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Event Coverage

Dell unleashes new Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 notebooks upon gamers

By Kenny Yeo - 14 Feb 2015

Dell unleashes new Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 notebooks upon gamers

Dell's new Alienware 15 and 17 notebooks are slimmer and lighter. See, no problem even for the ambassador to hold up the larger Alienware 17 for us.

Late last year, Alienware introduced its smallest gaming notebook yet - the Alienware 13. This new model succeeds the previous Alienware 14 and comes with updated processors and GPU. Now, Alienware is following up with all-new 15 and 17-inch models that are thinner and lighter than ever before. The new 15-inch model comes in at around 34mm thick and weighs 3.2kg, whereas the 17-inch model is only very slightly bulkier at 34.4mm thick and tips the scale at just over 3.7kg. Weight reduction was achieved thanks to a new chassis design and also new materials, which includes extensive use of aluminum and “carbon fiber-filled materials.”

The two models are highly customizable and will be powered by the latest Intel’s processors, and NVIDIA and AMD graphics. However, since the more powerful quad-core “Broadwell” processors will only arrive later this year, the new Alienware 15 and 17 are still powered by Haswell-based processors. Both models will come with a choice of two processors. The Alienware 15 is powered by the dual-core Intel Core i5-4210H (2.9GHz, 3MB cache) and can be spec’ed with the optional and more powerful quad-core Core i7-4710HQ (2.5GHz, 6MB cache). The Alienware 17, on the other hand, comes with the Core i7-4710HQ (2.5GHz, 6MB cache) by default and can be spec’ed with the high-end quad-core Core i7-4980HQ (2.8GHz, 6MB cache). 8GB of RAM will come as standard, but users have option to equip their notebooks with up to 16GB of RAM.

The Alienware 15 is the slimmest 15-inch notebook Alienware has ever made.

Users can also choose what GPU they want. The Alienware 15 will come with NVIDIA’s latest GeForce GTX 965M as standard, but it can be also equipped with either the GeForce GTX 970M or 980M. There also an AMD option in the form of the Radeon HD R9 M295X. The Alienware 17, however, will come with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 970M as standard and users can upgrade for the flagship GeForce GTX 980M. Strangely, there’s no SLI option for either models.

The notebooks will also have lots of storage options. Again, by default the Alienware 15 will come with a 1TB 5400rpm HDD, but users can also choose to speed up their machines with an optional M.2 SSD or two - the Alienware 15 has two M.2 slots. Like its smaller sibling, the Alienware 17 will also come with a 1TB 5400rpm HDD as standard, but users can also opt for an additional M.2 SSD to speed things up. If you are feeling flush, the Alienware 17 can accommodate up to four M.2 drives.

The Alienware 17 can be equipped with a touchscreen, which is a rarity for 17-inch notebooks.

Displays can also be customized. By default, both models will come with Full-HD displays - IPS for the Alienware 15, but TN for the Alienware 17. And the Alienware 15 can be spec’ed with a 4K IPS touchscreen display, whereas the Alienware 17 can also be spec’ed with be a touchscreen display, but display resolution will remain at Full-HD. Connectivity options and ports are identical for both models. Both will feature Killer Network Gigabit Ethernet and Killer Wireless-AC 1525, three USB 3.0 ports plus an additional USB 3.0 port with PowerShare technology, Mini-DisplayPort and HDMI 1.4 port, 9-in-1 card reader, and audio out and line-in audio jacks.

To provide a clearer picture, here is a table showing the key specifications of both models with their standard specifications:

Alienware 15 and 17 Specifications
Model Alienware 15 Alienware 17
Display 15.6-inch Full-HD IPS panel 17.3-inch Full-HD TN panel
Processor Intel Core i5-4210H (2.9GHz, 3MB cache) Intel Core i7-47110HQ (2.5GHz, 6MB cache)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5
Storage 1TB 5400rpm HDD 1TB 5400rpm HDD
Dimensions 385.8 x 270.2 x 34mm 430 x 291.9 x 34.4mm
Weight 3.2kg 3.7kg

Finally, both models are also compatible with Alienware’s Graphics Amplifier. The Graphics Amplifier is a large docking unit that the notebooks can connect to to boost graphics performance. The Graphics Amplifier is able to do so inside it sits a proper desktop-class graphics card. In fact, the Graphics Amplifier offers up to 375W of power and therefore can support just about any full-length dual-slot card in the market today. The Graphics Amplifier also comes with a built-in powered 4-port USB 3.0 hub.

The Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 are both available starting from now. Prices of the Alienware 15 will begin at $2499, whereas prices of the Alienware 17 will start from S$2699.