Dell Alienware 13 Review

| Published Date
05 - Mar - 2015
| Last Updated
27 - Sep - 2016
 
92986

Where to buy

82
Alienware 13
The Alienware 13 performs well but there better performers out there, at much lower prices.

Dell Alienware 13 Rating 82100100

Our Verdict

The Alienware 13 is good performer but it loses out to couple of sub-100k laptops, like the Lenovo Y50 and ASUS X550JK. The laptop will perform better with an external GPU, which can be used via the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, which again requires you to shell out more money.

PROS

  • Very good build quality
  • Unique looks
  • Comfortable keyboard + touchpad

CONS

  • Not the best performer
  • Expensive

Dell Alienware 13: Detailed Review

The new Alienware 13 is meant to be an ultraportable gaming laptop with unique  looks and distinctive style. Its screen lid is made of high quality plastic mixed with carbon fibre, its keyboard deck and chassis as firm as a ThinkPad’s, giving the notebook very good build quality and rigidity. And when it comes to its  looks, we can assuredly say that the Alienware 13 remains quite unique, given its angular design accents, glowing LED keyboard and logo, and overall cool quotient. The pre-installed Alienware Command Center is pretty intuitive when it comes to letting you configure the LED glow colour across the keyboard, logo and accents on the Alienware. It will make heads turn in a LAN party for sure, earning you extra brownie points if that sort of thing matters to you. Its HD webcam is great for Skype or Google Hangout, picking up voice input flawlessly for the most part.

The gaming laptop is high on features, bundling in all that a laptop selling at its price needs to have, and even more. On its back panel lies a custom PCIe bridge to connect it to an external graphics amplification device (sold  separately) called the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. It’s meant to futureproof the Alienware 13’s graphics capabilities, by allowing you to plug in any desktop-sized PCIe graphics card and keep conquering future games. It’s a great concept, one that we would’ve liked to test for this review, but Alienware forgot to send us the Amplifier.

The Alienware 13 has a bright, glossy QHD (2560x1440 resolution) touchscreen display. It’s one of the better displays we’ve seen on a notebook, offering nice viewing angles and sharpness, and the multitouch input works like a charm on Windows 8 natively – but it’s a mirror, reflecting any lit object in the room. Its onboard speakers are good as well. The laptop’s keyboard is great to use and its touchpad isn’t too bad either. The machine heats up while gaming but it copes well with fans and large vents on its bottom panel to keep temps under the 60 deg C mark. This machine is very good for multimedia use, its Klipsch speakers providing very good audio output, but drops the ball in the gaming department. Its combination of an Intel Core i5 chip and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M GPU pump out most modern games well at medium settings, but that’s not even par for the course on an Alienware. On the screen’s native resolution and high to ultra settings, gaming isn’t worth your time. Its battery life isn’t too bad at 2 hours 39 minutes in our high-performance synthetic test – of course, the more the better.

At one point of time, it would’ve been next to impossible to think of Alienware not being the best gaming laptop out there. But that time has come. The Alienware continues to bedazzle you with its exquisite looks, glowing LED accents, QHD touchscreen display, even its rugged build quality. However, this 13-inch SKU blinks in the face of competition when it comes to its performance. Its proprietary PCIe port for external graphics amplification is useless unless you shell out more money for the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. In terms of  performance – which is what matters in a gaming laptop at the end of the day – the Alienware 13 loses out to couple of sub-1 lakh laptops like Lenovo Y50 and ASUS X550JK. Does that make the Alienware 13 an undesirable laptop? Not by a long shot.

Latest Forum discussions on Dell Alienware 13

  • Dell alienware m14x

    i'm planning to buy a gaming laptop soon and have my eyes on the alienware m14x. is the config avaliable in india worth the price? [url=http://configure.ap.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=u540503in8&c=in&l=en&s=dhs&cs=indhs1&model_id=alienware-m14x]The Dell Online Store: Build Your System[/url] are there any other gaming laptops in the...

    1. Geekymedico27/05/2011
      82k is too much... Alienware has custom LEDs n all and looks awesome but GeForce 555M is a dealbreaker here. HP dv6-6017tx has the same processor, same ram, and a very similar graphics cars Radeon HD 6770M and is priced at 53k only.:grin: Better go with MSI if you have a high budget
  • Dell alienware m17x for 45k.

