Dell, the parent company of revered gaming hardware brand Alienware, is having a Memorial Day sale. Of the products on offer, the most notable deal is on the Alienware m15, a gaming laptop I reviewed last year that has since been updated with Nvidia's latest RTX series GPUs. Touting a powerful 8GB GeForce RTX 2070, the discounted model in question is $610 off. Where it previously sold for $2,409.99, you can now purchase this mobile monster for $1,799.99 straight from Dell. That's a hell of a lot cheaper than the $4,499.99 Alienware Area-51m.
Granted, the RTX 2070 in question is a Max-Q model, so while you can expect fewer frames per second than you'd get from a full-fledged desktop wielding the same graphics tech, the Alienware m15 is more than a powerhouse: it's an actual laptop, too. Unlike the Area-51m, it's a mere 0.71 inches thick and weighs less than five pounds. It also has an extensive battery life.
Alienware m15 price: $1,799.99 (save $610)
Never again forcing you to lug around your ungainly musclebook PC, the Alienware m15 is a laptop and desktop replacement. Just plug it in and experience ray tracing wherever you end up.
In my own testing, the Alienware m15 played a Twitch stream for 7 hours and 11 minutes before running out of juice. That's a marked improvement from the 2 hours and 52 minutes I saw with the Area-51m. Hey, it's even better than our current best gaming laptop pick, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model, which lasted a still-good 5 hours and 1 minute in the same benchmark. Clearly, the Alienware m15 has a lot going for it. This model in particular is cheaper than the GTX 1070 version I put through the paces just five short months ago.
In terms of performance, as the RTX moniker suggests, you can bank on real-time ray tracing with decent frame rates in every game that supports it. Right now that only includes a limited pool of titles, including Battlefield 5, Assetto Corsa, Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB
Memory: 16GB DDR4-2,666MHz
Display: 15.6-inch IPS
Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB SSHD
Connectivity: HDMI 2.0, Mini-DisplayPort 1.3, Ethernet, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.1 port, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A ports, 3.5mm audio jack, Alienware Graphics Amplifier port
OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Dimensions: 0.71 x 14.3 x 10.8 inches
Weight: 4.78 lbs
Warranty: One year
However, in the future, more games will be added to this list. Ray tracing, as we've detailed in this expansive primer, brings photorealistic lighting and shadows to compatible software. For gaming, this is tough to pull off considering all visual elements are rendered in real-time, save for some pre-rendered cutscenes. The fact that it's possible at all is an impressive feat in and of itself. The fact that it's possible in a $1,799.99 laptop is groundbreaking.
If you want ray tracing on the go, the Alienware m15 is a good option. Though not perfect, for this price it is an excellent value, especially since we're talking about the RTX 2070 config. With 1TB of spinning hard drive storage and 256GB of SSD space, you'll have plenty of room for triple-A blockbusters, esports and all your favorite indies. Unfortunately, you'll be without the latest 9th gen Intel processors, but as I've said before, the new i7-9750H isn't much more than a faster clocked i7-8750H. In other words, don't let it stop you from treating yourself to a spectacular Memorial Day bargain.
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