Tech reviews

Alienware m17 R5 AMD Advantage review

Alienware m17 R5: Two-minute review

Is AMD Advantage – the red team’s moniker for machines using its Ryzen/Radeon combo rather than mixing and matching with Intel and Nvidia – truly the advantage its name suggests? That’s the unavoidable premise of this Alienware M17 review, but we won’t drag out the answer: it’s yes.  

The fact is that, AMD focus or not, this is one heck of a gaming laptop. It is as smooth as butter covered in grease on a plate made of Teflon. That feeling could easily be attributed to its ludicrous 120Hz 4K screen, were its numbers are not so strong. As it stands, the all-AMD m17 can muscle through your games as well as any. 

As well it should, given the investment you’ll need to make to get it going. At $2,350 (around £1,950 / AU$3,410), you’re talking the same spend as a fully-kitted-out gaming desktop PC, one which comes with a clearer upgrade path. You can switch out the RAM and SSDs here – an extra chunk of storage would not be a bad idea – and we doubt the processing package is going to feel dated any time soon, but that restriction is always a consideration when shelling out on a premium laptop.

Alienware m17 R5 AMD Advantage test unit on a table

(Image credit: Future / Alex Cox)

And this laptop really is premium. The chassis is an utter beauty, constructed not only with tough-enough materials and just the right amount of RGB lighting but with some very clever design touches. The sticky-out rear end gets rid of exhaust gasses, makes room for ports, and shoves the screen forward into your face; those ports which do make it onto the m17’s flanks are the ones you need for peripherals, placed exactly where you’ll want those peripherals attached.


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