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Alienware M16

Alienware M16 Review | EliteViser

Alienware M16: review in two minutes

If there’s one thing the Alienware M16 can do and do well, it’s make your desktop incredibly beautiful. I’d like to say I got a lot of looks of admiration and approval advertising this thing around town, but it’s heavier than a spaceship and the trek from the office to the house was enough exercise for at least two weeks.

Still, it’s one of the best gaming laptops out there, not to mention one of the best looking. The design of the laptop is sleek yet elegant, if a little…large. The matte finish on the plastic chassis ties it all together, ensuring that there’s never too much RGB from the keyboard and the signature Alienware logo power button, a trap gaming laptops often fall into.

It’s almost retro-futuristic and strikes a perfect balance between intuitive design and classic gamer feel. Due to the placement of the display and the thickness of the chassis, the laptop could pass for a much older device. In fact, when the illumination on the keyboard and the power button are off, it looks like one of the laptops my father used to work on when I was a kid.

The Alienware M16 is far from being the best thin and light gaming laptops on the market. But if you’re looking for a desktop replacement laptop, this is the bad boy for you. This laptop may be one of the heaviest I’ve had to lug around for a while, but it runs demanding games at impressive frame rates and is large enough to work comfortably sitting on a desk.

I would recommend the Alienware M16 to anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of having an entire PC set up in their room but still wants to reap the benefits of comparable competent power.

Alienware front

(Image credit: Future)

Since the Alienware M16 is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 9 7845HX and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 laptop GPU, you are virtually guaranteed a flawless gaming experience now and in the future. The cost for this kind of future-proof solution is naturally quite steep, with the laptop retailing at $2,099.99 / £2,119.00 / AU$3,270, so it definitely won’t top our list of best budget laptops anytime soon.

That said, if you’re looking to put away some serious cash once and never have to worry about a thing about your gaming setup again, this could be the best laptop for your gaming needs. It’s powerful, it fits the part without looking too silly, and you’ll be playing with it for a long time.

Alienware M16: price and availability

  • How much does it cost? $2,099.99 / £2,119.00 / AUD3,270
  • When it is available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia

The Alienware M16 starts at around $2,099.99 / £2,119.00 / AU$3,270 for the configuration we tested. You can definitely find other gaming laptops for a lot less, and if you’re specifically looking for a budget gaming laptop, you might as well click this review right now.

That said, you probably won’t find many gaming laptops that will offer you these kinds of specs at a cheaper price point, and if you want to invest in a desktop replacement that will take you the distance, this is a good choice for you.

Alienware M16: Specs

The Alienware M16 is available in a few configurations, with the base model starting with the Nvidia RTX 4060 and AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX, with 1TB of storage.

Alienware M16 close up of the grille

(Image credit: Future)

Alienware M16: Design

  • Big but original
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Aesthetic design with molded speaker plate

The Alienware M16 is charming but at the same time a little lackluster. Yes, it’s aesthetic at first glance and has a bit of character, but when you consider the kind of processing power packed into it and the hefty price tag, it’s a somewhat disappointing package. If you scan our list of the best gaming laptops, you’ll find much more aesthetically pleasing and much more portable laptops.

Take the Razer Blade 14. It has very similar specs to the Alienware M16, with an RTX 4060 GPU, and runs on the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU. Its price is slightly higher than the Alienware M16, but it still offers a much slimmer chassis and a sleeker, more modern look.

The Alienware M16 comes in just one color: matte black. This is disappointing as the hexagonal grille and quirky LED power button could lead to a unique design that would set the device apart from the regular gamer’s aesthetic. We hope to see the M16 introduced in more exciting colors in the near future.

The display is a great performing 16-inch screen that offers a refresh rate of 165HZ and 100% sRGB. Port-wise, you’ve got a solid selection to choose from, including an HDMI 2.1 port, plenty of USB ports, and interestingly, an SD card slot. The addition of the slot lends this laptop to photographers who want a powerful gaming device to use for their hobbies or passions.

Close-up of the Alienware keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

The keyboard is probably my favorite part of the Alienware M16, as the keys are large enough to avoid frequent crashes when gaming and provide a softer, quieter typing experience which I really appreciate. It may lack the super satisfying click feedback many people love to get from their keyboards, but it minimizes annoying distractions when you’re trying to concentrate, and it works well in environments where silence is of the essence.

The trackpad offers good feedback, and while I normally hate gaming laptop trackpads because they’re too stiff, the Alienware M16 has the best-looking trackpad I’ve ever used on any gaming laptop.

Alienware’s design choices seem to fall somewhere between creating something unique and fun, and yet clinging to some rather boring aspects of typical gaming laptop design.

