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Alienware's X series gaming laptops meld sleek bodies with smarter cooling
- Alienware has announced its new X-series gaming laptop line.
- The X15 and X17 sport 11th Gen Intel CPUs and Nvidia’s new RTX GPU lineup.
- Both machines will be available in June, with prices starting at $1,999.
Dell’s Alienware division is freshening up its gaming laptop offerings this month. Just a few weeks after the m15 R6, the brand is now launching the X15 and X17 gaming laptops packing new cooling tech, slimmer bodies, and more powerful hardware.
While Alienware’s previous laptops aren’t known for being slight, the X series seems to be a concerted effort by the brand to change this perception. The X15 is just 16.3mm thick including the lid, with a maximum weight of 2.36 kg. The X17 also measures a little over 20mm thick with a 3.2 kg curb weight. Both figures may still seem hefty, but Alienware’s done a good job keeping weight down considering the hardware on offer.
Let’s start with the Alienware X15. The smaller laptop gives buyers three display options headlined by a 15.6-inch 2,560 x 1,440 240Hz panel. This option also supports Nvidia G-Sync, features 400 nits of maximum brightness, and 99% coverage of the DCI-P9 gamut. There’s also a 1080p display option with a 1ms response time and a 360Hz refresh rate. Finally, there’s a standard 1080p screen with a 165Hz refresh rate.
To drive these pixels, users get a choice between Nvidia’s RTX 3060, RTX 3070, or RTX 3080 GPUs. These can be fitted alongside an Intel Core i7-11800H or an i9-11900H. To complete the silicon on offer, users can opt for up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 4TB of PCIe storage in RAID 0.
See also: The best laptops you can buy in 2021
As for I/O, there are plenty of options at the rear of the machine. This includes two USB-C ports, a single USB-A, a microSD card slot, and an HDMI 2.1 port. A power port and 3.5mm headphone jack reside on the left and right sides, respectively.
Alienware also brings improvements to the X15’s cooling system. The brand’s new Element 31 interface uses a “gallium-silicone matrix” touting better thermal resistance than the previous tech. This is only available on the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 configs, though. Nevertheless, all three models pack four fans and individual smart fan control.
Other niceties include a 720p webcam with Windows Hello support, dual microphones, Wi-Fi 6E support, and Bluetooth 5.2. Power is provided by an 87Whr battery and a 240W power brick.
If the 15.6-inch display option is still too small, the Alienware X17 is a better bet. Users can pick between three 17.3-inch panels, including the range-topping 2,560 x 1,440 panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. A 1080p panel with a 1ms response time and 360Hz refresh rate also features, while a 165Hz option rounds out the lineup.
Internally, the X17 offers the same CPU, GPU, and storage options as its smaller sibling. Users do have the choice to double the available RAM to 64GB, though.
The Alienware X17 also features extended I/O options. Like the X15, the bulk of the ports reside on the X17’s rear, with only a power port and 3.5mm headphone jack located on the sides. The X17 does have enough space for a dedicated Ethernet port, good for 2.5Gbps. Two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, a microSD card slot, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, and an HDMI 2.1 port also feature.
While the X15 settles for Alienware’s 1.5mm travel keyboard, users can also have the X17 with CherryMX switches. These switches pack a few more millimeters of travel but the keyboard does offer Alienware’s individual key customizations, too.
Finally, the X17 also gains an 87Whr battery but an optional and larger 330W power supply is also on offer.
Alienware X15 and X17: Price and availability
The Alienware X15 will be available from $1,999, while its 17.3-inch sibling starts at $2,099. As for availability, both laptops go on sale from June 1 in limited configs initially, but more options will be available from June 15.