Alienware and gaming have gone hand-in-hand since the company’s launch in 1996. The alien theme and the high-powered devices have long been some of the most iconic on the market. Alienware has refined its lineup of gaming laptops since 2009 and currently offers just 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.
1. Alienware Area 51m
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.
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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.
2. Alienware m15
If the Area 51m is out of your budget — honestly, it’s out of ours too — you might be more at home with the m15 line. It’s the smallest and most portable of the three devices, measuring in with a 15.6-inch display and weighing just 4.65 lbs.
With half of the weight, you might worry that the m15 packs half of the power, but you’d be wrong. The latest R3 model is equipped with an Intel Core i7 chip and AMD Radeon RX 5500M graphics, but both can be boosted. You also get 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD without any optional upgrades. If you need to maximize your power, the CPU jumps to a 10th-gen Core i9, and the GPU maxes out at Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super.
You can boost the RAM and storage to 32GB and 1TB plus 512GB if needed as well. Alienware’s Cryo-Tech cooling system keeps the m15 cool under pressure, so you can game or stream as hard as you want to.
If you’re looking to save a bit of cash, the R1 and R2 configurations are also available. Both models are battle-ready with 9th-gen Intel hardware, though the R2 is one year newer. It’s the most affordable of the range and starts with an Intel Core i5 option that’s paired with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics. As always, you can configure the specs much higher — up to a Core i9 with GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics for an increased price.
3. Alienware m17
It’s easy to think of the m17 as the larger, more powerful sibling of the m15. One of the main differences between the two is the larger 17.3-inch screen on the m17. If you want the full-size experience of the Area 51m without the extreme cost, this is the way to go.
As you’d expect from a larger laptop, the m17 weighs in at 5.56 lbs. Behind that weight, you’ll find a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 chip paired with AMD Radeon RX 5500M graphics. You can also select either 16GB or 32GB of DDR4 RAM and between 246GB and 1TB plus 512GB of SSD storage. Like all Alienware laptops, the m17 is equipped with an AlienFX RGB keyboard. You can customize four color zones from millions of colors.
Cooling is next to godliness in gaming laptops, and Cryo-Tech keeps the Alienware m17 at the top of the pack. The laptop blends a vapor chamber, a high-voltage fan, and dense stacks of copper fins for performance under pressure.
The other versions of the Alienware m17 — the R1 and R2 are not actually more affordable than the R3, though both are powerful alternatives. Each is configurable with 9th-gen Intel hardware and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card. If you opt for the R1, you can choose the RTX 2070 desktop version while the R2 is limited to the RTX 2070 Super Max-Q.
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: