I recently purchased a new/refurbished Alienware 15 R2 laptop. This was to replace my 18 month old MSI gaming laptop, which I liked, though could never get past a couple of niggles; these being the constant fan noise, even when under light load, and the unresponsive track pad.
In defense of the latter, gaming laptops would generally be used with an external USB mouse, though even still, it’s nice to have a decent amount of accuracy when using the trackpad for day to day tasks. It does have a nice slim form factor however.
As part of my new laptop consideration checklist, I wanted something that I could use for both work and pleasure, and a laptop I could bring into the office and not receive any sideway glances, particularly in light of my employer, EMC, currently going through the process of merging with Dell.
With the Alienware brand coming from the Dell gaming arm of laptops, and their good reputation for having plenty of tech horsepower, I took the plunge and bought a refurbished Alienware 15 R2 with a 1TB SSD, a NVIDIA GeForce 980M w/ 8GB DDR5 memory and 32GB RAM. Despite being refurbished, the laptop looks like new with no marks or indication that it has actually been used before. Delivery from the time of order took just under a week as it was shipped from a Dell distribution center somewhere in Europe (Poland?).
My laptops, excluding the MSI (now going up on EBay), usually last me 4 years of daily use so I wanted to ensure it had a specification that will see me throughout this time.
I’ve been my Alienware laptop solidly for about a month now, and am pleased to report that it hasn’t disappointed at all. This thing is a total power-house! I use it in the office, connected to an Alienware graphics amplifier (with a desktop GeForce 970 GPU) which also doubles as a USB and video dock for the laptop.
Anyway…. onto the point of this post. When I was trying to decide on what model of Alienware laptop to go for I was torn between the extra screen real estate of the 17” model versus the smaller, though slightly more portable size (you don’t buy an Alienware for its light weight) and weight of the 15”. Since I don’t travel as much for work these days, portability is less of a consideration, though ideally I still didn’t want to give myself a hernia each time I had to travel on a transatlantic flight with the laptop.
Looking for real-world side-by-side photo comparisons of the R2 versions of the 15” and 17” Alienware laptops proved difficult, so when I got my hands on both sizes/models recently, I ensured I took photos of each side-by-side as they may prove useful to others going through the same process.
Are you a fellow Alienware laptop owner, let us know what you think of it?