Dell tries “Gentleman’s Express” approach to the gaming laptop


Alienware M16 R2 gaming laptop product image courtesy of Dell

The Alienware M16 R2 gaming laptop that presents itself as a “Gentleman’s Express”, offering a classy boardroom-friendly look but being a high-performance gaming machine

My Comments

There is still an interest in combining performance and everyday functionality in to regular laptop computers as these computers are appealing to more user classes than gamers or full-on professionals who use advanced software.

Previously Dell have been taking the “sports sedan” approach to creating laptops that appeal to workday use but also appeal to gaming or similar high-performance computing use cases. The “sports sedan” approach is where a standard family car design is used as the basis for a high-performance variant of that car, typically with the difference between the regular car model and the performance variant being a powertrain that has a lot more grunt.

This was demonstrated with the Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming high-performance laptop that I reviewed but was followed on with the G-Series budget gaming laptops that the same manufacturer offered.

Jensen Interceptor gentleman's express car

.. just like the Jensen Interceptor “gentleman’s express” sports coupe

But Dell have also headed down another path similar to some British and European-built cars like the Jaguar XJ S or the Jensen Interceptor. Here, a significant number of British and European vehicle builders engineered these cars to look subtle but yield a fair bit of performance and some of these cars ended up being described as “gentleman’s express” cars – conveying a mixture of youthful sportiness on the road and a classy look that doesn’t look out of place at that 5-star restaurant or that corporate office.

This is demonstrated by the Alienware M16 R2 gaming laptop which has the look and performance of other Alienware gaming laptops. But this comes across with muted colouring and has the option to turn off the RGB lighting to convey that demure look for the office. This also scales down the performance requirement for the laptop so it can work with most office workloads but not needing to spin up fans to permit high performance so you can convey that sense of professionalism.

But this doesn’t necessarily allow you to save on battery runtime due to a “performance first” design. This would then mean that you have to keep the charger with you all the time. The reviewer even described it as though computer manufacturers are moving away from gaudy looks as a sign of the times.

This computer still has an Intel Cor Ultra 7 155H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 graphics with 8Gh display memory, 16Gb RAM, a 16”2K (2560×1600) screen with a refresh rate of 240Hz. Storage comes out at 1 Terabyte SSD. But the review sample in that article costed USD$1849. There is the option to use an external graphics module thanks to a Thunderbolt 4 port, which means that you could use a fit-for-purpose graphics card in a “card-cage” external graphics module if you are thinking of different tasks like CAD or engineering.

Like a lot of gaming laptops, this could earn its keep with students who use CAD, engineering, statistics or similar software as part of their studies but are not ready to buy a certified workstation for this software until they are sure that what they are studying for is their vocation. Also this computer could become a viable creator / multimedia / prosumer option for the creative types who value the Windows platform.

The review is also conveying the computer as being suitable for “work+personal” computing setups like BYOD or people who run their own businesses, where the goal is to have one machine for work or studay and play.

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