Dell's Alienware m16 R2 perfectly balances gaming and productivity at CES 2024

Alienware
(Image credit: Alienware)

Dell has revealed its latest line-up of Alienware laptops at CES 2024. While there was never a question regarding its expected levels of power, the most impressive announcement revolves around the Alienware m16 R2 and its balance between productivity and gaming thanks to a neat new feature called Stealth Mode.

These announcements also include the Alienware x16 R2 and Alienware m18 R2. The former acts as a mid-tier option in cost, while the latter is effectively the company's latest juggernaut, best reserved for those who are looking for ultimate power and performance.

We're on the scene in Las Vegas to check out the latest tech at this year's CES 2024 showcase. Be sure to tag along on our CES 2024 journey by following Laptop Mag on TikTok, Twitter/X, Instagram, Flipboard, and Facebook for the most up to date hands-on impressions and news coming from the convention floor.

CES 2024: Alienware m16 R2

It's important to understand your own biases when reviewing anything and, in the realm of gaming hardware, I've always been a fan of smaller, more modest laptops that balance sleekness with power. Alienware hasn't been great at this in the past, but the m16 R2 is a huge leap forward from the designs seen in its previous generation — with one notable change being the surprising improvement in portability thanks to the removal of the thermal shelf at the back of the laptop.

Alienware

(Image credit: Alienware)

Then there's the redesign of the deck which offers a larger palm rest and touchpad thanks to a new 180-degree hinge that makes the most of the laptop's available space. Alienware's fun additions didn't stop there, as the touchpad is bordered by an RGB "stadium loop" which gives off a stunning glow, highlighting its edges in dark spaces.

The m16 R2's minimalist design and slimmer build allows it to strike a greater balance between productivity and gaming. Dell made the brilliant move of incorporating a "Stealth Mode," which toggles the laptops RGB lighting and allows it to blend in better with a more traditional laptop aesthetic.

After all, having rainbow lights blaring while you're trying to take notes in class might be a little distracting. Being able to swap between the two modes at the press of a button is much needed and highly practical.

Alienware

(Image credit: Alienware)

Otherwise, the Alienware m16 R2 is still an absolute monster of a laptop, built with an Intel Ultra 7 or 9 processor, featuring up to an Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU, a maximum of 64GB of RAM, and up to 8TB of SSD storage through dual 4TB PCIe M.2 NVMe. Its 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution display has a refresh rate of 240Hz with a 3ms response time.

The Alienware m16 R2 will launch as early as January 11 and starts at $1,649.

CES 2024: Alienware x16 R2

The Alienware x16 R2 is nowhere near as huge of a leap when compared to the previous generation, but it's still an absolute beast thanks to its Intel Core Ultra 7 155H or Core Ultra 9 185H processors. Even more so as it caps out with Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics, a maximum of 32GB LP-DDR5X 7467 MT/s memory, and up to 8TB of SSD storage. Its 16-inch 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution display has a 240Hz refresh rate and 3 millisecond response time, with Dell claiming the laptop will cover 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

Alienware

(Image credit: Alienware)

Its port selection offers a mini DisplayPort 1.4, two Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an HDMI 2.1 output, a Thunderbolt 4 port, a Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, microSD card and headset jack. Beyond these changes, its chassis is still all-metal with an RGB touchpad and six-speaker setup. 

The Alienware x16 R2 also benefits from a touchpad that is fully lit by RGB lighting. It's not just bordered by it like the m16 is, but instead features a gorgeous implementation of AlienFX for a stunning rainbow of color across its entirety.

Alienware

(Image credit: Alienware)

The exact launch date for the Alienware x16 R2 is currently unknown, beyond Dell saying it will "come soon." However, when it does arrive, you can expect it to retail starting at $2,099.

CES 2024: Alienware m18 R2

The Alienware m18 R2 is the company's most monstrous gaming laptop yet, packed with an unbelievable 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX and GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, with a ginormous 18-inch display. This is not for the faint of heart, and if you don't mind doing without portability, you'll surely fall in love with it.

Alienware

(Image credit: Alienware)

Its display options are between a 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution display at 165Hz refresh rate and 3 millisecond response rate or a 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution panel at 480Hz refresh rate and 3 millisecond response time. Do you value a crisper image or faster refresh speed? The m18 R2 caters to both! Elsewhere, Alienware's workhorse can handle up to a 64GB of Dual-Channel DDR5 5200MHz RAM and a maximum of 8TB of SSD space.

The Alienware m18 R2 launches on January 11 and starts at $1,899, although we expect its higher-end configurations will be the priciest of the bunch.

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Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.