Last year, we reviewed one of the first Ryzen 9 gaming laptops this time: the ROG Zephyrus G14 from Asus. A year later, Dell joins the Ryzen-powered gaming laptop party with the new Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition.
Last year, the Achilles heel of Ryzen-powered gaming laptops was a mediocre GPU selection – for whatever reason, most manufacturers didn’t specify RTX 3000 series GPUs along with Ryzen processors. Fortunately, that will no longer be the case in 2021 – the new Alienware m15 combines Ryzen 7 5800H or Ryzen 9 4900HX with up to 32 GB RAM and a choice of RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 graphics. (Asus is also offering high-end GPUs this year – we’re doing hands-on testing a ROG Zephyrus G15 with Ryzen 9 5900HS and RTX 3070 this week.)
The new m15 offers three display options – 1080p at 165Hz or 360Hz, or 1440p at 240Hz – and an optional keyboard upgrade to Cherry MX. There’s a standard 2.5Gbps wired Ethernet adapter that goes with the Killer AX1650 Wi-Fi 6 – and unlike the ROG Zephyrus gaming laptops, the Alienware m15 has an integrated 720p webcam.
RAM is fully user-upgradeable with two DDR4 sockets, supporting DIMMs up to 3200 MHz. Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition will be available in the US from April 20 in select configurations starting at $ 1,800.
Dell G15 Ryzen Edition
If you’re looking for a solid gaming laptop at a lower price, the Dell G15 Ryzen Edition might be more your speed. The G15 pairs a Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H with a GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, up to 32 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and up to 2 TB PCIe NVMe storage.
You don’t get a Cherry MX keyboard upgrade option on the G15, and the G15 only offers two display options: both 1080p, at 120 Hz / 250 nits and 165 Hz / 300 nits. But G15 configurations start at just $ 900, half the cost of the lowest Alienware m15 spec. The G15 Ryzen Edition will be available in the US starting May 4 – or, if you’re an Intel fan, you can opt for 10th Gen Intel processor configurations as early as April 13, also starting at $ 900.
List with image by Dell