Alienware Area51mSource: Dell

Best Alienware laptop Windows Central 2022

Alienware is Dell's dedicated gaming brand, and it's been around for about as long as gaming laptops have been a thing. Over the years, the company has put out some wild portable gaming PCs, and that's no different in 2021. If you're looking to get yourself an Alienware laptop, though, the m15 R6 is what we recommend as the best Alienware laptop.

Best overall: Alienware m15 R6

Alienware M15 R6Source: Dell

The mid-size Alienware laptop is the best one to get if you're interested in the company's gaming notebooks. The latest refresh retains the same design as the past few years, which, while still quite outrageous, is at least pretty slim. But now you get access to the latest and greatest from Intel and NVIDIA, which makes for quite the package.

The m15 R6 comes packed with the Intel Core i7-11800H, 8GB or 16GB RAM, up to a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and a powerful NVIDIA RTX GPU, ranging from the 3050 Ti up to the 3070. It has a 15.6-inch 1080p display with either a 165Hz or 240Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, and optional NVIDIA G-Sync support too.

Alienware has also included a whole number of ports, including full-size Ethernet, three USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, an HDMI 2.1 output, and a global headset jack. This is the best all-rounder Alienware laptop on our list for sure.

Pros:

  • High-refresh rate displays
  • Slim for a gaming laptop
  • 11th Gen Core i7
  • Range of latest NVIDIA GPUs
  • Great connectivity

Cons:

  • Only available with 1080p display
  • Limited RAM and storage on entry model

Best overall

Alienware M15 R5 Se

Alienware m15 R6 gaming laptop

Smaller size but big internals

The Alienware m15 R6 has something for all gamers, including the latest chips from Intel, the latest RTX graphics from NVIDIA, and a high-refresh rate display.

Runner-up: Alienware x15

Alienware X15Source: Dell

The x15 is Alienware's first full redesign of its 15-inch gaming laptops in a few years, and it's branched off as its own model rather than a new m15 because it's vastly different. The x15 is Alienware's thinnest, lightest gaming laptop ever, which itself is an achievement as for many years the brand has had very powerful, but quite chunky notebooks.

At the heart is an all-new cooling system that offers up to 25% better thermal performance. This gives you the ability to squeeze huge chunks of power from a smaller space and still ensure the heat is dissipated properly.

The hardware is the latest and greatest Intel and NVIDIA combination, with an Intel Core i7-11800H paired with a range of RTX GPUs from the 3060 up to the 3080. RAM goes up to 32GB, and there's a 165Hz 1080p display, though sadly, this is the only display option you can get right now.

Pros:

  • High-refresh rate displays
  • Super-slim design
  • 11th Gen Core i7
  • Range of latest NVIDIA GPUs
  • Up to 32GB RAM

Cons:

  • Only available with one display
  • Quite expensive

Runner-up

Alienware X15

Alienware x15 gaming laptop

A reimagined 15-incher

The x15 is Alienware's thinnest, lightest gaming laptop to date with an all-new cooling system and immense power lying within.

Best 17-inch: Alienware x17

Alienware X17Source: Dell

The x17 is a big, powerful 17-inch laptop, packing an incredible amount of hardware. A laptop this may be but inside beats the heart of a desktop rig, with the bonus of being able to pack it up and take it on the road.

But part of the x17's strength is its broad range of specs and prices. At the entry point, you can get an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 with an RTX 3060, and at the top end a Core i9 with an RTX 3080. It's pricey, but, also one of the thinnest and most powerful 17-inch laptops you'll find. Oh, and a 4K display no longer means 60Hz, with a 120Hz refresh rate making it actually good for gaming with, too.

The x17 is visually very similar to the x15, and it seems to be Alienware's new design direction after years of aggressive, but chunky hardware. What makes or breaks it is the size and the hardware options, with mind-blowing possibilities for a laptop possible. Up to 4TB of storage in RAID 0 can be had, as well as up to 64GB of RAM.

The x17 also has CHERRY's low-profile but full-on mechanical keyboard switches bringing a tactile feel wherever you go, a first on a laptop of this class. Or you can stick with Alienware's regular keyboard.

Pros:

  • 17-inch display
  • Slim for a gaming laptop
  • Lots of spec and price point options
  • Core i9 and RTX 3080 available
  • Optional 4K 120Hz display

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Quite large

Best 17-inch

Alienware X17

Alienware x17 gaming laptop

Gaming performance and a large display

A slim 17-inch gaming laptop capable of housing gargantuan specs and a high-refresh rate 4K display if your budget will stretch far enough.

The bottom line

Alienware makes strong gaming laptops, but the Alienware m15 R6 gets the edge for being more affordable and more portable than its larger sibling while offering almost identical hardware specs.

Alienware design has always been pretty out there. But this has evolved over the years, and importantly, the days of thick, super-heavy gaming laptops are now behind us. The m15 R6 is sleek, sophisticated, and incredibly powerful.

Gaming is its bread and butter, but it's also a viable choice for creators, too. And the entry-level model represents excellent value, with solid performance at a more wallet-friendly price.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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