Alienware m16 review (m16 R1 model – i9, RTX 4080)


  1. Anthony

    March 29, 2023 at 7:26 pm

    Loved your review of the Alienware m16. I've been considering this laptop for awhile now. I just been waiting for more reviews to come out before I spent my money. Your closing remarks really spoke to me, when you stated, "personally, I would spend the money and choose something that is more than just a gaming laptop." What would be your recommendations?

    • Derek Sullivan

      March 29, 2023 at 7:49 pm

      I guess it all depends on what you value. For me it's work and play so I landed with something that can play games at a reasonable level and yet still looks professional. The Alienware have always been too bulky for me and believe me I've tried to use them as a daily machine in the past.
      Before I got my Asus x16, I was a Legion 7 owner. That's certainly a viable option and it's reasonably priced similar to this Alienware. It also has a bigger battery and is significantly smaller in size. I haven't reviewed this year's model though and it did undergo some design changes.

      The Blade 16 is also a laptop I would consider and is something I've owned in the past. The Blade is insanely priced but a very strong laptop in general that can hit some pretty impressive performance marks. It's arguably the smallest 16" package that still runs at high wattage to compete with the high performers. All the smaller 16" models cap out at 4070 GPUs.

      For me, that's where I landed – I chose smaller size and weight but settled for the 3070/4070 performance. I could easily see myself going back to the Razer Blade or Legion 7 if I wanted that extra GPU performance though.

  2. Bodin

    April 5, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Hi, thank you so great review on this laptop. I'm a bit fan of Alienware. I want to ask your opinion about X17 R2 3080 Ti that has a good deal and is cheaper than the M16. Would you consider it? There is no doubt that the M16 with 4080 performs with a 25%-50% performance increase and not only Gaming machines is X17 R2 would interesting.

    • Derek Sullivan

      April 5, 2023 at 12:21 pm

      On paper x17 the same weight but an inch wider than the M16. It is a little thinner though.

      I've never tried that unit so I can't comment too much. I only briefly messed with it in stores and was unimpressed with how heavy it was even though it tries to be thin. It's very deceiving.

      I also remember hating the port placement. Literally everything except the power connection and headphone jack was in the back. And the headphone was on the right corner which is a super annoying spot fort mouse users. I probably wouldn't even consider it for these reasons alone. Depends how good this sale is.

      I bet they'll be a decent sale from Dell on the M16 in the next couple months. They frequently have coupons or rakuten and/or Amex cash back offers that you can stack and take advantage of. You just have to be patient though because they are pretty random on timing.

  3. Aldertonghen

    April 5, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    While I agree that this laptop isnt for everyone, the value it offers on the 4090 config relative to other 4090s is insane. The 4090+ 13900HX model on Dell's website is $3049 ($3099 with upgraded storage) without even going on a sale, which is pretty much one of the lowest 175W 4090 prices around- and this price goes down further via Rakuten cashback, and this price is including Dell's premier support bundled for free. No laptop over $3k is "value", but this 4090 is cheaper than the Blade and Scar 4080s. That is huge.

    If we look at same GPUs- Razer Blade 16 is $4299 for the 4090, and the Strix Scar is $3799- both are much lighter laptops, although the build quality of Scar is inferior to the Alienware (which imo is par with Razer). But that extra $1200 one saves by opting for m16 over the Blade 16 is no small amount- its enough to buy a Flow x13 with a 3050ti in the US right now!

  4. Michael DRIPS

    May 10, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    I just ordered the Dell G with the i9, 32gig, 1tb, 4070. I’ve been playing computer games since the 70s and this won’t travel much. I’ve also had 2 high end Razers fail on me in the last 3 years and their “warranty” is an absolute joke. I think this laptop will be great for my gaming needs.

  5. BiggiDiggi

    July 15, 2023 at 4:15 pm


    Thank you for the detailed review.

