The Alienware 15 R4 with the 8th-Gen Intel Core i9 is one of the most powerful gaming laptops out there that might be overkill for the average PC gamer but still offers great gaming performance.
Design & Hardware
The design of the Alienware 15 R4 is a bit on the tame side, sure you have Alienware’s FX RGB lighting but the inside of the laptop is made from plastic and the lid is made from aluminum.
The keyboard on the Alienware 15 R4 has a good amount of travel but nothing too deep. The display can be optioned with 1080p or 4K resolution, the version I tested had the 4K screen with a matte overlay.
The display on the Alienware 15 R4 looked good but there were some issues with reflections. The Alienware 15 R4 I tested had the 8th Gen Intel Core i9-8950HK 6-core processor along with 16GB of RAM, configurable of up to 32GB of RAM.
The laptop has quite a bit of heft to it and the battery life isn’t that great. You can get around 3-4 hours of battery life on the Alienware 15 R4.
The GPU is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q with 8GB GDDR5. The laptop can be optioned with up to a 3 hard drives such as a 1TB Hybrid Drive, 1TB 7200 RPM HDD, 256GB SATA SSD, 256GB PCIe SSD, 512GB PCIe SSD or 1TB PCIe SSD.
As for ports, the Alienware 15 R4 has 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, HDMI 2.0 port, Mini-Displayport, Ethernet port, 1 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Type-C port and an Alienware Graphics Amplifier port. All the ports are at the back of the laptop, with USB-A, USB-C ports and a headphone jack and microphone jack on the left side and a single USB Type-A port on the right.
If you were to plug in just two external peripherals like a keyboard and mouse, that essentially takes up your USB Type-C ports, leaving you with no other ports to plug in USB drives or external hard drives.
The Alienware 15 R4 starts at $1,799 CAD but the model I tested will cost you around $3,949 CAD.
Software (& Gaming Performance)
If you buy the Alienware 15 R4, you’ll want to play some games on it and the laptop can easily handle any of the latest PC games on high to ultra settings. The Alienware 15 R4 is also VR-ready.
I played Planet Coaster, Sea of Thieves, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Euro Truck Simulator 2 and GTA V. I had no issues playing any of these games and it was fun to play them in 4K.
The only thing to note is that the laptop produces a lot of fan noise when playing games, which can be distracting.
The Alienware 15 R4 is running Windows 10, which Microsoft says it the best version of Windows yet. Which I do agree with Microsoft, they have made major improvements to their OS. Windows 10 takes the best of Windows 7 and 8.
Overall the Alienware 15 R4 is a great gaming laptop that offers powerful performance which is more than enough for the average gamer. However, it does come with a few downsides such as the fan noise, limited number of ports and can seem expensive.
- Super powerful
- Can play all the latest games
- Great 4K display
- Keyboard has a good amount of travel
- The fan can get noisy
- Limited number of ports
- Runs hot