Best Alienware laptop 2022: all the latest models compared

Alienware gaming laptops
(Image credit: Dell)

The best Alienware laptops pack a serious punch, with the latest and greatest components available in slimline, high quality chassis'. However, you'll also find that some of the best Alienware laptops also pack more conservative price tags. Machines in the M-Series, for example, pose a serious threat on the battlefield and if you time it right there are usually some great prices out there. 

Whatever budget you're working with, then, we're helping you find the right Alienware laptop for you - whether that's a smaller (but cheaper) 14-inch model, or
a massive 17.3-incher at the top of the price list. Alienware laptops are taking the brand even further up the ranks of the best gaming laptops on the market, and these machines do come with a premium. Still, 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. 

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. 

The best Alienware gaming laptops available now

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best Alienware gaming laptop overall

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 (opens in new tab)

Alienware X15 R2 | Intel i7-12700H | RTX 3070 Ti at Dell (opens in new tab)
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.

There's a new Alienware laptop in town, now that Dell has refreshed its like of X15 and X17 machines for 2022. The new releases are now available on the shelves, though you might have to crack open the piggy bank - 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. 

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

That's why we've put the 15.6-inch model above the 17.3-inch version in our guide to the best Alienware laptops. 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. 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. 

If you do want to go all out, though, 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.

That's because 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 cutting edge developments from key component developers. 

The best Alienware gaming laptop for most

Specifications

CPU: i7-12700H | i9-12900H
GPU: RTX 3050 Ti | RTX 3060 | RTX 3070 Ti | RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: up to 64GB
Storage: up to 4TB SSD
Display: FHD at 165Hz / 360Hz | QHD at 240Hz
Ports: 3x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 | 1x Type-C port with Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4, and Power Delivery, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ-45 Killer E3100 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, 1x 3.5mm headset jack

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible performance
+
Satisfying keyboard
+
Fast display
+
Some premium design features

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheaper plastic body
-
Difficult to transport
-
Particularly loud fans

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware M15 R7 | RTX 3060 | Intel i7-12700H at Dell (opens in new tab)

Alienware M15 R7 | RTX 3060 | Intel i7-12700H at Dell (opens in new tab)
The Alienware M15 R7 that we tested came with an RTX 3070 Ti GPU, but that configuration will run you over $2,000. For better value, we'd recommend putting that cash towards a 360Hz display if you're after a mid-range spec. The 3060 GPU under the hood here will still perform admirably thanks to the thermal engineering under the hood, and you're still getting a super fast 12th generation i7 processor and 16GB DDR5 RAM.

The Alienware M15 R7 has taken over from the M5 / M6 models to bring the series up to 2022's standards. Featuring 12th generation Intel processors, and Nvidia's Ti graphics cards, you're getting the latest and greatest under the hood here - and all the thermal handling to help them sing as well. This rig barely broke a sweat in our testing, sailing past 60fps in even the most extreme of benchmarking situations. Red Dead Redemption 2 on Ultra settings? Metro Exodus with RTX hitched all the way up? Absolutely no problem for this beast. 

The Alienware M15 R7 is a certified powerhouse, and if you're married to this brand's expert engineering and unique aesthetic, it's the best value for money within the current range.

Alienware M15 R7 review

We saw numbers that would rival far more expensive Alienware gaming laptops in this middle of the road model, though you are making some sacrifices to get there. Compared to the rest of the market, we were a little disappointed to see the same plastic chassis as the R5 and R6 models here. You'll find far cheaper rigs offering more durable build materials out in the wild. Plus, this laptop hasn't been built with portability in mind. Weighing in at just under 6 lbs, and with a bulky form factor to prove it, this is one you'll be keeping firmly on your desk.

We found that those sacrifices were easy to make considering the excellent power under the hood, though. While it's not as cheap as its predecessors these days, you are getting a whole boat load more for your cash, and we'd heartily recommend anyone browsing in the $1,500 - $2,000 price range seriously considers the latest release.

You're still picking up luxury Alienware design features, like the LED strip of RGB lighting running around the (plentiful) back ports. Plus, we were particularly impressed with the feel of the mSeries keyboard here. While not a true mechanical model (as featured in more expensive configurations of the X17), there's was a satisfying tension here, and a longer travel distance than we typically see in laptop decks. 

Read more: Alienware M15 R7 review

3. Alienware X17

The best 17-inch Alienware laptop

Specifications

CPU: i7-12700H | i9-12900H
GPU: RTX 3060 | RTX 3070Ti | RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: up to 64GB
Storage: up to 4TB SSD (2x2TB)
Display: FHD at 165Hz / 360Hz | UHD at 120Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful components
+
Fantastic gaming performance
+
Mechanical Cherry MX keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium prices
-
Gets hot

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware X17 R2 |  i7-12700H | RTX 3060 at Dell (opens in new tab)

Alienware X17 R2 | i7-12700H | RTX 3060 at Dell (opens in new tab)
The Alienware X17 R2 is the biggest and best Alienware gaming laptop on the market on paper. Its premium cost keeps it from the very top of this list, as most gamers will be able to spend X15 prices and still enjoy the luxury. However, there's plenty to dig into with this RTX 3060 configuration, balancing plenty of power from the Alder Lake processor.

