The last time Alienware made an AMD gaming laptop, Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End were the top-grossing movies in the world, and we were all coming to grips with how much Windows Vista sucked. The year was 2007, and that laptop was the absolutely hideous Alienware Aurora mALX, which had knock-off HR Giger piping airbrushed on its lid. Just look at that thing. Gaming laptops have come a long way in 14 years.
And so has AMD. After years of struggling to match Intel's CPUs, AMD is firmly on top, and more and more laptops are turning to AMD now after years of Intel exclusivity. 2021's Alienware m15 Ryzern Edition R5 is a much classier, much less alien design equipped with AMD's latest tech: Ryzen 5000H series CPUs and Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs.
The m15 Ryzen Edition R5 features new "Legend 2.0" design updates such as a new finish and better stain resistance, and an overall less plastic-y feel. One of these new updates is something called Dark Core that "darkens the interior shade of the laptop to minimize distractions and keep your head in the game," which seems like a fancy way to say it'll dim the lights of the laptop while you play.
The new m15 will also have an option for either 15.6-inch 1440p/240Hz or 1080p/360Hz panels—either way, you're getting a speedy screen for gaming. If you're on a budget or opting for better battery life, there's a third option of a 1080p 165Hz display.
The Ryzen Edition R5 will be available with an optional ultra-low-profile mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches that Alienware co-developed with Cherry. As with past Alienware laptops, the R5 will offer RGB lighting settings, whatever keyboard you pick.
On paper, the m15 Ryzen Edition R5 sounds like a gaming laptop that could be a shoo-in for one of the best gaming laptops of 2021, but we'll have to test it once review samples start going out. We have seen other manufacturers like Asus releasing their own impressive AMD gaming laptops, which makes this a pretty exciting time for anyone looking to replace an aging system. Hopefully, they'll be easier to find in stock than graphics cards.
The Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 will be available in the US on April 20, with configurations starting at $1,793.