When you think of gaming laptops, the brand name Alienware is bound to show up at some point or another. And for good reason, Alienware laptops are known for their capable hardware as high-ending gaming laptops but are also some of the most expensive laptops on the market. The question arises, should you buy an Alienware laptop if you want a gaming laptop?
We’ll be aiming to answer those questions for you, as we’ve had a lot of experience with Alienware laptops (take a look at our Alienware Aurora 2019 review for more). We aim to make this as digestible for our consumers as possible, so we’ve covered 5 reasons you should and shouldn’t buy an Alienware laptop if you’re a competitive gamer or casual user.
But before we tackle our in-depth research, let’s give a breakdown of what Alienware laptops are for those who are unfamiliar.
What are Alienware Laptops?
Alienware laptops are one of the most successful gaming laptop brands around today, with amazing laptops like Alienware M15 and the Alienware Aurora 2019. Alienware itself is a subsidiary of Dell, which itself has a definitive brand name for high-quality laptops. Specifically, Alienware is more focused on providing extremely powerful gaming laptops with high refresh rates, a wide display resolution, and high-end hardware!
While these gaming laptops are extremely catered to provide a high-quality user experience for gamers and casual players alike, they are also known for being expensive. You’ll see forums filled with questions like, “Why Alienware is so expensive?” and “Are Alienware laptops overpriced?” Whether an Alienware laptop is worth it for you is up to how much hardware you need for your gaming need, but it’s certainly going to be better than a 2-in-1 laptop or optimizing your Macbook for gaming.
So are these gaming laptops with their distinctive alien logo worth it? Let’s find out!
5 Reasons You Should Buy Alienware Laptops
We’ll be starting with the positives, and Alienware laptops certainly have a lot going on for them. Are Alienware laptops worth buying? Well, these 5 features are the best advocates for why you should purchase one.
Don’t worry, we’ll be describing the technical aspects as simply as we can – you won’t need to know anything about coding or web development to understand what we’re talking about!
Sleek & Beautiful Design
Alienware laptops are known for their beautiful design with their iconic RGB and alien logo. A new Alienware laptop is a pristine piece of hardware that will instantly catch your eye when you walk into your room.
The design space of an Alienware gaming laptop is also very versatile, and Alienware lets your swap components for your laptop when you need to. The aforementioned RGB lighting is fantastic, and there’s this feeling when you’re using an Alienware laptop that is interstellar. The laptops also come with a user-friendly keyboard and touchpad, which allows users to navigate the laptop if they don’t have an external keyboard or mouse.
We’ve briefly touched on the versatility of your Alienware laptops, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customizability.
If a hefty price tag isn’t an issue, then you’ll love how much you can change the components of Alienware laptops. Everything from your screen size, internal hardware, and other high-quality components is available for you to switch up to your heart’s content! Alienware laptops provide optional add-ons to bring your gaming to another level.
So if you want to have the highest monitor resolution and a high refresh rate, you should opt in for if you want your Alienware to play video games into a smooth and faultless experience.
We’re talking about Alienware laptops, so you can expect them to have a stellar performance for casual and hardcore gaming.
Alienware products offer at least an i7 or i9 core processor to give you the best performance when you’re playing games. In addition to the high-quality performance, you also have access to the advanced Alienware cryo-tech! This means you can get more out of your Alienware laptops as well as keep them cool during especially strenuous activities.
In addition to gaming, Alienware’s high processor enables you to work with photo editing apps like Adobe Photoshop and video rendering tasks without too much worry.
If you’re planning to overclock your Alienware laptop then you’ll be happy to know that their line offers an intuitive overclocking control module within the Alienware Command Center. If you do plan on overclocking, make sure to check out our best performance testing tools and check out some guides to avoid improper overclocking.
In addition to incredible performance for gaming, Alienware laptops offer plenty of other hardware capabilities that will blow you away.
For example, gaming laptops tend to have a reasonable battery life if you can use them for about 4 hours – thanks to the amount of power needed to run fast-paced games. The Alienware M15 R7 comes with a whopping 8-hour-long battery life! We’ve briefly mentioned the thermal technology that keeps your laptop cool during your gaming sessions with a liquid phase-changing medium.
Another bonus of owning an Alienware laptop is its high build quality. Alienware is often praised for its precision point glass touchpad and ergonomic keyboard, which makes them easy and intuitive to use without an external keyboard and mouse.
The thick casing of Alienware can be a bit much for some and can come across as a bit bulky or heavy but the thick casing can offer durable protection against the occasional bumps and nicks that may scratch your laptop.
Solid Support & Warranty
One of the best perks of Alienware being a Dell subsidiary is the round-the-clock support that you have access to. Along with the 1-year warranty, you can contact the Dell support team for issues and in-home hardware service.
Customer support can be very hit or miss, and are usually an element of business that people love to complain about but we’re happy to say that during our research we found that Alienware had considerate customer support.
