Out of the box, 17 R4 (2016) power/charging issue


I purchase a brand new Alienware 17" R4 (2016).  It gets delivered as promised.  I open my shiny new laptop and fire it up and right from the start I am greeted by the BIOS screen and a message stating "Your 180w power supply is insufficient and the system will be reduced to match power supply" 

Within minutes I find that I am having major difficulties right out of the box (180w power supply wont charge battery, battery drains while unit is in use, have to constantly unplug/plug the power brick to get it to charge for a minute or two before it stops charging...lather rinse repeat.)

So I grudgingly admit defeat and resort to contacting the wonderful folks in Alienware Tech Support.  I get scheduled for 2 days later for a phone diagnosis. Okay, Ill play the waiting game.  After 2 days and 5 minutes on the phone describing my issue the technician tells me my laptop needs to be exchanged and that he has elevated the case to his supervisor, I should hear back in less than 48 hours from exchange department. 

Fast forward 5 days, several emails and 2 phone calls later (both to Dell customer service and to the Alienware folks) I am STILL waiting to initiate the exchange process.  In the meantime I have a wonderful $1,800 paperweight right out of the box.

So my question is...at this point in time, do I continue to play the "we will contact you" waiting game or should I just ask for a full refund and purchase a completely new system?  I understand that due to holidays and shopping season etc, things can get busy...however this is a culmination of about a week and half of "its been elevated for exchange".  I feel as if I am being given the run-around at this point.

Anyone else had this issue?

0 Kudos
6 Replies

RE: Technical Support experiencing technical difficulties ??

Still no response from technical support or exchange department...meanwhile another day closer to my 30 day refund window.  

This laptop holds papers down like a champ though.

0 Kudos
8 Krypton

RE: Technical Support experiencing technical difficulties ??

If all they have to do is replace the PSU brick with a higher wattage one that should be simple.  If they are unable or unwilling I'd return it.  Plus the appropriate department(s) are not available on the weekends.

RE: Technical Support experiencing technical difficulties ??

BeamerMT79, thanks for the response.  In my Layman's perspective I would think it would be that simple.  My original request was for just that...a replacement of the 180w power supply with the 240w.  

The 180w power brick symptoms are as follows:

    -still drains battery while plugged in

    -brick becomes extremely hot to the touch when gaming

    -green light on power brick goes dim and then off resulting in no AC power supply to computer.

    -have to unplug/plug brick in about every 60 seconds to reset green light/power system

The laptop itself runs flawlessly...other than the power drain on the battery while plugged in and gaming.

The only laptop symptoms are as follows:

    -On boot up, greeted with BIOS screen and message stating "180w power supply insufficient, system will reduce performance" and an option to open BIOS or continue.

    -Battery symbol in toolbar shows on battery power only.

I honestly don't want to refund (I love Alienware and this will be the second Alienware I have purchased through the years) but when you shell out $1,800 for a system, you expect it to work out of the box.  My frustration is after what I consider is more than a reasonable amount of time (5-business days) my case should be moving forward....not sitting idle.

0 Kudos
8 Krypton

RE: Technical Support experiencing technical difficulties ??

I don't know why Dell solves everything by replacing the whole order, I heared they have some technicians that can go to the customer location and fix things. So Dell what do you use those people for if even for a case involving just a powerbrick replacement you replace the whole order?

RE: Technical Support experiencing technical difficulties ??

I guess my next question is...based on the symptoms, would this be strictly a power supply issue or is there really something wrong with the laptop?  I am almost half tempted just to order a 240w power supply on my own if it seems that its just a power brick issue.  

0 Kudos
1 Copper

Re: Out of the box, 17 R4 (2016) power/charging issue

I had the same problem with my X51 R2, the power brick low powered my nVidia card that came with the computer and specifically said the needed 300 watts or greater.  The X51 came with the 240w power brick and the reply I recieved was get this and I quote Dell does not make a 300w power supply at all so my only option was to send back the computer or go with a slower less powerful card.  Now since the shipping was going to cost me more money still I went online to eBay and purchased one of those non-exsistant 300w power bricks for $75.00 and free shipping. (wound up costing less to do it that way and I didn't have to wait on Alienware/Dell to ignore me

0 Kudos