Best Alienware laptops for gaming in 2023

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Alienware has been a staple in the gaming laptop space since its first Area 51m released in 2002. Made by Dell, Alienware gaming laptops are dedicated, high-end machines. They’re not cheap by any means, but they are some of the best gaming laptops out there.

Alienware gaming laptops offer a massive amount of power and performance, cutting-edge tech and excellent designs. We’ve rounded up some of the best buys on the market today, from the 18-inch Alienware M18 to the compact Alienware X14 R1. Most machines can be specced to your liking, which allows you to tailor your purchase to your budget and needs.

When shopping for an Alienware laptop, it’s best to avoid the very top-end specs if your budget is tight. Older Alienware laptops offer better value; the Alienware M17 certainly holds its own with its Ryzen 7 6800H CPU and RTX 3070 Ti CPU.

Of course, if you have deeper pockets then Alienware’s latest and greatest generation of gaming laptops are sure to please. The M16 and M16 both feature RTX 4080s paired high-refresh 16:10 displays, while the Alienware X16 offers a premium experience and is predictably our most expensive option on show today.

Whether you want a laptop for esports, a graphic powerhouse or a light and thin laptop you can take with you when traveling, you’ll find the best Alienware gaming laptops below.

The best Alienware laptops for gaming in 2023:

  1. Alienware X17 R2 – best overall with 17-inch screen
  2. Alienware M16 R1 – best value Alienware laptop
  3. Alienware M18 – best 18 inch Alienware laptop
  4. Alienware X14 R1 – best budget and compact choice
  5. Alienware M17 R5 – best value Alienware laptop
  6. Alienware X16 – best premium gaming laptop

1. Alienware X17 R2

Best Alienware laptop for gaming with a 17-inch screen.

Alienware x17 R2 specs:

 Operating system Windows 11 Home
Graphics Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti (8GB)/ Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti (16GB)
CPU 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H/i9-12900HK
RAM 16GB DDR5 4800MHz
Storage 1TB/2TB/4TB M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
Ports 2 x USB 3.2
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
Thunderbolt 4 port with Power Delivery
Universal Audio Jack
HDMI 2.1 port
Mini DisplayPort 1.4
RJ45 Ethernet port
MicroSD slot
Screen 17.3” FHD 360 Hz (1920 x 1080)
Dimensions 15.72 x 11.79 x 0.82 inches /(39.93 x 29.95 x 2.08 cm)
Weight 6.82 lbs (3.09kg)

Pros:

  • Fast 360Hz display
  • RTX 3080 Ti option
  • Stunning 17-inch display

Cons:

The Alienware X17 R2 is equipped with a 360Hz display, which lands it as our pick for the best Alienware gaming laptop, and the best option for esports along with the Asus Rog Strix Scar 2022. This 17.3-inch FHD screen will show that your enemies have nowhere to hide, and you’ll able to see them clearly and react in a split second owing to how many frames are being thrown your way.

The X17 R2 starts at around $1,899, which gets you an 12th Gen Intel i9-12900H processor and an RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, while for double the price you get the i9-12900HK chip. The X17 R2 is certainly not the cheapest gaming laptop around, but it’s very thin, surprisingly light (for a 17-inch laptop), and lovely to look at. The AlienFX Lighting Zones provide up to 16.8 million distinct colors that are programmable to your tastes.

The models don’t quite line up between the US and UK but they still represent the best esports Alienware laptops in their respective territories.

Alienware laptop for gaming: the Alienware M16 on a white background

2. Alienware M16

Best value Alienware laptop.

Alienware M16 specs:

Operating system Windows 11 Home/Windows 11 Pro
Graphics RTX 4060/RTX 4070/RTX 4080/RTX 4090
CPU Intel i9-13900HX 24 Cores 5.40Ghz Turbo
RAM 16GB/32GB/64GB
Storage  512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB
Ports 2 x Type-C Port (Thunderbolt 4.0, USB 4 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4, and 15W Power Delivery (3A/5V) capabilities)
USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1
HDMI 2.1 Output port
Mini DisplayPort 1.4
RJ-45 Ethernet Port
USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A with PowerShare Port
Global headset jack
Screen 16-inch QHD+ 2560 x 1600 240Hz
Dimensions 14.5 x 11.41 x 1 inches (36.89 x 28.99 x 2.54 cm)
Weight 7.17 lbs (3.25kg)

Pros:

  • Very powerful
  • Great screen
  • Great price to performance ratio

Cons:

  • Heavy enough to stay on a desktop
  • No UK layout for mechanical keyboard

Alienware’s M16 gaming laptop can be equipped with a range of  graphics cards, allowing you to customize specs to suit your budget. We recommend the RTX 4080 model as our top pick, as the 12GB of VRAM will ensure a solid gaming experience on the most recent titles.

This particular 4080 has the full 175W, meaning you won’t be leaving any performance on the table compared to thinner and lighter options out there. Further enhancing the fidelity is the fast and bright 16-inch QHD display that supports G-Sync for a tear-free experience. You also benefit from the display having a 16:10 aspect ratio – not only great for games but productivity.

