Best Alienware laptop 2024: all the latest models compared

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The best Alienware gaming laptops offer some incredible power, but they can be pretty pricey. Outside of sales (and we do see a lot of sales) new releases can climb well into high-end ranges, especially once you start throwing RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 graphics cards around. However, compared to the rest of the market, the value proposition in these rigs can often outweigh their higher prices. They remain popular among PC players for good reason, with a solid quality build and excellent engineering. 

To help break the choice down a little, we've rounded up a shortlist of all the best Alienware laptops available right now. Based on our own testing, and the components up for grabs in each model, this list is compiled from both hands-on experience and price-checking competitors for value for money. These are some of the best gaming laptops on the market, especially in their upper configurations.

We've also listed all the lowest prices from around the web to ensure you save as much money as possible while making such a sizeable, but well-placed, investment. What's more, those costs could be dropping soon with Prime Day gaming laptop deals on the horizon. 

The Quick List

The best Alienware laptop overall

The best Alienware laptop overall

Specifications

CPU: Intel i7-13700HX | Intel i9-13900HX | Intel i9-13980HX | AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX | AMD Ryzen 9 7845HX | AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
GPU: Nvidia RTX 4060 | RTX 4070 | RTX 4080 | RTX 4090 | AMD Radeon RX 7600M XT
RAM: 16GB DDR5 | 32GB DDR5 | 64GB DDR5
Storage: 1TB SSD | 2TB SSD | 4TB SSD | 8TB SSD
Display: 18-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 165Hz | 18-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200), 480Hz
Ports: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (PowerShare), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort), 1x RJ45 Ethernet, 1x 3.5mm audio, 1x mini-Display, 1x HDMI 2.1

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible power under the hood
+
Cheaper configurations than Razer or Asus
+
Subtle design
+
Plenty of ports with excellent placement
+
Full sized keyboard and number pad

Reasons to avoid

-
The heaviest gaming laptop we've tested so far
-
Display quality doesn't live up to the competition
-
Speakers don't feel as robust as Scar 18

Our favorite configuration: 

Alienware M18 | Intel i9-13900HX | RTX 4080 at Dell

Alienware M18 | Intel i9-13900HX | RTX 4080 at Dell
We tested an RTX 4090 graphics card with this i9-13900HX processor, but considering you can get away with a sub-$3,000 price tag on an RTX 4080 configuration we're pitching slightly downwards for our favorite configuration.

The Alienware M18 marks the brand's return to big-screen gaming laptops, but it does so much more than slap an 18-inch display across its hulking chassis. This is a powerful machine running the latest components but still managing to stay within a reasonable price tag. 

Buy it if:

You want big-screen gaming without too high a cost: The M18 offers a range of configuration options, which means you can get away with a starting price of just $1,699.99 if you opt for an RTX 4060 version. 

You're keeping your laptop on your desk: This is a large, heavy device, and won't be a comfortable travel companion. If you plan on keeping your laptop on a desk for the majority of the time, though, it's a win. 

You don't want messy cables: It's a small point, but if you are going for the desk-based approach, those rear facing ports are going to be a life saver when it comes to cable management.

Don't buy it if:

You're a competitive player but still want QHD+: There's a quirk in the configuration options here. A QHD+ screen drops your refresh rate down to 165Hz, whereas FHD+ options bump it all the way up to 480Hz. There's no real good spot in the middle.

You want the best screen quality possible: Alienware isn't winning the screen quality race against competitors like Asus right now. If you want high-end HDR Mini LED displays you'll need to look elsewhere.

You want more of an option to travel: Of course, if you do need to travel with your laptop, you'll need to look at something thinner and lighter, potentially sacrificing some screen real estate. 

Design: Let's get one thing out the way first, this is a giant laptop. Its 18-inch display has to be housed with something after all. However, we were surprised that the M18 doesn't feel as big as it should, thanks to its curved lines and particularly effective sloped front lip. Compared to the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18, a fairly boxy design, this thing feels sleek. We're not getting carried away here, though - this is still a 4.23kg machine so regular transport is out of the question. 

Everything else remains as you would expect from Alienware. Yes, that embossed number and cool gray lid, hexagonal grills and narrow keyboard all feels a little tired now, but it's an aesthetic that works and remains subtle while still giving you that RGB glow. 

Features: That 18-inch display is going a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to features. It's an expansive panel and the best option for anyone after the best Alienware laptop for pure immersion. You've got two display options, a 165Hz QHD+ model and a super speedy 480Hz FHD+ model. It would have been nice to see a split down the middle here, as Asus, Razer, and MSI all offer QHD+ panels in this size with a 240Hz refresh rate. 

