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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.

Best overall: Alienware m15

Alienware M15 R6

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

Alienware m15 gaming laptop

Smaller size but big internals

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

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No option for highest spec GPUs
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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 Alienware m15 comes packed with 11th or 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.

Runner-up: Alienware x15

Alienware X15

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

Alienware x15 gaming laptop

A reimagined 15-incher

Reasons to buy

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High-refresh rate displays
+
Super-slim design
+
11th or 12th Gen processors
+
Range of latest NVIDIA GPUs
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Up to 32GB RAM

Reasons to avoid

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Quite expensive at the higher end
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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 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 11th or 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.

Best 17-inch: Alienware x17

Alienware X17

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

Alienware x17 gaming laptop

Gaming performance and a large display

Reasons to buy

+
17-inch display
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Slim for a gaming laptop
+
11th or 12th Gen Intel processors
+
RTX 3080 Ti available
+
Optional 4K 120Hz display

Reasons to avoid

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Quite expensive
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Quite large

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 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 11th Gen Intel Core i7 with an RTX 3060, and at the top end 12th Gen CPUs with an 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 bottom line

Alienware makes some of the best gaming laptops, but the Alienware m15 R6 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. The x15 offers premium specs like 12th Gen CPUs and the RTX 3080 Ti, yet it's also thinner than the m15 and many other gaming laptops, too. The FHD and QHD displays it can be configured with also come at high refresh rates, making it a superb option for competitive gamers.

The x17, meanwhile, is perfect for folks who want the performance of the x15 paired with a larger display. It has all of the same incredible spec options, with the added bonus of having a 4K 120Hz panel available as well. Games will look their absolute best on this display, and while 4K does hurt performance, it won't be a problem for the incredible hardware in the x17's chassis. 

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