32GB of RAM will ensure that anything from memory-intensive games to applications such as Adobe Pemier or AutoCAD will be well served. As an added bonus, the RAM is completely user replaceable, increasing the laptop’s longevity. You can opt for a mechanical keyboard option with Cherry MX ultra low-profile switches but for prospective buyers in the UK beware – this is only available in a US layout.

Seeing as this is a near top-end model – it is priced accordingly at around $2,549.99 (£2,69.00), but it still sits below the Alienware x16 and is only a little bigger for it, which does admittedly reduce its portability.

Alienware laptop for gaming: the Alienware M18 on a white background

3. Alienware M18

Best 18-inch Alienware gaming laptop

Alienware M18 4080 specs:

Graphics Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB GDDR6 175W
CPU Intel i9-13900HX 24 Cores 5.40Ghz Turbo
RAM 32GB LPDDR5 6000Mhz
Storage 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Ports RJ-45 ethernet
Global headset jack
Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port
Type A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port w/ PowerShare
Type C USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port
Power/DC-in Port
2 x Thunderbolt 4
Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port
HDMI 2.1 Output Port
Mini-DisplayPort
SD Card slot
Screen 18” QHD+ 2560 x 1600 165Hz
Dimensions 16.15 x 12.59 x 0.99 inches (41.03 x 31.99 x 2.67 cm)
Weight 8.90 lbs (4.04kg)

Pros

  • Very powerful
  • Immersize 18-inch display
  • Numpad

Cons

  • Predictably immobile
  • Very expensive
  • Not the fastest screen

If you don’t regularly move your gaming laptop and want as much screen real estate as possible then you would be hard-pressed to do better than the Alienware M18 4080 which is the best 18-inch Alienware laptop.

Similarly to the 16-inch model, we’ve opted for the 175W RTX 4080 equipped machine as it offers the best price-to-performance ratio in the high-end segment of the market. The 4090 is getting into silly-money territory and we wouldn’t recommend it until it is highly discounted.

The same 13900HX makes its presence known and will provide enough computing power to keep the frames high and the render times low. The 18-inch model doesn’t miss out on the 16:10 screen ratio either, so gaming and productivity extra room to stretch.

Given that the laptop is obviously bigger, there is more room inside for cooling and so the M18 will run a little quieter as a result with better-sustained performance. Also making use of the bigger size is the numpad, which is great for users who love strategy games with many macros. Unfortunately, the QHD+ panel can only go up to 165Hz, rather than the 360Hz seen on the X17 R2.

Alienware laptop for gaming: the Alienware X14 R1 on a white background

4. Alienware X14 R1

Best compact Alienware laptop.

Alienware X14 specs:

Graphics Nvidia RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6
CPU Inteil i7-12700H 14 Core 4.7Ghz
RAM 16GB LPDDR5 5200MHZ
Storage 512 GB M.2 PCIe NCMe SSD
Ports 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 port
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
Thunderbolt 4
Headset/mic port
HDMI 2.1 port
Screen 14” FHD 144Hz (1920 x 1080)
Dimensions 12.66 x 10.35 x 0.57 inches (32.15 x 26.28 x 1.45cm)
Weight 3.96 lbs (1.79kg)

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Well-rounded specs

Cons:

  • Only RTX 3060 is available

In a homage to its ‘little green man’ roots, Alienware has dipped its extraterrestrial toes into the compact laptop market. The result is the uniquely powerful yet thin Alienware X14 gaming laptop, which is the best 14-inch Alienware gaming laptop and ideal if you want to game on the go.

Design, performance and portability are the main advantages of this Alienware laptop, and it’s well-reviewed across the board by users, with 4.6 out of 5 stars from almost 250 Best Buy Customers. Speaking of design, its well-built metal chassis has a premium feel, and while the ports are unusually all at the back of the laptop, this doesn’t really affect access. The main downside of the X14 is its limited upgradability. While you can upgrade the storage (a single m.2 NVMe slot) the RAM is soldered.

There is certainly pause for thought when buying a 3060 GPU in 2023 – games are getting more demanding by the day and the longevity of 6GB of VRAM is questionable, but with tools such as DLSS 2 and knowing where to make smart adjustments to your settings, you will no doubt have a great gaming experience for years to come.

With an Intel i7-12700H, any productivity tasks are no problem at all for the Alienware X14 as the 14 cores at its disposal probe and conquer all that stand before it. When running less demanding games, the 12700H keeps up with the GPU to ensure you’re getting out as many frames as possible before running into any CPU bottlenecks. With the RTX 3060, you will be served well in most modern titles with optimized settings and be able to chew through esports titles like it’s nobody’s business – putting the 144hz screen to good work.

The Alienware X14 is the best Alienware laptop for you if you want a sleek and compact computer not only for gaming on the go, but working on serious projects.

