Gaming laptops aren't the lumbering bricks they used to be, as we've seen from the slew of offerings this year from ASUS, Gigabyte and Razer, all of which weigh under five pounds. But Alienware, Dell's flagship laptop line for gamers, has lagged behind with heavy cases and archaic screen bezels. That all changes with the Alienware m15, the company's first truly lightweight and slim offering. It's 14 percent thinner than the Alienware 13, all while sporting a much larger 15.6-inch display. The m15 also clocks in at 4.8 pounds, 20 percent less than the Alienware 13's 5.8 pounds (the current 15-inch is even worse at 7.69 pounds). Clearly, this is new territory.
Of course, Dell packed in all of the hardware you'd expect in a modern gaming notebook. Under the hood, you've got a choice of either a Intel 8th gen quad-core Core i5-8300H, or a six-core i7-8750H (which is what we see in most competitors). It also sports either NVIDIA's GTX 1060 GPU overclocked out of the box, or the 1070 Max-Q. The base Alienware m15 features a 1080p 60Hz screen, but you can also step up to a smoother 1080p 144Hz display or a 4K 60Hz panel. You can also add in up to 16GB of RAM, and it supports dual storage drives up to a 1TB SSD and a 1TB hybrid drive.
While I've always appreciated Alienware's strong design sense, the company simply failed to keep up with everyone else as they slimmed screen bezels and shaved off as much weight as they could. Now, Dell finally has something that can take them on. Based on my brief time with an m15 prototype, it felt remarkably light, especially in comparison to the Alienware 13. Given just how hefty that model is for its paltry screen size, I wouldn't be surprised if Dell tosses it entirely soon.
Dell claims the m15 will see up to 7.1 hours of video playback with the bundled 60 Whr (Watt hour) battery, but you can bump that up to 10.6 hours of video with the optional 90 Whr model. The company also lists idle times of 13.4 hours and 17 hours, but that's a pretty useless figure when comparing it to other laptops.
The Alienware m15 starts at $1,299 and will be available on October 25th.