Alienware surprised us last year when it introduced its new X-series laptops, the first thin and lightweight gaming notebooks from the Dell-owned brand. This year, Alienware is introducing an even smaller model that the company claims is the thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop ever.
The Alienware x14 borrows design cues from the Alienware x15 and x17 but fits all of its components into a 14-inch frame that weighs about 4 pounds and measures just 0.57 inches thick. The thinnest laptop Alienware has ever released, the x14 uses a dual-torque hinge that frees up space within the system, allowing for 85W of power in a surprisingly compact footprint.
Keeping the system cool is Alienware’s Element 31, an encapsulated gallium-silicone matrix that allows for such a thin frame to harness up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12900H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics. Other components include up to 32GB of DDR5 memory (non-upgradable as the RAM slots are soldered on the x14) and up to a 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD in a single slot configuration.
While these aren’t the specs you get in Alienware’s notoriously chunky models, the combination of a Core i7 CPU and 32GB of RAM shouldn’t have any problems juggling heavier workloads, and Nvidia’s RTX 3060 graphics can play most games at higher graphics settings just fine.
Another highlight is the display. Based on the press materials Dell sent us, there is a single configuration, and it’s a compelling one. The Alienware x14 has a 14-inch, 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate and a 7-millisecond response time. So far, nothing too exciting. However, the panel comes with a build-in low blue light technology for reducing eye strain without degrading picture quality. And for gamers, it supports both Nvidia G-Sync for reading screen tearing and Advanced Optimus Technology for switching between integrated and discrete graphics.
Getting back to the design, the Alienware x14 is a downsized version of the other two X-series laptops, with “14" stenciled on the lid. The signature Legend 2.0 aesthetic is on full display with the part-aluminum, part-magnesium alloy chassis flaunting a glowing alien head on the lid, honeycomb-shaped air intake, and the Lunar Light (it’s white) paint.
As for ports, you get two Thunderbolt 4 inputs, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C input, an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB 3.2 Type-A port, and a microSD card slot. The x14 supports Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-FI 6E via a Killer AX1690i wireless card.
With the x15 and x17, Alienware proved it could slim down; now, with the x14, it’s showing it can downsize as well. However, you do lose performance in the process; the x14 “only” supports an RTX 3060, not the more powerful RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 found in the larger versions, and you don’t get a Core i9 option or higher resolution screens, either.
But depending on the battery life of the 80Whr cell, the Alienware x14 could appeal to gamers who need an all-purpose laptop for work or school—or even non-gamers who want a portable device with a discrete GPU.
The Alienware x14 will be available soon this winter at a starting price of $1,799 in the U.S.
Alienware is also refreshing the larger models with the debut of the Alienware x15 R2 and x17 R2. The duo was updated with the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors with DDR5 support along with Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics. The 17-inch model goes up to a Core i9-12900HK while the x15 R2 maxes out at a Core i9-1900H. Dell hasn’t specified which Nvidia RTX GPUs will be available, so keep an eye out for updates.
Opting for either of these versions gets you two DDR5 slots configurable with up 32GB of 4800MHz RAM and up to 4TB of RAID 0 storage in a dual-drive configuration. You also get faster or sharper display options with the x17 R2 available with a 1080p at 360Hz panel or a 4K, 120Hz display, both with G-Sync and Advanced Optimus support. The 15-inch model swaps the 4K panel for a 1440p option with a 240Hz refresh rate.
The Alienware x15 and x17 will also arrive this winter but at higher starting prices of $2,199 and $2,299, respectively.
If you prefer power or portable, Alienware is also refreshing its m15 R7 and m17 R5 Ryzen Edition gaming rigs.
Alienware skimped on details with the m15 R7, but we know the mid-size gaming system will be offered with either AMD Ryzen or 12th Gen Intel H-series processors and up to the latest RTX 30-series graphics.
As for the m17 R5, we reviewed the Alienware m15 R5 and had mostly good things to say about it, although the price-to-performance ratio wasn’t exactly where we wanted it to be. The new m17 R5 Ryzen Edition has a larger chassis to accommodate a 17.3-inch display that scales from 1080p at 165Hz to 4K at 120Hz (or 1080p at 360Hz if fluidity is most important to you). If you’re looking for raw power, the m17 R5 should deliver with up to a Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU, 64GB of DDR5 RAM, 4TB M.2 SSD, and RTX 30-series graphics.