If you're looking in the current generation of Alienware gaming laptops, it's worth noting that the M15 R5 / R6 will be the perfect sweet spot in value for most. It's already stacked out with plenty of room for a powerful configuration, and you're getting a lower price than the previous mainline entry. Plus, you'll be able to pick up a lower spec model for far less cash if you don't think you're going to be playing demanding titles.
The best Alienware laptops can soar in price, especially when outfitted with the latest and greatest components. These are powerful machines with plenty of additional power keeping everything running under the hood, which means you're not exactly picking up a budget buy here.
At first glance, Alienware laptops might seem overpriced - you'd be justified in calling them the 'Apple' of gaming. However, they earn that price tag with accessibility, ease-of-use, and smart design that sets them apart from other manufacturers.
Alongside fierce technical capabilities that allow them to run today's games at their best, Alienware gaming laptops come ready-made and good to go, without a thoughtful design in both engineering and aesthetic.
The best Alienware laptops are about to get a little better. Recent announcements from CES 2023 offered up a new look at the next lineup from Dell, and things are getting big. We've got new Alienware M16 and M18 models heading to the shelves this year, and if you're after a little luxury, the x16 is making its debut as well. With previous 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch models holding steady, and a refresh of the Alienware x14 on the cards, there are more Alienware laptops than ever to choose from right now.
Whatever budget you're working with, then, we're helping you find the right Alienware laptop for you - whether that's a smaller (but cheaper) 14-inch model, ora massive 17.3-incher at the top of the price list. Alienware laptops are taking the brand even further up the ranks of the best gaming laptops on the market, and these machines do come with a premium. Still, they remain popular among PC players for good reason, with a solid quality build and excellent engineering.
To help break the choice down a little, we've rounded up a shortlist of all the best Alienware laptops available right now. Based on our own testing, and the components up for grabs in each model, this list is compiled from both hands-on experience and price-checking competitors for value for money.
Alienware X15 R2 | Intel i7-12700H | RTX 3070 Ti at Dell (opens in new tab)The Alienware x15 R2 is a premium piece of kit, so we'd recommend boosting your GPU up to an RTX 3070 Ti to get the best value over the baseline RTX 3060 option. There's around $300 between the two configurations, but that's cash well spent when you're at this level of investment.
There's a new Alienware laptop in town, now that Dell has refreshed its like of X15 and X17 machines for 2022. The new releases are now available on the shelves, though you might have to crack open the piggy bank - these are not cheap rigs. That said, paying for luxury certainly has its benefits - this was one of the best looking and feeling Alienware laptops we've ever had our hands on. Plus it's certainly not as pricey as the 17-incher.
That's why we've put the 15.6-inch model above the 17.3-inch version in our guide to the best Alienware laptops. You're still getting that sleek form factor, Intel 12th generation chipset, and radical RTX 3080Ti opportunities, but without dropping an insane amount of cash. Don't get us wrong, these are still premium machines - but with prices cutting slightly under those of the 17-incher things are that little bit more reachable here.
We saw numbers that would rival far more expensive Alienware gaming laptops in this middle of the road model, though you are making some sacrifices to get there. Compared to the rest of the market, we were a little disappointed to see the same plastic chassis as the R5 and R6 models here. You'll find far cheaper rigs offering more durable build materials out in the wild. Plus, this laptop hasn't been built with portability in mind. Weighing in at just under 6 lbs, and with a bulky form factor to prove it, this is one you'll be keeping firmly on your desk.
You're still picking up luxury Alienware design features, like the LED strip of RGB lighting running around the (plentiful) back ports. Plus, we were particularly impressed with the feel of the mSeries keyboard here. While not a true mechanical model (as featured in more expensive configurations of the X17), there's was a satisfying tension here, and a longer travel distance than we typically see in laptop decks.
Alienware X17 R2 | i7-12700H | RTX 3060 at Dell (opens in new tab)The Alienware X17 R2 is the biggest and best Alienware gaming laptop on the market on paper. Its premium cost keeps it from the very top of this list, as most gamers will be able to spend X15 prices and still enjoy the luxury. However, there's plenty to dig into with this RTX 3060 configuration, balancing plenty of power from the Alder Lake processor.
If you're looking for a larger display, the absolute best Alienware laptop for you is the brand new X17 R2. There's plenty of power under the hood here, with the very latest 12th generation i7 and i9 processors, up to 64GB of RAM, 4TB of SSD storage and a glorious display to top it all off.
Of course, this isn't going to be the best Alienware laptop for everyone. You're going to be spending quite a few beans locking in this purchase, and the heavier form factor and desktop-grade configurations won't be right for the majority of players. However, if you do have the budget to put into a larger device, this is the Alienware laptop we would recommend.
The Alienware X17 still follows the slimline design of the X15, but adds a little extra thickness with that mechanical keyboard the additional ports. If you're after a premium big-screen experience, the specs on offer here are unlikely to disappoint. This laptop looks and feels great, a statement piece for those who take their gaming seriously.
Alienware x14 | Intel i7-12700H | RTX 3050 Ti at Dell (opens in new tab)The Alienware x14 is best served with an RTX 3050 Ti GPU and 12th generation i7 processor. After all, there's only $100 between this boosted version and the i5 / RTX 3050 configuration and the extra power is well worth the slight bump in price. You're picking this machine for its impossibly thin form factor and luxurious design, rather than its ability to pump out three-figure framerates, and there's diminishing returns the further up the price scale you go.
Dell has shrunk its premium line of gaming laptops with the Alienware x14. Taking the luxury design of the x15 and x17 models and shrinking it down to a new 14-inch form factor, this is the smallest Alienware laptop currently on the market. That means you're dropping down a few pegs in terms of your configuration, especially compared to the high-flying specs of the larger models.
Those smaller specs mean that this is one of the cheapest Alienware laptops currently available, when configured as such. We tested an RTX 3060 / i7 configuration, but that rig costs close to $2,000. We thought that was a little hard to swallow considering every Alienware x14 ships with the same 1080p 144Hz display. However, down at the bottom end of the price scale there's actually some solid value for money. That's why we'd recommend checking this machine if you're after form factor over performance, aiming for an RTX 3050 GPU.
Finding the very best Alienware laptops is no mean feat. Of course, Dell only produces so many ranges and models per year - but not each one carries its price tag the same way. We run all gaming laptops that pass our desks through a series of industry tests, while working and playing with them for a considerable amount of time in every day life. That way we can accurately judge the value proposition on offer, and determine just how far that price tag will take you.
Our testing covers everything from GPU performance to storage speeds, using 3D Mark, Cinebench, PC Mark 10, and Crystal Disk Mark to ensure we have a set of baseline data to compare models. After that, we see how each Alienware laptop fares in the real world, with framerate tests across Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Metro Exodus, The Division 2, and Red Dead Redemption 2.
These laptops also slot directly into our everyday lives when we're testing, which means we have the chance to see exactly how they fare against daily work and play, while also testing battery, portability, and overall quality of life as well.
With a new year comes a new slew of Alienware laptops to pick from, and 2023 is set to offer a monster leap in performance compared to previous iterations. We've got four new models on their way (some already released, others still waiting in the wings), spanning 14-inch all the way up to 18-inch devices. Here's what we know about each one. 781b155fdc
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