The top of the market is made up of the best Alienware laptops. These are powerful machines that pack the latest parts into well-thought-out designs and often put some of the best screens on top. With new thermal controls and mechanical keyboards, Alienware’s newest gaming laptops move the brand even higher up the list of the best gaming laptops on the market.
Top 5 Alienware 17in laptop
With the slim designs of the X15 and X17 models and the lower prices of the M15 R5 and R6, there’s a lot to like about this line. We’re big fans of Alienware laptops. We know they’re expensive, but the machines do a lot to make up for that, and they’re hard to beat when it comes to gaming alone.
Like the best Alienware gaming PCs, these machines cost more, and the company often gets criticised for this. However, these machines are still very popular. They also sell by the bucket load, which shows how good they are.
We’ve put together a short list of the best Alienware laptops on the market right now to help you decide. This list is based on our own testing and the parts up for grabs in each model. We also checked the prices of competitors to make sure we were getting the best deal.
We’ve also put together a list of the lowest prices we could find on the web, so you can save as much money as possible on such a big, but smart, investment.
The top Alienware gaming laptops on the market right now.
1. Alienware X15 R2 RTX 3070 Ti | Intel i7-12700H | Dell X15 R1
The Alienware x15 R1 is a high-end piece of hardware, so we’d recommend upgrading your GPU to an RTX 3070 Ti instead of the base RTX 3060 for the best value. The difference between the two configurations is about $300, but that’s money well spent at this level of investment.
Now that Dell has updated its X15 and X17 laptops for 2022, there is a new Alienware laptop on the market. The new releases are now on store shelves, but you might have to break into your piggy bank to buy them.
The best Alienware laptops
So, in our list of the best Alienware laptops, we put the 15.6-inch model above the 17.3-inch model. You still get the slim design, the Intel 12th generation chipset, and the powerful RTX 3080Ti options, but you don’t have to spend a tonne of money. Don’t get us wrong, these are still high-quality machines, but because they cost a little less than the 17-inch ones, they are a little easier to get.
The Alienware X15 R1 has Intel’s new 12th generation of processors, the ability to build up to Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Ti GPU, and the LEDs along the back of the chassis were given extra attention. It’s still the slim, powerful rig we’re all used to seeing on the top shelf, but it’s been updated to keep up with the latest innovations from key component makers.
Today’s best Alienware M15 R4 offers
2. Dell Alienware m15 R4 RTX 3070
2. Alienware m15 R4 RTX 3070
- CPU: i7-12700H | i9-12900H
- GPU: RTX 3050 Ti | RTX 3060 | RTX 3070 Ti | RTX 3080 Ti
- RAM: up to 64GB
- Storage: up to 4TB SSD
- Display: FHD at 165Hz / 360Hz | QHD at 240Hz
- Ports: 3x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 | 1x Type-C port with Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4, and Power Delivery, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ-45 Killer E3100 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, 1x 3.5mm headset jack
The Alienware M15 R4 we tested came with an RTX 3070 Ti GPU, but that model will cost you more than $2,000 to buy. If you want a mid-range spec, we suggest putting that money toward a 360Hz display for better value. The thermal engineering under the hood means that the 3060 GPU will still work well, and you still get a super fast 12th generation i7 processor and 16GB of DDR5 RAM.
The M5 and M6 models have been replaced by the Alienware M15 R4, which brings the series up to 2022 standards. With Intel’s 12th-generation processors and Nvidia’s Ti graphics cards, this computer has the latest and greatest inside, along with all the thermal management it needs to work well. During our tests, this rig barely broke a sweat. Even in the most difficult benchmarking situations, it sailed past 60fps. Ultra settings for Red Dead Redemption 2? Metro Exodus with RTX fully attached? This beast has no trouble at all.
This middle-of-the-road model has numbers that are on par with much more expensive Alienware gaming laptops, but you have to give up some things to get there. We were a little disappointed to see that the R5 and R6 models had the same plastic chassis as this one. In the wild, you can find much cheaper rigs made of more durable materials for a lot less money. Also, this laptop wasn’t made to be easy to carry around. With a weight of just under 6 pounds and a bulky shape to match, this is one you’ll want to keep on your desk.
Alienware design features
We found, though, that these sacrifices were easy to make because the engine was so powerful. Even though it’s not as cheap as it used to be, you’re getting a lot more for your money these days. If you’re shopping in the $1,500-$2,000 price range, we strongly suggest you give the latest release some serious thought.