Nevertheless, motion remains slick and the overall picture is still solid - if a little darker due to the matte coating. You'll also find an expansive selection of ports to play with, an impressive 1080p webcam, and a super tactile keyboard with a full-sized number pad built in. 

Performance: The M18 also benefits from have a wide range of configuration options - far more than Asus's competitor. That means you can run from an i7 / RTX 4060 model all the way up to Intel's turbo charged i9 processors and RTX 4090 graphics. We had a top end build in for review, and were blown away by the results. The M18 nearly bested the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (the most powerful gaming laptop we've ever had our hands on), offering some benchmark numbers that skirted a little higher than Asus overall. 

Yes, Alienware has made some sacrifices along the way - in screen, speakers, and portability - but if you're after a desktop replacement that really can take over your setup, you're in the right place.

Alienware M18 review

Verdict: The Alienware M18 isn't without its drawbacks, but if you're after Dell's biggest and best rig you've come to the right place. With a massive range of configuration options, and the power to draw all the best parts of those components out, this is our favorite Alienware laptop overall. 

Read more: Alienware M18 review

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Alienware M18 Benchmarks (RTX 4090)
Game1080p1600p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 210fps | Highest: 196fpsHigh: 184fps | Highest: 173fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 222fps | Ultra: 171fpsHigh: 144fps | Ultra: 105fps
Rainbow Six ExtractionHigh: 212fps | Ultra: 174fps High: 168fps | Ultra: 148fps
ReturnalHigh: 183fps | Epic: 142fpsHigh: 152fps | Epic: 138fps
Hitman 3High: 168fps | Ultra: 153fpsHigh: 139fps | Epic: 121fps

The best Alienware laptop for most

The best Alienware laptop for most

Specifications

CPU: Intel i7-13700HX | Intel i9-13900HX
GPU: RTX 4060 | RTX 4070 | RTX 4080 | RTX 4090
RAM: 16GB | 32GB | 64GB
Storage: 512GB | 1TB | 2TB | 4TB | 8TB
Display: 16-inch QHD+ @ 165Hz | 16-inch QHD+ @ 240Hz | 16-inch FHD+ @ 480Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent price to performance ratio in lower specs
+
Plenty of super fast ports
+
Much cooler and quieter than previous generation
+
Display is still impressive

Reasons to avoid

-
Chunky, heavy design isn't portable
-
Grills take away palm space inside

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware M16 | RTX 4060 | Intel i7-13700HX at Dell

Alienware M16 | RTX 4060 | Intel i7-13700HX at Dell
This is the spec we tested, and the one that makes the most sense for the value-hunting deal buster. You're getting mostly three-figure framerates out of that RTX 4060 and Intel i7-13700HX, and saving cash on a laptop that sacrifices portability for power.

The Alienware M16 has taken over from the M15 R7, with a larger display and new Nvidia RTX 40-Series and Intel 13th generation components on board. That makes for an excellent jump in performance, even in the baseline RTX 4060 configuration we had our hands on. With a price difference of only around $150 from the cheaper M15, this is the best value Alienware laptop you can get your hands on right now.

Buy it if:

You want the latest generation of components: The M16 is the cheapest Alienware laptops to offer new generation components, which means you can enjoy Nvidia RTX 40-Series GPUs and Intel's 13th generation of processors under the hood here.

You don't want to spend on bigger configurations: If you don't want to stretch all the way up to an RTX 4090, the M16 also performs particularly well with an everyday RTX 4060 inside. 

Fan noise is off-putting: We noticed a considerable drop in fan noise in the new M16 model, so while things can still get loud you're going to have a better time overall compared to the M15 above.

Don't buy it if:

You regularly travel with your laptop: Again, this isn't a lightweight device, despite the thinner sides. At over 3kg and with that squat form factor, this isn't a backpack friendly rig. 

You want to work or play on your lap: The grills take up a lot of space at the top of this inner deck, which means palm space is restricted below. That means it's not particularly comfortable to use for longer sessions on the lap.

Design: You're getting the same Alienware M-Series design on this new generation rig - but again, the design isn't Alienware's best feature. The large hexagonal grills running along the top of the main deck still push the keyboard and trackpad down uncomfortably close to the lip of the laptop, and the 3.25kg weight puts this as one of the heaviest machines on the market right now. This thing runs great on a desk - just don't think about slinging it in a backpack too often. 

