Hot on the heels of refreshing its X51 gaming desktop, Dell is sharing the news gamers have really been waiting for. The company just unveiled some fresh Alienware laptops, complete with a new look and even a new naming scheme: Alienware 14, 17 and 18. As you'd expect, they step up to Haswell processors, the latest NVIDIA graphics and 802.11ac on some models, but the real story is that they've received a serious makeover, the first in six years. For starters, Dell ditched the ol' plastic body and moved to a metal chassis with an aluminum lid and magnesium alloy chassis. As befits an Alienware, there are LEDs aplenty, including lights around the edges and a touchpad that fully lights up. And though the alien logo on the lid always glowed, that color is now customizable like other zones on the laptop. Speaking of the keyboard, you get 10 color zones on the 17 / 18 and five on the 14, and it promises improved travel, too, thanks to some retooled key caps. Dell also added Klipsch speakers, backed by Dolby Audio Theater. On a more practical note, the vents have moved to the back edge, as far as possible from gamers' hands. All told, it's a nicer design, but if you were expecting these guys to be thinner or lighter, you're going to be disappointed: the dimensions haven't really budged.
Moving on to performance, Dell added some macro keys on the larger models, with the 18 supporting up to nine, and the 17 allowing for four. All come standard with a quad-core Core i7 processor, though they won't each be configurable with the same range of CPUs. 750GB of HDD storage is the minimum, and SSDs will be available too. On the 14, in particular, you can add up to three HDDs, while the two larger notebooks have room for four. Graphics-wise, NVIDIA's GTX 765M (2GB) is standard on the 17 and 18, while the 14 starts with a 1GB 750M. And on the 18 you get two GPUs by default, in an SLI setup. The Alienware 17 and 18 come with 802.11ac WiFi, while the 14 packs a Killer Wireless-N 1202 radio. As for displays, they're all non-touch (mostly TN), and while 1080p is offered on all, it's only standard on the 18 (the 14, in particular, starts with 1,366 x 768, blech). They're all available now, with starting prices pegged at $1,199 for the 14, $1,499 for the 17 and $2,099 for the 18. A Core i5 version of the 14 is also on the way, and will start around $1,099. Hopefully we'll review one of these soon, but until then have a look at some hands-on photos, a detailed spec table and a trio of promo videos, all embedded after the break.
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
Alienware 14 hands-on
Alienware 17 hands-on
Alienware 18 hands-on
Alienware 14, 17 and 18 (2013)
|Alienware 14 ($1,199+)||Alienware 17 ($1,499+)||Alienware 18 ($2,099+)|
|RAM||8GB or 16GB||8GB to 32GB||8GB to 32GB|
||18.4-inch TrueLife PLS, 400-nit display (1920 X 1080)|
Broadcom 4352 802.11n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Broadcom 4352 802.11n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
|Battery||8-cell (86Wh)||8-cell (86Wh)||6-cell (69Wh)|
|Starting weight (with an SSD)||2.77kg (6.11 pounds)||4.15kg (9.15 pounds)||5.47kg ( 12.06 lbs)|
Alienware Redefines the PC Gaming Experience: Unveils the Most Powerful Gaming Laptops in the Universe with Bold, New Iconic Design
• Alienware 18 is the most powerful 18-inch gaming laptop in the universe; Alienware 14 is the most powerful 14-inch laptop available today
• Alienware introduces new, iconic industrial design that evokes power and performance
• New Alienware 14, 17, and 18-inch laptops feature all new performance graphics, processors and components engineered for extreme performance
• New Alienware Vindicator laptop bags exclusively designed to protect the new Alienware laptops with smart organization and matching design
Los Angeles, CA, June 10, 2013 – Alienware, the pioneer in specialty high-performance PC gaming systems, introduced its latest and most powerful gaming laptops with the unveiling of the Alienware 14, Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 at E3 in Los Angeles. The systems feature a bold new design and extraordinary performance, uniquely engineered to deliver the ultimate gaming experience.
The new laptops include the Alienware 14 for the enthusiast gamer who requires a laptop that provides enough performance for any task, yet is mobile enough to fit into a backpack; the Alienware 17 for an immersive, graphics-intensive experience with the latest technologies for desktop-grade performance; and the Alienware 18, the ultimate gaming laptop that commands respect among top gamers for its unparalleled performance and construction.
