Alienware 18 typically comes with the following, but can be upgraded if you’re willing to spend a little more. Okay, a lot more.
Screen: 18.4” Full HD display
Processor: Intel Core i7-4700MQ (Up to 3.4GHz)
Graphics: Two GeForce GTX 765M GPUs
Memory: 8GB RAM
HDD: 1 TB
Available OS: Windows 7 or 8
Benchmark Score: 11,110 (Anything over 7,000 is a capable machine)
I could talk about the technical specifications till I’m blue in the face, but what’s the AW18 actually like to use and live with? For a start it’s heavy (5.4 kg), and it’s a sizable thing to lug around. But there’s a reason for that. The 18.4 inch screen provides crystal clear imagery, all in High Definition. So if visuals are important to you, and if you’re thinking of getting this they will be, then you’re in good hands. But the sound that accompanies it is nothing short of fantastic, enabling anyone with the AW18 to use it a portable home entertainment system.
Graphically, it’s more than capable of playing even the most demanding of titles. But then it should considering the specifications. The AW18 boots up quickly and quietly and there’s no superfluous additions either. It’s been designed purely for performance and that’s exactly what you get: a fast and capable computer that has the added benefit of being portable. Just. So if you enjoy LAN parties or are a frequent traveller with a need for high-performance gaming, then the AW18 is exactly what you’re after. That said, any gaming should be accompanied with several peripherals, depending on the genre of the titles you enjoy. The keyboard is functional and backlit for added convenience during the evening. But it’s not ideal for gaming i.e. not ergonomically designed for it. And buying an external mouse or controller is advised for fast and frenetic titles.
Beyond the rush of gaming, the AW18 performs superbly as a media player, with a 3D-capable Blu-ray player to boot, and sound that is bound to please, whether you are gaming or watching a Hollywood blockbuster. The downside of any Alienware computer is always going to be the price. And the AW18 is no exception. Starting at £1,999 and climbing up to £2,848 the price will put all but the most devoted of PC gamers off. But that’s not to say that it isn’t worth it. It’s a quality machine, well made and portable. And it’s great to look at as well.
All in all the AW18 is a fantastic machine that is bound to please, as long as you don’t mind the price, which happens to be the only sour point of an otherwise faultless laptop. But it’s safe to say that the word compromise isn’t in Alienware’s vocabulary.