Alienware won't tell you how it improved the m16 R2's airflow despite removing the thermal shelf and making the gaming laptop 15% smaller

Alienware m16 R2 Lord of the Rings meme
Alienware "can’t divulge all the alien technology behind" the m16 R2. (Image credit: Alienware | Warner Bros.)

What you need to know

  • The Alienware m16 R2 has received a major redesign.
  • The gaming laptop no longer features the large thermal shelf that its predecessor had.
  • Despite removing the thermal shelf and reducing the laptop's footprint by 15%, Alienware managed to make the m16 R2 43% more efficient when it comes to airflow.
  • The Alienware m16 R2 will launch on January 11, 2024 with a starting price of $1,649.99.

Alienware just unveiled its new m16 R2 at CES 2024. The gaming laptop delivers massive improvements when it comes to airflow, all while having a smaller footprint than its predecessor. Gone is the bulky thermal shelf. The space that once housed a cooling system has been removed to make way for a larger trackpad and several other improvements.

You'll be able to purchase the Alienware m16 R2 from January 11, 2024 for a starting price of $1,1649.99.

Secret improvements

Alienware m16 R2

Alienware removed the thermal deck from the m16 R2 and reduced the laptop's footprint by 15%. (Image credit: Alienware)

I love the look of the new Alienware m16 R2. The laptop has a 15% smaller body, thanks in large part to the removal of the thermal shelf. Despite that reduction in size and stripping away the thermal shelf, Alienware managed to make the m16 R2 better when it comes to airflow.

The new Alienware m16 R2 is 43% more efficient than its predecessor when it comes to airflow. Sadly, Alienware wouldn't share how it managed to get that much of an increase despite reducing the laptop's size.

"This ultimately resulted in 43% more efficient airflow compared to the previous model, and though we can’t divulge all the alien technology behind these thermal gains, you can rest assured the m16 R2 won’t break a sweat when playing the latest games," said Alienware.

The redesign of the m16 R2 resulted in other improvements as well. The laptop has a larger palm rest and touchpad. The 180-degree hinge of the laptop now sits where the thermal shelf used to be, allowing Alienware to move things around and expand certain components. That larger trackpad is surrounded by RGB lighting.

Turning off AlienFX lights

Alienware m16 R2

The Alienware m16 R2 has plenty of RGB lights, but you can shut them all off with a stealth mode shortcut. (Image credit: Alienware)

The Alienware m16 R2 still features plenty of lights, but it now has the option to disable those lights with stealth mode. A hotkey (F2) switches off keyboard backlighting and AlienFX lighting zones. Stealth mode also swaps the laptop from performance mode to quiet mode, reducing fan noise.

The redesigned Alienware m16 R2 is clearly a gaming laptop, but it will look natural in a professional environment as well. The stealth mode shortcut essentially flips the laptop from a gaming PC you can take on the go to a laptop that isn't out of place in a meeting.

Alienware m16 R2 specs

Alienware m16 R2

The Alienware m16 R2 runs on up to an Intel Core Ultra 7 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070. (Image credit: Alienware)
Alienware m16 R2 specs

CPU: Up to Intel Core Ultra 7 185H
GPU: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070
Display: 16-inch, QHD+, 240Hz refresh rate, 100% DCI-P3
Sync: NVIDIA G-SYNC + Advanced Optimus
Storage: Up to 8TB RAID 0 (2x 4TB)

The Alienware m16 R2 continues its lineups tradition of placing high-end gaming specs in a laptop. The m16 R2 runs on an Intel Core Ultra H Series processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series mobile GPU (up to an RTX 4090). NVIDIA DLSS 3.5 upscaling tech is supported, as is NVIDIA Reflex for latency reduction.

Games should look smooth and crisp on the m16 R2, thanks to its QHD+ display with a 240Hz refresh rate.

On the audio side of things, Dolby Atmos support immerses gamers into their favorite titles, along with the dual speakers of the m16 R2.

The laptop features a 90Whr battery with NVIDIA Advanced Optimus, which optimizes power balance between the CPU and GPU. The laptop can charge up to 80% in 35 minutes through Express Charge 2.0.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at