Alienware has delivered a redesigned range of gaming laptops at E3, complete with a new magnesium alloy and aluminum casing instead of the old plastic one, as well as Intel’s next-generation “Haswell” processors. The company also simplified the naming scheme for its laptop lineup by dropping the extra ‘M’s and ‘x’s and instead dubbing the new models Alienware 14, 17, or 18 depending on screen size.
All three are available in a base configuration with different upgrade options and share similar design traits. Among them are angled and rounded edges, color-customizable LED light pipes around the edges and lid, and an illuminated trackpad. Alienware also moved vents all the way to the back so they are as far as possible from gamers’ hands and added color zones to the keyboard -- ten on the larger models and five on the 14-inched.
One area that didn’t see much improvement was overall thickness. The new Alienware machines are as thick and heavy as ever, but that’s only because they don’t compromise performance and run every component at its full TDP rather than throttling things down, according to Alienware General Manager Frank Azor.
In terms of hardware specs, Alienware 14 comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M GPU, 8GB of RAM, 750GB of HDD storage, a slot-loading DVD drive, and WLED HD 1366x768 display. That’s the standard $1,199 model but you can fit the machine with up to four drives (HDD or SSD), upgrade to a 1080p screen, double the RAM, and upgrade both graphics and processor.
Bumping up to the 17-inch model gives you the same processor, memory and storage, but a higher-performance 2GB GTX 765M GPU as well as a 1600x900 display for $1,499. Meanwhile, the base 18-inch model is mostly the same save for dual GTX 765M GPUs and a full 1080p PLS display as standard for $2,099.
All of them support 802.11ac wireless, miniDisplay and have HDMI outputs, but the 17- and 18-inch notebooks also have an HDMI input. There’s also three or four USB 3.0 ports, multi-format memory card reader, a 2-megapixel webcam, Bluetooth 4.0, 2.1-channel Klipsch speakers, and audio in/out ports.