Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop Review
For the past month, I’ve had the genuine pleasure of taking an Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop for a spin. Honestly, I have no idea how I’m supposed to go back to my old PC after this.
The Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop is the real deal. Even the base model, which I’ve been using, has the grunt to take your gaming sessions to the next level. But it’s not just gaming that the Alienware 13 excels at. It’s a great everyday laptop as well.
It’s often difficult to find a laptop that works well for both gaming and general use, but the Alienware does it with aplomb. It’s easily one of the best laptops I’ve used in both cases.
Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop Review
I’m no tech head if I’m honest and stats and figures are all a bit foreign to me. However, even though the Alienware 13 is now nearly a year old, it’s still packing serious horsepower. Even a layman like me understands that.
The Intel Core i7-7700HQ coupled with 256GB SSD and the 16GB of DDR4 RAM means that whatever I threw at the Alienware, it handled easily. Applications all boot up within seconds and even turning the laptop on meant only a few seconds between the push of the button and logging into Windows 10.
It may not be the sexiest use of such a beast of a gaming laptop, but being able to click on an application’s icon and have it open up almost immediately is a real pleasure. And the same goes for gaming.
As gaming is what the Alienware 13 is primarily designed for, it’s great to discover that gaming on it is flawless. I’ve tested out all manner of games on this laptop including;
- Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
- Rainbow Six Siege
Granted, most of the games I tested aren’t the most graphically intensive, but each of them (with the exception of DOOM) ran flawlessly on Ultra settings. The framerate of these games was rock solid and the visual quality never dipped or lagged.
DOOM, on the other hand, ran well enough on High settings, but Ultra was just a little bit much for the Alienware 13 to handle. It was playable, but it the laptop was obviously struggling to keep up.
The Alienware 13 makes plenty of noise when gaming at the best of times, but when I was testing DOOM, it sounded like a jet taking off. I’d recommend a good headset or speaker set up. While the inbuilt speakers get the job done, they’re not powerful enough to overcome the fans a lot of the time.
Power Under the Hood
Despite the loudness of the fans on occasion, the cooling system built into the Alienware 13 does an awesome job. The enhanced ventilation and cooling systems keep everything running smoothly even during intense and sustained sessions.
It’s these cooling systems that provide much of the weight of the unit too. At only 24 mm high, 330 mm wide and 269 mm deep with a weight of 2.6kgs, the Alienware is quite light and compact, but it has a heft that makes it feel solid. It’s also designed with what Alienware calls the ‘hinge-forward’ feature.
This sets the OLED screen in from the rear of the unit, meaning you can keep all your cords away and out of site. It’s also a design that Alienware says provides for increased cooling and a better sound system.
The screen itself is just gorgeous. Being only 13 inches, you’d expect the resolution to take a hit, but the Alienware 13 runs at 2560 x 1440 with rich colours and deep, dark blacks. The glare resistant screen is also a boon making the laptop usable in all light conditions.
Oddly, the OLED screen is also touch compatible, a fact I only discovered while trying to clean it. I’m sure it has its uses for some, but it’s a function I could do without. Speaking of touch, the tactile features of the Alienware 13 are exceptional.
Touch is Good
The keyboard, while not mechanical, has a mechanical feel and is a joy to use. I typed countless words into the Alienware 13’s keyboard and it remained a pleasure to use every single time. The trackpad doesn’t fare as well, feeling a bit too sensitive for me.
Even when turning the sensitivity right down, I found that I’d accidentally bump the trackpad and move my mouse or click something on the screen. Eventually, I resorted to turning it off altogether. If you’re not using a mouse then the trackpad should be fine, but I’d recommend a mouse to get the most out of the Alienware 13.
Ultimately, the Alienware 13 is an incredible machine. Boasting a slick and stylish design, a compact form and tonnes of power under the hood it’s well worth the price tag. Sure, it is a little pricey, but what you get for your dollars is a powerful gaming laptop that will stay with you for a few years. And when you’re not gaming, it will handle everything else you throw at it easily.
The Alienware 13 comes highly recommended.
PowerUp! reviewed the Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop with a promotional unit loaned by Alienware.
Product Name: Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop
Price: From $1,999
Great for gaming and everyday use
Small HDD space
Only two USB ports
Fast and reliable