New gaming laptops are launching left, right and centre in 2021, with Alienware very much at the forefront. The Dell-owned brand has pulled the wraps off the m15 R6, its third laptop in as many months.
It's arguably less ambitious than the Ryzen Edition predecessor, which brought AMD silicon to Alienware hardware for the first time in over a decade. The m15 R6 sees the company revert to type in many ways, pairing Intel’s new 11th-gen H-Series processors with Nvidia’s RTX 30 Series graphics.
In addition to the existing 3060, 3070 and 3080 graphics chips, the m15 R6 also has the option for the more affordable 3050 Ti. This configuration has 4GB of GDDR6 RAM, but more expensive models bump this up to 8GB.
It’s not the first laptop to be powered by Nvidia’s new GPU, though – Samsung's Galaxy Book Odyssey launched almost two weeks ahead of the official announcement. The 3050 Ti has also made its way onto the new Dell XPS 15 and G15, which we’ll get to in a minute.
However, many key specs are consistent with previous models. The m15 R6 has a 15.6in LCD display, with options for FHD (1920x1080) at 165Hz, FHD at 360Hz and QHD (2560x1440) at 240Hz. All three will deliver a significant boost over 60Hz screens, but it’s worth checking if the games you want to play support the higher refresh rates.
The gaming laptop also features Cherry MX keys, which debuted on the m15 R4 and provide a mechanical keyboard experience within a lightweight laptop body. Maybe lightweight is the wrong way to describe this hefty device, which weighs 2.69kg.
Other notable features include a wide range of ports and up to 4TB of SSD storage. There’s also an 86Wh battery with 240W fast charging, but Alienware hasn’t mentioned how fast it can charge the device.
The m15 R6 will start at $1,299 (approx. £920/€1,070) in the US and is expected to go on sale at some point this summer. It’s not clear when the device will come to the UK and other markets, or how much it’ll cost.
Dell’s more affordable G15 got the Ryzen treatment alongside the m15 R5 last month, before returning to more familiar ground this time out. Details of this new model are relatively thin on the ground, although we know it also includes 11th-gen Intel chips (up to i7) and the latest RTX 30 Series graphics. Despite no official confirmation, the latter is likely to include an option for the 3050 Ti.
A 15.6in display is limited to Full HD (1920x1080), but has options for 120Hz or 165Hz. There’s also an RGB backlit keyboard, with lighting effects that can be fully customised. The G15’s thermal design has also been based on Alienware hardware, featuring a total of 53 fan blades and up to four exhaust vents for effective cooling.
Dell has confirmed that the G15 will go on sale in the US from 3 June, with a starting price of $949.99 (approx. £670/€780). International pricing and availability is yet to be confirmed.
It remains to be seen whether either will make it into our best gaming laptop chart.