Features: The solid QHD+ display, high-end components, and the good old Alienware RGB glitz is still here. A selection of speedy ports helpfully placed along the back mean you can easily hardwire your setup without having to faff with too much additional connectivity. While the extra space towards the rear may prove cumbersome on smaller gaming desks, this is where the Alienware M16 feels most at home. 

The M16 takes a new design route for its keyboard this year, dropping the deck itself into a recessed bay running horizontally across the main deck. The keys themselves remain tactile and responsive, though there's no number pad or dedicated media buttons. Cooling has taken another step forwards here, with fan noise being noticeably reduced compared to the M15 above.

Performance: That clunky form factor is the price you're paying for a high performing laptop at an - in Alienware terms anyway - affordable rate. Our RTX 4060 model came pretty close to the RTX 3070 Ti M15 we had our hands on last year in terms of Time Spy and Fire Strike scores, and outperformed that boosted GPU across in-game benchmarks as well. That's some seriously impressive stuff, especially considering the price jump isn't as large as those numbers suggest. 

At its baseline spec, the Alienware M16 is capable of running pretty much anything you can throw at it - at speeds we would have killed for just a few years ago.

Alienware M16 review

Verdict: The Alienware M16 is the brand's best value option right now. Considering its price comes in just a hair over the M15's MSRP (and isn't too over the top compared to other Alienware rigs), you're getting a strong price to performance ratio with next generation components under the hood.

Read more: Alienware M16 review

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Alienware M16 In-Game Benchmarks (RTX 4060)
Benchmark Test1080p1440p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 159fps | Highest: 150fpsHigh: 120fps | Highest: 111fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 132fps | Ultra: 102fpsHigh: 105fps | Highest: 74fps
Rainbow Six ExtractionHigh: 190fps | Ultra: 149fpsHigh: 122fps | Ultra: 97fps
ReturnalHigh: 124fps | Epic: 98fpsHigh: 103fps | Epic: 87fps
Hitman 3High: 92fps | Ultra: 86fpsHigh: 83fps | Ultra: 79fps

The best 15.6-inch Alienware laptop

The best 15.6-inch Alienware gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: i7-12700H | i9-12900H
GPU: RTX 3060 | RTX 3070 Ti | RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: up to 32GB
Storage: Up to 4TB
Display: FHD at 165Hz / 360Hz | QHD at 240Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Luxurious chassis design
+
Impressive benchmarks
+
Slimline form-factor
+
Excellent display

Reasons to avoid

-
Runs particularly hot
-
Entry level configurations are pricey

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware X15 R2 | Intel i7-12700H | RTX 3070 Ti at Dell

Alienware X15 R2 | Intel i7-12700H | RTX 3070 Ti at Dell
The Alienware x15 R2 is a premium piece of kit, so we'd recommend boosting your GPU up to an RTX 3070 Ti to get the best value over the baseline RTX 3060 option. There's around $300 between the two configurations, but that's cash well spent when you're at this level of investment.

Dell refreshed both the x15 and x17 back in 2022, though even today these are not cheap rigs. That said, paying for luxury certainly has its benefits - this was one of the best looking and feeling Alienware laptops we've ever had our hands on. Plus it's certainly not as pricey as the 17-incher. 

Buy it if

✅ You've got the budget to spend: No Alienware laptop is going to be cheap, but the x15 R2 is particularly expensive compared to the M-Series. If you're after a top of the range configuration this is going to cost you far more than a more budget chassis would. 

✅ You can deal with a little heat: The X15 R2 does run particularly warm, which means we'd recommend it more for those looking to work and play from a desk rather than a lap. 

✅ You want a desktop solution that can also easily be transported: The X17 is too big to easily carry around with you all day, but the X15 still offers the rear IO ports and components to sit as a desktop fixture. If you're after that Goldilocks zone, this is your best Alienware bet.

Don't buy it if:

You want the best value: The Alienware x15 R2 is flashy, but that means it's not the best overall value for money. If you're not tied to the brand there are plenty of cheaper models out there, but if you're after Dell's finest you'll find better a price-performance ratio out of the M-Series.

You want the latest components: The x15 R2 didn't receive a 2023 refresh this year, which means there are no RTX 40-Series or Intel 13th generation configurations on the shelves. Considering the jump in performance we've been seeing in our own testing, it's worth considering a move up to the x16 or one of the newer M-Series models. 

Design: If you're familiar with the Alienware X-Series nothing's going to shock you here. The crisp white shell of our test unit made the already super slim form factor feel all the more slick, and that 2.2kg is a feat of considerable engineering considering the components underneath. The inset hinge does add a little more to the footprint overall, but it's not as egregious as some of the more recent Alienware gaming laptops, and the RGB LEDs keep everything looking sharp in the meantime. 

