While the Mac vs PC debate goes on and on, the truth is that most of the time comparing Mac laptops to PC laptops is a fool’s errand. It’s easy to point to a $2500 Macbook Pro and your average PC laptop and say, “Well the Mac is just so much nicer.” But the PC laptop will cost half of the price! That’s where Alienware comes in.
For PC fans, the perks of Windows are obvious: gaming, customization, and most of all performance. Alienware brings all these things to the table and in nice chassis. If you’re a big Dell fan like me and a big gamer, Alienware will probably be up your alley. Alienware takes things to the next level providing gamer-specific perks like G-sync screens and top of the line graphics cards. These benefits can also help those who are doing content creation tasks like editing videos, motion graphics or photos.
These Alienware PCs aren’t just nice, they’re very powerful. As someone who owns a 2014 Macbook Pro, it is extremely frustrating to watch Apple’s laptop product lines stagnate in terms of performance for the last couple of years. The same cannot be said of Alienware. These PCs boast the latest specs, processors, and graphics cards, and they’re more than ready to go for pretty much any task than you can think of.
Here’s the top 5 best Alienware gaming laptops.
1. Best Overall Gaming Laptop: Alienware 17
If you’re willing to lug around almost 10lbs of gaming laptop, this Alienware model will be worth the burden. It’s hard to call it a “desktop replacement,” at this weight, but no matter, its specs more than compete with almost every desktop. It boasts a stunning display that will meet the demands of any and every gamer (120hz G-sync) and at 400 nits (most people find 300 sufficient). It also has 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a fast processor (over 10,000 on Passmark).
Needless to say, it also boasts a top of the line graphics card, the GTX 1080. And as if that wasn’t enough, it also has a Thunderbolt 3 port, so if you’re editing video, for instance, you could connect an eGPU and get even more GPU power under the hood. For apps like Premiere Pro, this can come in handy; your PC will use the graphics card for display output, and the other GPU can be used for video rendering. That said, Premiere Pro is not really capable of using two GPUs at once (get on it, Adobe!).
For a gamer, video editor, content creator, or pretty much anyone who wants an incredibly powerful, attractive PC with a top of the line graphics card and display, this Alienware model skimps on nothing– including weight.
- 32GB of RAM
- 256GB PCIe SSD boot drive, plus one terabyte, 7200 RPM hard drive
- Attractive and eye-catching appearance
- 120hz, 400 nits, G-sync screen (1440P resolution)
- Depending on whether you like Windows 8, the presence of Windows 7 here could be either a pro or a con
- Weighs nearly 10 pounds
- Difficult take apart if you want to mod or upgrade
- Overkill for most
- Most of the price is paying for gamer-specific features
2. The More Affordable 17″ Alienware
If you want Alienware’s legendary build quality and high quality components, but don’t want to spend a ton of cash, this model offers a lot of the same value with just a few compromises. The biggest one is that its screen is 1080P, 300 nits, and only 60hz. Still, for most users, the compromises end there. It boasts an i7-7700HQ processor, one of the most common laptop processors out there, which allows for efficient yet high speed. It has 16GB of RAM and a GTX 1070, meaning it can easily play modern games at medium and high settings (sometimes ultra too). For the content creator crowd, this PC is very comparable to the more expensive model above, you’ll just have to do with a slightly less powerful screen. Fortunately, this model also has Thunderbolt 3, so running an additional GPU (or ridiculous fast SSD hard drive) is an easy addition. For virtually all use cases, this PC is a beast out of the box.
3. The 4K Portable
For those who can handle a machine with a bit less graphical power, but want lower weight and more detail on their display, this 4K model offers a lot of bang for one’s buck. It has plenty of storage space, an attractive metal chassis, and a fast processor. The LED backlit screen looks great and it has a Thunderbolt 3 port for expanding your graphical power.
4. For Those Who Are Open To a Desktop, The Aurora R7
For those who aren’t sure if they need a laptop or who are turned off by the high weight of some of Alienware’s models, this desktop model isn’t portable at all, but it does offer a ton of bang for the buck. It has one of Intel’s newest and lowest price/performance processors, the i7-8700 (six cores!). Plus, with a GTX 1080, there’s no game you can throw at this PC that it won’t play. Plus, with its 16GB of DDR4 RAM, it will be fast for virtually any task. This is a great compromise for those who don’t want to lug around a 10lb laptop but want Alienware’s high-quality construction.
5. Best Cheap Alienware Gaming Laptop
This Alienware boasts great specs at a much lower price than other models. It has 256GB of SSD storage, 16GB of DDR3 RAM and a touch screen with plenty of resolution (3200 x 1800). With the 960M GPU, it’s not the fastest on the market, but it is able to play modern games at low to medium settings (check out its performance with many games here).
For those who want the high quality construction of an Alienware PC with solid performance, this is a great budget pick.