Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
The best Alienware laptops you can buy in 2021
Alienware has been among the top gaming PC makers since the company’s launch in 1996. Its alien theme and powerful specs have long been some of the most desired on the market. Alienware has continuously refined its lineup of gaming laptops since 2009 and currently offers three models. We’ve broken down the best Alienware laptops you can get right now to help you choose the right one.
Although there are just three models, each one is available in a few different configurations. We’ll touch on the differences and help to explain how to choose your next laptop.
Best Alienware laptops:
Editor’s note: We will regularly update our list of the best Alienware laptops as new devices launch.
Alienware Area 51m R2
If you want a desktop that’s disguised as a laptop, the Area 51m will give you the most bang for your buck. Just be ready to shell out quite a few thousand bucks. This redesigned powerhouse is the most advanced model in the Alienware lineup, and it pulls no punches in terms of hardware options.
The newest version of the Area 51m — the Area 51m R2 — is equipped with a 10th-generation Intel Core i9 10900K processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU. It’s not the Max-Q configuration either — these are full-blown desktop-grade graphics. Nvidia’s powerful GPU helps bring the large 17.3-inch Full HD 300Hz display to life for games and content creation. The base configuration is also ready for action with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and two 1TB SSDs.
See also: The best gaming laptop deals
If the base specs aren’t enough, you can double the RAM to 64GB and double the storage to 4TB while you’re at it. The Alienware Area 51m R2 is truly a desktop in disguise and tips the scales at 9.04 lbs.
The Area 51m R2 is at the high end of most budgets, but the R1 is still available. It’s equipped with 9th-gen Intel hardware and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. One of the biggest draws to the Area 51m R1 is the retail price starts at half the cost of the R2.
Alienware m15 R6
The Alienware M15 has been around for quite a few years — the R6 name indicates that this is the sixth edition of the powerful machine. While you could grab the new m15 R5 if you want Ryzen hardware, this version is all about the latest and greatest from Intel.
No matter how you configure your new Alienware m15 R6 laptop, you’re looking at the 11th-generation Core i7-11800H processor onboard. After that, you have the freedom to choose between three of Nvidia’s RTX 30 Series GPUs. The m15 R6 tops out with the GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, which is just about all you can ask for. It can handle up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB PCle M.2 SSD.
As for style, the Alienware m15 R6 keeps the same chassis as earlier models. It packs a 15.6-inch display with up to a QHD resolution and up to a 360Hz refresh rate. Those of you pining for RGB customization will have a four-zone AlienFX keyboard to enjoy while the latest Cryo-Tech keeps you cool under pressure.
While the m15 might be holding onto a previous generation, the Alienware x15 (and later x17) are the start of something completely new. They’re the lightest and thinnest laptops that the company has ever offered, and they pack a punch that the previous models can’t match.
Under the hood, you’ll find the Intel Core i7-11800H processor as a standard option. However, you can add the Core i9 version on a few configurations instead. No matter which way you go, Alienware will hook you up with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 or 3070 GPU. Add up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 4TB of M2. PCle SSD space, and you’re good to go. The Alienware x15 does ditch the four-zone AlienFX keyboard in favor of per-key controls, and you can only grab the Lunar Light finish so far.
Plenty of gaming laptops go for a pair of fans at the heart of their cooling setup, but the x15 is here to double that. It packs four fans into the slim body, along with a new thermal interface made of Element 31. The latest Cryo-Tech keeps things cool under pressure while you get drawn into the 15.6-inch display. Although the x15 ships with a 165Hz FHD panel on the base configuration, you can always swap for a 240Hz QHD panel or a blistering 360Hz FHD version.
If you want to maximize your screen real estate but you’re drawn in by the idea of a lighter, thinner new Alienware laptop, there’s only one way to go. The x17 packs a huge 17.3-inch display and starts at just about six and a half pounds. While that might not sound like a feather, it’s actually nearly two and a half pounds lighter than the Alienware Area-51m R2.
See also: The best gaming laptop deals
As for the internals, the x17 packs all of the punch you could ask for. The Core i7-11800H is once again standard, while you can also try the Core i9 version. Nvidia’s powerful GeForce RTX 3080 GPU is on the table as well, but only for the most premium versions of the x17. Once you factor in up to 64GB of RAM and as much as 4TB of hard drive space, you’re looking at a mighty powerful machine. Just be ready for it to cost around $4,500.
The good news is that you still get Alienware’s highly customizable keyboard and top-tier Cryo-Tech cooling for your money. Everything you could do with the x15 is still an option on the larger sibling, and it packs a little bit of an extra punch. Just imagine how smooth a 360Hz refresh rate will look on a 17.3-inch FHD panel.
Alienware m15 R5 Ryzen
If you found yourself drawn in by the size and speed of the Alienware m15, we’ve finally come to the first non-Intel version. Alienware has finally infused its beast of a laptop with speedy Ryzen hardware in the first R5 model. It’s the same size and weight as the classic m15, but the Dark Side of the Moon finish is sure to turn heads.
On the inside, you can choose from Ryzen’s R7 5800H processor or kick things up to the Ryzen R9 5900HX. Alienware tapped Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series processors to keep you in the game no matter your configuration, and you can pair it with up to 32GB of DDR4 3200MHz RAM. If you go for the entry-level processor, your storage options top out at 512GB. However, the more powerful configurations jump up to 1TB of onboard PCle M.2 SSD space.
All four versions pack identical four-zone AlienFX keyboards and Killer Wi-Fi 6, so you should have no problems looking good while you play at top speeds on the latest and greatest Alienware laptop.
Hopefully, this helped you decide between the best Alienware laptops currently available. There aren’t many to choose from, but there are other important components if you’re setting up your battle station.
Check out a few of these other lists: