A newcomer to Best and Worst Brands, Alienware comes out swinging and lands in fourth place, just a point behind its parent company.
Ever wondered, why Alienware is so expensive? That’s because it’s the king when it comes to “Gaming”.
Known for its out-of-this-world gaming laptops, Alienware brought a number of innovations to the table, including its redesigned Alienware Command Center software.
Founded in 1996, Alienware has long been the gold standard for gaming laptops. Powerful, with top-of-the-line graphics, cooling systems, and displays, Alienware laptops are the machine of choice for gamers and professionals who want the power of a desktop in a laptop’s package.
In 2006, Dell purchased Alienware with the understanding that Alienware would remain an independent subsidiary, free to pursue its own design and marketing. The end result is that Alienware laptops continue to be some of the finest laptops on the market, giving users the best of both worlds in terms of power and convenience. Over the years, the company has put out some wild portable gaming PCs, and that’s no different in 2020.
Thanks to Dell’s backing, Alienware has even been able to branch into segments of the market it has traditionally not had a foothold in. For example, while Alienware’s computers have always been powerful, they’ve often been defined by the corresponding bulk required to house and cool that power.
Thanks to modern components and its relationship with Dell, Alienware offers thin, lightweight gaming laptops designed to compete with similar offerings from other manufacturers. To learn more, read on. If you’re ready to buy, consider one of our recommended models. These products are highly suitable to provide the best gaming experience and of course, comparing with other brands, they don’t come in cheap. Alienware products are very expensive. Well, there are a few things that will justify its price tag.
First, Alienware laptops do not have ordinary RAM. Instead, they come with a video RAM which means, extreme gaming experience guaranteed.
They have features like 9ms response time, a unique cooling system consisting of top and bottom vents, as well as rare and side exhaust systems to run your games smoothly without heating the processor.
Dynamic thermal control to manage the temperature of the laptop, precision point glass touch-pad, the high voltage driving fan, and a hardwired hardware system is fitted in, to offer high efficiency.
The Graphics Amplifier allows an Alienware laptop to run most full length (or smaller, non-hybrid) desktop GPUs
Moreover, high quality customized motherboards and hundreds of quality features make these laptops ridiculously expensive.
However, with the attainment of exceptional gaming experience without a hassle, these laptops make all the money worth the price tag.
The alien theme and the high-powered devices have long been some of the most iconic on the market. Alienware has refined its line-up of gaming laptops since 2009 and currently offers just three models. We’ve broken down the best Alienware laptops you can get right now to help you choose the right one.
Alienware Area 51m
the Area-51m is twice as heavy and almost twice as thick as the latest Razer Blade or thin MSI gaming laptops, it does things that those computers just can’t. It’s more powerful, thanks to a desktop-class processor and full-power mobile GPU, instead of the lower-power Max Q graphics cards and mobile processors found in those other machines. Unlike most, it has a 17-inch display and a full-size keyboard, with both a number pad and macro keys. The newest version of the Area 51m — the Area 51m R2 — is equipped with a 10th-generation Intel Core i9 10900K processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU. It’s not the Max-Q configuration either, these are full-blown desktop-grade graphics. Nvidia’s powerful GPU helps bring the large 17.3-inch Full HD 300Hz display to life for games and content creation. The base configuration is also ready for action with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and two 1TB SSDs.
If the base specs aren’t enough, you can double the RAM to 64GB and double the storage to 4TB while you’re at it. The Alienware Area 51m R2 is truly a desktop in disguise and tips the scales at 9.04 lbs.
The Area 51m R2 is well above many people’s budgets, but the R1 is still available. It’s equipped with 9th-gen Intel hardware and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. One of the biggest draws to the Area 51m R1 is the retail price starts at half the cost of the
The Area-51m is technically not the first laptop to offer this kind of upgradability. There have been big clunkers of laptops in the past that let you upgrade the CPU, and there’s still an upgradeable GPU standard called MXM. But there’s not much movement or competition in the MXM market — an RTX 2080 module alone could cost you upwards of $1500, and the laptops that can make use of them are few and far between.
To avoid having to use MXM, Alienware’s parent company Dell developed its own system for workstations called DGFF (Dell Graphics Form Factor) that allows it to put the latest GPUs on modular boards that can then be swapped out. The Area-51m is the first consumer laptop to make use of this new platform.
Future upgradeability is a nice thing to have, but when you’re spending $2,000 or more on a laptop, you don’t want to have to upgrade any of it anytime soon. The Area-51m’s design may immediately separate from the rest of the gaming laptop pack, but if it’s really going to justify its cost, it needs to be a top performer out of the box.
If the Area 51m is out of your budget — honestly, it’s out of ours too — you might be more at home with the m15 line. It’s the smallest and most portable of the three devices, measuring in with a 15.6-inch display and weighing just 4.65 lbs.
With half of the weight, you might worry that the m15 packs half of the power, but you’d be wrong.
