Dell Alienware 15 R4: Review

Dell Alienware 15 R4: Review

Written by Sophie Robertson, In Laptops, Published On
April 27, 2023
Last modified on October 8th, 2023

The 2020 Alienware m15 R3 was one of our favourite gaming laptops due to its sleek look and excellent performance. Dell Alienware 15 R4 is a high-end gaming laptop that looks similar to its predecessor but has been upgraded with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Series GPU for enhanced gaming performance and 60 frames per second ray tracing. The unit’s RTX 3070 improves frame rate, especially at higher resolutions, and allows laptop ray tracing at 60 fps. Though bulky, it allows upgrades and key travel. The 8th generation Core i7 processor performed poorly in productivity testing, which may deter some customers. Read on…

Dell Alienware 15 R4 Specifications

Display 15.6-inch FHD
CPU Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Price $1,849.99
Weight 7.8 pounds
OS Windows 10 Home
Camera FHD webcam
HDD 1TB 7,200-rpm
Memory 16GB


  • The new GeForce RTX 3070 GPU allows for 60 frames per second of ray tracing.
  • Class-leading battery life for laptops
  • Superior style
  • The review unit’s 4K OLED screen is a sight to see.
  • 1 Terabyte of Solid-State Drive Space
  • A plethora of accessible ports
  • Keyboard and chassis illumination can be customised.


  • A 60 Hz 4K monitor is questionable for competitive play.
  • Unfortunately, this GPU still has a long way to go before it can support ray tracing at 4K at 60 frames per second.
  • Design

Dell Alienware 15 R4

No power outage has ever looked so lovely. In addition to the standard Epic Silver, Alienware now offers a new colour option, Epic Black, for the anodized aluminium lid. The laptop now has a total of 13 separate illumination zones, according to the company’s improvements. Like its forerunner, the Alienware 15, the Alien head in the middle of the lid is the only source of illumination. The sides of the lid and keyboard deck are where the rest of the light show can be adjusted.

  • Ports

Dell Alienware 15 R4

The Alienware 15 has an abundance of ports—typical of gaming laptops—most of which are located towards the system’s rear. There you’ll find the power connector, Ethernet port, mini DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 3 port, as well as the Alienware Graphics Amplifier’s unique port. There you’ll find the power connector, Ethernet port, mini DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 3 port, as well as the Alienware Graphics Amplifier’s unique port.

  • Display

Dell Alienware 15 R4

The 1920 x 1080 matte display on the Alienware 15 ensures a wide colour gamut and enough brightness. The red brick church with the bright blue doors made for a striking contrast in the ‘Night Comes On’ teaser, as did the Muslim woman’s magenta clothing and matching head scarf as they fluttered in the breeze.

The image was so clear that I could make out every scratch and dent on actress Dominique Fishback’s submachine pistol and every tiny curl in her jet-black hair. When playing video games, the screen looks fantastic. The action looked great, but it would have been even better if the display featured Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. It is possible to achieve an even smoother render by syncing the display refresh rate with the GPU.

  • Audio

Dell Alienware 15 R4

The Alienware 15 has powerful front-firing speakers, which easily fill my moderately sized meeting room. Deep bass, sharp percussion, and clear keyboards came through the speakers as I listened to The Internet’s “Girl,” a slow groove featuring the enticing soprano of lead singer Syd.

However, at the maximum level, some high-frequency distortion was audible. When I played Witcher 3, the audio was much better. I was fighting off a nest of ravenous nekkers to the tune of a spirited violin. The sounds of devastation were music to my ears: Geralt’s growls, the nekkers’ ferocious screeches, the tambourine, and the piercing claps.

  • Keyboard

Dell Alienware 15 R4

The Alienware 15’s keyboard is really responsive, and it feels like you’re typing on a set of small trampolines. The 78-gramme actuation force is spread across a 2-millimetre stroke on the keys. That’s a lot more than the required 1.5 mm (60 g) that we have. With all that spring in my step, I was able to increase my 10 Fast Fingers score from 70 to 80 words per minute. My stubby fingers had plenty of room on the 3.9 x 2.1-inch touchpad to make multitouch movements like pinching to zoom, three-finger pressing, and flicking. Discrete mouse buttons are becoming increasingly rare, although Alienware is still one of the few manufacturers to use them.

  • Performance

Dell Alienware 15 R4

The Alienware is certainly not a slouch, thanks to its Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB PCIe m.2 SSD, and 1TB, 7,200-rpm HDD. Running 25 Chrome tabs at once, with one playing a 1080p episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” resulted in zero glitches.

However, when compared to other mobile gaming devices, it fell short. In our Excel macro test, the Alienware machine matched 65,000 names and addresses in just 50 seconds. That’s a lot more time than the Zephyrus, Blade, and Stealth Thin take, yet it’s still slower than the norm of 0:44. At 1:08, the PowerSpec was dead last.

  • Battery

Dell Alienware 15 R4

Don’t forget to bring the power brick with you everywhere you take the Alienware. Our battery life test involved constant Wi-Fi web browsing, movie playback, and graphics benchmarking for 5 hours and 15 minutes. That’s longer than the Zephyrus and the premium gaming norm of 3:40, although the Stealth Thin and the Blade both lasted longer.


If you need more storage or RAM, the Alienware 15 is a powerful laptop with a comfortable keyboard and easily upgradeable parts. However, it did not perform as well as comparable rivals on most non-gaming benchmarks. Then there’s the meat of the matter. The MSI GS65 Stealth and the Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501 are both more portable and have higher CPU scores than the Alienware, but in both cases, you have to settle for the Max-Q version of the GTX 1070 rather than the full-sized version.

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