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Word to the RTX 3060-powered Alienware laptop going for $980

The Dell Alienware M15 R6 gaming laptop from behind.
(Image credit: Dell Alienware)

Imagine saving $720 on an entry-level gaming laptop, and still getting one of the most attractive-looking machines on the market today. Okay, that's just my opinion. People often see it as a bit chunky around the bezels, or they'll down-talk the funny-looking exhausts, but I've always had a thing for the rounded spacecraft look of these machines.

And that snazzy sci-fi look isn't all this portable machine has going for it. It's packing some nifty hardware inside, too.

The idea of bagging the Alienware M15 R6 for just $980 (opens in new tab) is a pretty tempting option, especially since you don't generally see gaming laptops with 30-series graphics cards in them for under $1,000 until the likes of Prime Day rolls around. Now though, with Nvidia's RTX 40-series graphics cards looming, we're likely to see a lot more beastly gaming laptops coming in at a more palatable price point.

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Alienware M15 R6 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | Intel Core i5 11400H | 15.6in | 1080p | 165Hz | 8GB RAM | 512GB NVMe SSD | $1,699.99 $979.99 at Dell (save $720) (opens in new tab)
Aside from the 8GB of RAM, this is a tasty little config. for an entry-level gaming laptop. It's not only got a great CPU, the mobile RTX 3060 graphics card in there will see you through at 60fps plus in most games on its 1080p screen. That's a screen with a 165Hz refresh and 3ms response time too... oh, and even Nvidia G-Sync.

Getting into the innards, this machine comes with a last-gen CPU that's a paragon of Intel's lower-end offerings. It's a 6-core 12-thread CPU, with 2.7GHz base blocks, and 4.5GHz turbo, which means it's no slouch when it comes to gaming.

Pairing with that 11th Gen processor, Dell has opted for Nvidia's RTX 3060 mobile graphics card, which will keep the frames flying at the laptop's native 1080p resolution. And topping it off, you get a 3ms response time on a 165Hz gaming monitor, complete with G-Sync, which will mean the frames it throws out are buttery smooth, and every move you make will matter. 

The main drawback to this config is that it only comes with 8GB of DDR4 memory, running at 3,200MHz. Now, that should see you through in a basic gaming sense, but don't expect to be doing much multitasking on this one. RAM is evidently where Alienware has skimped to get the price down, but don't despair. It is entirely possible to get your own laptop-friendly RAM kit to jam in there, if you're feeling handy.

We'd peg this machine as great for low-level competitive gaming at medium resolutions, but definitely consider upping the RAM if you're going to go for it.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.