Alienware's Concept UFO offers glimpse of portable PC gaming's future

Alienware Concept UFO
Alienware Concept UFO (Image credit: Dell)

What you need to know

  • Dell showed off a range of new concept PCs at CES 2020.
  • One of the most eye-catching is the Alienware Concept UFO, which pairs the idea of a Nintendo Switch with a gaming PC.
  • The eight-inch portable gaming PC has detachable controllers so you can play in different configurations on the go.

Ahead of its full CES 2020 press conference, Dell is shaking things up by introducing the world to a few concept devices (opens in new tab) it has kicking around in its labs. Along with concepts for a dual-screen PC and one with a folding display, the company showed off the Alienware Concept UFO. And if you've ever wondered what would happen if you took a Nintendo Switch and made it a portable gaming PC, this is your answer.

The Alienware Concept UFO is meant to be a portable PC that lets you play triple-A titles on the go. Dell says it's equipped with an eight-inch screen at 1900x1200 resolution. Further, the controllers can be detached and there's a kickstand on the device, you you can play it either in handheld mode or sitting on a table. You can also hook it up to an external display and use a mouse and keyboard if you like.

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There's no hard word on exact specs, but Dell says the Concept UFO is running a 10th Gen Intel processor and includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Thunderbolt connectivity.

From Dell:

With anything you're going to hold in your hands while you play, it must feel "right" as soon as you pick it up. Our teams have invested hundreds – if not thousands – of hours on the controller design features and ergonomics. And we've spent the last few months testing and enhancing the buttons, the weight, all to strike a perfect balance between performance, ultra-mobility and battery life.

It's important to stress that, as of right now, this is just a concept device. Don't expect to necessarily see any shipping product that looks or performs exactly like the Concept UFO. Still, it's an interesting look at where portable PC gaming could be headed in the future.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Very interesting concept. I could see this working if the games can be sufficiently run with the integrated GPU in the Intel chips, because - unless they have an ace up their sleeve - it doesn't look like they'd have a discrete GPU solution here.
  • I see your point, but this could clearly be a device with cloud streaming in mind. But even when not, I guess running some simpler or indie games could still be a great experience. I'd buy this in a heartbeat, right now. I expect this kind of devices to start coming out very soon. There's a demand for them.
  • I kinda want one.
  • I'd buy this in a heartbeat.
  • I would like to have a device for casual gaming on my sofa. I hummed and hawed about switch several times but I find the screens too small. This could work.
  • I'd definitely be in on this if the price was not too outrageous and it could play some good games.
  • Even if it had integrated graphics, it would be able to play games like Fortnite and Overwatch. Even at low settings, those games would look ok on a small screen.
  • Hell, I'm running an 8th gen i5 tablet and it's enough to play Sea of Thieves among other games at low settings. If this has a 10th gen (or even Tiger Lake) that's going to be even better.