The Alienware X16 R1 boasts robust CPU and GPU performance, featuring the Core i9-13900 HK and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU. In this review, we will delve into the Alienware X16 R1 as a gaming laptop, discussing its design, display, keyboard, and touchpad. Additionally, we’ll cover its performance and battery life, concluding with my final verdict on whether it’s a worthy gaming laptop or not.
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Alienware X16 R1: Specifications and Price
|Display||16″ QHD+ 2560×1600 Res, 240Hz Non-Touch Display with Advanced Optimus, and NVIDIA G-Sync, CV plus.|
|CPU||Intel 13th Gen Core i9-13900HK|
(24 MP cache, 14 cores, 20 threads, up to 5.40 GHz Turbo)
|Graphics||12GB GDDR6, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080.|
|Memory||32GB LPDDR5, 6000MHz|
|Storage||1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Battery||6 Cell 90Wh|
|Connectivity||Wi-fi 6E AX16901. 2×2, 802.11ax, MU-MIMO. Bluetooth Wireless card.|
|Camera||1080p 30fps FHD RGB+IR Camera with Dual-array mics.|
|Audio||2W x2 tweeter speaker, 3W x 4 woofer speaker.|
Alienware X16 R1: Design and Build
Inside the box, you get the X16 R1 unit itself, and the 330-watt charger, reflecting the need for significant power due to the CPU-GPU combination. Moving on to the outer box, besides the unit, you’ll find the documentation, including the setup guide, warranty information, and Alienware stickers.
The Alienware X16 R1 features a lunar silver finish, showcasing a premium and high-end build. It embodies the distinctive Alienware look, and the build quality is top-notch. The laptop’s weight alone is 2.651 kilograms or 5 pounds 13.5 ounces. With all accessories, it totals 3.584 kilograms or 7 pounds 14.4 ounces.
Alienware X16 R1: Ports and Connectivity
As for the ports, so all are located at the back, allowing for neat cable management, you have a variety of ports, including a 3.5mm microphone headphone combo jack, Micro SD card reader, USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 2.1, USB Type-A, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, and the power port.
Alienware X16 R1: User Upgradeability
Moving on to internals and user upgradeability, accessing the laptop’s internals involves removing six Phillips head screws. Inside, you’ll find four cooling fans, a 90 watt-hour battery, and integrated RAM (up to 32GB of LPDDR5 6000 MHz). While the RAM is not user-upgradable, the laptop offers two M.2 NVMe SSD slots, providing ample storage options.
Alienware X16 R1: Display
When x16 R1 (2023) comes to the display, Dell sent their top-of-the-line version with a 240Hz refresh rate, a 16-inch QHD+ resolution (2560 by 1600), boasting a 16:10 aspect ratio. The 240Hz refresh rate is excellent for gaming, providing a three-millisecond response time, Advanced Optimus support, and Nvidia G-Sync support. The color gamut coverage is impressive, with 100% sRGB, 89% Adobe RGB, 97% DCI P3 wide color gamut, and 86% NTSC.
These numbers are excellent for content creation, making it suitable for tasks like Lightroom, Photoshop, video editing, and color grading. The X16 R1 display boasts a 1.22 Delta E-score, indicating color accuracy, a contrast ratio of 1150:1, low black levels, and a good white point.
However, one aspect that could be improved is the screen brightness, which tops out at around 300 nits (measured at 285 nits). While this is not terrible, it falls slightly below expectations, especially for outdoor use, A brightness level of around 400 nits or above would have been preferable.
Despite this minor nitpick, the display remains excellent, particularly for gaming and content creation, The 240Hz refresh rate contributes to smooth gameplay and a fluid experience when navigating through the operating system.
The X16 R1 laptop features a 1080p IR webcam for Windows Hello facial recognition. The camera’s quality is notable for a gaming laptop, offering decent video quality.
Alienware X16 R1: Performance and Gaming
|GEEKBENCH 6 (Single-core)||2,711|
|GEEKBENCH 6 (Multi-Core)||14,865|
|CINEBENCH R15||2,877 CB, 194.35 FPS|
|CINEBENCH R23||2,877 Single-Core, 19,793 Multi-core|
|3DMARK FIRE STRIKE||33,422|
|3DMARK TIME SPY||18,221|
The Dell Alienware X16 R1 has the Core i9-13900 HK, which operates at 45 Watts and features 14 cores-six performance cores and eight efficient cores with a total of 20 threads. The single-core and multi-core performance, as indicated by these benchmark results, showcases excellent CPU performance. It can handle a wide range of tasks, not just gaming, but also productivity tasks like Microsoft Office, email, and web browsing.
Moving on to the GPU, the X16 R1 is equipped with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, a GPU with a 175-watt TDP, this GPU enables impressive gaming performance, as reflected in the playable frame rates on popular titles.
|The Witcher 3||425 FPS||349 FPS||305 FPS||115 FPS|
|GTA V||186 FPS||181 FPS||175 FPS||143 FPS|
|Dota 2 Reborn||179 FPS||165 FPS||160 FPS||130 FPS|
|Cyberpunk 2077||157 FPS||151 FPS||140 FPS||38 FPS|
For example, in Cyberpunk 2077 at high settings, you can achieve a very nice 140 frames per second. Even at 4K resolution, the performance remains solid at 38 frames per second, demonstrating its prowess in processor and graphics-intensive tasks.
