Alienware 13 hands on: Thinner, smaller, and more powerful than its ancestors

As Alienware ushered me into a swanky room fit for a Bond villain, I couldn’t help but wonder what the company planned to show me in such lavish confines. Thankfully, no one beat around the bush for too long, and I soon felt like Agent 007 during one of his equipment briefings with Q, procurer of all things gadget-y and awesome.

Instead of a gun hidden inside a handkerchief or a grenade disguised as a rubber duckie, however, Alienware showed me its latest mobile gaming creation: the Alienware 13.

Related: How much faster will PCs with 8-core Intel Haswell CPUs and DDR4 RAM be?

The Alienware 13 weighs roughly 4.5 pounds, and is only 1 inch thick. Indeed, as I picked it up, I immediately thought that it actually feels like a gaming notebook I wouldn’t mind lugging around from Point A to Point B, unlike many other “mobile” gaming laptops that I’ve come across. A 9-pound 17-inch monster, not counting the power brick? That’s not exactly my idea of “portable.” The Alienware 13, however, is far from that.

On the components front, Alienware tells me that the Alienware 13 will be configurable with a range of Core i5 and i7 processors. I asked them whether the Alienware 13 will be available with 5th-generation Intel Broadwell chips once they’re released later this year, they told me that they would be eventually, though not necessarily once the system launches.

Related: Philips reveals $600 28-inch 4K monitor

The 13-inch display will be available in one of two resolution flavors; standard 1080p, and 3,200 × 1,800. Though the latter surely provides better looking images, keep in mind that it’ll also weigh down your framerates, and suck down battery life faster. The display will be available in both touch and non-touch models, and can be configured with either Windows 7 or Windows 8. On the GPU front, the options will top out at Nvidia’s GeForce 860M graphics processing unit. The rig runs pretty quiet too, though we didn’t get to game on it, so we’ll reserve full judgment on its noise-making nature until we get a review unit.

On the aesthetic front, the Alienware 13 is slathered in black, and features hints of lighting around the system, with a Mercedes Benz-like pattern on the lid. We weren’t wowed, but we weren’t put off either. In other words, it looked like something I’ve seen before. As soon as I opened the lid, the keyboard blazed bright red, though Alienware told me that the Alienware 13’s keyboard can be configured to emit a bunch of different hues.

There was one area of the Alienware 13 that we can’t figure what to make of. Along one of the sides, we spotted a rectangular port with a “Recycle”-like insignia directly to the right of it. Alienware wouldn’t tell us what it’s for, but if we learn more about it, we’ll bring that information to you. Our money is on a dock connector of some kind.

Alienware wouldn’t give me exact pricing details on the Alienware 13, or precise release date either. Expect it to be available for purchase by the time the holiday shopping season rolls around — so lets hope you’ve been good this year!

Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Mobile

Apple iPad Pro 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Which top-tier tablet reigns supreme?

If you're in the market for a new tablet and you want something that can double up as a laptop in a pinch, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. We compare the two here.
Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…
Computing

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.
Computing

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.
Computing

The Titan RTX graphics card is nearly here. Here's what you need to know

The Nvidia Titan RTX is arguably the most powerful consumer graphics card ever made, even if it's not really aimed at consumers. It bridges the 2080 Ti and RTX Quadro cards with boat loads of power.
Computing

Leak reveals that Nvidia’s RTX 2060 gaming chipsets will be headed to laptops

The latest leaks of Nvidia's upcoming RTX 2060 have given performance benchmarks and further detail about the future chipset and its capabilities, while a RTX 2060 Max-Q variant has also been discovered for thin and light gaming machines.
Computing

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you're looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon's Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…