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Gaming on the Alienware M18 Gaming Laptop (i7-13700HX and RTX 3070): my thoughts (2024)

My thoughts on the Alienware M18 gaming laptop: performance, display, design, multitasking.

Paul Norvig


January 13, 2024


I recently had the Alienware M18 R1 laptop delivered to my office. As a tech fan and former professional gamer, I like to seek top-notch equipment for my pastime. This laptop has quite a cutting-edge processor (i7-13700HX) and GPU (RTX 3070). I’ve been testing for both gaming and general daily usage for a couple weeks now - more on this below.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Alienware Model Name Dell alienware m18 r1 laptop
Screen Size 18 Inches Color Gray
Hard Disk Size 1 TB CPU Model Core i7 Family
Ram Memory Installed Size 16 GB Operating System Windows 11 Home
Graphics Card Description Dedicated Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4070


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb logo Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb battery Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb opened Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb front Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb screen Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb RAM


Groundbreaking Performance Review

Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb front

Having spent time using the Alienware M18 R1 laptop, its power and performance capabilities are truly impressive. Equipped with cutting-edge components, including a 13th Gen Intel Core CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics, this machine is designed to handle even the most demanding gaming sessions. With these state-of-the-art, cutting-edge components, I expected a great gaming experience, and in many ways, it quite met my expectations:


  • Advanced cooling system with Alienware Cryo-tech is incorporated in this product.

  • 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor - This powerful processor is what drives the system.

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card delivers an engaging gaming experience.

  • 165Hz QHD+ display: Provides sharp and clear visuals.

  • The device offers numerous ports for extensive connection possibilities.


  • The keyboard, due to a severe keyboard malfunction, disappointed us with its performance.

  • The keyboard area’s construction did not meet my desired standards.

  • Setting up WiFi was challenging at first due to driver problems.

  • The charger may be too heavy and large for people who travel frequently.

I value the laptop’s advanced cooling technology, Alienware Cryo-tech. This advanced cooling system maintains optimal performance even during heavy usage by effectively preventing throttling. The proactive cooling ensures system stability and is crucial for delivering consistent results, making it a standout feature of this device.

The gaming experience on this laptop is outstanding. Resource-intensive games run seamlessly, thanks to NVIDIA’s advanced DLSS 3 and Reflex technologies which significantly enhance frame rates and reactivity. However, during the initial setup process, there was a minor hiccup: the Killer WiFi driver had to be removed. While this inconvenience is not ideal, it’s acceptable at this premium price point given the impressive gaming performance delivered by NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 and Reflex technologies.

Physical design includes recessed keyboards and larger touchpads for ergonomic use. However, my received keyboard was faulty, which raises concerns about the product’s premium price. Pressing ‘A’ resulted in ‘ASDF,’ indicating potential quality control issues that contradict Alienware’s reputation.

Let’s discuss connectivity. This device provides numerous ports such as Thunderbolt 4 and HDMI 2.1. These ports ensure compatibility with latest peripherals and external displays, guaranteeing its future-proof design. The extensive range of ports makes it a valuable accessory hub for gaming accessories.

The pain comes from the bulky and heavy charger for some users. This accessory is inconvenient for a portable laptop and requires design improvements.

In essence, the Alienware M18 R1 is a high-performance gaming laptop with some drawbacks. Despite its impressive promises, its cost raises concerns due to potential initial issues that may arise. Overall, while the pros outweigh the cons, this investment might require troubleshooting efforts.

Visual and Audio Feast

Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb logo

The Alienware M18 offers more than just superior gaming performance. It provides an immersive sensory experience. Upon turning it on, the 18-inch QHD+ display’s visuals were impressive with a 165Hz refresh rate for crisp and smooth frames. Notably, NVIDIA G-SYNC and Dolby Vision enhance the experience by delivering vivid colors and contrast in games.

Visual and Audio Delights:

  • Screen Specifications: This monitor boasts a large 18-inch screen with a high resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and a quick refresh rate of 165Hz, delivering an engaging gaming experience.

  • Color Gamut: This monitor covers 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, ensuring visually fast and detailed outputs that are also accurate.

  • Dolby Atmos: The audio from Dolby Atmos provided a realistic experience, with sounds accurately placed within the game’s environment.

Right off, Dolby Atmos proves it’s not a mere marketing term. This technology immerses you in gaming action, positioning you right in the heart of it all. Precise audio cues in directions add an underappreciated layer of engagement commonly missing in laptop designs.

However, the laptop’s appearance disappointed me upon opening. It lacked a plastic sleeve and showed signs of scuffing. I also had concerns about overheating since gaming laptops are known to get hot, potentially requiring additional cooling or a stand for better airflow.

Moreover, while the larger touchpad and recessed keyboard enhance ergonomics and input precision, their implementation contrasts with the less polished plastic material around the keyboard area. This is a minor issue in an otherwise high-end machine and won’t affect performance significantly. However, it’s important to be upfront about these material inconsistencies.

