When it comes down to it, nothing beats gaming on a PC. The graphics are better, you can check your mail by alt-tabbing and it feels much more personal when you’ve a Steam library chock full of games at your disposal. The most enthusiastic of PC gamers will without a doubt insist that you build your own computer but in a day and age where the ability to transport your work station is key, gaming laptops are probably the best bang for your buck.
We had a chance to test out the new Alienware 15 Notebook and pushed it to the limits. For the uninitiated, Alienware is Dell‘s side project that is targeted at building gaming hardware. Known for making computers that could outlast the apocalypse, Dell acquired Alienware in 2006 and has been pushing boundaries when it comes to all things important in gaming.
With the new Alienware 15, we thought we’d start with all things the notebook is not. For one, it’s not light. The laptop’s a pretty hefty package, weighing at just over 3kg. It’s also not one of your slim and sleek models so if you’re in the market for something small that you can carry everywhere you go, the Alienware 15 probably isn’t for you.
However, if you care about performance in and out of gaming and will probably be setting down your laptop to work on the whole day, it’s a shoo-in for one of the best out in the market currently.
For the notebook, customisation is key when purchasing. The base model runs on an Intel Core i5-4210H processor, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics card and 1TB hard drive. Opting for the highest specced version puts you with up a generous Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor with a 128GB solid state drive (with additional 1TB hard drive) and an AMD Radeon HD R9 296X graphics card. Translation: You can pay for some pretty damned good stuff.
If you’re looking for an ultimate gaming experience, then sure, the optimised version will suit you but for those looking to have an average gaming laptop, the base specs sufficed.
The inner cooling on laptops are always an issue but the Alienware 15 doesn’t quite heat up as bad as we thought it would. When it comes to overworking it though, the fans do make quite the bit of noise so balance out your online battles and it should get away scot free.
Battery life is also a plus, but rather unsurprising coming from Dell. We clocked around six to seven hours of battery life for usual desktop tasks and about half that when it comes to high performance; a sizeable number of hours still.
To be honest, the rare few who’d appreciate the Alienware look probably feel that bigger is better. This is no Macbook and sharp angles are also the way to go. The combination of aluminium and carbon fibre makes the casing (plus the Alienware logo, of course) look like something out of a sci-fi flim. Add the lights that glow along the logo, the lid, the keyboard and trackpad, you’ve pretty much settled the Millenium Falcon’s interior. Build your own.