Dell’s Alienware gaming division is launching its Alienware 13 laptop for no-compromise laptop gaming.
The machine has a 13.3-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) screen with Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics. It also has 16 gigabytes of DDR3 main memory, supports up to two solid-state drives (SSDs), and it includes Killer 802.11ac wireless networking. Alienware has outfitted it with the Alienware Command Center 4.0/AlienFX, which you can use to set the performance or battery life policies. It has audio powered by Klipsch, and an Alienware TACTX keyboard. It runs Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, or Windows 7 Pro.
The machine is one-inch thick, which is a lot fatter than other laptops. But it can run any game on the market now. For instance, it can run Tomb Raider with “ultra settings and tesselation on” at 45.5 frames per second with the Nvidia chip. That compares to 31.6 frames per second for the older Alienware 14.
“This is Alienware’s thinnest laptop to date,” said Ray Watkins, configuraiton management senior analyst at Alienware, in an interview with GamesBeat. “And we deliver the full performance the graphics card can support. We don’t throttle them back.”
And while Alienware says the Alienware 13 is just about as good as desktop graphics, you can actually bring better desktop graphics to the Alienware 13 via the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, which is also launching today. That device allows you to take advantage of a desktop graphics card in conjunction with your Alienware 13 laptop.
“It’s lighter than any laptop that we have in our portfolio,” said Eddy Goyanes, global product marketer at Alienware, in an interview. “Our customers want performance, and they don’t want to sacrifice that for thinness. We stick to our guns on that performance.”
It sells for $999 with an Intel Core i5 processor. For that price, you get 6 gigabytes of main memory, a high-definition display (1366 x 768 pixels), 500 gigabyte hard drive, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics. It will get about seven hours of battery life, which is a lot more than Alienware has had on past machines.
For more money, you can get a full HD panel (1920 x 1080) or a QHD touch panel (2560 x 1440).