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Dell totally forgot one small but important detail on its newest Alienware x15 and x17 lineup

Dell totally forgot one small but important detail on its newest Alienware x15 and x17 lineup
Dell totally forgot one small but important detail on its newest Alienware x15 and x17 lineup
The backlight on the older Alienware m15 keyboard would light up all keys and symbols, but this is not true on the Alienware x15 or x17 for reasons unknown.
Allen Ngo, 🇩🇪

Dell has recently begun shipping its latest Alienware x15 R1 and x17 R1 laptops to replace the aging Alienware m15 and m17 series, respectively. These newer systems have been completely redesigned from the ground up to look sleeker while improving upon the internals and cooling potential. A tiny detail, however, seems to have been omitted in the process.

The secondary key symbols on the keyboards of both the Alienware x15 and x17 are not lit by the backlight. As a result, these keys can be difficult to see when under dim ambient lighting. This includes both the standard and mechanical key options on the new models.

The unlit symbols are especially puzzling because the older non-mechanical keyboard on the Alienware m15 R4 had all of its symbols lit as shown by the image below. Why Dell decided to do a full 180 when developing the keyboards for the Alienware x15 and x17 in this regard completely escapes us.

Most competing laptops, such as those from MSI, Asus, and Razer (excluding some EU models), have all their key symbols lit and not just the primary symbols. It may not be a deal breaker for some, but it's certainly a thorn on an otherwise attractive Dell Legend chassis design. It's unlikely that Dell will address the issue for the inevitable Alienware x15 R2 and x17 R2 refresh models.

Alienware m15 R4 standard quad-zone keyboard. Note that all the key symbols are lit here
Alienware m15 R4 standard quad-zone keyboard. Note that all the key symbols are lit here
Alienware m15 R4 per-key RGB mechanical keyboard. The secondary keys are not lit and so they can be difficult to see in certain conditions
Alienware m15 R4 per-key RGB mechanical keyboard. The secondary keys are not lit and so they can be difficult to see in certain conditions
Alienware x15 R1 per-key RGB mechanical keyboard. The secondary keys are not lit yet again
Alienware x15 R1 per-key RGB mechanical keyboard. The secondary keys are not lit yet again

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4839 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 10 > Dell totally forgot one small but important detail on its newest Alienware x15 and x17 lineup
Allen Ngo, 2021-10- 2 (Update: 2021-10- 1)