The new Alienware m15 gaming laptop is thin and powerful

Look, designing a gaming laptop is never easy. Dell's new Alienware m15 understands that gamers expect a lot from their machines. On the one hand, we want our laptops to be slick and thin, but on the other hand you can't fit the hardware necessary for powerful gaming, like graphics cards and cooling fans, into something too small. So what ends up happening is most of the time we get some gaming laptops that look like the MacBook Air and are completely incapable of playing games, or laptops so thick and bulky they need their own suitcase.

Alienware has a history of leaning toward the latter option, with laptops like the Alienware 15 that are so bulky you can use them to build muscle mass (weighs almost eight pounds). Many modern gaming laptops are finding ways to balance power and design, though, and we can see that in new machines like the Asus ROG Zephyrus S. The Alienware m15 is finally getting Dell on board, too, with a compromise between gaming power and a slim design that weighs only 4.8 pounds.

Despite the diminutive stature, it still sports plenty of powerful specs. Like any Dell laptop, you'll have several configurations and upgrades to choose from. At the top end, though, it comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card, a 1080p 144Hz display, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and dual storage with a 1TB SSD and 1TB hard drive. The upgradable battery can provide up to 10.6 hours of video playback with an idle time of 17 hours.

The m15 gets around cooling issues by including vents anywhere it can, including the bottom and the sides. Its keyboard uses zone RGB lighting instead of lighting individual keys like on past Alienware laptops. Also, you'll still have plenty of connectivity options including three USB-A ports, one Thunderbolt 3 port, Ethernet, HDMI, a mini DisplayPort, and more.

This new laptop will be available October 25 and starts at $1,299 for the lower configurations. The higher configuration options mentioned above will run you closer to $2,000, if not over, but that's in keeping with other modern gaming laptops like the Gigabyte Aero 15.

John Levite
Deals Editor

J.D. Levite has been in the deals game since 2012. He has posted daily deals at Gizmodo, The Wirecutter, The Sweethome, and now covers deals for Android Central, iMore, and Windows Central. He was there for the first Prime Day and has braved the full force of Black Friday. If you cut him, he bleeds savings. But don't try it for real. That's a metaphor.