Alienware is an exciting company. It represents arguably the most powerful computing brand in the PC gaming space, and it is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies.
Gaming laptops used to be more like portable desktop computers; they were heavy, ran hot, and had battery performance that you could measure in minutes. I often wondered why they even bothered to put batteries in them since you really could not use them off the power. But things have changed over the years, and this week Alienware appears to have announced what may be the perfect blend of no-compromise work and gaming laptop in the X15.
As with all things, “no compromise” doesn’t come cheap, and this product starts at $1,999 (recommended configuration is closer to $3,399) for a base configuration and goes up from there. But then, compared to the cheapest no-compromise car that could race and drive you to work like the C8 Corvette, it is pretty reasonable.
Let’s talk about the Alienware X15 laptop this week.
Building The No-Compromise Laptop
Balancing weight and performance is where it gets interesting because, for gaming, you need the power of a desktop, but no one in their right mind is carrying a PC that weighs over 10 lbs. and has no battery life to work. I should say that I’ve done that in the past, but folks tend to make fun of you, and that weight gets old fast.
This notebook weighs around 5lbs or in range of what we once called “thin and light” as a category. It uses a relatively small, for its power, new 240W power brick, but that is livable.
We expect decent battery life given how the older M15 performed, but that will wait for future testing. It has a tailored power feature that should allow you to dial back the performance to extend the battery life when you aren’t playing a game.
What makes this laptop possible is a new quad fan cooling system that allows high component density while still providing enough cooling, so the high-performance components don’t overheat and throttle. You can get up to a 15.6 display operating at a whopping 360Hz of speed and up to 4TB of NVMe RAID 0. It is Wi-Fi 6, of course, but no WAN. One of the few laptops with a proper mechanical keyboard, and this keyboard alone is pretty unique.
Performance is up to an Intel I9 8 core, 24 MB, 4.9GHz processor, and graphics are up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 with 8GB of GDDR6. These all feel like desktop specs which is what makes this thing amazing at only 5 lbs. Using 90 micro-LEDs and a lighted touchpad isn’t a subtle product if you don’t want it to be, but with their lighting control, you can turn this off if you don’t want to be the center of attention person meeting.
It even has a unique paint formula that was designed to resist staining.
Alienware has created what would seem to be impossible, a thin and light notebook with desktop PC specs and performance. It is far from a “cheap date” when fully configured, but if you need performance but demand portability, it may be the best thing for you currently in the market, and it certainly does make a statement.
Now, I expect, for most of us, this is a laptop to lust after, much like we lust after those supercars that celebrities drive. But, while most of us can’t afford over $100K for a supercar, more of us could afford $5K for a laptop computer that could allow us to drive a virtual supercar in a game. And, in a game, if you misjudge a curve and hit a wall, the experience is a lot less embarrassing and expensive than if you do the same thing in a car you can’t afford.
Getting one of these things may be a dream, but it is one that a few lucky players will be able to achieve. Alienware did an impressive job with this X15 by creating what is arguably a no-compromise laptop for gaming and work.