    Just a question: When you say that the laptop is only good for gaming, but not for work or other activities, how do you define work? We might have different definitions, as for me it implies having the laptop run at almost 100% load (all but 1 of the CPU cores and/or the GPU) for anywhere from a few hours to a week. Don't ask why I am doing this with a laptop, but certain life choices have led to that situation. I have tried a lot of other brands and only Dell XPS and Alienware (currently using an 17 r3 that has been under such stress for almost 7 years with no problems) seem to be able to cope with it. Will the m16 manage well?

    The only brand, whose laptops I have never tried is Razer, but I have checked all of their other types of products and they were all low build quality, so I am a bit reluctant to splash crazy amount of money on a laptop that might struggle to handle the extended loads I will throw at it.

    Also open to suggestions for laptops from other brands, as I haven't tried anything apart from Dell in the last 5 years and, of course, things change.

    Thank you!

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 16, 2023 at 1:48 am

      Ah, I thought I clarified but sorry if there was any confusion. I'm sure you can use it for work just fine. I only meant that it's not really practical since it's pretty much as big and heavy as a 17" laptop. On top of that, if you work in a professional office this is not professional looking at all. :). Small trackpad and poor battery life are also a factor I consider for working since I would rather not need to carry a charger around the office.

      Since you tried the Blade, another alternative to consider is the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i. Same size screen with a smaller footprint and nearly 2 lbs lighter. Probably slightly weaker in build quality compared to the Alienware though. There are also Asus and MSI options which I can't really comment on but you might want to check out Andrei's reviews. I know he reviewed the Scar 16.

      • BiggiDiggi

        July 16, 2023 at 4:04 pm

        Thank you.

        The size won't be a problem, since the Alienware 17 r3 that I have is larger and I am used to it. As for looks, in my field nobody cares.

        I will check the other reviews. Thank you again for all the information.


  6. Crispin Wallace

    July 16, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    "But seriously though, I’m not quite sure why Dell keeps doing this."

    Because they have decided to react to customers and reviewers complaining about loud fan noise for years! Alienware was confident enough to make it pretty heavy to improve cooling! And I highly appreciate it!
    Look at your gaming benchmarks. You only lose a couple of frames in quiet mode. This is awesome. On most competitors you have to sacrifice much more performance for getting noise levels down. On most laptops I could complain about being too thin and too light. Thank you, Alienware for priotizing great cooling over a stupid thin and light design!

    "If it helps with the cooling, I’d understand, but other manufacturers aren’t doing this anymore and seem to be able to cool their systems just fine."

    No, they are not fine. Most of them are way too loud. If you want quieter fans, you have to sacrifice quite a bit of performance. Take a look at your Legion Pro 5 review. In Performance mode you get 20% more fps than in Balanced. On the M16 you lose a couple of frames and get the noise down to 40db which is awesome!

    This is a very thick chassis

    Are you serious? It has a 175 Watts 4080 and a Core i9 CPU which are on par with upperclass DESKTOP hardware! Have you ever seen a desktop chassis? THIS is very thick. The M16 is superthin considering its hardware. If you have any idea of tech and physics you won't tell us 25 mm are thick for this kind of hardware. This is hilarious.

    without the vents above the keyboard and the motherboard flipped back over, right?

    I'm with you on this. I would be interested in the 4060 version to get a quiet gaming laptop with full performance, but on this they don't apply their element 31 liquid metal. Normal TIM might dry out. The flipped motherboard makes a repasting very hard. I am not sure if I would dare to do it.

    The other big disadvantage is that the display is not bright enough. If you work in bright indoors and sometimes outdoors 500 nits are obligatory. Such a shame. I wish they would offer the same display like the Legion series.

    Last but not least: The old-school huge power brick is fully inacceptable. Alienware also has a very sleek, nicely designed power adaptor, but I don't get how to order the M16 with that instead of the huge power brick. Maybe the 4060 version comes with the small adaptor anyway?

    Sorry if my comment sounds a bit harsh, but I really hate that finally a manufacturer addresses the complaints of many reviewers and customers about loud fans under load and then gets critizised for fixing it. Yes, the M16 is a very heavy device (although being very thin at the same time) but it does an awesome job in cooling and finally offers nearly full performance with quieter fans!

    Thanks for the review and your work anyway! Good job!

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