What We Think
If you’re after a small yet serious gaming laptop which you won’t want to take too far then this may very well be a serious contender. The Alienware 14 is a serious gaming laptop with a sub-par battery life but otherwise an excellent all-round gaming laptop.
The new Alienware 14 is quite simply new. A new case, a new name and even new components all come together under Dell’s iconic Alienware range to offer one of the best gaming laptops of 2013. More importantly, the laptop can be equipped with a HD anti-reflective display and a GeForce GTX765M, which in layman’s terms simply means the Alienware 14 can be made even better.
The Alienware gaming laptops have been completely redesigned. The 14inch version is nothing like its predecessors and the futuristic design is a mater of taste. However, the striking lines and illumination certainly ensure that it stands out from the competition. To make sure this laptop stands out from the crowd the laptop has a number of individual illumination areas and easy-to-use software which is easy to adjust the lights according to your personal preferences.
The laptop lid is constructed out of aluminum and the bottom is made of plastic. The palm rest and the display frame are rubberized. In short, this means that aslong as you avoid touching the device with greasy fingers or mucky paws this laptop does not really attract any dirt. Even though the laptop is completed with a matte finish the use of plastic gives the Alienware 14 a rather cheap feel and finish. The laptop is rather bulky with dimensions of 34x26x4cms and weighs in at 2.9kg. Quite simply this Alienware 14 is not the most portable notebook but is extremely sturdy and well built.
One of the biggest advantages of Aliewanre laptops is that each machine can be individually configurated. Almost all components can be individually selected according to the users requirements. However, the colour of the case cannot be changed, even though this was a feature on previous models. When it comes to processors you can pick between an Intel Core i7-4700MQ (2.4-3.4GHz), Intel Core i7-4800MQ (2.7-3.7GHz) or Intel Core i7-4900MQ (2.8-3.8GHz). As you can see each processor is faster than the last. There are only two options to select between for the graphics card, the GeForce GT 750M and the more powerful GeForce GTX 765M. A blu-ray drive is also available and wireless internet is as standard.
When it comes to storage you can pick between a conventional HDD 750GB, a 64GB mSATA SSD or a 256GB version. Only when it comes to ports and connectivity does the Alienware 14 bear any resemblance to its predeccesors. There is no VGA port but there are three USB 3.0 ports, a mini Display Port, a HDMI 1.4 video output, three stereo jacks, a 9-in-1 card reader, a LAN port and two USB 2.0 ports. The power connector is at the back and there are no ports at the front of the laptop. In terms of connectivity the array of ports is substantial yet for the price and the specficiation of the Alienware 14 it is certainly not good enough that there is no Firewire or eSATA.
The resdesigned keyboard provides a typing experience that is pretty soft but does not lack feedback. In addition, the keyboard is backlit ensuring that using the keyboard in dark environments is easy and comfortable. The touchpad is rather impressive. It is generously sized, responsive and is a comfortable device to use. The multi-touch gestures are easy and comfortable to use.
Almost every component of this laptop can be specified down to the individual’s particular whim. However, it will cost quite a bit. Even the most basic specification Alienware 14 will provide you with a powerful, elegant laptop and when it comes to gaming performance you really cannot beat the Alienware 14. Even though titles such as Risen 2, Hitman: Absolution and GRID 2 were too demanding for the highest graphic settings other titles such as Modern Warfare 3 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive ran smoothly with maximum details and activated anti-aliasing. To be short and simple the Alienware 14 is a gaming laptop for those that are unlikely to carry such a monster of a laptop around. A powerful machine that can chew up most games and handle even the most tasking graphics.