The X16 R1 offers four different performance modes: battery, quiet, balanced, and performance. These presets are accessible in the Alienware Command Center, providing users with a variety of control and settings at their fingertips.
Thermals, Surface Temps and Fan Noise
When x16 R1 comes to thermal throttling, it received a score of 94 on the Time Spy stress test, indicating a slight amount of thermal throttling, although not significant. The passing score would be 97, so there isn’t much of an issue with thermal throttling on x16 R1 (2023) gaming laptop.
As for surface temperatures, the cooling system did a commendable job, preventing the laptop from becoming excessively hot or uncomfortable to the touch, Even on the underside where you might expect more warmth, it remains relatively cool. The heating vent on the back is the primary area where heat dissipates, and while it may be a bit warmer there, it’s positioned away from where your fingers or body would typically be.
In the performance mode, you will certainly notice the fan noise, reaching as high as 54 decibels, It’s something to be aware of, but when using the other modes like balance mode, the noise is much less noticeable during everyday tasks. However, during intense gaming sessions on the full performance mode, you will experience more noticeable fan noise.
Alienware X16 R1: Battery Life
As for the battery life, Alienware x16 R1 2023 features a 90-watt-hour battery, On the PC Mark 10 Modern Office 6 battery test, it lasted for 4 hours and 18 minutes. The video playback test resulted in a duration of 5 hours and 42 minutes.
However, in the gaming test, it lasted for only one hour and seven minutes, this is not surprising given the high power consumption during gaming. Consequently, x16 R1 laptop doesn’t offer extended battery life, which is typical for gaming laptops.
|HP OMEN 16 (2023) 83 Wh|
(Core i7-13700HX) RTX 4080(145W)
|5 Hours 33 Minute||4 Hours 49 Minutes||1 Hours 07 Minutes|
|Alienware X16 R1 90Wh|
Core i9-13900HK RTX 4080 (175W)
|4 Hours 18 Minutes||5 Hours 42 Minutes||1 Hours 07 Minutes|
In comparison to the HP Omen 16 and the Legion Pro 7 16, the Alienware falls slightly behind in some tests, although it performed better on the gaming test with two hours and eight minutes compared to the Alienware’s one hour and seven minutes. Overall, the laptop’s strength lies in its sheer horsepower rather than long-lasting battery performance.
Alienware X16 R1: Keyboard and Touchpad
You can open the lid with one finger, and the screen goes back as far as you see in the image. and the keyboard, there are two options: the standard keyboard with membrane-based keys and the Cherry MX ultra-low-profile keys, each with per-key RGB lighting. We have the one with the Cherry MX Ultra, and it’s a pretty nice mechanical keyboard with a very satisfying click, as expected from the Cherry MX Ultra.
If you’re a gamer who likes mechanical keyboards, you will not be disappointed. It’s also great for typing out long documents and emails, I really enjoy typing on this for extended periods of time. The keyboard offers 1.8 millimeters of key travel, which is deeper than the typical 1.5 millimeters we usually see, providing a good typing experience. The feedback is firmer and clickier for a more satisfying feel.
x16 R1 keyboard has RGB lighting, which is a cool effect, However the touchpad itself is a bit on the small side, especially for a 16-inch gaming laptop. Dell might be assuming that most users will use a gaming mouse when gaming on x16 R1 laptop. For everyday use, I found the touchpad to be pretty responsive for scrolling and performing gestures. Everything worked as expected, but I do wish it was a little bigger with more feedback. Overall, not too bad.
Alienware X16 R1: Speakers
Now, when Alienware X16 R1 2023 comes to the audio, usually gaming laptops are not that great, based on my experience over the years. However, that’s not the case with the X16R1. In fact, they’re using a six-speaker sound system that’s really good, featuring two tweeters and four woofers for a nice overall sound that fills up the room rather nicely.
So what do I think about the Alienware x16 R1 here for 2023? There’s a lot to like here – the 16-inch QHD plus 240 hertz display (that’s the option I would go with), ultra-low profile mechanical keyboard was great, excellent CPU and GPU performance, as well as competitive gaming performance, you’ve got to love that. No major throttling detected, thinner than most 16-inch gaming laptops, and has excellent audio.
Negatives, of course, are going to be the relatively short battery life, no 4K or even OLED option as far as the display is concerned, and the touchpad is on the small side. But, of course, these are not deal-breakers by any stretch. I think the Alienware x16 R1 offers a lot, especially to the gamer that wants something a little bit more portable in a 16-inch form factor. I highly recommend the Alienware x16r1 for 2023.
The Alienware X16 R1 impresses with its 16-inch QHD+ 240Hz display, powerful CPU-GPU combination, and competitive gaming performance. The laptop's design, build quality, and audio system contribute to an overall positive user experience. While battery life is a drawback, it's a trade-off for the performance it delivers. If you're a gamer looking for a portable 16-inch gaming laptop, the Alienware X16 R1 is a solid choice.
Thermals / Fan Noise9