    Hey guys......I am getting dell alienware M17x for 45k. Spces. are i7-2720qm, 2.2 ghz, 6 mb l3 cache, 750 gb hdd, 17.3" screen and graphic card. Condition is very good. What u guys suggest that is it a good deal or not. [url]http://www.anandtech.com/show/4458/alienwares-m17x-r3-an-antidote-to-clevo[/url]

    1. Rock270210/12/2012
      The deal is good.What about the battery condition?
    2. Write2anandsharma10/12/2012
      will check tomorrow in detail. The lappy is with a dealer. He sells stuff like this and mostly deals in dell. I think it is imported stuff.
    3. Somebodysme10/12/2012
      Hey Hi, Nice to see such deal. I have some questions regarding this. Would you please let me know Who is the dealer? Where are you getting it from? How are you planning to get it here? Thanks in advance!
    Show More
  • Dell xps 15 or alienware m11x???

    i want yo buy a laptop in which i can most of the latest games in high graphics settings and my budget is 70k..so i have seen two laptops the Dell XPS 15 and Alwinware m11x but i'm confused which one to buy....guys plz help...and if u have any other good gaming laptops(at 70k max) in mind then plz share....

    1. Marvelousprashant19/06/2011
      [QUOTE=b_chax06;1429515]i want yo buy a laptop in which i can most of the latest games in high graphics settings and my budget is 70k..so i have seen two laptops the Dell XPS 15 and Alwinware m11x but i'm confused which one to buy....guys plz help...and if u have any other good gaming laptops(at 70k max) in mind then plz share....[/QUOTE] Go...
    2. Aroraanant19/06/2011
      you can also have a look at macbook pro
    3. Comp@ddict19/06/2011
      XPS 15, although the GT525M is hardly anything in gaming, it's still "okay" to play. GT540M is an overclocked GT525M, the next step is the GT555M [QUOTE]Go for XPS 15. Alienware 11 does not have a dvd drive so you'll have to buy one. Gfx is same on both. You'll be able to plat Crysis 2 on mid settings and maybe witcher on low settings. If you...
    Show More
  • New 2014 alienware 17 (dell) or any other alternatives.

    Hi guys, This post is regarding your valuable feedback and reviews on NEW 2014 Alienware 17 (DELL) with 880 NVidea graphics. I am wanted to buy and great desktop replacement and rig should have capabilities for running high end gaming too, therefore I found out this super high end config to suit . But I want your feedback in it. ALSO...

    1. Seamon22/07/2014
      [QUOTE=chetan.g;2140857]Hi guys, This post is regarding your valuable feedback and reviews on NEW 2014 Alienware 17 (DELL) with 880 NVidea graphics. I am wanted to buy and great desktop replacement and rig should have capabilities for running high end gaming too, therefore I found out this super high end config to suit . But I want your feedback...
    2. Rhyansy23/07/2014
      HI there [MENTION=4276]chetan.g[/MENTION]! As [MENTION=248727]seamon[/MENTION] commented earlier, MSI's slim gaming GS60 Ghost should be a better alternative with your needs. Here is a review of the said laptop: [url=http://www.engadget.com/2014/04/17/msi-gs60-ghost-review/]MSI GS60 Ghost review: a gaming rig in Ultrabook's...
    3. Chetan.g23/07/2014
      [QUOTE=seamon;2140936]If you like carrying a mini table with you them AW 17 great choice. AWs are bulky machines with almost zero portability. The best laptop for portability+gaming would be the MSI GS 60 ghost pro. Extremely thin+very high performance(just a bit lower than AW 17). It has GTX 870M. Contact [MENTION=277192]rhyansy[/MENTION] for...
    Show More
  • New dell inspiron 17r se vs alienware m17x, your views?

    [B]With reference to my previous thread.[/B] [QUOTE=SlayerAndy;1685247]1) What is your budget? (INR or USD) 80k(+/- 20k) The less the better. 2) What size & weight consideration (if any) would you prefer? d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen [B]e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen[/B] 3) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't...

    1. N64freak30/06/2012
      As you say you'll be into "frequent hardcore gaming", better to go for the Alienware. The GTX is indeed better, you can check out the specs on [url=http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-660M.71859.0.html]NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M - Notebookcheck.net Tech[/url] And you needn't worry much about the battery, I guess, as both of them will run...
    2. Slayerandy30/06/2012
      "Now, Alienware M17x R4 is 1499$, and has 900p display and GTX660 I think." So, if I'm getting Alienware, I won't be able to play games in 1080p. I can add the 1080p screen for 150$ tho. And I'll have to add 125$ for 750GB + 32GB mSATA Caching...
    3. Sam01/07/2012
      other than specs, Alienware ask a premium just for brand name. But one more thing about alienware is the cooling. Still 40k just for 660 (mainly its about the GPU) is a bit too high. And you may save a bit by getting a SSD from outside and installing it yourself. 32GB won't be sufficient and remember less size = less performance in case of SSD.
    Show More