Premium support is an underrated aspect for consumers but having a place to research and receive support, especially if you use an Alienware laptop for business, is extremely important!
5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy Alienware Laptops
Now that we’ve covered all the positive aspects of Alienware laptops, let’s cover the elements of Alienware laptops that people aren’t the happiest about and that we’ve seen are the main flaws of an otherwise powerful gaming laptop.
While an Alienware laptop will always perform better than a touch screen laptop or Macbook, what flaws does the laptop with the Alienware logo have? Let’s find out!
High Price Point
The price of Alienware is often the most talked about negative, and it’s easy to see why. You likely won’t find an Alienware laptop that is less than $1,500 – a steep price tag for anyone who is looking for a new gaming laptop.
While the debate of, “Is Alienware overpriced?” rages on to this day, we believe that although the Alienware brand doesn’t offer a range of affordable gaming computers for consumers, their price tag does offer an excellent product.
Some Alienware laptops are more worth the price than others, including the Alienware 51M, the m15 R6, and X15 R2. The final decision of whether Alienware is worth purchasing is up to your needs and wants.
We’ve briefly mentioned the thick casing of Alienware laptops in our positives section, but we’d be remiss not to talk about how bulky certain Alienware laptops are. With laptops ranging anywhere from 6 – 8 pounds (2.5 – 4 kilograms), they are heavier than many of the modern laptops today.
Gaming laptops tend to be heavier than a Chromebook or Macbook, but Alienware still is on the heavier side even then. If such a heavy laptop is not to your taste, then an Alienware laptop may not be for you.
The reason for such bulk hardware makes sense, as the thicker and deeper case allows for a larger battery, and cooling systems, and maintains system stability better than a thinner laptop.
Lacks SD Slots
One of the most complained about the quality of life features for the lack of an SD card reader. This isn’t the case for all Alienware laptop models, but the newer models tend to forgo the SD card reader.
While it is fairly inexpensive to purchase a dongle SD reader at your local Best Buy, the fact that you are buying a steep price for a gaming laptop in the first place can leave people questioning why some Alienware machines don’t come with an SD reader in the first place – which is entirely fair.
While not a deal-breaker for most, we recommend taking into consideration whether or not the new laptop that you want has one for additional storage ability.
Occasional Cooling Issues
When you’re customizing your Alienware, which itself is a versatile and positive feature of the brand, we recommend that you never go too far and over-spec your device. Adding too many features that increase performance can lead to the laptop’s cooling system overheating.
Overheating your laptop when you play fast-paced games on a specced computer can lead to your GPU fan not working, damage to your delicate hardware, and overall worse performance.
This negative is a positive in disguise, for consumers that is. Alienware is one of the most recognized brands for gaming laptops but its other brands also fiercely fight to be the top-of-the-line device for users.
At the price point of an Alienware laptop, you always have a variety of excellent Alienware alternatives that in some cases offer more for the price than Alienware can. Brands such as Razer Blade, MSI, Asus, and Dell’s other range of laptops offer consumers plenty of options.
It makes users choose Alienware more sparingly, and we highly recommend you look at alternatives before committing to upgrading from your current device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing a new laptop is difficult, especially with a blossoming market of high-end gaming laptops available. We’ve found that the following frequently asked questions pop up again and again, and will help you choose whether you’re going to buy that new Alienware laptop.
If our article has helped you decide already, then great! Feel free to browse our other informative articles like how to find that classic visual look for your computer or the best way to transform your tablet into a monitor.
Are Alienware Laptops Long-Lasting?
When you purchase an Alienware laptop, you can expect it to last for years to come as long as you take care of it properly. If your laptop frequently experiences bugs or glitches within the first year, then don’t hesitate to make use of Alienware’s 1 year warranty.
Alienware also lasts long if you catch its problems quickly, and we recommend utilizing Dell’s customer service to do so.
Alienware vs. Razer? Which is better?
If you want a completely new laptop, then Alienware offers more than Razer, which tends to focus on laptop peripherals rather than a fully-fledged device.
Other laptops can compete with the powerful hardware Alienware brands, including MSI, Asus, NGame, and much more.
What are some Alienware Laptop Weaknesses?
We’ve outlined a few minor and major flaws of Alienware laptops, but these are the biggest weaknesses you’ll likely find in yours:
- No cheap range of laptops/high price point
- Can lack an SD reader
- Can overheat fairly quickly if over specced
- Solid alternatives at the same price point
If a distinctive design, excellent hardware and performance, and a solid customer support base are what you’re looking for without too much concern about how much you’re paying, then we’d happily recommend you pick an Alienware for your next gaming laptop – there are more than enough features to sway you. But if you want a more middle-range or value-for-money gaming laptop, then it may be worth looking around more.
Read our other researched content articles, including how to remove stickers from your laptop or how to connect your Nintendo Switch to your laptop!
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.