Alienware 17 review: Dell’s New Powerful Gaming Laptop
In 2013, Alienware have some hardware refresh and now let’s take a closer look at Dell's updated family of gaming portables. Among the new releases, we picked out the larger Alienware 17 ($1,499+) for our review. Let's see how they really are.
The machine is incredibly solid and well-built with a decent attractive look and sharp edges. Though the Alienware is much thicker as compared to other machiens in the market which may disappoint some Alienware ethusiasts. But the machine is built from a magnesium alloy chassis. The left side of the machine houses two USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports, HDMI and a Mini DisplayPort. There are also audio jacks for line-out (with headset support) andline-in for microphones. On the right edge lies a slot-loading optical drive, a multi-format memory card reader, an Ethernet jack and two more USB ports.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard and trackpad on the Alienware feels very uniform, much like the rest of the design, the number pad on the 17-inch model and slightly different mouse key shapes, make it look different from its smaller brother the Alienware 14 an the keyboard has changed too, those Chiclet syle keys are long gone and comes in with a new sets of keys, featuring the same soft-touch coating that covers the rest of the machine.
DISPLAY AND AUDIO
The Alienware 17 craft off superior screen and audio quality, the 17-inch's 1,920 x 1,080 panel appear slightlywashed-out. The panel is beautiful, with vibrant and crisp colors, wide viewing angles and a matte finish. Alienware's 17 inch proclaim to be "powered by Klipsch Audio," and offers the richer sound experience.
PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY LIFE
Alienware's latest machine comes with a NVIDIA Optimus graphics switching activated, and survives for around three hours as compared to the other gaming laptops like the Razer Blade 14 (which lasted over six hours) and the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 (with a four-and-a-half-hour runtime).
Alienware's newest machines may stumble when it comes to battery life, but it makes up for in performance. Coming with a 16GB of DDR3 RAM, an Intel Core-i7-4700MQ CPU clocked at 2.4GHz and a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M GPU. The screaming performance does come with a warning, however -- consistent performance demands proper use.
SOFTWARE and Configuration
The Alienware 17 comes with a Windows 8 which has been a point of argument for many gamers with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-4800MQ processor, a4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M GPU, 16GB of DDR3L RAM, a 256GB mSATA SDD boot drive with a spare 750GB HDD for storage and a Blu-ray optical drive -- which, excluding promotional discounts, rings in at $2,049. Users can upgrade to either a Core i7-4800MQ or 4900MQ chip, kicking the price as high as $2,300 for a fully decked-out unit.
Dell’s Alienware 17 rank among the best gaming laptops released this year. Excellent build quality, killer components and excellent performance but those looking for faults can find them in the pair's comparatively short battery life and overall thickness, but nonetheless this one is a hell of gaming machine with a fresh and sharp design.