You still get nice Alienware design features, like the RGB LED strip that runs around the (many) back ports. Also, the feel of the mSeries keyboard here really impressed us. Even though this wasn’t a true mechanical model (like the more expensive versions of the X17), it had nice tension and a longer travel distance than most laptop decks.
3. Alienware X17 laptop.
X17 R2 | i7-12700H | RTX 3060 | Dell
3. Alienware X17 laptop
- CPU: i7-12700H | i9-12900H
- GPU: RTX 3060 | RTX 3070Ti | RTX 3080 Ti
- RAM: up to 64GB
- Storage: up to 4TB SSD (2x2TB)
- Display: FHD at 165Hz / 360Hz | UHD at 120Hz
On paper, the Alienware X17 R2 is the largest and best gaming laptop Alienware makes. Its high price keeps it from being at the top of this list. Most gamers, however, can spend X15 prices and still enjoy the luxury. But this RTX 3060 configuration has a lot to explore, and the Alder Lake processor gives it a lot of power.
If you want a bigger screen, the brand-new X17 R2 is the best Alienware laptop for you. There’s a lot of power under the hood, with the latest 12th generation i7 and i9 processors, up to 64GB of RAM, 4TB of SSD storage, and a beautiful display to top it all off.
The Alienware X17 design
The Alienware X17 design stays the same, with all of its high-end touches and deep-backed hinges. But the LED trackpad that we loved so much on the R1 has been taken away from the R2. Still, there’s no reason to be sad about RGB when there’s so much power hidden away. We were able to get 30fps in our 4K tests, which we couldn’t say about the similarly priced Razer Blade Pro 17, and the temperatures never got as high as they did on the Alienware M15 thanks to the new cooling system and larger size.
This isn’t the best Alienware laptop for everyone, of course. You’ll have to spend a lot of money to make this purchase, and most players won’t like how heavy it is or how it looks like a desktop computer. But if you have the money for a bigger device, this Alienware laptop is the one we would recommend.
The Alienware X17 still has the same slim design as the X15, but the mechanical keyboard and extra ports give it a little more thickness. If you want a high-end big-screen experience, the specs here are probably not going to let you down. This laptop looks and feels great, making it a great choice for gamers who want to make a statement.
We’d aim for the new R2 release’s 12th-generation Intel processors and an RTX 3070 Ti or RTX 3080 Ti GPU to get the most for our money.
4. Alienware 51M laptop.
Dell Alienware Area 51M
The Alienware 51M works best with an RTX 3050 Ti GPU and an i7 processor from the 12th generation. After all, this version with more power is only $100 more than the i5/RTX 3050 combination, and the extra power is well worth the small price increase. You chose this machine because of how luxurious it looks and how thin it is, not because it can produce frame rates in the triple digits, and the more you pay, the less you get out of it.
With the Alienware 51M, Dell has cut down on the size of its high-end gaming laptops. This is the smallest Alienware laptop on the market right now. It takes the luxury design of the x15 and x17 models and shrinks it down to a new 14-inch size. That means your configuration isn’t as good as it could be, especially compared to the specs of the bigger models.
The 51M comes with either an Intel i5-12500H or i7-12700H processor and an RTX 3050, RTX 3050 Ti, or RTX 3060 GPU. Even at this smaller size, these new-generation processors and the DDR5 RAM that goes with them really push the graphics cards to new heights. Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s average of 108 frames per second on the highest settings really impressed us. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 were more difficult, but we were still able to benchmark at 55 frames per second on High.
The least expensive Alienware laptops
Because of its smaller specs, this is one of the least expensive Alienware laptops you can buy right now. We tested a system with an RTX 3060 and an i7, but it costs close to $2,000! We found that hard to believe, especially since every Alienware x14 comes with the same 1080p 144Hz screen. But at the lower end of the price range, you can get good value for your money. So, if you care more about size than performance and want an RTX 3050 GPU, you should check out this machine.
You’re paying for the high-end engineering, design, and build quality of this machine, which comes in the form of a super-slim device that fits easily into any backpack.