Alienware laptop for gaming: the Alienware M17 R5 on a white background

5. Alienware M17 R5

Best value Alienware gaming laptop

Alienware M17 specs:

 Operating system Windows 11 Home
Graphics Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti 8GB GGDR6
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 6800H 8 Core 4.7Ghz
RAM 16 GB, 2 x 8 GB, DDR5, 4800 MHz
Storage 512 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
Ports 2 Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port
Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port with PowerShare
Type-C Port USB 3.2 w/ DP Alt
Headset combo jack
HDMI 2.1 Output
RJ45 Ethernet
Screen 17.3” QHD 165Hz (2560 x 1440)
Dimensions 15.64 x 11.76 x 1.05 inches (39.73 x 29.87 x 2.67cm)
Weight 7.3 lbs (3.3kg)

Pros

  • Great performance at this price
  • Sharp and large screen

Cons

In an astonishing combination of price and performance, the Alienware M17 R5 comfortably places itself as our best-value Alienware gaming laptop.

The RTX 3070 Ti is still a fighter today and will make short work of all but the most demanding of titles on high settings. DLSS 2 will help keep it chugging along for even longer than laptops that do without the technology.

The Ryzen 7 6800H is a very capable CPU too and is well suited for multitasking. It isn’t just a productivity champ – the 6800H can game very respectably and keep up with the 3070 Ti. The CPU also has a very capable iGPU in the form of the AMD 680M which is more powerful than the Steam Deck and is very efficient so it’s perfect for watching YouTube and doing light tasks and gaming away from the wall outlet.

The larger screen variants of Alienware laptops typically go for less than their smaller siblings due to them not being as popular and we’re not ones to complain as the 17.3” display lets us see everything in great detail – especially seeing as it’s QHD.

The display is also buttery smooth at 165Hz and is pairs well with the 3070 Ti with any game that does fluctuate in frame rate being handled by G-Sync to ensure a hitch-free gaming experience.

As we have mentioned a lot in this article – the PC gaming space seems to be kicking up a gear and also being mistreated with bad ports and as such we are beginning to see the limitations of 8GB of VRAM so its best to look at what games you play to see how much this will affect you.

For the most part, you will be hard-pressed to run into this often and at seeing as the listed price these days is well beneath that of its MSRP and can be had for around $1,299.99 (£1,798.99) we think it’s more than worth it.

Alienware laptop for gaming: the Alienware X16 on a white background

6. Alienware X16

Best premium Alienware laptop

Alienware X16 4080 specs:

Graphics Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB GDDR6 175W
CPU Intel i9-13900HK 14 Cores 5.40Ghz Turbo
RAM 32GB LPDDR5 6000Mhz
Storage 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Ports 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port
Thunderbolt 4
Headphone/mic combo
HDMI 2.1 port
Mini Displayport
microSD-card slot
Screen 16” QHD+ 2560 x 1600 240Hz
Dimensions 14.36 x 11.41 x 0.73 inches (36.47 x 28.98 x 1.86 cm)
Weight 5.67 lbs (2.57kg)

Pros:

  • Unbelievably thin design
  • Fun trackpad

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Less powerful than M16 and M18

If you’re after the sveltest of Alienware laptops, the Alienware X16 is a great buy. It features top-of-the-line specs in an impossibly thin chassis adorned with cool RGB lighting effects which solidifies it as our pick for the best premium Alienware laptop.

At only 0.73 inches (1.86cm) thick, you would have beggared belief to tell anyone from only a few years back that an Alienware laptop was capable of such a feat. Contained within its diminutive figure is an RTX 4080 which somehow manages to work in what must be extremely cramped conditions. This is where Alienware’s Cry-tech cooling technology comes in with its gallium-silicone thermal interface and quad fans flex their cold chops to keep the beast under control.

The same lovely 16” QHD+ 240Hz panel returns from the m16 which is befitting of such a premium device. The i9-13900HK makes do with 14 cores but these are still plenty powerful enough to keep everything ticking over.

With so much in such a thin package something has to give, and unfortunately, the X16 isn’t as fast as the M16 or M18, with fewer CPU cores and less cooling headroom. The end result, however, is a very portable Alienware gaming laptop which used to be an unthinkable proposition. Its high price brings us back down to earth, though its reasonable given the specs on offer and the quality of the craftsmanship and design.

What’s the newest Alienware laptop?

There are a number of new Alienware laptops and these are the M16, M18, X14 and X16. These all feature Nvidia’s latest RTX 4000 series of cards and sport tall 16:10 aspect ratio displays which is becoming the norm in the mid to upper range gaming laptop market.

Is Alienware a good gaming laptop brand?

Alienware has been in the gaming laptop space since its inception, and the brand (owned by Dell) is well-trusted among gamers. Alienware also manufactures plenty of peripherals, such as mice and monitors, so if you like the aesthetic you can match up your devices for a cohesive look.

Is Alienware better than Razer?

Alienware and Razer laptops both offer different things. Alienware tends to offer bulkier designs with more room for cooling, while Razer focuses more on portability. The thicker Alienware laptops will generally outperform their Razer counterparts but the RTX 4000 series is very efficient, so this gap has narrowed.

The Alienware X16 and X14 strive to be more portable but still aren’t as easy to take with you, and the Razer Blade 16 or 14 and have similar performance.

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