Dell’s new laptops range from impressive to borderline insane

Oh, boy, do I wish I was at CES. So much awesome tech is on show and Dell, one the worlds leading PC manufacturers, has announced a bevy of new gaming laptops for our enjoyment.

These include the budget G series, the slim new Alienware m-series and a desktop computer masquerading as a laptop; the all-new Area 51m. 

All of these include NVIDIA’s latest and greatest RTX 20-series graphics chips and Intel i9 processors for some mind-blowing performance, limited only by the size of your wallet.

So much goodness on show so let’s get into it. 

All new Alienware m17 and updated Alienware m15

When Alienware released the super slim Alienware m15, it was received with unanimous praise. Alienware has always been known for their chunky, tank-like designs but the new m15 brought a slim chassis that was significantly lighter without compromising on cooling.

When I went hands-on with it at PAX 2018, I was excited but I couldn’t help but wish they would do a 17-inch model too.

Well, they did.

The all-new Alienware m17 is a slim 17.3-inches with either 144Hz FullHD or 4K Display. At 5.49 pounds, the new m17 is 40% lighter than the outgoing model and is only 18.5mm at its thickest. 

Configurations go all the way up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i9K processor, 8GB NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q, 512GB PCIe SSD and 64GB system RAM. I can’t imagine what this beast can’t handle and I’m looking forward to testing it. 

The little brother Alienware m15 also gets some love with newer processors and NVIDIA RTX options to choose from as well. 

Pundits already agree and have awarded Dell the 2019 CES Innovation Award in the gaming category for outstanding product design and engineering for the Alienware m15 and m17.

Pricing and availability 

  • Alienware m17 $3499+ Jan 30th
  • Alienware m15 with Intel core i9 processors and latest NVIDIA graphics $5499+ Jan 30th

Dell G-Series Gaming Laptops

The G-Series has long been a champion among budget gaming laptops, garnering lots of praise. Dell has announced updates to the G-series with the newly announced Nvidia RTX 20-series mobile graphics chips. 

There are three models, the G5 15, G7 15 and G7 17. All models are built out of skinny, aluminium chassis with the G7 15 being the thinnest at 19.9mm and weighing 2.62kg. The bigger G7 17 fairs just as well in spite of its bigger screen, coming in at a 25mm thick and 3.2kg. 

While these are thicker and heavier than the Alienware M’s, it shouldn’t surprise given the premium nature of the m15 and m17. But for a budget laptop, the G series is impressively thin. 

For those wanting a little pizzaz, the special edition Dell G5 15 SE which comes in an Alpine White chassis and has a transparent base which reveals the interior components. Not that you’ll see it since it lives on your lap or desk but, good to know. 

Specs on all models include Intel Core i7 Hex-cores, up to NVIDIA TRX 2080 GPU and up to 32GB RAM. Displays on all 15 models are OLED 4K or FullHD at 60Hz or 144Hz refresh rate. Note, the G7 17 models only ship with FullHD screens.

For ultimate performance, the G7 17 can be specced with a powerful Intel Core i9 processor. 

Pricing and availability

  • Dell G5 15 $1899+ Jan 22nd
  • Dell G7 15 $2699+ Jan 22nd
  • Dell G7 17 $2799+ Jan 22nd

Alienware Area 51m Gaming Laptop.

New to the Alienware family of laptops is the Area 51m. If you hadn’t noticed, the Area 51 moniker is reserved for Alienware’s top of the line Gaming Desktop PC. If you’re wondering why Area 51m was chosen, it’s because it’s effectively a portable desktop rather than your garden variety laptop. 

The Area 51m is the first to use Dells new Legend Design which brings a futuristic look that is optimised for great thermals and cooling. Air is drawn in from the sides and front of the machine and expelled through the back. It’s like a mad muscle car of gaming laptops.

Dell is touting the Area 51m as the most powerful laptop in the world. Why?

Because it’s got desktop components inside instead of the watered down laptop variants.

Desktop replacement, not laptop

You get a 9th-gen 8-core desktop Intel Core i7 or i9 CPU which is overclockable. I’m not sure why the average gamer would want an 8 core but hey, it’s there if you want it.

On top of that, the Area 51m comes with proper RTX 20-series GPU’s; none of that Max-Q stuff. So you best believe it will game like a proper desktop PC than a laptop.

And that’s awesome because the Area 51m has a 17-inch, FullHD, 144Hz refresh, narrow bezel display. I can’t imagine any game that an RTX 2080 won’t run at 150fps even with maximum settings at 1080p. Happy days gamers, happy days.  

What makes the Area 51m really stand out is that the CPU and GPU can be swapped out for newer, more powerful variants. Of course this is limited to custom chipboards from Alienware but still; you can upgrade your laptop without having to replace the whole laptop! 

This basically makes the Area 51m a small-form PC. It’s not something you’ll want to be carrying around on your daily commute. Did I mention that the Area 51m uses two power bricks? One for standard operation and another for performing tasks like gaming?

It’s madness but just the sort of thing you expect from Alienware. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on this for review. 

Pricing and availability

  • Alienware Area-51m $3999+ Jan 30th 

Alienware Command Center and Arena App

In continued response to gamers feedback, Alienware has updated its Command Center app over 30 times since it was introduced. The Alienware Command Center is a central hub allowing players to control several aspects of their Alienware machines performance.

This includes the system and peripheral lighting, power management, thermal control, overclocking, audio, and content organisation.

The Command Center gives you access to a ton of configurations for different games that have been collected by hundreds of users so that, at a click of a button, your entire machine can be automatically optimised. 

And the new update now adds GPU over and underclocking. The Alienware Command Center applies these changes at a system level making it easier to tune your GPU, CPU and RAM all together for maximum performance.

For most gamers who aren’t knowledgeable or patient enough to fiddle around with overclocking and tweaking system settings, a tool like Command Center is extremely handy. 

The Alienware Arena App for iOS and Android now sends codes for full games on PC. How this works is that you register for an Alienware account and then you can receive push notifications on your phone giving you access to code giveaways for full games, betas and DLC’s.

In addition, there is a chance to win USD $1000 daily in DA Rewards or Arena Rewards from 8-11 January 2019.  Sweet, because who doesn’t love free games dropped right into their laps or palms in this case? Sadly, this is limited to the U.S only.    

Kizito Katawonga
Kizito Katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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