Alienware 17: An honest review

In the domain of gaming laptops, Alienware could very well be king. It’s a beast, designed for nothing more than allowing gamers to get the most out of their experience. Alienware has been the most recognizable gaming laptop for years, its signature alien skull design is now synonymous with great gaming laptops.

Specs:

At its core, this laptop is a monster no matter what configuration you choose. At the top end, it has a 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-4910MQ GPU; 16GB RAM; 256GB SSD; 1TB 5400rpm hard drive. As for graphics, it has the best of the best with the Intel HD Graphics 4600 GPU coupled with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M GPU with 8GB of VRAM.

At the lower end of the spectrum, 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-4700MQ CPU; 8GB of RAM; a 750 GB, 7200 rpm hard drive; an Nvidia GeForce GTX 675M GPU with 2 GB of VRAM.

Design:

Design has always been Alienware’s forte and this laptop is no exception. The anodized aluminum cover is sleek and cool, with just the right edge to give it that futuristic aura. The black accentuates the dark steel gray aluminum and the signature logo gleams eerily, giving the laptop a menacing look.

The interior is jet black, soft to the touch and elegant with the touchpad and keys backlit with LED lights. You can easily pick and choose the color you prefer.

However, it’s a very heavy and bulky laptop, not something you can lug around all day. It tips the scales at about 4.1kg, which is heavy by any standard. Of course, gamers are unlikely to carry this machine much.1

Performance:

When it comes to performance, this particular laptop has its ups and downs.

The display is phenomenal, details are sharp, and colors are vivid and intense. The matte, anti-glare 1920×1080 HD display does a solid job, allowing for wide viewing angles and great graphics. There is no game that doesn’t look great and flow smoothly on this laptop, with its powerful NVidia GeForce GTX. The laptop beats even the most graphically challenging games without a hitch. You get what you pay for here.

Audio is crystal clear, which is characteristic of Alienware laptops in general. Dell opted for the Klipsch speakers once again and the sound quality is top notch, loud without compromising on clarity. Dolby’s Home Theater v4 software worked wonders with the speakers, adding an extra oomph to the sound.

Typing is also fairly snappy and comfortable, but the touchpad could use some improvement in size, though sensitivity was excellent, allowing for smooth and easy multi-touch gestures.

The speed and performance of the hard drive is truly top notch and Alienware beats its peers in this category with a transfer rate of 463mbps. The PCMark 7 benchmark score of 5838 isn’t on par with the other laptops in its class, but it’s pretty impressive.

Battery life is the biggest disappointment of this laptop. In Laptop Mag’s battery test, with continuous browsing over Wi-Fi and a high brightness setting, the laptop lasted 4 hours and 8 minutes.

To conclude, this is a great gaming laptop and apart from the incredible price and the weight and bulk, there is no reason not to buy it.

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