Alienware M16: Performance

  • Impressive gaming performance
  • It runs hot but not hot
  • Fans jump into the game almost instantly

Alienware M16 (2023): Benchmarks

that’s how Alienware M16 (2023) performed in our benchmark test suite:

3DMark: Night Raid: 51,538; Fire Shot: 27,355; Weather Spy: 11,730; Royal port: 7.184
GeekBench 5: 2,000 (single-core); 9.124 (multicore)
Cinebench:
14.038 (multicore)
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra):
85.5fps; (1080p, Low): 228fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 57fps; (1080p, Low): 125fps
Dirty 5 (1080p, Ultra): 84fps; (1080p, Low): 115fps
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 3 hours and 13 minutes

Despite its massive chassis and incredible weight, the Alienware M16 performed superbly during our benchmarks and was overall a pleasure to work with. The test score results boast some of the highest I’ve ever seen in laptop testing, which is to be expected with the kind of processing power packed into this big beast.

In terms of gameplay, glide through challenging games like Cyberpunk 2077, boasting high frame rates at all times and displaying vibrant colors. The framerates in Cyberpunk 2077 AND Stray you don’t drop below 70fps even on the highest settings, and thanks to the display’s refresh rate, gameplay is smooth and uninterrupted. This is definitely the laptop of choice for gamers playing AAA titles as well as professional gamers. While in my opinion the portability might take away some points of the laptop, the performance definitely increases where the design slows down.

The laptop’s ventilation is well designed, and once the fans kick in, you’re unlikely to feel the chassis very hot. However, the fans kick in as soon as you start a game, no matter how intense your gaming session may be. That said, I haven’t experienced any freezing or stuttering yet.

Close-up of the Alienware port selection

(Image credit: Future)
  • Performance Score: 4.5/5

Alienware M16: battery life

  • Fast charging
  • Poor battery life even for a gaming laptop

Gaming laptops aren’t known for their outstanding battery life, but the Alienware M16 is far worse than most. In our general battery tests, it lasts just over 3 hours, which isn’t what you want to hear if you’re committed to taking this thing on a long-haul commute or out and about with you. With the effort you put into carrying it, around 3 hours isn’t enough.

If you intend to play with the laptop unplugged, it could take an hour or so, maybe fifteen minutes longer for the device to start letting you know that the battery is last charged. This might not be a big deal if you plan on keeping your laptop at home. While this is a common thread with gaming laptops, you don’t buy one to take on the road with you.

Should you buy the Alienware M16?

Aliware M16
Attributes Notes Assessment
Price It’s expensive, but if you’re happy to keep it at home, its performance is well worth it 4/5
Project The potential to design an out-of-this-world aesthetic was there, although more could have been done. 4/5
Performance This is an incredibly powerful laptop with top-notch performance. 4.5/5
Drums Poor even for a gaming laptop but again if you’re using this as a desktop replacement you shouldn’t be too bothered. 3/5
Average rating The Alienware M16 is an incredible piece of kit that will keep you gaming in the future, even if it’s an initial investment. The ideal laptop for hardcore gamers. 4/5

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Alienware M16: Also consider

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023)
Price: $1,449.99 / £1,840 / AU$3,599 $3,499.99 / £3,299.99 / approx AU$5,218
processor Intel Core i7-13700HX Intel Core i9-13900H
GPUs Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 8GB GDDR6 Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM 16GB DDR5 32GB DDR5
Screen 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600), IPS, anti-glare, non-touch, 100% sRGB, 300 nits, 165Hz, LED backlight 16-inch 16:10 QHD+ Mini-LED (2560 x 1600, WQXGA), 1100-nit brightness, HDR, DCI-P3: 100%, 240Hz refresh rate
Warehousing 512GB SSD 2TB SSD
You bring 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DisplayPort 1.4), 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DisplayPort 1.4), 1x HDMI, 1x Ethernet, 1x headphone/microphone combo jack, 1x Power connector 1x 3.5 mm combined audio jack, 1x HDMI 2.1 FRL, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x Thunderbolt 4, microSD reader, Kensington Lock
wireless Wi-Fi 6E 2×2 AX, Bluetooth 5.1 or higher Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Triple Band) 2 x 2 + Bluetooth 5.2
Camera FHD 1080p with electronic shutter IR FHD 1080p
Weight 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) 5.07 lbs (2.30 kg)
Dimensions 14.31 x 10.25 x 0.88-1.05 inch (363.4 x 260.35 x 22.45-26.75mm) 13.98 x 9.69 x 0.83 ~ 0.90 inch / 35.5 x 24.6 x 2.11 ~ 2.29 cm (W x H x D)

If the Alienware M16 makes you consider other options, here are two more laptops to consider…

How I tested the Alienware M16

  • I tested the laptop for about three weeks
  • I used it for work and gaming
  • We stress-tested it using our suite of benchmarks

I tested the Alienware M16 for a few weeks, using it for gaming in the evening and working on it during the day for a few weeks or so. I brought it from the office and home as much as possible to get a sense of how easy it would be to integrate it into my daily routine.

Learn more about how we test

First inspection in August 2023


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