Dell continues to build its Alienware laptops like tanks, which can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the laptops can stand the test of time and survive the occasional rough handling of gamer folk. On the other hand they’re thick and heavy, serving more as desktop replacements than laptops. But Dell have made some welcome improvements on the Alienware 15 and 17 this CES.
Both models now come with the latest mobile graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA, namely the GTX 900M series and the Radeon R9 200X series graphics cards. And just like the new XPS 13, the Alienware 15 also has a new super high-resolution display option; a 15.6” 350-nit 3840 x 2160 4K display. For some reason the larger Alienware 17 does not get the same treatment.
As Intel has yet to announce its high-end 5th generation quad-core mobile processors, the insides of these machines remain largely the same, with the exception of the graphics cards. They still come with up to an Intel Core i7 4980HQ ‘Haswell’ CPU, up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, a maximum of 512GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD, Killer wireless AC, Bluetooth 4.0 and the expected host of USB and display ports.
Despite all that, Dell has managed to make the Alienware 15 and 17 more than 20% thinner than its predecessors, which should appease gamers who find themselves on the move often. And if gamers still want more performance, these laptops now support the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, which allows for a desktop-class GPU to be hooked up to the laptop for added performance. This is almost definitely necessary for 4K gaming. The Amplifier was previously exclusive to the smaller Alienware 13 only.
Both the Alienware 15 and 17 are available today in the United States starting at $1199 and $1499 from Alienware.com.Further reading: Alienware, Alienware Graphics Amplifier, CES 2015, Dell, Microsoft