As for other standards we test, the m16 R2’s touchpad is responsive and accurate, its internal 1080p webcam is grainy and might make you look for the best webcams and its RGB lighting is luminous and pleasing.

All of the ports

The rear panel of the Alienware m16 R2 features dual USB-C, HDMI and power ports.
Og DigitalTrendscentral

The Alienware m16 R2 packs all of the ports you get with the Zephyrus G14, and then one more. That means you’ve got a 3.5mm audio jack, an HDMI-out connector for extending your display, a MicroSD card reader and two USB-C and two USB-A ports. One of those USB-C ports, by the way, is a Thunderbolt 4 port, so you can connect dual 4K displays over just that input. Plus, it’s got a designated power port so your USB-C ports don’t need to be wasted drawing power.

Oh, and just to make sure your streaming goes smoothly, the m16 R2 also includes one RJ-45 Ethernet port, which neither the Zephyrus G14 nor the MacBook Pro (which has MagSafe, USB-C, HDMI and SD memory ports) offer.

What I didn’t like about it

The Alienware m16 R2 gets loud

As much as I love dungeon crawling in Baldur’s Gate 3, playing the game means the Alienware m16 R2’s fans create a not-subtle hiss that could almost make me suspicious of any nearby snakes. Even the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark got the fans to turn up. Not all video games set the fans a whirring, though, as Persona 4 Golden ran without a sound effect.

The good news, though, is that this is something I got used to before I realized it. Only when I booted up the less-taxing Persona 4 Golden did I realize how loud the laptop’s fans could get.

A display that doesn’t quite dazzle

Alienware m16 R2 open showing the trailer for “The Iron Claw”.

The Alienware m16 R2’s 16-inch QHD+ display seems to aim for accuracy over sizzle. When I played Baldur’s Gate 3 on it, I could see tons of detail in the metallic alien armor and flames emanating from my horned antihero, but I didn’t really feel like the reds and oranges coming off my sword looked especially strong. Sure, it’s a 240Hz panel, which means super-fast refresh rates for extra-smooth gaming, but a little more color intensity could go a long way.

When I began watching “X-Men ‘97” on the Alienware m16 R2, I quickly realized something was off: Beast’s blues and the reds of Jean Grey’s hair looked a little flat. This wasn’t a huge problem as I watched the trailer for “The Iron Claw,” which seemed to intentionally nerf its color palette, but it’s noticeable enough that I have to mention it here.

Much like the Alienware m16 R2’s loud fans, I was able to “get over” this deficiency as the drama of the Disney Plus reboot grabbed my attention and stole my focus. A sharper OLED panel like the one in the ROG Zephyrus G14 could help, but there’s nothing truly wrong here, and the m16 R2’s QHD+ resolution is good enough for what I’ve been doing.

Lackluster battery life

Our looping 4K video test drained the m16 R2 of a charge in 6 hours and 1 minute, which isn’t a terribly short time for a gaming laptop. That said, it does sit in stark contrast with the times from the ROG Zephyrus G14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro, which both hit over 10 hours on the same test.

Alienware m16 R2
Battery life (hours:minutes) 6:01
Display size, resolution 16 in., 2560 x 1600
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Battery life (hours:minutes) 10:33
Display size, resolution 14 in., 2880 x 1800
Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max 16-Inch
Battery life (hours:minutes) 10:14
Display size, resolution 16.2 in., 3456 x 2234

Oh, and while the ROG Zephyrus G14 has a smaller 14-inch panel to keep lit up, its 2880 by 1800-pixel panel means it illuminates more pixels than the Alienware m16 R2 does. Meanwhile, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has a slightly bigger display with even more pixels.

How it compares on specs

Alienware m16 R2
Processor Intel Core Ultra 7 155H | Ultra 9 185H
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 / 4060 / 4070
Memory 16GB | 32GB
Storage 1TB to 8TB SSD
Dimensions 14.3 x 9.8 x 0.9 in.
Display, resolution 16-inch ComfortView Plus panel, 2560 x 1600
Weight 5.8 lbs.
Webcam 1080p camera with Window Hello support
Ports Headphone jack, HDMI 2.1, 2x USB-A, 2x USB-C, microSD memory reader, Ethernet port, power adapter port
Price From $1,500
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 / 4070
Memory 16GB | 32GB
Storage 1TB SSD
Dimensions 12.2 x 8.7 x 0.6 in.
Display, resolution 14-inch OLED ROG Nebula display, 2880 x 1800
Weight 3.3 lbs.
Webcam 1080p camera with Window Hello support
Ports Headphone jack, HDMI 2.1, 2x USB-A, 2x USB-C, microSD memory reader, power adapter port
Price From ₹
Apple MacBook Pro M3 16-Inch
Processor Apple M3 Pro / Apple M3 Max with up to 16-core CPU
Graphics Up to 40-core GPU
Memory 16GB | 36GB | 48GB | 64GB | 128GB
Storage 512GB to 8TB SSD
Dimensions 13.6 x 9 x 0.7 in.
Display, resolution 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR, 3456 x 2234
Weight 4.2 lbs.
Webcam 1080 FaceTime camera
Ports Headphone jack, HDMI 2.1, 3x USB-C, SD memory reader, MagSafe charging
Price From ₹ 2,08,794

Its price is understandable, and comparably affordable

With a starting price of ₹1,25,193 (the model I tested costs $1,849), the 16-inch Alienware m16 R2 is a little pricier than the 14-inch $1,599 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 we’re comparing it to. That’s understandable, though, when the m16 is a larger laptop. The 16-inch Zephyrus G16, though, runs for ₹1,63,900 (and also packs an RTX 4070), and if its battery life is as good as its baby brother, that extra investment may be worth it to some of the road warriors out there.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Max we tested, however, is far more expensive, at ₹3,33,987(it starts at ₹ 2,50,469 ) — though that’s positioned more as a video-editing workstation replacement than a gaming laptop.

Bottom line

Alienware m16 R2 with white Alienware desktop background.

While its size might stop it from taking the throne as the most-portable gaming laptop, the Alienware m16 R2 offers a lot to love. From its refined design that’s slimmed down year-over-year, to its solid gaming and everyday performance and lovely keyboard, this is a laptop that will enable thrills and productivity in equal amounts.

But for the next iterations, we’d wonder if Alienware would consider packing more endurance into this beast, or a display that makes your games pop. A quieter heatsink solution would also be appreciated.

If you can spend the extra cash for the Zephyrus G16, you should consider it for its lighter chassis and likely better battery life. But if having a dedicated Ethernet port matters to you, or a lower starting price means a lot, definitely check out the Alienware m16 R2.