All three laptops feature a new, iconic, angular design that takes its cues from jet engines and stealth bombers with an anodized aluminum shell and magnesium alloy body. The latest laptops are exceptionally durable, with over 60 percent of the main mechanical components made of various metals. The keyboard is protected by a reinforced plate to ensure a solid typing experience, while the travel and responsiveness is specifically designed with gamers' needs in mind. Based on customer feedback, the new Alienware 14 now features an anti-glare LCD display with wide viewing angles for reflection-free gaming in nearly any lighting condition, including a premium Full HD panel option with IPS. For 3D gaming enthusiasts, the Alienware 17 has an optional 3D panel for an immersive visual experience, while the Alienware 18 will feature a Full HD display with PLS wide viewing-angle technology.
Along with the new design, the laptops also feature a number of components that when combined create a superb PC gaming experience. The laptops sport full voltage, quad-core 4th generation Intel Core i7 processors, and NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics. DDR3L memory provides exceptional bandwidth with lower voltage requirements designed for increased battery life, and the laptops now provide support for up to three storage drives on the Alienware 14, and up to four storage drives on the Alienware 17 and 18. For the first time ever, the Alienware 18 will feature NVIDIA SLI dual graphics technology as standard, and the laptop will offer an overclocked CPU option with a maximum speed of 4.3GHz . The laptops all feature Ethernet technology by Qualcomm's Killer networks, Klipsch speakers and Dolby Home Theater v4 audio.
The updated Alienware Command Center software provides intuitive, user-friendly access to Alienware-exclusive applications and controls in one centralized hub. Command Center includes the exclusive AlienFX lighting control system which allows users to create their own custom lighting themes and special effects. The new laptops have up to 20 colors to choose from across 10 different lighting zones, totaling to over 10 trillion lighting combinations. Alienware has worked closely with game developers to incorporate AlienFX in over 60 game titles, including cross-platform titles like Anomaly2, to PC-exclusive titles like SMITE and Neverwinter, for an immersive experience that can only be found on an Alienware. Whether healing, taking damage, or completing missions, AlienFX lights are an extension of the game play. Alienware Command Center also features AlienAdrenaline, a custom configurable game and application automation tool, the new Accelerator dynamic performance optimizer, and a new performance monitoring tool.
"The new laptops and matching Vindicator bags are the latest culmination of listening and learning from our customers since we delivered our first gaming system back in 1996", said Frank Azor, General Manager of Alienware. "We spent countless hours meticulously thinking through every detail of these new products to ensure they would be the most amazing line-up we've introduced yet."
Alienware X51 – Big Gaming in Any Living Space
Last week, Alienware announced an update to its award-winning X51 gaming desktop, which provides big gaming without a big box or big budget and on any HDTV. The new X51 offers more performance with improved technology in nearly every category over the previous generation. The compact desktop features an efficiently-designed chassis for an immersive experience in a variety of living spaces, and dual orientation capability allows it to lie horizontally or stand vertically. The new X51 boasts Intel 4th generation Core i5 and i7 processors, enthusiast graphics up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670, a dual hard drive configuration of 256GB SSD, and 1TB storage for fast boot and resume times and massive storage capabilities.
Alienware Vindicator Laptop Bags – Exclusively Designed for Alienware
Gamers can protect their performance powerhouse with the exclusive line of Alienware Vindicator laptop bags, specifically designed to house the new Alienware 14, Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 laptops. The series includes a backpack, messenger bag, slim carrying case, briefcase and neoprene sleeve, while their styling reflects a fusion of urban and military influences. The bags feature sturdy, weather-resistant materials and reinforced handles or straps for comfort and durability, and have smartly-designed, dedicated compartments that allow for organization and protection of essential accessories. With a stylish industrial design that fits into any setting, the bags are a must-have accessory while making the trek to a gaming competition or around town.
The Alienware 14, Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 laptops, Alienware X51 desktop and Alienware Vindicator laptop bags are available today on Dell.com in the United States and in select countries around the world.