Alienware m17 R5 is coming for the AMD gaming laptop crown

Alienware m17 R5 gaming laptop open with lid facing the camera and blue light from laptop reflecting on table
(Image credit: Alienware)

Today at CES 2022 Alienware announced the Alienware m17 R5, claiming it's "the world's most powerful 17-inch AMD Advantage laptop" and it's hard to argue that point.

The matte black shrouded laptop with its glowing ring of light and logo on the back can house the absolute top of the line components from AMD, but Nvidia RTX options exist for those that want a blended AMD/Nvidia experience.

Alienware m17 R5

The Alienware m17 R5 doesn't really touch the Legend design first introduced on the Alienware Area-51m back in 2019 and I'm just fine with that, it remains both a unique and striking design even after a few years. 

While specific configurations will vary at the top end the m17 R5 weighs in at 7.3 pounds and measures 11.8 x 15.6 x 1.05 inches. Not something you'll want to tote along with you everywhere, but considering the power of this laptop it's a trade-off worth making.

Speaking of power there are naturally a whole host of options available. CPU is limited to AMD with either a Ryzen 7 6800H or the Ryzen 9 6900HX or 6980HX, but graphics options open you up to Nvidia as well. There are a number of Nvidia GeForce RTX options including the RTX 3050 Ti and the 3060. If you want the full AMD stack you can choose from the AMD Radeon RX 6700M or 6850M XT. Those allow you to take full advantage of AMD SmartShift MAX, SmartAccess Memory and SmartAccess Graphics makes its debut on a laptop for the first time. 

Alienware m17 R5 gaming laptop on a purple gradient background

(Image credit: Alienware)

RAM options start at a disappointing 8GB, but it is upgradeable to 16, 32 or 64GB of Dual-Channel DDR5 4800MHz. Storage starts at 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with up to 4TB as a single storage configuration or if you prefer a RAID configuration you can opt for dual drives from 512GB to 4TB. 

The 17.3-inch display starts at FHD with a 165Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time with support for AMD Freesync and Nvidia G-Sync + Advanced Optimus. Sticking with FHD you can upgrade to a 360Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time too. For 4K gaming (3840 x 2160) you drop to a 120Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time with support for AMD Freesync + AMD SmartAccess Graphics. 

Alienware m17 R5 gaming laptop on a purple gradient background

(Image credit: Alienware)

Ports remain plentiful on the m17 R5 with an RJ-45 Ethernet and 3.5mm headset jack  on the left, two USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports on the right. The back remains the home for most of the ports including the DC-in, one USB Type-C USB 4 Gen 2 (USB 3.2 Gen 2 on the RTX 3050 Ti model only), a USB Type-A Gen 1, and an HDMI 2.1 output. 

By default, the Alienware m17 R5 includes a 180W adapter, but you can upgrade to 240W or a small form factor 240W adapter. When you can't plug in you'll be relying on the 64Whr standard battery or upgraded 97Whr battery to get you through the day, no specific battery life claims yet. 

Last, but not least, you have a trio of keyboard options to choose from. The base configuration includes Alienware M Series 1-Zone AlienFX RGB keys or you can upgrade to per-key lighting with N-key rollover technology. The top of the line is Alienware CherryMX Ultra low-profile mechanical laptop keyboard with per-key AlienFX lighting.

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.