A couple of our editors received the opportunity to attend the Alienware launch party for their new line of gaming laptops, just last night. The Alienware 14, Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 (number specifies inches…no more M17x, etc.) were first revealed at E3 2013 and are now available for purchase from the Dell Alienware online store.
Minutes after arriving at the event, a brief presentation was given on the brand of Alienware, its place in the market and of course, the new gear. Something to note is how well the brand has expanded, across Australia specifically, since coming under the Dell banner. Through sales and research data, it is approximated that Alienware own 45% of the Australian gaming laptop market share; we simply say approximated because, as was admitted during the speech, it’s very hard to define the market in these terms when laptops are multi-purpose devices. They are gaming laptops, but that’s obviously not all they do. Still a very impressive number.
We were then able to take a closer look at the 3 beasts. Alienware has always had that unique and iconic chassis design, but this magnesium alloy-framed redesign is sleeker and sexier. The former was bulkier and less stylish to say the least. That’s not to say these models are thin or light as air; a lot of power has been packed into these machines, and the design needs to compensate for that. For full specs, visit the reveal article linked above and click through to the Alienware website within if you’d like further information. In basic terms, let’s just say that they are true powerhouses. We got to see this first-hand with an unreleased title – now we’ve got your attention.
Ubisoft was generous enough to offer two pre-release Splinter Cell: Blacklist codes for the occasion, and we got to play the game ahead of its August 22nd release date. One was running on the 17, the other on the 18. Now, we can’t give details on the game itself (not yet anyway), except to say that if you loved the last entry in the series, you’ll definitely enjoy Blacklist. What we can go into is the experience of playing it on these brand-spanking new laptops. Visually, we set everything we could to its highest settings and it looked superb – with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 7 series graphics card, we shouldn’t be surprised.
Not once did it stutter or falter, and no loud fan noises could be heard – something the Alienware engineers have worked hard on eliminating whilst still providing highly efficient cooling. The full 1080p Anti-Glare 300 Nit Display also impressed; I’ve rarely seen such an effective anti-glare screen before. Something we also noticed were the subtleties of the power button and wi-fi/caps lock indicators; they have been worked into the redesign in a very streamlined fashion. Battery life is our one primary concern, but all in all, we had a great experience trying out these gaming laptops.
We’d just like to thank Alienware for inviting and feeding us – greasy, greasy food…we were extremely careful about not smudging any of the hardware! The crew will be at PAX Aus in July, which is where we hope to see the new Alienware X51 gaming desktop up close and personal. For those who still physically go to the shops (people still do that?!) keep your eye on your local JB Hi-fi as the official retail partner for Alienware; they should be stocking the Alienware 14, 17, 18 and X51 soon enough.