CES 2022 | Alienware x15 R2 continues the ultra-thin gaming laptop trend with upgrades to Intel Alder Lake-H, RTX 3080 Ti, and soldered LPDDR5 RAM, secondary key symbols remain unlit
When we reviewed the Alienware x15 R1 last year, we were impressed by the overall performance of the laptop and were also intrigued by the removal almost all connectors on the sides of the device. This year, with the Alienware x15 R2, Dell has retained a similar design philosophy but offers some much-needed internal upgrades while still retaining some of the pros and cons from last year's model.
The Alienware x15 R2 sports a magnesium alloy construction. At about 0.63 inches thick and a 2.36 kg weight, the chassis is relatively unchanged from last year's x15 R1.
The new Alienware x15 R2 now gets an upgrade to Intel 12th gen Alder Lake-H mobile processors that are available in Core i7-12700H and Core i9-12900H options, both of which are 14-core 20-thread parts. Buyers can configure the x15 R2 with either 16 GB or 32 GB or LPDDR5 5200 MHz RAM. The RAM comes soldered onto the motherboard, so users should plan their configuration during checkout itself. Also available are a variety of single and double PCIe NVMe storage options — up to 2 TB single or up to 4 TB in RAID 0.
One of the hallmarks of this year's Dell launches is that most laptops are being equipped with Dolby Vision-certified displays and Dolby Atmos-certified audio. The Alienware x15 R2 offers three 15.6-inch display options — FHD 165 Hz G-Sync, FHD 360 Hz G-Sync, and QHD 240 Hz G-Sync — all of which are Dolby Vision-certified and support Advanced Optimus. Powering these displays is a choice of Nvidia's latest laptop offerings, the RTX 3070 Ti and the RTX 3080 Ti, along with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU.
Dell said that the Alienware x15 R2 offers the Alienware Cryo-tech cooling system that is comprised of an Element 31 Gallium-Silicone matrix thermal interface and an independently controlled quad-fan design. Users can choose from among Full Speed (maximum power), Performance Mode (graphics priority), Balanced Mode, Battery Saver Mode, and Quiet Mode (acoustics priority) power states. The x15 R2 also offers an 8-phase graphics VRM for stable power delivery under load.
Other features include the Alienware X-Series thin keyboard with 1.5 mm key travel, N-key rollover, and anti-ghosting, AlienFX lighting, Alienware Command Center, and an IR camera for Windows Hello biometrics. Once again, it looks like that Dell has omitted lighting up the secondary symbols on the keyboard — a minor peeve we noticed in last year's offering.
An 87 Whr battery comes standard with all configurations. Port selection includes one each of USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C, Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1-out, and microSD card slot at the back and a 3.5 mm combo audio jack on the right. Windows 11 Home comes pre-installed by default.
Dell offers both wired and wireless networking options. However, owing to the thin design, you will have to forego a Type-C port in order to use the Type-C to 2.5 Gbps RJ-45 dongle that is supplied in the box. Wireless networking is facilitated by the Killer Wi-Fi 6 (6E in the US and South Korea) AX1675 adapter with Bluetooth 5.2.
The Alienware x15 R2 will be coming this winter at prices starting from US$2,199 and CA$2,749.
Buy the Alienware x15 R1 with Core i7-11800H and RTX 3070 on Amazon
Dell Press Release