Alienware, the Dell-owned brand is synonymous with gaming gear since a very long time. The company has, over the last couple of decades, established itself as a leader in the gaming space and a lot of gamers aspire to use an Alienware gaming machine in order to take their game to the next level. However, does an Alienware machine actually mean better performance or is it just mere hype? We will tell you in this article.
So I used the Dell Alienware X17 R1 gaming laptop for about a month as my primary laptop for everything ranging from work to of course, gaming. During my time with the laptop, I played several games on the Alienware X17 R1 including the likes of Forza Horizon 5, Call of Duty: Warzone, Flight Simulator, Kerbal Space Program, and more. During my time with the laptop, the Alienware X17 R1 did impress me quite a bin in several areas, and there are some things about the laptop that I believe can be better. In this article, I will tell you what I liked about this gaming laptop, what I didn’t like, and finally, if you should go ahead and spend Rs 2,49,999 on the Dell Alienware X17 R1 gaming laptop. Let’s go.
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Now, in terms of design, the Alienware X17 R1 looks very cool. The laptop does justice to its “Alienware” traits and looks like it has been take out of a UFO. The laptop is very big with its 17-inch display, and it is not the most slim and portable gaming device out there. However, the Alienware X17 R1 has a design that will catch anyone’s attention. The laptop has this white aluminum-like finish on the body, with a huge “17” printed on the flap (just in case you can’t figure out which laptop this is). There is an illuminating Alienware logo as well on the back panel which changes colour.
The laptop also has an LED strip running across the vents/ ports that are placed at the back of the laptop. As I have said in my previous reviews, ports on the back are a good idea for gaming laptops as they hardly interfere with the user’s hand. You can customise this light on the back to make it change colour, stay a certain colour, and more. The laptop has vents on the right and left side of the lower (keyboard) panel, and there is an RGB keyboard on the laptop. The screen is surrounded by thin bezels, which are thicker than some other gaming laptops out there, but does not compromise on the look one bit.
All in all, the Alienware X17 R1 has one of the coolest design on any laptops out there and looks straight out of a spaceship. The ports on the back are nice, and Alienware has also fitted the air vents on the back. However, with this design, the back of the laptop gets way too hot and it actually hurts if a user tries to pick the laptop up by holdin the back side. Further, the form factor is too big and the laptop is too heavy for anyone who is thinking about carrying it. The 17-inch form factor is anyways large (good for gaming, obviously) plus the internals are also top-notch, resulting in a very heavy (3KG) laptop which has little to no portability.
The display on the Alienware X17 R1 is a 17.3-inch FHD+ panel with up to 360Hz refresh rate. The display is very good for gamers for its high responsiveness. The laptop is able to run games at 120FPS (more at times) at a Full-HD resolution. Now, while it is a very responsive and bright display, the resolution feels a little low for a machine that is so high-end. I was testing the Alienware X18 R1 alongside the 2022 Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, and the detail in the display on the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 was much better than on this one, despite both being in the same price-range. It is important to note here that this difference was only evident because I was testing two high-end gaming laptops at the same time. If you are coming from another laptop which is not the ROG Zephyrus M16, you will find this display very crisp.
Now, while the ROG Zephyrus M16’s display came out on top in terms of image quality and crispness, the Alienware X17 R1 is way more responsive. This is one of the few laptops that run games on a high refresh rate even on battery, and during my test, the Alienware X17 R1 was comfortably able to give me over 100FPS even on battery, something the Asus ROG was just not able to provide. Overall, it is a very good and responsive display. The resolution is a little less, but that brings you a higher refresh rate, meaning that the decision is left with the buyer – if they want a highly responsive or a highly detailed display.
PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY
The performance on the Alienware X17 R1 is superior. The unit we had received came with an 11th Generation Intel Core-i7 chipset, paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU with 8GB VRAM and 32GB of RAM. The laptop proved to be a beast of a performer during my time with it. As mentioned, I played some of the highest demanding games on the Alienware X17 R1 and the laptop showed me no signs of slowing down, and was able to run all these games at maximum graphic settings and a high frame rate (exact numbers vary according to content on screen).
Of course, gaming is what the laptop has been made for so it has an extra focus on gaming. Users can even boost the clocking speeds of the GPU and CPU to get the most out of the laptop, and it delivers. However, while facilitating this powerful performance, the Alienware X17 R1 heats up quite a bit. Even by gaming laptop standards, this laptop got way too hot to be used on the lap. I tried playing a game of Cricket 2022 (nothing too demanding) while keeping the laptop on my lap, and the moment the GPU kicked in, the laptop started getting hot and I wasn’t able to keep it on my lap for more than 2 minutes max.
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I also used the Alienware X17 R1 for work purposes and did all my writing, editing, research, and more on the Alienware X17 R1. Now, while the laptop does all these tasks effortlessly (maybe better than the “Pro” laptops), it is not much of a work laptop because of two major reasons. First, the chunky build. A work laptop, with the new ways of working, is mostly expected to be thin, light, and super portable for users to carry around in case of shifting work styles. But the Alienware X17 R1 is too big and thick for anyone to be able to carry the thing around with them. Second thing is battery – the battery backup on the laptop is not great. Yes, I know that it is mostly meant for playing games on power, but if you want the laptop to run on battery for more than a couple of hours, the Alienware X17 R1 is not the one for you. For comparison’s sake, the ROG Zephyrus M16 offers much better battery and portability, making it a better option for those who want a gaming laptop that is good for work.
Charging is fast. The Alienware X17 R1 comes with a 240W charger inside the box. I was not able to calculate the exact time, but the Alienware X17 R1 charges quite fast and every time I put it on charge, it fully charged within a few games, which is great for a laptop this big. There is an 87Whr battery on the Alienware X17 R1.
The Alienware X17 R1 is one of the coolest and most capable gaming laptops out there. In terms of design, the laptop scores very well due to its unique and angular design with just the right amount of lights. It is also a brilliant gaming machine as it runs almost all games on high graphics with a high frame rate. However, the display is not the most detailed (FHD resolution), and the laptop is not portable due to its heavy chunky form factor. Apart from that, the battery drains quicker than many competitors if you use it for any work-related stuff. For Rs 2,49,999, the Alienware X17 R1 is definitely the coolest-looking laptop you can get, but there are better gaming machines available in this price range.
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