For gaming, you can use its eye-tracking-enabled tools to learn which areas of the screen you're focusing on too much or not enough and improve your response times. If you stream your gaming, it'll let you show viewers where you're looking and, on Twitch, you can just glance to switch between visualizations like heatmaps, shadow and spotlight.
The keyboard and glass touchpad have the feel and performance that you'd find on one of. The keyboard has a fair amount of travel considering the shallow deck and I didn't experience any ghosting or rollover issues. For gaming laptops, I still prefer to have discrete touchpad keys for casual point-and-click games when I don't have a mouse, but the one here is otherwise great.
The system's speakers sound good, too, but to really enjoy the gaming experience you'll want to put on some headphones. There's no bass here to speak of, so things like explosions and soundtracks are lacking a bottom end. Also, like on last year's m15, the power and display outputs as well as the connector for the external Alienware Graphics Amplifier are on the back. This at least makes it slightly tidier when connecting to peripherals for a more desktoplike experience.
Hertz so good
Alienware offers four display options for the m15: 60Hz, 144Hz and 240Hz full-HD panels and an ultra-HD-resolution OLED with a 60Hz refresh rate. That last one seems best suited for those who plan to do both content creation and gaming with the m15. I tested the 240Hz panel and if you've only ever played on a 60Hz display, the high refresh rate here makes a big difference, especially for fast-paced first-person shooters.
With the components in my configuration you can take advantage of the refresh rate speed in games like CS:GO, and Overwatch. If those are key games for you, you might want to spend more for the faster panel. Otherwise, go with the 144Hz panel for titles like Far Cry V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield V because you're just not going to hit those superhigh frame rates with this mobile GPU. Graphics performance is pretty great from this laptop with the RTX 2080 in it and the smoothness from the faster refresh rate makes the experience more immersive. It's one of those things you don't notice until you switch back to a 60Hz display.
Battery life was decent as well for a gaming laptop, clocking 4 hours, 25 minutes in our streaming video playback test. However, you can expect significantly less while gaming. Still, you'll be able to head to a coffee shop and get a few hours of work done in between plugged-in gaming sessions.
Overall, Alienware's m15 R2 is a beautiful thin-and-light gaming laptop. If you're concerned less about its looks than about getting more for your money, consider gettinginstead.
|Alienware m15 R2||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 1TB Intel Raid 0|
|Origin PC Evo 16-S||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 512GB SSD + 2TB HDD|
|HP Omen X 2S||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 1TB SSD|
|Razer Blade (2019, OLED)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 512GB SSD|