The new m16 R2 is 15% smaller than the original.
Alienware announced a redesign of its m16 gaming laptop at CES 2024 that makes it more travel-friendly and appealing to buyers who want solid gaming performance but a toned-down design. From the front, it doesn’t look all too different from the original from last year. Close the lid and you’ll see the difference, though: Alienware lopped off the thermal shelf, helping make it 15% smaller.
The m16, available in January starting at $1,650, has a 16:10-ratio display, and combined with the thermal shelf, it made the laptop unusually wide. Like “this won’t fit in my backpack’s laptop sleeve” wide. Getting rid of the thermal shelf gives the m16 R2 more ordinary dimensions, so it can now slip into a regular laptop backpack.
Losing the thermal shelf on the rear of the m16 R2 (right) makes its footprint significantly smaller than the original (left).
Losing the thermal shelf does limit graphic options, though, since that’s what was keeping it cool. While Alienware did develop a new, more efficient cooling system for the m16 R2, it can’t handle the heat from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 available for the original m16; the m16 R2 tops out at an RTX 4070. It can be configured with up to an Intel Core Ultra 9 185H, 64GB of DDR5-5600 memory and 8TB of storage. The 16-inch display has a 2,560×1,600-pixel resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate.
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So it can certainly be configured for high-quality gameplay. And its smaller, more portable size makes it a little easier to carry and blend in at work or school. (It still weighs 5.6 pounds, or 2.6 kilograms, though.) Alienware also added a Stealth mode hotkey that instantly kills the RGB lighting and turns the keyboard backlight to white.
The m16 R2’s touchpad has RGB lighting.
Speaking of lighting, the loss of the thermal shelf also meant losing the RGB stadium loop lighting that goes around the edge of the shelf. To make up for it, Alienware put RGB lighting around the laptop’s new larger touchpad where it’s not only more visible to the user but eminently more useful, letting you see the touchpad in the dark.
The m16 wasn’t the only Alienware laptop to get updated for CES 2024. The slimmer all-metal x16 R2 doesn’t have a new design but has been tuned up with new Intel processors, faster 240Hz displays, LPDDR5X-7467 memory speeds and up to 8TB of storage. A 240Hz display also comes standard.
The m18 R2 (left) and x16 R2 look the same as their predecessors but have new components.
The huge 18-inch m18, Alienware’s most powerful laptop, gets fresh processor options with up to a Core i9-1400HX processor and the most storage capacity ever in an Alienware laptop — up to 10TB. It has a choice of Nvidia RTX 4060, 4070, 4080 and 4090 GPUs and two display options: QHD with a 165Hz refresh rate or FHD with a 480Hz refresh rate.
The updated m18 R2 will be available in January starting at $1,900. Alienware says the x16 R2 is coming soon starting at $2,100.