When less power makes for a better laptop

The Alienware m16 R2 a rarity among modern laptops. This is because, usually after a major overhaul, gadget makers like to keep new models on the market as long as possible to minimize production costs. But then his predecessor Launched with a new design last year, the company has redesigned the entire system for 2024, while also limiting how big a GPU can fit inside. So what gives? The thing is, by looking at the configurations people actually bought, Alienware was able to rework the m16. gaming laptop it’s a great recipe for a balanced notebook with a sleeker design, better battery life, and a more affordable starting price.

There are so many changes to the chassis of the M16 R2 that it’s hard to believe it’s from the same line. Not only did Alienware get rid of the R1’s bulky bezels and chin, but the machine is now more portable. It weighs more than 20 percent to 5.75 pounds (down from 7.28 pounds) and is also significantly more compact at 9.8 inches deep (previously 11.4 inches). For some style points, Alienware added RGB lighting around the perimeter of the touchpad. This result is a huge improvement for anyone looking to take a laptop on the go. It fundamentally changes the system from something like a desktop replacement to a portable all-in-one.


The Alienware m16 R2 is a great example of a laptop designed with its customers in mind, as it’s not as powerful as its predecessor, but it’s more compact, has longer battery life, and a more affordable starting price than before.


  • Fast 240Hz display
  • Better battery life than expected
  • Unique design
  • Good port selection
  • Solid value

  • No HDR support
  • The screen could be brighter
  • Grilled vents

$1,499 at Dell

Critically, despite being smaller, the m16 R2 still has plenty of connectivity options. On the sides are two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a microSD card reader, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. On the back there are two USB-C ports (one supports Thunderbolt 4, the other supports DisplayPort 1.4), a full-size HDMI 2.1 connector and a dedicated barrel plug for power. Overall, I like this arrangement because moving some of the ports to the back of the laptop helps reduce clutter. I wish Alienware had relocated the Ethernet jack and one of the USB-C ports, as I tend to reach for the latter more often.

Although it lacks HDR support, the 16-inch display on the Alienware m16 R2 has a fast 240Hz refresh rate. Although it lacks HDR support, the 16-inch display on the Alienware m16 R2 has a fast 240Hz refresh rate.

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The m16 R2 has a single display option: a 16-inch 240Hz panel with QHD+ (2560 x 1600) resolution. It’s perfectly fine, and for competitive players, the high refresh rate can be valuable during matches where potential advantages matter. But you don’t get any support for HDR, so colors don’t look as good as they do on a system with an OLED screen. Additionally, brightness is good at around 300 nits, which might not be a big deal if you prefer gaming at night or in darker environments. However, if you plan to take this somewhere with large windows or lots of sunlight, games and movies may look a bit dim. It’s not a deal breaker, I just wish this model had other display options like before.

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