Features: The Alienware X15 R2 brings with it Intel's new 12th generation processors, the capacity to build up to that Nvidia's RTX 3080 Ti GPU, and extra attention paid to the LEDs running along the back of the chassis. It's still the slimline, highly powerful rig we've all come to welcome onto the premium shelf, but refreshed to keep up with 2022's components. 

With four fans and the brand's 'Element 31' cooling solutions under the hood, Alienware has paid more attention to keeping things running smoothly. Unfortunately, it's still not quite enough to keep those temperatures down - the x15 R2 still runs particularly hot at full whack, with some impact to performance after around an hour of gameplay. Still, you're getting a gorgeous screen up top, a handy rear IO placement, and a snappy tactile keyboard - though the mechanical option will cost you extra.

Performance: If you do want to go all out in your configuration, you're in safe hands here. Our RTX 3080 Ti test unit posted some seriously impressive numbers - outpacing the Razer Blade 15 in industry testing and storming through in-game benchmarks. Three figure framerates were the norm in titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Total War: Three Kingdoms, with more demanding games like Metro Exodus and Red Dead Redemption 2 still posting well above 60fps at Ultra settings.

If you're looking to invest in a high-end machine that's easy on your backpack straps, the Alienware x15 R2 is tough to beat.

Alienware x15 R2 review

Verdict: You're still getting that sleek form factor, Intel 12th generation chipset, and radical RTX 3080Ti opportunities, but without dropping an insane amount of cash like you would with the 17.3-inch version. Don't get us wrong, these are still premium machines - but with prices cutting slightly under those of the 17-incher things are that little bit more reachable here. 

Read more: Alienware x15 R2 review

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Alienware x15 R2 Benchmarks (RTX 3080 Ti)
Benchmark Test1080p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 161fps / Highest: 132fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 190fps / Ultra: 141fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 96fps / Ultra: 77fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 90fps / Top: 72fps

The best 14-inch Alienware laptop

The best 14-inch Alienware gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: i5-12500H / i7-12700H
Graphics: RTX 3050 / RTX 3050 Ti / RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB - 32GB DDR5
Storage: : 512GB - 2TB SSD
Screen:: 14-inch, 1080p, 144Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Super slimline form factor
+
Impressive performance
+
More affordable than other Alienware rigs
+
Sleek aesthetic

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited configurations available
-
Increased depth leaves larger footprint
-
Matte display can dull colors

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware x14 | Intel i7-12700H | RTX 3050 Ti at Dell

Alienware x14 | Intel i7-12700H | RTX 3050 Ti at Dell
The Alienware x14 is best served with an RTX 3050 Ti GPU and 12th generation i7 processor. After all, there's only $100 between this boosted version and the i5 / RTX 3050 configuration and the extra power is well worth the slight bump in price. You're picking this machine for its impossibly thin form factor and luxurious design, rather than its ability to pump out three-figure framerates, and there's diminishing returns the further up the price scale you go.

Dell has shrunk its premium line of gaming laptops with the Alienware x14. Taking the luxury design of the x15 and x17 models and whittling it down to a new 14-inch form factor, this is the smallest Alienware laptop currently on the market. That means you're dropping down a few pegs in terms of your configuration, especially compared to the high-flying specs of the larger models. 

Buy It If:

You need a laptop for work and casual play: This isn't a framerate monster, so the x14 makes the most sense for people looking for a work machine that can also hold up to some casual gameplay.

You travel regularly with your laptop: The small form factor and super thin design means this is the perfect Alienware laptop for throwing into a backpack.

You don't mind spending on a luxury design: The x14 is the cheapest in its range, but it's still a pricey rig. If you don't mind spending on those luxury features, it's a great option.

Don't buy it if:

You're chasing framerates: This isn't the best performing Alienware laptop on the market, focusing more on remaining lightweight and portable. If you're after pure power, we'd recommend a larger machine.

You don't need that slimline design: If you plan on keeping your laptop stuck to your desk, it's worth investing a little more in a larger machine with more to offer a static gaming setup.

Design: The Alienware x14 is all about its design. It's an impossibly slimline machine, measuring just 14.4mm thick. That's the skinniest machine we've ever tested, so if you're after a portable device this is where you need to be looking. Of course, you've still got that luxury X-Series build quality and aesthetic, with a crisp '14' embossed on the lid, and a futuristic but still refined design overall. The larger area behind the hinge may cause some transportation issues if you've got a particularly tight fitting backpack, and it's a little frustrating to see in this smaller form factor machine, but overall this thing is built to go everywhere with you. 