If you're looking for a larger display, the absolute best Alienware laptop for you is the brand new X17 R2. There's plenty of power under the hood here, with the very latest 12th generation i7 and i9 processors, up to 64GB of RAM, 4TB of SSD storage and a glorious display to top it all off. 

That Alienware X17 form factor remains, with all the luxury accents and deep-backed hinges. However, the LED trackpad that we so loved with the R1 release has been removed for the R2. Still, there's no point grieving RGB when there's so much power available under the hood. We managed to squeeze 30fps in our 4K testing, something we can't say for the similarly priced Razer Blade Pro 17, and thanks to that reinvented cooling system and larger design, temperatures never climbed as high as the Alienware M15. 

It should come as no surprise to anybody that the Alienware x17 R1 is among the best of the best when it comes to gaming laptop performance.

Alienware x17 review

Of course, this isn't going to be the best Alienware laptop for everyone. You're going to be spending quite a few beans locking in this purchase, and the heavier form factor and desktop-grade configurations won't be right for the majority of players. However, if you do have the budget to put into a larger device, this is the Alienware laptop we would recommend.  

The Alienware X17 still follows the slimline design of the X15, but adds a little extra thickness with that mechanical keyboard the additional ports. If you're after a premium big-screen experience, the specs on offer here are unlikely to disappoint. This laptop looks and feels great, a statement piece for those who take their gaming seriously.

We'd aim for those 12th generation Intel processors on the new R2 release, with an RTX 3070 Ti or RTX 3080 Ti GPU to ensure you're getting the best value for your cash.

Read more: Alienware X17 R1 review

4. Alienware x14

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 (opens in new tab)

Alienware x14 | Intel i7-12700H | RTX 3050 Ti at Dell (opens in new tab)
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 shrinking 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. 

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

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 new-generation processors (and the DDR5 RAM that accompanies them) certainly push those graphics cards to some new heights, even in this smaller form factor. 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. 

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. 

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. 

Read more: Alienware x14 review

5. Alienware X15 (2021)

The best Alienware laptop for price to performance value

Specifications

CPU: i7-11800H | i9-11900H
GPU: RTX 3060 | RTX 3070 | RTX 3080
RAM: 16GB | 32GB
Storage: up to 4TB SSD (2x2TB)
Display: FHD at 165Hz / 360Hz | QHD at 240Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Still excellent components inside
+
Likely to see more discounts soon
+
Slimline, premium design

Reasons to avoid

-
No 12th gen Intel processors
-
No RTX 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti options

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware X15 | I ntel i7-11800H | RTX 3060 at Dell (opens in new tab)

Alienware X15 | Intel i7-11800H | RTX 3060 at Dell (opens in new tab)
The Alienware X15 offers a premium experience, but you'll find some excellent value in the mid-range here. An RTX 3060 GPU may feel a little weak in such a powerful rig, but there's plenty going on under the hood here that you don't need to spend more on a flashy GPU to see value for money.

While the M15 range was previously leader of the pack, Alienware made way for a new flagship in 2021, refreshing once again in 2022. The X15 (and X17 for those after a larger display) offers up the most powerful components on the market in a slimline chassis designed to hit the thinner, lighter aesthetic of top of the range machines today. While pricey, it's the best Alienware laptop on the market right now, with some impressive display specs and powerful baseline configurations. 

Alienware gaming laptops are already packed with power, which can sometimes result in some unfortunate thermal frustrations. However, the X15 has been outfitted with plenty of smart cooling features and some new thermal limiting tech as well. While you are dropping the mechanical keyboard of the X17 here, the price to performance ratio is all the more friendly here and you're still getting the very latest hardware. 


How we test Alienware laptops

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. 


Best Alienware laptops: FAQ

Which Alienware gaming laptop should you buy?

If you're looking in the current generation of Alienware gaming laptops, it's worth noting that the M15 R5 / R6 will be the perfect sweet spot in value for most. It's already stacked out with plenty of room for a powerful configuration, and you're getting a lower price than the previous mainline entry. Plus, you'll be able to pick up a lower spec model for far less cash if you don't think you're going to be playing demanding titles.

However, if you need more room for more substantial components, it's worth checking out the X15 instead. You're getting the new form factor, but also the ability to move up to an i9 processor if you want, as well as up to 4TB of SSD storage. That's a particularly costly spec, but well worth it if you're looking to spend more than $3,000. 

The Alienware X17 is largely reserved for those who don't mind something that will take up far more desk space. This is a large laptop, and one that won't be easily transported. 

How much does an Alienware laptop cost?

The best Alienware laptops can soar in price, especially when outfitted with the latest and greatest components. These are powerful machines with plenty of additional power keeping everything running under the hood, which means you're not exactly picking up a budget buy here. 

The cheapest model in the current lineup is an entry level configuration of the Alienware M15 R6. This machine starts at $1,379.99 / £1,499 for an i7-11800H processor, RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 256GB SSD storage and 8GB RAM. 

Meanwhile, the new X line pushing things into a more premium category. The Alienware X15 starts at $2,099.99 / £2,149 and the X17 model sits at $2,199.99 / £2,299. 

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. 

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.