Alienware 17 R4 Review – The Gaming Monster

Alienware’s 2017 offerings maintain their classic, angular spaceship instances from this past year, however much has changed over the inside. The notebook also offers Tobii eye monitoring to play games with your peepers. If you can spend the money on a few of its more expensive configurations, then the Alienware 17 is the 17-inch portable gaming rig to conquer.


Alienware’s trademark design is on full screen for this 17-inch gaming notebook. The gunmetal-gray spaceship look has not changed considerably in the last couple of years: It is still competitive and compelling, using its angles and a two-toned mixture of grey and dark, but also, it is classy and elegant, with solid aluminum construction and soft-touch plastic. Nonetheless, the look is beginning to have somewhat tired after many decades.
The lid highlights the Alienware logo and lifting it reveals that a black, black soft-touch deck; a full keyboard using a number pad and macro keys; a Tobii eye-tracking camera; along with the 17.3-inch, 1080p screen.

However, it is not an entirely black-and-gray affair. The computer keyboard, touchpad, Alienware emblem and mild strips are around the faces of the deck and may be lit up using customizable RGBs. I preferred using intense colors, but you can alter each light separately and pick some louder consequences with AlienFX.


The Aorus X7 v6 is a slick 16.1 x 12.2 x 1 inches and only 7.2 pounds, and also the 15-inch MSI GT62 Dominator Guru is slightly smaller, in 6.4 pounds plus 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.6 inches. Just the Asus ROG G752VS OC Edition is thicker, in a total 10 pounds, but it is similar in proportion, at 16.4 x 12.7 x 1.9 inches.

The notebook is surrounded by vents, so there is lots of space for growth. On the ideal side, there is just one USB 3.0 interface and a few vents, whereas the left side is home to a Noble lock slot, a USB Type-C interface, a USB 3.0 interface, a microphone, and headset. There is even more on the back: an Ethernet jack, a miniature DisplayPort, HDMI output, a Thunderbolt 3 interface, the power jack and a link for your Alienware Graphics Amp, which permits you to connect an external desktop GPU to get 4K gambling and VR.


The settings we tested had the base-model 1920 x 1080 monitor along with also the higher-end 2560 x 1440 screen, the latter of which includes Nvidia G-Sync technology. The more expensive panel is worth the top, as a result of its superior brightness and sharpness.

The base-level 1080p display is sharp and vibrant, but it is not quite as bright or as precise as its competitors. I played with some Volume Effect: Andromeda using the brightness turned all the way up, but it still looked a bit dim. The match looked better on the 1440p G-Sync display, in which the Asari has been the perfect shade of blue and the game was equally sharp.

Turning the brightness all the way up was a significant first step once I watched a 1080p trailer for your film Gifted on the bottom display. When I watched the trailer again on the 1440p screen, I did not even have to have the brightness halfway to the greatest, and every one of the details was equally vivid.


The ROG along with the Dominator Guru were within a couple of percentage points of their Alienware panels, but the Razer Blade Pro replicated an astounding 185 percent.

The 1440p panel had a solid Delta-E precision score of 0.5 (0 is perfect), which can be much better than the group average of 1.6. On the other hand, the base model’s display scored a fair 4.1. The Aorus X7 and ROG proved only two and 2.3, respectively, along with the Dominator Guru were slightly less precise (0.7).

I jacked up the light on the 1080p screen because it measured a mean of 278 nits, placing it below the average of 295 nits, the Dominator Guru (301 nits) and the ROG (a bright 476 nits). The 1440p display scored much better, however, in 340 nits, outshining the Blade Guru’s 304 nits.

I need to note that the1440p variant supports G-Sync, which syncs with the GPU using the display so that there’s not any tearing while gambling, and it is a 120-hertz display.

Computer Keyboard and Touchpad

Although the keyboard is set to further back to the deck than I would enjoy, the soft-touch plastic left it comfortable enough to type on. My only desire is that the keys popped up using much more force to match how terrible I had been pressing down them. Com scanning test that is only under my 107-wpm typical, with my average 2 percent error rate.

The 3.5 x 2.2-inch touchpad seems a little cramped, especially with this much space on the deck, but it is true and has enough space for Windows 10 gestures. I could pinch and zoom on photos, scroll to the browsers and flick programs to a diminished state efficiently.


The sound on the Alienware 17 was somewhat muted. As soon as I listened to “How Much I Will Go” from Disney’s “Moana,” Auli’i Cravalho’s voice was crystal clear, although the drums and orchestra supporting her were not very detailed. I did not have much chance while playing with presets from the multimedia segment of this Alienware Sound Center, but I found the default gambling set up supplied a much-needed boost in quantity. I suggest sticking with this regardless of what you are listening to.

