Alienware 17: A Candid Review
In the domain of gaming laptops, Alienware might as well be the king. It is a beast, designed for nothing but enabling gamers to get the most out of their experience. Alienware has been the most recognizable gaming laptop for years, its signature alien skull design now synonymous with great gaming laptops.
At the bare-bones of it, this laptop is a monster no matter what configuration you go for. At the higher end, you have 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7-4910MQ GPU; 16 GB RAM; 256 GB SSD; 1 TB, 5400 rpm hard drive. On the graphics side, it has the best of the best with Intel HD Graphics 4600 GPU along with Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M GPU with 8 GB of VRAM.
On the lower end of the spectrum, 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-4700MQ CPU; 8 GB of RAM; a 750 GB, 7200 rpm hard drive; an Nvidia GeForce GTX 675M GPU with 2 GB of VRAM.
Design has always been Alienware’s strength and this laptop is no exception. The anodized aluminium cover is sleek and cool, with just the right edge to give it that futuristic aura. Black accents the dark steel gray aluminium and the signature company logo glows eerily, giving the laptop a menacing look.
The interior is jet-black, soft to touch and classy with the touchpad and keys back-lit with LED lights. You can easily pick and chose which colour your prefer.
It is, however, a very heavy, bulky laptop, not something you can carry lug around all day. It tips the scales at about 4.1 kgs, which is heavy by any standard. Of course, gamers are unlikely to actually carry this machine around much.1
As far as performance goes, it’s up and down for this particular laptop.
Display is phenomenal, the details are razor-sharp and the colours are vivid and intense. The matt, anti-glare 1920×1080 HD display does solid work, allowing great viewing angles and excellent graphics. There is no game out there that wouldn’t look great and flow seamlessly on this laptop, with its powerful NVidia GeForce GTX. The laptop just breezes past even the most graphically challenging games without any issues. You get what you pay for here.
Audio is crystal clear, which is characteristic of Alienware laptops in general. Dell went with Klipsch speakers once again and the sound quality is top-notch, loud without compromising on the clarity. Dolby’s Home Theatre v4 software worked wonders with the speakers, adding an extra oomph to the sound.
Typing is pretty snappy and comfortable too, but the touchpad could improve in size, though the sensitivity was excellent, allowing for multi-touch gestures easily and smoothly.
The hard drive speed and performance is really top notch and Alienware blazes ahead of its peers in this category with 463 mbps transfer rate. The benchmark score in PCMark 7 5838 isn’t on par with the other laptops of its class, but it is pretty impressive.
Battery life is this laptops’ biggest disappointment. In the Laptop Mag battery test, at continuous surfing over wifi and a high brightness setting, the laptop lasted 4 hours 8 minutes.
To conclude, this is an excellent gaming laptop and aside from the bank-breaking price and the weight and bulk of it, there’s no reason not to buy it.