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Best Alienware laptop 2022

Dell Alienware m15 R7
(Image credit: Dell)

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 2022. If you're looking to get yourself one, the Alienware m15 is what we recommend as the best Alienware laptop thanks to its excellent balance of performant specs, great design, and good pricing.

Alienware M15 R6

(Image credit: Source: Dell)

Alienware m15 R7 gaming laptop

Best overall

Reasons to buy

+
High-refresh rate displays
+
Slim for a gaming laptop
+
Intel or AMD processors
+
Range of latest NVIDIA GPUs
+
Great connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
No option for highest spec GPUs
-
Limited RAM and storage on entry model

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 R7 version of the Alienware m15 comes packed with 12th Gen Intel processors or an alternative AMD Ryzen configuration, 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 up to a 360Hz refresh rate or a QHD panel with a 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. Overall, this is the best all-rounder Alienware laptop available.

Alienware X15

(Image credit: Source: Dell)

Alienware x15 R2 gaming laptop

Also great

Reasons to buy

+
High-refresh rate displays
+
Super-slim design
+
12th Gen processors
+
Range of latest NVIDIA GPUs
+
Up to 32GB RAM

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive at the higher end
-
Lesser value at the entry level

The x15 is Alienware's first full redesign of its 15-inch gaming laptops in a few years, and because of how different it is, it's branched off as its own model rather than a new m15. 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 of the latest R2 refresh of the x15 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 12th Gen Intel processors paired with a range of RTX GPUs from the 3060 up to the cutting-edge 3080 Ti. RAM goes up to 32GB, and there's a range of high-refresh rate displays at both 1080p and QHD resolutions with NVIDIA G-Sync as well. Ultimately, if you want top-notch specs in a thin and portable chassis, it's hard to do better than the Alienware x15.

Alienware X17

(Image credit: Source: Dell)

Alienware x17 R2 gaming laptop

Best 17-inch

Reasons to buy

+
17-inch display
+
Slim for a gaming laptop
+
12th Gen Intel processors
+
RTX 3080 Ti available
+
Optional 4K 120Hz panel

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive
-
Quite large

The x17 R2 is a big, powerful 17-inch device, and it features an incredible amount of state-of-the-art hardware. A laptop this may be, but inside beats the heart of a top-tier desktop rig. The benefit of the x17, though, is that you can pack it up and take it on the road.

Part of the x17's strength is its broad range of specs and prices. At the entry point, you can get an 12th Gen Intel Core i7 with an RTX 3060, and at the top end, you can kick things into overdrive with a 12th Gen Core i9 chip and the mighty RTX 3080 Ti. It's pricey, but it's also one of the thinnest and most powerful 17-inch laptops you'll find. Oh, and a 4K display no longer means 60Hz, with the 120Hz refresh rate making the display great for high-stakes gaming. You can have your high frame rates and ogle at thousands of pixels. 

The x17 is visually very similar to the x15, and overall, this seems to be Alienware's new design direction after years of chunky hardware. Thankfully, a slimmer design hasn't led to less performant specs, as the x17 is available with some truly incredible hardware. 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 that bring a tactile feel wherever you go, which is a first on a laptop of this class. Alternatively, you can stick with Alienware's regular keyboard, which will help you save some money on this pricey beast. 

The Dell Alienware m17 R5

(Image credit: Dell)

Alienware m17 R5 gaming laptop

Best AMD

Reasons to buy

+
17-inch display
+
AMD Ryzen 6000 Series CPUs
+
Choice of NVIDIA or AMD GPUs
+
Optional 4K 120Hz panel
+
Optional mechanical keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Still fairly expensive
-
Quite large

If you want a beastly 17-inch laptop that doesn't use hardware from Intel or NVIDIA, you should opt for the Alienware m17 R5. Not only does this laptop offer the best of AMD's Ryzen 6000 H-Series CPUs, but you can also opt to equip it with fantastic AMD GPUs like the Radeon RX 6700M or the Radeon RX 6850M (the former is comparable to NVIDIA's RTX 3070, while the latter's performance falls between the 3070 and 3080). Alternatively, you can also opt for NVIDIA's RTX 3060 or 3070 Ti if you'd like to pair its GPUs with Ryzen processors.

