Dell Alienware 17 R4 machine packs all the features of the 7th-generation computer”Kaby Lake” Intel CPU and Nvidia GTX 1070 or 1080 GPUs that are perfect for virtual reality. The laptop also has Tobii eye tracking to play games with your peepers. If you can spend the money on one of its more expensive configurations, the Alienware 17 is the 17-inch mobile gaming rig to beat.
Alienware’s trademark angular design is on full display with this 17-inch gaming laptop. The gunmetal-gray spaceship look hasn’t changed much in the past few years: It’s still aggressive and powerful, with its angles and two-toned mix of gray and black, but it’s also classy and refined, with solid aluminum construction and soft-touch plastic. Still, the look is starting to get a bit tired after so many years.
Alienware 17 R4 VRThe lid features the Alienware logo, and lifting it reveals a black, soft-touch deck; a complete keyboard with a number pad and macro keys; a Tobii eye-tracking camera; and the 17.3-inch, 1080p display.
Alienware 17 R4But it’s not a totally black-and-gray affair. The keyboard, touchpad, Alienware logo and light strips are on the sides of the deck and can be lit up with customizable RGBs.
The configuration I received has a 99 Whr battery, the maximum allowable on a laptop in order to be allowed to take it on an airplane. It’s definitely a major contributor to the weight and bulk of this laptop,
I ran my typical battery test which consists of using the stock “Power Saver” power profile, 25% brightness (90 nits), WiFi off, Bluetooth off, and running a 720p movie in a continuous loop at full screen with the volume muted. I start the clock when it’s unplugged and stop it when the unit performs a self- shutdown. The Dell Alienware 17 R4 lasted a mere 4 hours and 37 minutes before shutting down. Not long at all, but it’s about what I expected considering there’s no iGPU in use.
Using HWinfo, I was also able to test the discharge rate at certain conditions and estimate how long the laptop would last in those cases. Wifi and Bluetooth were on for all situations and the volume was set at 20%. Here are my results:
18.3 W (~ 5 h of 24 m use)– idle, Power Saving Mode, screen at 0%, Wi-Fi OFF;
24.8 W (~ 4 h of use)– very light browsing and text editing in Google Drive, Balanced Mode, screen at 20%, Wi-Fi ON;
The specs sheet
Screen 17.3 inch, 2560 x 1440 px resolution, TN, 120Hz, matte, non-touch
Processor Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7820HK CPU, quad-core 2.9 GHz, 3.9Ghz turbo
Chipset Intel CM236
Video Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 with 8GB GDDR5X RAM
Memory 16 GB DDR4 2400 PC4-19200
Storage 1x 256 GB M.2 SSD NVMe + 1 TB HDD 7200rpm (2 empty M.2 slots)
Connectivity Killer 1435 Wireless AC 2×2, Killer E2500 ethernet, Bluetooth 4.1
Ports 2x USB 3.0 type A, 1x USB Type-C(Thunderbolt 3), 1x USB Type-C (10Gbps), HDMI 2.0, mini-display port 1.2, RJ45, Alienware graphics amplifier, mic, earphone, noble lock
Battery 99 Wh
Operating system Windows 10
Size 424 mm or 16.7” (w) x 332 mm or 13.1” (d) x 29.9 mm or 1.18” (h)
Weight On average 4.42 kg or 9.74 lb
Extras Multi-colored keyboard backlighting and accent lights, backlit trackpad, FHD camera with IR and Tobii eye tracking, Windows Hello technology, built in subwoofer for sound
Yet again, I’m still pretty impressed with what Dell has to offer with the Alienware 17 R4. They managed to keep all their strengths from the previous model and even improve in a couple areas as well. Sure, it’s bigger, but the performance capabilities surely make up for it… at least in my opinion.
The main highlights are mostly performance based. Being able to adequately cool an overclocked i7-7820HK and a GTX 1080 under full power is no small feat, especially in a 1.2” chassis. What’s even better is that there’s a lot of room for further improvement through a proper repasting job.
So I believe this is the best system for gaming and personal use but not an option for office use.