5. Alienware X15 (due in 2021).
Dell Alienware X15 | Intel i7-11800H | RTX 3060
5. Alienware X15 (due in 2021)
- CPU: i7-11800H | i9-11900H
- GPU: RTX 3060 | RTX 3070 | RTX 3080
- RAM: 16GB | 32GB
- Storage: up to 4TB SSD (2x2TB)
- Display: FHD at 165Hz / 360Hz | QHD at 240Hz
The Alienware X15 gives you a high-end experience, but there are some great deals in the middle range. In such a powerful system, RTX 3060 GPU may feel underpowered, but there’s so much going on under the hood that you don’t need to spend more on a flashy GPU to get your money’s worth.
Alienware’s M15 line used to be the best, but in 2021, it was replaced by a new top-of-the-line line. In 2022, it was updated again. The X15 (and X17, if you want a bigger screen) has the most powerful parts on the market in a slim chassis that matches the look of top-of-the-line machines today, which are thinner and lighter. Even though it’s expensive, it’s the best Alienware laptop on the market right now. It has powerful base configurations and a great screen.
Alienware gaming laptops already have a lot of power, which can sometimes lead to problems with heat. But the X15 has a lot of smart cooling features and some new technology to keep it from getting too hot. Even though you don’t get the X17’s mechanical keyboard here, the price-to-performance ratio is better, and you still get the latest hardware.
How do we test Alienware laptops?
It is not easy to find the best Alienware laptops. Dell only makes a certain number of lines and models each year, but not all of them are priced the same. All gaming laptops that come across our desks go through a series of tests that are standard in the industry. We also used them for a long time in our everyday lives, both for work and for fun. So, we can get a good idea of what you’re getting for your money and how far that price tag will take you.
We use 3D Mark, Cinebench, PC Mark 10, and Crystal Disk Mark to test everything from the performance of the GPU to the speed of storage so that we can compare models. After that, we test each Alienware laptop’s performance in the real world by playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Metro Exodus, The Division 2, and Red Dead Redemption 2 at different framerates.
When we test these laptops, we can also use them in our everyday lives. This gives us a chance to see how well they work for work and play, as well as for battery life, portability, and overall quality of life.
In our full hardware policy, you can find out more about how we review the products we recommend. We’ll also show you how we test gaming laptops, so you can learn even more.
Which laptop from Alienware should you buy?
If you’re looking at Alienware gaming laptops from the current generation, you should know that the M15 R5 or R6 will be the best value for most people. It’s already fully loaded and has a lot of room for a powerful configuration. Plus, it costs less than the last mainline entry. Also, if you don’t think you’ll be playing games that require a lot of power, you can get a model with lower specs for a lot less money.
But if you need more space for bigger parts, you might want to check out the X15 instead. You get the new design, and if you want to, you can move up to an i9 processor and use up to 4TB of SSD storage. That’s a very expensive feature, but if you’re going to spend more than $3,000, it’s well worth it.
The Alienware X17 is mostly for people who don’t mind having something that takes up a lot more space on their desk. This laptop is pretty big and won’t be easy to move around.
How much does it cost to buy an Alienware laptop?
The price of the best Alienware laptops can go through the roof, especially if they have the newest and best parts. These machines are strong and have a lot of extra power to keep everything running under the hood, so you’re not exactly getting a cheap buy here.
The Alienware M15 R6’s entry-level configuration is the least expensive model in the current lineup. This machine starts at $1,379.99 or £1,499 for an i7-11800H processor, RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 256GB SSD storage, and 8GB RAM.
The new X line, on the other hand, is moving things into a more expensive category. The Alienware X15 starts at $2,099.99/£2,149, and the X17 costs $2,199.99/£2,299.
Do Alienware laptops live up to the hype?
At first glance, Alienware laptops might seem too expensive. You could call them the “Apple” of gaming, and you’d be right. But they are worth the price because they are easy to use and have a smart design that sets them apart from other brands.
Along with powerful technical features that let them run today’s games at their best, Alienware gaming laptops are ready to go out of the box, with no thought given to how they look or how they work.
No matter how much money you have, Alienware is happy to make sure there is something for you. On the official website, you can find a list of different builds and how much they cost. This lets you choose what you want. And what if you decide later that you should have gone with more power? Most of the time, it’s not hard to open the case and add new parts to your computer.
If you’re trying to decide between brands, check out our list of the best Razer laptops on the market and our list of the best deals on Razer laptops. Or, if you want to set up your new computer, check out the best gaming mouse, best gaming keyboard, and best gaming monitor.
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