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Alienware 15 R3 Gaming Laptop Review

Battery, Thermal And Display Testing

Battery Test - Tomb Raider 2013 Battery Rundown

To test battery life, we set each laptop’s battery profile to Balanced while running Tomb Raiders built-in benchmark at the lowest detail preset. The frame rate is locked at 30 FPS through GeForce Experience’s Battery Boost to limit the strain on the battery. Meanwhile, a script running in the background monitors and time stamps the system’s battery percentage. The laptops are set to hibernate once battery levels reach 5%.

With the frame limited to 30 FPS, the Alienware 15 R3 delivers one hour and 30 minutes of play time. If you absolutely need to game while on the go, that should be enough to relieve your itch. However, the Asus Strix 15 and Gigabyte P37X v6 deliver an additional 20 minutes of play time, which brings them closer to two hours.

Thermal Testing

For our thermal testing, we used our Optris PI 640 infrared camera to measure the laptop’s thermals. For more information about how we test, be sure to check out our Measurement Science article.

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At idle, the Alienware 15 R3 is a little warm. Our Optris detects temperatures of around 50°C on the GPU and CPU heatpipes, much higher than the other systems while at idle. Things change during Furmark. After 15 minutes of GPU stress testing, the Alienware exhibits impressive cooling. Out of the three GTX 1060 laptops and the GTX 1070-based Gigabyte laptop, the Alienware 15 has the coolest temperatures.

Display Testing

We used the SpectraCal C6 Colorimeter to measure the P37X v6’s display. Be sure to check out our Display Testing Explained article for a full description of our test methodology.

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At minimum and maximum brightness settings, the Alienware 15 has decent black and white luminance, but no values that make it stand out against the competition. Overall, the Alienware's display has good contrast ratios at both low and high brightness settings.

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To begin with, the Alienware 15's display has balanced red and green levels, but blue levels are too high. Increasing the brightness causes blue levels to skyrocket as red and green levels diminish considerably. From 20% brightness and on, the Alienware's display will have an extremely blue tint. At lower brightness settings, the gamma point is too high, but it normalizes back to 2.2 at higher brightness settings.

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Out of the box, the Alienware 15's display is too inaccurate, color wise, and the errors are readily visible. Taking grayscale and overall color accuracy into account, the Alienware has perhaps the least accurate display among the budget gaming laptops we've tested so far. At the same time, it's not that much worse than the Strix 15, Leopard Pro, and P37X; all of these displays need plenty of tweaking to bring errors below the visible threshold.