a week, and it was not possible to fully adapt and adapt all the same.
The upper control keys by default work by pressing the button of the Fn modifier. From the status indicators in the new version of Alienware notebooks the manufacturer refused. The backlight of the keyboard is divided into six zones, each of which can be individually configured.
The options, as noted earlier, are insane. You can come up with the most conceivable and inconceivable combinations, adjust the color change depending on the open program, occurring on the event screen, the notification that arrived, and so on. The backlight can smoothly change its color, quickly flash or burn in one color. Variants of her work are insane.
The backlight brightness changes only for all keys at once and is adjusted in a single place – right click on the AlienFX notification icon and move to the desired control slider.
The working area of the notebook's touchpad is medium in size – 100 × 55 mm. It is also illuminated – all entirely – due to the located in the bottom of the RGB-tape LEDs and a special light-scattering surface above it. It looks very impressive and unusual.
Two physical buttons are located below. They are made of soft-touch plastic, have a soft pleasant stroke and are barely audible. The Synaptics touchpad has a wide range of customization options, supports gesture management and responds adequately to them.
The Alienware 15 R3 has a 1.3 megapixel camera (HD), next to which are two microphones for better sound transmission and noise reduction, as well as an optional infrared (IR) camera with software from Tobii. A similar solution in Dell is called Tobii EyeX Lite – it allows you to reduce the brightness of the backlight, turn off the screen and take your laptop to sleep when the user is not near the device. The performance is about the same as with the presence sensors installed in some monitors, but here the camera monitors directly behind the pupils of the user and works perfectly with any external light. Other manufacturers do not offer other possible options for using the second camera.
Tobii EyeX's complete solution for fixing the look and / or rotation of the head is installed exclusively in the 17-inch Alienware R4. By the end of 2017, the number of games supporting this technology, according to the promises of developers, should approach a hundred. We hope that we will soon get to this laptop and tell you about our impressions. In the meantime, continue to study the Alienware 15 R3.
In the new Alienware 15, components are not accessed in the same way as in the old one.
Now, like many direct competitors, almost the entire lower part is removed, and not its separate area. To do this, unscrew the seven screws with a conventional cross-head screwdriver, after which the lid is relatively easily dismantled. By the way, it is made of rigid plastic with a dense metal mesh and aluminum inserts.
Another important difference from the predecessor is the internal plastic frame, which additionally protects the motherboard and many other elements of the laptop. We did not dismantle it, because this procedure is not from the lungs – we have to unscrew a lot of different screws, disconnect the cables, remove the wires and, without forgetting, carefully remove the frame.
Среди легко — то бишь без потери гарантии — заменяемых компонентов мы можем выделить лишь два модуля памяти, жёсткий диск, который накрыт металлической пластиной с поролоновым уплотнителем, гасящим различного рода вибрации и шумы, а также SSD-накопитель. В дополнение к последнему пользователь с лёгкостью может установить второй: точно такой же для создания RAID-0-массива или любой другой для общего увеличения ёмкости хранилища.
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