I had better luck with matches. I retained the Alienware gaming default profile running because I played with Volume Effect: Andromeda.

Gambling, Graphics, and VR

The cheaper Alienware 17 and its own Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU using 8GB of VRAM pack somewhat a performance punch, and also the model using all the GTX 1080 is much more powerful. With either setup, you will be able to play intense games at high settings, and also acquire buttery-smooth VR performance.

Employing the GTX 1070 model, I played with Volume Effect: Andromeda on a mixture of high and moderate settings, as well as the match nearly always conducted at over 100 frames per second — and frequently as large as 160 fps — both in battle and dialog scenes, albeit with occasional tearing and producing issues. I cranked all of the settings up as large as they can go, and the game remained between 70 and 80 fps while in discussions, dropped to between 66 and 75 fps while investigating, and dropped to 55 fps through a heated conflict.

Together with the GTX 1080 model, I flipped all of the images settings as large as they can go and play with the match at 2560 x 1440p and 120 Hz — the best this program could offer. The game ran at around 98 fps through discussions and was ordinarily stable at 60 frames per second while investigating alien worlds. There were several drops to 50 fps through cutscenes and a shootout with all the exotic Kett, but it was all far above our playability brink of 30 fps.

On our benchmarks, the Alienware using all the GTX 1070 GPU tended to fall several frames supporting competitors, all of which also utilize GTX 1070 GPUs. On Hitman in 1080p, ultra settings and DirectX 12, it performed in 89 fps — greater than the desktop-replacement typical (84 fps), but below the $2,466 Aorus X7 v6 (101 fps), the $1,999 Dominator Guru (94 fps) along with also the $2,499 ROG G752VS (91 fps). The GTX 1080 model played the match at 110 fps, which is slightly smoother than the Blade Guru’s 103 fps.

The differences were less noticeable on Rising of this Tomb Raider (1080p, quite essential settings). The Alienware using all the GTX 1070 GPU left the game at 50 fps, which is just under the average (53 fps) and also lower compared to Aorus X7 (56 fps) along with the Dominator Guru (51 fps). The more expensive model ran this routine at 62 fps, although the Blade Pro attained 65 fps.

Of the group, the Alienware obtained the best rating on the SteamVR Performance Test, which means you will not have any trouble playing games which support an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. It notched a 10.9 using a GTX 1070 GPU along with an 11 using all the GTX 1080 GPU.


When you are not gambling, you can find some serious work done on either Alienware 17 settings we tested. With this device, I’d 40 tabs open from Google Chrome, two of which were showing off Twitch flows at high quality rather than saw a sign of lag. You may expect even more exceptional performance from another model we examined, that has a 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7-7820HK, 16GB of RAM, a 512 GB PCIe SSD plus a 1TB HDD.

That defeats the desktop-replacement typical (12,792) but is significantly lower than the ROG (14,717; Intel Core i7-7820HK) along with also the Aorus X7 (16,411 Intel Core i7-6820HK).

you care about storage speed, do not receive the Alienware 17 using its base-level 128GB mSATA SSD. The configuration we tested using all the 128GB SSD took a glacial 1 second and two seconds to replicate 4.97GB of combined media documents, to get a hard-drive-like speed of 83.4 MBps. On the other hand, the higher-end Alienware 17 configuration together with all the 512GB PCIe SSD sped along in a reasonable 282 MBps.

The two SSDs were significantly slower than the group average (480.9 MBps) and including the Aorus X7 (462.7 MBps), whereas the Dominator Guru (628.6 MBps) and the ROG G752VS (727.04 MBps) were much quicker using their PCIe SSD.

The less expensive Alienware finished our OpenOffice spreadsheet macro, which matches 20,000 titles and addresses, in 3 minutes and 21 seconds. It was faster than the typical (3:30) along with the Dominator Guru (3:37), but maybe not as speedy as the Aorus X7 (3:09) along with the ROG (2:51). The more pricey Alienware was the quickest (1:47), blowing off the Razer Blade Guru ( 4:06).

Tobii Eye Tracking

Most configurations of this Alienware 17 include Tobii eye monitoring, which is made up of several infrared detectors that sit just below the screen. When you trigger Tobii’s EyeX software, it may be utilized both to browse Windows 10 as well as a control for a number of your favorite games.

