Ever since the original Alienware Area 51-M dropped nearly 20 years ago, Alienware gaming laptops have continued to impress release after release. Though the cost of entry continues to be a bit on the higher side, there’s still something for a variety of different gamers within the current lineup.
With names and looks that seem straight out of your favorite science-fiction novel, it can be difficult to tell the difference between Alienware’s latest models at a quick glance. There’s the m15 R6, x15 and a few more ready to push everything from screen resolution to frame rates to the limit.
Since finding which Alienware laptop is best for you can be a difficult decision-making process, we’ve broken down the company’s latest notebooks below to make it easier for you.
Alienware products aren’t cheap. However, the most affordable gaming laptop currently offered by the Dell-owned company is the m15 R6. Individuals looking to dip their toes into the gaming laptop spectrum or aspiring esports gamers will have much to appreciate here.
Starting at $1,379, the gaming laptop features an 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) storage drive. These specs won’t be able to showcase the best visual splendor of games like Control, Metro: Exodus, Doom Eternal and Deathloop, but can still run them at lower resolution and frame rates.
That’s because these settings are definitely geared toward esports games with lower system requirements. Aspiring professional gamers with an itch to compete in games like Fortnite, Rocket League, Overwatch and Call of Duty: Warzone will have more than enough power to work with here. Also helping is the 15.6-inch 1080p display featuring a 165Hz refresh rate. The high refresh rate helps gamers have an edge on the competition with faster reaction times, as it allows for smoother and more responsive gameplay. Just be mindful that a large title like COD: Warzone will take up nearly half the SSD space. The good news is that there are three USB-A ports, one USB-C port and an Ethernet jack for those looking to stream live.
Seven other configurations between $1,729 and $2,859 are available for buyers looking to improve upon GPU, RAM and storage capabilities. At the highest trim, The m15 R6 comes packed with 32GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics and a 2TB SSD. That’s enough to enjoy 1080p resolution gaming at high frame rates.
On a general level, productivity users and content creators will have a speedy and portable piece of power on their hands. When you’re not pushing the m15 R6 specs to the limit with games, general usage should get you enough battery life for a bicoastal flight with a bit left over.
Intel versus AMD will forever be a never-ending argument within the PC gaming world. Regardless, there are specific reasons why many have become die-hard fans of Ryzen processors, including the fact that AMD processors tend to be a bit cheaper than similarly powered processors from Intel. For the past 14 or so years, Alienware featured Intel processors exclusively until now.
Starting at $1,379, the base tier Alienware m15 Ryzen R5 is a spitting image of its Intel sibling besides the CPU swap. What buyers get is an 8-core Ryzen 7 processor across four configuration levels. This means the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD are still accounted for in this configuration. The 15.6-inch 1080p display at a 165Hz refresh rate will look just as good on this model as well.
Four configurations out of six are available featuring the same 1080p display exclusively to the models while beefing up the GPU, RAM and SSD storage.
The two upper configurations come with an 8-core Ryzen 9 processor. One option has a higher 2560 x 1440 resolution, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage for $2,259. At the highest price point of $2,459, buyers get a standard HD display with a 360Hz refresh rate, providing faster response time alongside an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. Besides potentially saving some money on the higher end, having an AMD processor does provide better battery life than its Intel sibling.
Alienware x15: Balancing slimness and power
The thinnest gaming laptop available within Alienware’s lineup, the x15 matches great portability with premium specs. Hitting the scales at an impressive 5 pounds and 0.64 inches thin, the x15 is Alienware’s best laptop for folks willing to pay up for top-level performance within a slim and road-ready design.
Three out of the four configurations utilize an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, with the $2,099 base model packing Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics, 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD drive. You also get a 1080p screen coupled with a 165Hz refresh rate. With these specs, the x15 should handle the standard esports game benchmarks pretty well. For the bigger AAA titles, expect 1080p/60 frames-per-second gaming at medium to high settings.
Configurations offering more RAM, GPU and storage with the same CPU will run buyers somewhere around $400 to $600 more. There are also a few display varieties, including a 1440p screen option at a smoother 240Hz refresh rate.
Meanwhile, the highest-priced tier at $3,029 offers an Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics. Buyers looking for one of the lightest gaming laptops available with serious performance power will have much to enjoy on this model. The 15.6-inch 1080p display for this trim also has a 360Hz refresh rate with ComfortView Plus and Nvidia G-Sync capabilities. ComfortView Plus is Dell’s technology that improves eye comfort by removing harmful blue-light emissions without sacrificing display color, while Nvidia G-Sync synchronizes a display’s refresh rate to the GPU to prevent screen tearing.
Be mindful that the x15’s port layout may turn off some buyers who are sticklers for cord management. Though the power port and headset port occupy opposite sides of the gaming laptop, everything else, including the HDMI port, sits in the rear, which will require reaching around for access. Beyond the placement, there’s only a single USB-A, USB-C and Thunderbolt 4 port.
Think of the x17 as the bigger and buffer sibling of the x15. Available in three configurations, all versions of this large-screen gaming laptop with a 17.3-inch display and an Intel Core i7 processor. The added screen real estate will definitely help in everything from situational awareness in esports games to player immersion during more cinematic titles.
Along the x17 spectrum are various display options, including two 1080p resolution screens with one offering a 165Hz refresh rate and another running 360Hz. The highest-end screen option is a 4K display lending out a 120Hz refresh rate, but that’s suggested for buyers who go for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. Gaming at that high of a resolution on the lesser Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 will most definitely lead to frame rate issues unless you’re playing a title that supports Nvidia DLSS (a technology that uses AI to optimize performance).
The base setup at $2,199 features a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Buyers needing more GPU power and storage space can look into the $2,579 configuration that comes with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 alongside a 512GB SSD. Both the lower and mid-tiered x17 options can be upgraded all the way up to 4TB of storage, which is ideal if you want as much space as possible for games.
Members of the “best that money can buy” club can boost their RAM to 32GB and SSD storage to 1TB for $3,029. Just be mindful that the only display available at this tier is the 1080p monitor at a 360Hz refresh rate.
Compared to its thinner x15 sibling, the x17 has more ports. This includes two USB-A ports alongside a single USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, Mini Display, Ethernet port, microSD slot and power port. The x17 is not only a powerful gaming laptop but also perfect for creatives looking to edit videos and photos on the go regardless of configuration level.