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Alienware's new laptops are thinner and more powerful, but maybe not enough

Hayden Dingman | Jan. 7, 2015
Listen, Alienware, we need to talk. Once upon a time you were the company when it came to gaming laptops. And I mean that quite literally--nobody else even made gaming laptops, so it was basically Alienware or nothing.

Alienware is effectively fighting a war on two fronts: "Do we focus on thinness to compete or do we say damn it all and go for head-crushing gaming power?" Instead of making a choice, however, Alienware is trying to appease both crowds. 

The result? Gaming laptops that are undeniably still great, yet somewhat inoffensive and unremarkable compared to the competition. On the other hand, Alienware's starting the pricing uncharacteristically low — $1,200 for a baseline Alienware 15 and $1,500 for a baseline Alienware 17, available today. That's competitive even for standard gaming laptops, and the more innovative Razer Blade and Origin EON15-X laptops are much more expensive in their baseline configurations.

Bottom line: These updated models will no doubt be just as effective gaming machines as their predecessors, but I know Alienware can compete on innovation. Its experiments with Alpha and Area-51 this year confirm that suspicion — there are some real bright folks at Alienware coming up with some fascinating concepts. Alas, none of that seems apparent in 2015's laptop refresh. 


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