Connectivity isn’t an afterthought in this device. It offers various ports such as Thunderbolt 4 and an SD Card Slot, which enhance functionality and convenience for numerous peripherals.

In summary, the Alienware M18 offers exceptional visual and auditory performance. However, it has some design flaws and potential cooling concerns. These issues are worth noting given its powerful capabilities, but they are minor compared to the enjoyable gaming and multimedia experiences it provides.

Design and Build Quality

Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb battery

Upon unboxing the Alienware M18, I was struck by its premium design and solid build quality. The laptop’s appearance is sleek and futanarive sci-fi inspired. However, every design choice comes with trade-offs.

Here’s a clear description of my first thoughts:


  • Sleek, updated Legend 3 design.

  • High-quality bead-blasted aluminum finish.

  • Redesigned palm rest and hinge for improved comfort.

  • A robust chassis is integrated for enhanced durability and reliability.


  • When considering the large size of this item, it may not be the best choice for those who engage in frequent travel.

  • The *large and heavy charger** is an impressive sight.

  • Keyboards with a distinctly plasticky surface feel are common in the market.

The chassis is not only robust but also remarkably resilient, effectively resisting everyday damage. I’m impressed by the Legend 3 design upgrade, which provides a contemporary look with its rounded, soft edges and the striking dark two-tone block color scheme. The refined details are noteworthy, as they have improved both the visual appeal and functionality through redesigned feet and hinges, ensuring a resilient structure against wear and tear.

The palm rest of the M18 is comfortable for long gaming sessions, providing essential support. The RGB lighting enhances its look without being distracting.

But it’s important to note that the M18 may not be ideal for those prioritizing portability. Its size and weight are justified by its power, but for frequent travelers, it might function more like a desktop than a laptop. Furthermore, some users might find the keyboard design less than satisfactory, given its price point. The plastic construction could be a concern.

The substantial weight of the charger is a surprising disadvantage. It’s bulky, making it less convenient for extended travel or portable gaming sessions.

All in all, my thoughts on the Alienware M18’s design and build quality lean towards the positive. The cons I’ve mentioned are slight drawbacks that stem from its nature as a high-performance gaming machine, but they don’t overshadow the overall robustness and top-tier finishing this laptop offers. It’s built like a tank, yet sleek like a sports car, and that duality nearly perfects the merging of form and function.

Gaming and Multitasking Prowess

Alienware m18 gaming laptop 16gb opened

The Alienware M18, a powerhouse of advanced technology, seamlessly merges high-end gaming and multitasking capabilities. Equipped with 13th Gen Intel® Core™ processors and NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 40 Series graphics, this laptop boasts impressive performance, handling intensive gaming sessions and multiple applications with ease. The advanced NVIDIA graphics deliver an exceptional visual experience for an immersive gaming experience.

Here’s a description of my M18 experience:

  • Gaming Experience: The RTX 4070 delivers excellent game performance with clear graphics and consistent frame rates. NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 technology and Reflex features significantly boost my gaming, providing faster reactions and minimal latency.

  • Thermals: The Alienware Cryo-tech™ cooling system is designed to keep the machine cool. However, during intense gaming sessions, I’ve noted that the laptop can become quite warm, indicating that while the cooling is good, it may not be perfect.

  • This powerful laptop, equipped with a swift Core i7-13700HX processor and generous 16GB DDR5 RAM, is exceptional for multitasking. Seamlessly switch between various applications and maintain multiple browser tabs open for efficient multitasking without encountering a noticeable decrease in performance.

  • A high-capacity 1TB NVMe SSD provides ample storage for large files and applications, ensuring fast load times and quick file access. The ability to expand this Storage solution is a desirable addition, allowing for future growth as data needs increase.

Although the technical details are impressive, there are a few aspects that left me wanting. While I appreciate the expansive 18-inch QHD+ display, it adds to the overall weight of the machine, making it less portable than I’d like. The system’s weight is further compounded by the large power brick necessary to support the laptop’s performance.

Moreover, the setup process wasn’t perfect. I experienced driver problems, specifically with the Killer Wi-Fi, which needed resolving. The M18’s price is another consideration. Its superior performance comes with a hefty price tag, which may not be suitable for all budgets.

Connectivity is extensive with various ports available. Yet, there’s a drawback: increased size and weight of the laptop. Despite this, it provides an engaging experience through powerful speakers and Dolby Atmos, ensuring no aspect of gaming or multimedia is overlooked.

In conclusion, the Alienware M18 is a powerful laptop for gaming and multitasking. Its excellent performance and sharp display are its key strengths. However, its large size and setup quirks may be drawbacks for those seeking a more portable or easy-to-use gaming laptop. Regardless, on my desk, the M18 proves to be a formidable gaming machine.