Features: The x14 comes with an RTX 3050, RTX 3050 Ti, or RTX 3060 GPU, paired up with either an Intel i5-12500H or i7-12700H processor. Those smaller specs mean that this is one of the cheapest Alienware laptops currently available, when configured as such. We tested an RTX 3060 / i7 configuration, but that rig costs close to $2,000. We thought that was a little hard to swallow considering every Alienware x14 ships with the same 1080p 144Hz display. However, down at the bottom end of the price scale there's actually some solid value for money. That's why we'd recommend checking this machine if you're after form factor over performance, aiming for an RTX 3050 GPU. 

Performance: Straight out the gate, it's clear this isn't a gaming laptop designed to prioritise performance. We were impressed with the 108 average frames per second on Highest settings in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and while more demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 did present more of a challenge, we were still benchmarking at 55fps in High. Your performance is hampered by the slimline design, but if you're just looking for a casual machine you'll get by.  

The Alienware X14 feels like it earns its place on the mid-range shelf but will appeal more to those after a premium feel than those chasing framerates

Alienware x14 review

Verdict: You're paying for the high-end engineering, design, and build quality here - all wrapped up in a super skinny machine that can slide easily into any backpack. While that means the Alienware x14 isn't going to win any benchmark comparisons, it does provide an excellent all-round approach to portable work and lighter play.

Read more: Alienware x14 review

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Alienware x14 Benchmarks (RTX 3060)
Benchmark Test1080p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 116fps / Highest: 108fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 83fps / Ultra: 58fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 55fps / Highest: 52fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 65fps / Ultra: 47fps
The Division 2High: 90fps / Ultra: 68fps

Best Alienware laptops: FAQ

Alienware x14 thin

(Image credit: Future)

What is the best Alienware laptop?

The best Alienware laptop overall is currently the Alienware M18 as it performs the best out of each model and packs the largest screen to boot.

Is Alienware still the best?

Alienware gaming laptops have been top tier for years now, but other brands have caught up. As it stands, Alienware is an expensive option with configurations (particularly of the more premium X-Series) often costing far more than cheaper machines. However, the engineering and build quality of these machines is among the best in the business. Whether or not Alienware is the best brand for you comes down to your budget and how you want to use your machine. For portability? No, Alienware isn't the best. For a static rig designed for raw power? This could be the right brand for you. 

Are Alienware laptops worth it?

At first glance, Alienware laptops might seem overpriced - you'd be justified in calling them the 'Apple' of gaming. However, they earn that price tag with accessibility, ease-of-use, and smart design that sets them apart from other manufacturers. 

Alongside fierce technical capabilities that allow them to run today's games at their best, Alienware gaming laptops come ready-made and good to go, without a thoughtful design in both engineering and aesthetic.

Happily, Alienware is keen to make sure there's something to suit your budget as well. The official website lists a variety of builds with different costs, allowing you to pick and choose what you want. And if you decide you should have opted for more power down the line? It's often easy enough to open the case and upgrade your rig yourself. 

How we test Alienware laptops

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

Finding the very best Alienware laptops is no mean feat. Of course, Dell only produces so many ranges and models per year - but not each one carries its price tag the same way. We run all gaming laptops that pass our desks through a series of industry tests, while working and playing with them for a considerable amount of time in every day life. That way we can accurately judge the value proposition on offer, and determine just how far that price tag will take you. 

Our testing covers everything from GPU performance to storage speeds, using 3D Mark, Cinebench, PC Mark 10, and Crystal Disk Mark to ensure we have a set of baseline data to compare models. After that, we see how each Alienware laptop fares in the real world, with framerate tests across Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Metro Exodus, The Division 2, and Red Dead Redemption 2. 

These laptops also slot directly into our everyday lives when we're testing, which means we have the chance to see exactly how they fare against daily work and play, while also testing battery, portability, and overall quality of life as well. 

You can find more information on how we review the products we recommend in our full Hardware Policy, and we're also showing you exactly how we test gaming laptops for more details as well. 


If you're shopping between brands, check out our guide to the best Razer laptops and best Asus gaming laptops on the market, and our roundup of the latest cheap Razer laptop deals as well. Or, to kit out your new rig, take a look at the best gaming mouse, best gaming keyboard, and best gaming monitor options available now. 

Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards, headsets and mice that come with them), PS5, and trying to find the perfect projector. 

With contributions from