Alienware 15 ANW15-1429SLV Review

July 9, 2015
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Gaming on a laptop tends to be expensive. A high end graphics card needs to be crammed in a small unit, often pushing the price uncomfortably high. But Alienware 15 ANW15-1429SLV can’t be called a very expensive gaming laptop. Yet, it features things players are looking for: i5 processor, 8GB RAM and most importantly, a dedicated GeForce GTX956M graphics card. Seems solid, but what kinds of games can this rig actually run? And is it worth its price at all? Good questions to which you’ll find answers below.

Is it powerful enough for software?

There’s a 4th generation Intel Core i5-4210H responsible for the processing power of Alienware 15 ANW15-1429SLV. It has a dual-core setup and a clock speed of 2.9GHz with 3.5GHz turbo. The processor gets ~4600 CPU Mark points, so for example, there’s more performance than in the recent 5th generation, low-power i7-5500U model. The i5-4210H is good companion for users who don’t want to deal with system lag, be it web browser, HD streaming services or heavier programs you’re running.

The computer has 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory installed on two 4GB chips. That’s not a very upgrade-friendly distribution but you can still expand the RAM if you wish. The maximum memory supported here is 16GB.

You’ll find a big 1024GB hard drive in this computer. It has the better 7200RPM transfer rate, but is still sluggish compared to solid-state drives. Indeed, you might want to swap it for an SSD. That is possible, keeping in mind the interface of SATA 6Gbps.

What games can I play on it?

Alienware 15 ANW15-1429SLV was of course intended for gaming. That’s obvious considering the GeForce GTX 965M (2GB GDDR5), a true dedicated card ready to run your games, and most of them on maxed out settings I’d dare to say. For example, you should get at least 30FPS with GTA 5 played on high or even very high details and Full HD. Other heavier titles, such as Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed Unity, will yield similar results.

Any comments on the screen?

Alienware 15 ANW15-1429SLV has a 15.6″ anti-glare display with 1920×1080 resolution. The panel type is IPS and brightness should be great thanks to 300-nits setup. Touch is not supported here, but I wouldn’t say many players care.

How’s its connectivity?

Plugging in various peripherals won’t be problematic. There are four USB ports in Alienware 15 ANW15-1429SLV, and they’re all type 3.0. Connecting an external display – like an HDTV – works too, the laptop comes with an HDMI output.

The laptop is lacking a DVD drive, so for discs an external optical drive should be used. The SD card reader might also be useful, but only if you have files on such cards.

For Internet, a Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45) and 2×2 802.11A/C WiFi are offered. Bluetooth 4.0 will work as well.

There’s also a nice 2.0MP Full HD webcam which should guarantee high quality video for chats on Skype.

Other relevant things

Despite being a 15.6″ notebook, Alienware 15 ANW15-1429SLV weighs a good 7.1 pounds which is around 2 lbs more than these computers usually are. Hence, this rig is not your travel companion number one. The included battery has solid specifications (8 cells, 92WHr) but in real life, it seems to allow for ~5 hours web surfing and maximum 2 hours of gameplay.

The keyboard is naturally backlit and it has no 10-key pad on right, so trackpad is conveniently centered.

Wrapping it up

Alienware 15 ANW15-1429SLV was made for gaming, and that it can definitely do. Its premium GTX 965M is very strong card for the price, and any released and upcoming games for year or two should run on this laptop without issues. For example, the current triple A titles will have 30FPS or more on maximum settings. In addition, all the software are piece of cake for this fast laptop. It surely costs some, but considering that you’ll get a strong graphics card tackling any game with ease, I think this Alienware is money well spent.

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