My favorite applications for Tobii would be the ones which are not for gambling. I put the display to dim when I walked away from the computer, saving valuable battery life. Additionally, I was able to get a lot of windows open but scroll at the one I had been looking at regardless of where on the screen the mouse has been. Less useful has been the ability to maneuver the mouse anywhere on display using a look along with a tap, which was a refreshing party trick but did not save much time.

I tried it using Rise of this Tomb Raider since Lara Croft infiltrated a Soviet base. In the beginning, I did not feel that the eye monitoring is doing considerably, but once I boosted the sensitivity up at the match options, I could swing the camera around with my eyes (albeit much less precisely as I utilized to using a control). Additionally, I really could take enemies by looking at them, but it just locked on to each protector I encountered. To go for that vital headshot, I still needed to move the reticle up before pulling the trigger.

It is incredibly refreshing to control a pc with your eyes. It seems just like the future. However, the execution in matches still feels, in many ways, like a party tip, therefore it is not a must-have. If you do not desire it, then you can customize the foundation settings without Tobii Eye Tracking and save 75 (visit Configurations section, below).

Battery Life

You will be able to match longer on a low-level Alienware 17 than on its competitors; it lasted 8 hours and 32 minutes to the Notebook Mag Battery Test, which entails continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi. The ROG endured for 3:53, the Dominator Guru lived for 3:18 along with also the Aorus X7 petered out following 2:23.

The more expensive variant, however, lasted only two hours and 45 minutes, though that is only 1 second longer than the Razer Blade Pro.


Before we began gambling, the Alienware 17 got a little hot under the collar. Once we streamed HD video from YouTube for a quarter hour, the touchpad attained 85 degrees Fahrenheit, along with the middle of the keyboard between the H and G keys quantified 91.5 degrees. On the other hand, the base reached 96 degrees, and also the vents increased as high as 100 degrees. Both of those recent temperatures have been above our 95-degree comfort threshold.

Once I played with a few Volume Impact: Andromeda, it made much hotter. While the middle of the keyboard and the touchpad did not alter considerably, the bottom from the vents quantified a steamy 124.5 degrees.


At a selfie I snapped while sitting at my desk, my head was covered in darkness. My brown sweater appeared much darker than in actual life, and also the light sources around the ceiling have been blown out. I might make out facial features like my dimple, however, if you are flowing to Twitch, opt for an external webcam.

Software and Warranty

There is some useful gaming software preinstalled, but there is also some bloat.

The primary draw is Alienware Control Center, which permits you to alter the colors of the RGB lights, then adjust the power program, customize your macro keys, then produce custom profiles depending upon the game you play and correct settings for your images amplifier. The Killer Media control center is another fantastic tool that allows you prioritize which programs access a system.

Regarding bloat, it is all of the standard stuff you watch baked into Windows 10: Chocolate Crush Soda Saga, Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition, Twitter, Facebook, Paradise Bay and Sling TV.

Dell sells the Alienware 17 R4 using a one-piece guarantee.


Whatever you purchase, we advise that you stay away from the disappointingly slow 128GB SSD which you spend at least an extra $150 to configure it using a 256GB PCIe SSD or bigger. Additionally, it is a fantastic idea to measure up in the dim 1080p display.

Among those two models I analyzed, the $1,949.99 Alienware 17 R4, sports an Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU; 16GB of RAM; a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM; Tobii IR eye monitoring; a 1080p screen; a 128GB SSD; along with a 1TB, 7,200-rpm HDD.

This model has a whole lot of customization options on Dell’s site (you can also produce the settings I reviewed, with or without Tobii eye monitoring). Therefore it is a fantastic place to begin if you do not need the most powerful options.

The Alienware 17 R4 offers a fantastic combination of high performance, smooth scrolling, innovative eye monitoring and an attractive layout. Using its lower-end elements, you could also secure all-day battery life too, together with the free images amp, you can become much stronger performance.

The high end, $2,599 configuration of the Alienware 17 R4 we tested is up with all the best 17-inch gaming laptops on the current market, for example, Asus ROG G752VS OC Edition, that costs $100 less with similar specs but utilizes a lower-resolution screen along with a GTX 1070 instead of the usual GTX 1080 graphics card.

On the other hand, the $1,949 configuration we tested suffered from a dark 1080p screen along with a reasonably slow SSD. As a premium manufacturer, Alienware really should not be offering cut-rate elements at a price. Luckily, you can avoid these issues by merely minding your Alienware 17 using a quicker storage drive and a brighter, higher-res display.

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