Dell has introduced new versions of its Alienware 15 R4 and Alienware 17 R5 gaming notebooks, which now feature new keyboards with customizable per-key lighting. The systems rely on Intel’s Coffee Lake processors and their only difference from predecessors is the new keyboard.

Starting this Fall, Dell’s Alienware 15 R4 MLK and Alienware 17 R5 MLK laptops will be equipped with new TactX keyboards featuring RGB LEDs and supporting n-key rollover for more than 100 key commands. The keyboards also feature 2.2 mm key travel in a bid to provide a very rapid keystroke response.

The Alienware 15 R4 MLK and Alienware 17 R5 MLK notebooks are based on Intel’s quad-core or six-core processors outfitted with AMD’s Radeon RX 570 or NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060/1070/1080 GPUs. These gaming laptops come with 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch featuring Full-HD, Quad-HD, or Ultra-HD resolution. Those who want higher-performance graphics can attach the Alienware Graphics Amplifier (eGFX chassis) to house desktop graphics cards from AMD or NVIDIA.

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  • PeachNCream - Thursday, August 23, 2018 - link

    Those keys look basically identical to the ones on the Haswell Latitude on my desk and are of the same look as keys dating back to Sandy Bridge on Dell's Latitude series. The backlight might be RGB, but I doubt there's anything dramatically different about them that warrants some sort of special branding. Don't get me wrong, the Latitudes have very good feeling keyboards on them. They're good quality and last forever in a non-gimmicky "get the job done" way. They just aren't worth the hoopla unless there's something truly good underneath those business-class looking caps. Knowing Dell's tendency to make systems highly standardized, I just don't see why they'd go out of their way to sprinkle on magic fairy dust and pour in rainbow sparkly unicorn pee for Alienware systems. Reply
  • Yuriman - Thursday, August 23, 2018 - link

    Ultimately, branding is a way of selling more computers. LEDs also sell computers these days. Nobody wants a boring laptop where all of the keys are the same color. Dell would not be a very good capitalist company if they didn't try to maximize their sales by following fads and rebranding what they already have, to sell more of it. Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, August 23, 2018 - link

    Especially for gamers in mind. Professionals need flexible and use issues - a lot don't want to be hauling a heavy laptop around. Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, August 26, 2018 - link

    I would personally rank Dell's keyboards nearly as good as HP's. I prefer the key travel of Dell's slightly more, but prefer the lightness of HP's - Dell's are a little more tactile. Both are really good and feel really good. Unfortunately ever since Lenovo went the way of those half-concave, teardrop shape bottomed keys, they are downright annoying to type on. Not to mention some models STILL have the Fn key to the LEFT of CTRL. That is just hideous, although you can change it in the BIOS on ThinkPad models. Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, August 23, 2018 - link

    I wonder if these keyboards also have MagLev technology in Dell XPS 15 2in1 - typically don't use the keyboard on Laptop too much - except on sofa or bed or such - so far I had it 4 months and no complaints on keyboard of what I do use it. Oddly I think two XPS 15 2in1's could fit in this laptop area. Reply
  • mdrejhon - Friday, August 24, 2018 - link

    Even for programming, I like brightness-adjustable color coding. Especially function keys!

    One request though; some cheap keyboards have crappy brightness range & sometimes flicker (PWM) at low brightness. So hopefully DELL has done their due diligence.
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