Other options include up to 64GB of speedy DDR5 RAM, up to 4TB of SSD storage, and a variety of beautiful displays. The FHD 165Hz panel is ideal for people who want to save as much money as possible, while the FHD 360Hz one is best for competitive gamers who want as many frames as possible. There's also an awesome (and pricey) UHD 4K option with 120Hz, allowing you to enjoy top visuals and a high frame rate. Like the x17, you can also outfit the m17 with a low-profile mechanical keyboard.

Like the Alienware m15, the m17 uses an older Alienware design that's thicker than what you'd get if you were to opt for the Alienware x17. However, that doesn't mean that the m17 is too heavy or cumbersome to carry around easily. Also, one benefit of the large chassis is that there's a solid port selection, including three USB-A slots and a USB-C jack, Ethernet, HDMI, and 3.5mm audio. 

The Dell Alienware x14

(Image credit: Dell)

Alienware x14 gaming laptop

More affordable

Reasons to buy

+
12th Gen Intel CPUs
+
Plenty of RAM and storage
+
Awesome 14-inch display
+
Most portable
+
Less expensive than other options

Reasons to avoid

-
No high-end GPUs
-
Only FHD resolution

While there aren't necessarily any Alienware laptops that could be considered budget-friendly, the Alienware x14 is the least expensive of the lot — and it still offers great gaming performance. With its 12th Gen i5 or i7 CPU and availability with up to an RTX 3060 GPU, this laptop will have no problem running modern games at high settings at FHD resolution (especially since up to 32GB of DDR5 memory is available, too). You can also opt for up to 4TB of SSD storage, which is fantastic for people who plan to install tons of games. Ultimately, it's not as performant as the other Alienware devices we've spotlighted thus far, but it's still very capable.

The x14's specs are a perfect fit for its FHD display, which looks great and also supports up to 144 FPS thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate. While the option for a higher resolution would have been nice, sticking to FHD means that you can enjoy high frame rate gaming despite the fact that this is Dell's "budget offering."

Like the other "x" laptops on this list, the Alienware x14 features Dell's latest laptop design that slims the chassis down without affecting performance. This, along with the fact that this is the smallest Alienware machine Dell offers in terms of screen size, makes the Alienware x14 the best laptop in the entire lineup if you need something as thin, light, and compact as possible.

The bottom line

Dell makes some of the best gaming laptops, but the Alienware m15 R7 gets the edge for being more affordable and more portable than other options while offering similar hardware specs and performance. It doesn't have the same top-tier spec options that you'll find on the x15 and x17, but not everyone needs the absolute best of the best. For most gamers, a strong balance of price and performance is ideal, and that's exactly what the Alienware m15 offers. 

If you are looking for unrivaled performance, though, both the Alienware x15 and x17 are fantastic choices. These offer premium specs like the top 12th Gen CPUs and the RTX 3080 Ti, yet they're also thinner than Alienware's older "m" series of laptops and many other gaming devices, too. The FHD and QHD displays that it can be configured with also come at high refresh rates, making them a superb option for competitive gamers.

The m17, meanwhile, is perfect for folks who want to enjoy high-end performance with an all-AMD machine. If you're in Team Red's corner, you won't find a better machine in Dell's lineup than this one — especially since it has many of the same great RAM, storage, and display options that you can get with the x17.

Lastly, there's the Alienware x14, which is Dell's smallest and most affordable offering. It doesn't have the top performance that you'll get with the other devices on this list, but it still does an amazing job of delivering a satisfying FHD gaming experience thanks to the quality specs and 144Hz display. Ultimately, there's nothing better if you're in need of something that performs well, but you don't want to break the bank.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

With contributions from