Alongside the freshly announced and updated m15, Alienware has also unveiled the m17. A gaming laptop with several awesome enhancements that includes an Eyesafe display to reduce blue light emissions, improved cooling and a lighter and thinner design.
This laptop has been built from the ground up with a focus on creating a thinner and lighter gaming notebook without compromising power. We've had hands-on with this new laptop at Computex 2019 and are here to bring you our thoughts.
A refined design for a gaming powerhouse
- Magnesium alloy chassis with improved cooling
- Two colour options including Lunar Light and Dark Side of the Moon
- 9th generation Intel processors including options from Core i5 to Core i9-9980HK
- Nvidia Geforce GPU options including GTX 1650/1660 Ti, RTX 2060/2070 or RTX 2080 Max-Q.
- 8/16 GB DDR4 2666Mhz RAM
- Dual Raid 0 SSD storage with various size options
- Killer Networking E2600/E3000, Intel Dual Band Wireless, Bluetooth 4.2
Like its smaller sibling, the Alienware m15, the new m17 has been revamped and rebuilt "from the ground up" with a new design ethos. This sees this gaming laptop appearing with a new stylish and snazzy finish.
It's been lovingly crafted from a lightweight magnesium alloy and comes in a choice of bold and striking colour options: Lunar Light (white) and Dark Side of the Moon (black).
Alienware says this new version of the m17 is the "thinnest and smallest" gaming notebook the company has ever made. Supposedly leaner and punchier than its predecessor, the m17 is certainly striking if nothing else.
Under the hood, the Alienware m17 R2 certainly means business. It will be available to purchase with a choice of ninth generation of Intel Core processors and Nvidia graphics cards.
The range of options includes everything from Intel Core i5 processors right up to the Core i9-9980HK. On the graphics side, you'll also get the latest and greatest options of Nvidia GPU, ranging from the GTX 1650 to the RTX 2080. Performance, in this case, will certainly depend on the size of your bank account but there are plenty of options to choose from.
To ensure gamers get the most out of their shiny new Alienware notebook, the company has made some other improvements to the design as well.
This new design includes larger fans blades and enhanced cooling performance thanks to an improved airflow system. This sees the new m17 getting a 25 per cent increase in airflow over the previous model which should keep things running cool and smooth.
Cool and portable
- Enhanced airflow design
- Alienware Cryo-Tech 3.0 cooling system
- Thunderbolt 3 with DisplayPort
- Ethernet port
- 2 x USB 3.1/1 x USB 3.1 with PowerShare
- 1 x HDMI 2.0/1 x Mini Display Port 1.4
- Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port
A large exhaust system at the rear ensures hot air is blown backwards rather than downwards, so the m17 should (in theory) be ideal for lap gaming as much as desktop play. You'll also note this area features a nifty RGB lighting ring to round off the overall style of the device.
The m17 R2 has also been built with a new dynamic thermal control system. This uses gyroscope and accelerometer tech to work out how you're gaming. If you're using it on your lap the cooling adjusts to ensure that's a comfortable experience, while adapting and changing performance when you're gaming on a desk instead.
The keen-eyed reader may also spot the ethernet port on the back of this device too. The Alienware m17 won't disappoint on the port front. There are plenty of connection options including several USB ports and both HDMI and Mini Display Port connections (perfect for VR gaming on the Oculus Rift S).
Alienware is not messing about when it comes to internals either. This new laptop has SSD only storage options. Gone are the days of slow platter-based hard drives. Now gamers are set to enjoy swift and nippy SSDs and PCIe M.2 drives in their favourite gaming notebooks.
The storage options here even include up to two 2TB PCIe M.2 SSDs in RAID0. According to Alienware, this means the two drives are recognised as a single large drive with uber fast read-write speeds and plenty of space for your favourite games.
New to the Alienware m17 is the Alienware Command Center. This system automatically detects when you're using the notebook for gaming and adjusts power to give you maximum performance. When you've finished or are doing other things it then dials down that performance to improve battery life.
The Alienware Command Center also gives gamers access to "easy and intuitive" overclocking settings. If you're looking to squeeze more power out of your gaming machine now you can do it with very little fuss or worry.
An easy-on-the-eye display
- Updated 17.3-inch OLED Full HD panels (1920 x 1080)
- Improved screen visuals with 60/144Hz refresh rate options
- 72 per cent colour gamut with Eyesafe blue light filter
- Tobii eye tracking tech as standard
The new Alienware m17 R2 has been crafted with a narrow-bezel design to make the most of the potential screen space. The company has crammed a 17.3-inch OLED full HD display into a relatively compact frame. That screen supports a 73 per cent colour gamut and 300-nits of brightness.
There's also the option to choose a 144Hz panel option with 9ms response rate. Both versions come with the Eyesafe technology that's designed to reduce blue light emissions without negatively impacting display colours or visuals.
It is worth noting though, that there are no 4K options here as far as we can see. Yet the smaller 15.6-inch wielding m15 R2 has not only 4K options but also screens capable of up to 240Hz. This seems like a strange omission to us considering both devices have roughly the same internal specs on offer (and the same starting price).
There is, however, the addition of Tobii eye-tracking technology. This tech tracks head pose, position, eye gaze and movement and translates that data into your gaming experiences.
A number of recent games have this system integrated into their design including the likes of the Division 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed Odyssey. So there's plenty of opportunities to experience games in new and exciting ways with this device too.
Enhanced keyboard and precision trackpad
- Increased key travel with new and improved concave design
- N-key rollover
- Per-key RGB illumination
- Precision point glass trackpad
Alongside the other enhancements, the Alienware m17 R2 also features a newly architected keyboard setup. This keyboard now includes keys with a greater (1.7mm) travel distance as well as a tactile response, per-key RGB backlighting via Alien FX, N-key rollover and anti-ghosting tech too.
An updated and improved trackpad also makes an appearance on this new device. Now gamers can play with a precision point glass touchpad ensuring more accuracy and an improved experience all around.
During our brief session with the Alienware m17 we were certainly impressed with the look and feel of this new notebook.
The screen visuals are great with brilliant viewing angles and fairly decent low bezel design. A potentially fantastic internal specification, masses of ports and new and improved keyboard design should result in a fairly fantastic gaming machine.
There are a few oddities though, like the fact Alienware m17 starts at the same price as the smaller m15 and only supports a 1080p display. Oddities aside this is set to be a great gaming notebook.
The Alienware m17 R2 will be available to buy mid-June with prices starting from $1,499.