The latest R3 model is equipped with an Intel Core i7 chip and AMD Radeon RX 5500M graphics, but both can be boosted. You also get 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD without any optional upgrades.
If you need to maximize your power, the CPU jumps to a 10th-gen Core i9, and the GPU maxes out at Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super.
You can boost the RAM and storage to 32GB and 1TB plus 512GB if needed as well. Alienware’s Cryo-Tech cooling system keeps the m15 cool under pressure, so you can game or stream as hard as you want to.
If you’re looking to save a bit of cash, the R1 and R2 configurations are also available. Both models are battle-ready with 9th-gen Intel hardware, though the R2 is one year newer.
It’s the most affordable of the range and starts with an Intel Core i5 option that’s paired with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics.
As always, you can configure the specs much higher — up to a Core i9 with GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics for an increased price.
It’s easy to think of the m17 as the larger, more powerful sibling of the m15. One of the main differences between the two is the larger 17.3-inch screen on the m17. If you want the full-size experience of the Area 51m without the extreme cost, this is the way to go.
As you’d expect from a larger laptop, the m17 weighs in at 5.56 lbs. Behind that weight, you’ll find a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 chip paired with AMD Radeon RX 5500M graphics.
You can also select either 16GB or 32GB of DDR4 RAM and between 246GB and 1TB plus 512GB of SSD storage. Like all Alienware laptops, the m17 is equipped with an AlienFX RGB keyboard.
You can customize four-color zones from millions of colors.
Cooling is next to godliness in gaming laptops, and Cryo-Tech keeps the Alienware m17 at the top of the pack. The laptop blends a vapor chamber, a high-voltage fan, and dense stacks of copper fins for performance under pressure.
The other versions of the Alienware m17 — the R1 and R2 are not actually more affordable than the R3, though both are powerful alternatives. Each is configurable with 9th-gen Intel hardware and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card. If you opt for the R1, you can choose the RTX 2070 desktop version while the R2 is limited to the RTX 2070 Super Max-Q.
Alienware Area 51 M
It is the Desktop Replacement.
The Area 51M is the Alienware’s latest flagship Product and has all the bells and whistles you’d expect.
Sheer performance, this is a true desktop replacement. The Area-51 M has the latest Intel desktop chip, eye-tracking technology, some of the best graphics on the market and terabytes of storage.
Expensive & Bulky
Thin and Lightweight.
Powerful laptop in a thin, sleek profile. Perfect for on-the-go users who need a powerful computer. Does not have as many options as the Area-51 M or older Alienware 15 or 17 models.
Magnesium alloy chassis makes for a deceptively strong computer, in spite of its thin frame. Weight is under five pounds, making it the most packable Alienware ever made. Boasts high-end graphics, powerful processor and up to 32GB of RAM.
Does not have as many options as the Area-51 M or older Alienware 15 or 17 models.
Sibling computer to the m15, but with a 17-inch screen. Good for mobile users who want a bigger screen.
Up to 32GB of RAM, ample storage, powerful processor, multiple colors, plenty of ports and a gorgeous screen. This is a machine that offers the best of both worlds when it comes to portability and power.
Can get close to overheating, making a cooling pad a must-have accessory.
How will you use your Alienware laptop?
The single most important thing to consider is how you plan on using an Alienware computer. There’s a big difference between a casual gamer and someone who games eight to 12 hours a day. In the case of a casual gamer, they may tax their machine for an hour or two a day, but use it for relatively normal tasks the rest of the time. In contrast, a hardcore gamer playing eight to 12 hours a day is stressing their computer to the absolute max for hours at a time.
Nothing shortens a computer’s life as much as excess heat. This is especially the case with a laptop, where the computer’s housing doesn’t allow for as much airflow as a desktop enclosure, nor does it allow for large, powerful cooling fans.
While any Alienware will likely have an advantage over other comparable laptops, there is a difference in capability from one Alienware to the next. For example, the m15 and m17 thin laptops, while still far more capable than competing thin-profile laptops, will not be as well suited to long hours of heavy-duty gaming and similar tasks as the powerful Area-51m, with its larger vents and more powerful fans.
- Because Alienware is owned by Dell, you benefit from Dell’s customer service and support.
- Since Alienware laptops focus on performance above all else, they generally have horrible battery life. If you plan on using your laptop for hours on the go, consider bringing a portable battery pack to help top off your charge.
- Be sure to keep your laptop clean and free of dust. Given how powerful it is and the need to keep heat as low as possible, you don’t want dust building up and choking airflow.
Frequently Asked Questions…
Can I get an Alienware laptop in different colors?
Yes, there are several different color options available, from refined silver or black to bold red.
Do Alienware keyboards come with backlit keys?
Absolutely. In fact, on many models, you can even change the color of the lighting to suit your style and preference.
What kind of connectivity options are there?
Most models come with a bevy of USB ports along with HDMI. Some models also include as many as four SODIMM slots.