CES 2023 has brought with it a whole host of new Alienware gaming laptops, and there's plenty new to celebrate this year. Whether you've been eyeing up some new RTX 40-Series graphics cards, or old faithful is starting to buckle under today's releases, it's well worth checking out what's on the horizon for one of the biggest brands in PC gaming.
Dell's CES 2023 announcements covered both the Alienware X-Series and M-Series of gaming laptops, dropping brand new releases in its existing lines and refreshing one of the newest additions to the gang. The bottom line, though? It's all about size. Rather than reinventing its 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch entries, Alienware has opted to split the difference and bring new 16-inch and 18-inch models to market. The latter monster seems to be a growing trend for this year, with Acer also taking its 18-inch Predator Helios to market in 2023 as well. From the dizzying heights of the Alienware M18 to the luxury of the X16, there's a lot to dive into here.
Dell produces some of the best gaming laptops on the market already, but it's well-known that even the best Alienware laptops can sacrifice comfortable temperatures for raw horsepower. Last year, Dell developed its cooling systems further, and 2023 takes things to new heights, with Element 31 being applied to both the CPU and GPU in a variety of new configurations and even the dinky x14 R2 chipping in with a Smart Fan system. Such advancements in efficiency have been matched by that typical horsepower, with RTX 40-Series (the 4090 looks to be making its way to the x16) and new generation Intel and AMD processors keeping everything ticking over as well. Whether Dell's caught up with its power-hungry components in its thermal management remains to be seen.
Overall, though, there's some exciting gear in the arsenal for 2023, with high-end configurations all marked on the calendar for Q1.
The most impressive newcomer is the Alienware x16, a middle-man between the existing x17 R2 and x15 R2 models that brings the line well and truly into 2023. Featuring a new Legend 3 design with a Lunar Silver colorway up for grabs, the RTX 4090-capable machine sports a 16:10 aspect ratio with a new 240Hz QHD+ resolution on offer.
Add in Intel's new 13th generation processors and all that RTX 40-Series power, and you've got yourself a particularly impressive machine. However, the most immediately noticeable upgrade is that AlienFX-enabled precision touchpad. 15% larger than that of the 17.3-inch model, RGB touchpads were a statement feature when the X-Series first launched, though were only available on top-end configurations. Abandoned in the second round of machines, this attention-grabbing feature looks to be back for 2023, though we don't know yet if all models will offer such illumination.
The Alienware x16 also has another tool in its arsenal - audio. Dell has announced that there will be six speakers in every configuration, including two upfiring tweeters and a dual-woofer in the bass ranges as well - all paired with Dolby certification.
The first round of high-end x16 laptops will launch in Q1 2023 offering Intel and Nvidia configurations at $3,099. Entry level models will follow later with prices starting at $2,149.99.
Don't fancy shelling out for that luxury aesthetic? The Alienware M16 takes the sturdy yet powerful M-Series to a new form factor with its 2023 debut. Dell has announced the middle child to its line at this year's CES event, with the 16-incher offering up 13th generation Intel and the latest AMD Ryzen processors and next-gen Nvidia GeForce RTX / AMD Radeon GPUs. It's not just a matter of size, though, there are some significant performance upgrades under the hood here.
Alienware's Element 31 thermal paste is now applied to both the CPU and GPU to help with heat dissipation, with both components covered by a larger vapor chamber to keep that temperature even lower as well. With four ultra-thin fans in the chassis, Dell estimates that it's increased internal airflow by nearly 25%. The M16 will also ship with user-replaceable DDR5 RAM and configurations range up to four M.2 SSDs, netting you a max of 9TB storage.
A 16:10 aspect ratio accompanies a QHD+ resolution with either 165Hz or 240Hz refresh rates available on the majority of configurations. If you're looking to push the boat out, the M16 also boasts an impressive 480Hz option as well, though pricing is yet to be revealed. A new FHD webcam, improved hinge, and Cherry MX ultra-low profile mechanical keyboard option are all present and accounted for as well.
The Alienware M16 will launch in high-end configurations in Q1 2023, starting at $2,599. Additional options will follow later, with entry-level prices starting at $1,899.
Then we hit the biggun. The Alienware M18 marks Dell's first move beyond the previous 17.3-inch form factor. This is a massive 18-inch machine, threatening to just nudge the seams of your backpack a little further, all in the name of incredible power and efficiency. Under the hood, you're picking up the same components as the M16 above, with plenty more space to let all those pieces breathe.
The draw here is that big screen treatment, and the additional cooling and performance benefits found in larger machines by default. The only other difference between the two announcements (as far as we've found so far) is that the M18 will ship with two keyboard options rather than three, doing away with the budget single-zone RGB model.
Again, the Alienware M18 will launch in high-end Intel and Nvidia configurations in Q1, starting at $2,899. Later, cheaper, builds will be available from $2,099.
Alienware x14 R2
Last year, Dell introduced the Alienware x14 - a supremely thin gaming laptop with the same luxurious design as its larger siblings but without any of the additional heft. CES 2023 has offered up the next iteration, offering the same minute form factor but with extra attention paid to cooling. Similar to the larger models above, Element 31 is now used on both the CPU and GPU to keep things moving smoothly, though the x14 R2 only offers this upgrade in certain (read pricier) configurations.
You're still covered even if you drop this extra feature, though, the x14 R2 also employs what Alienware calls 'Smart Fan' control. The individual fans within the chassis can work independently, at different rates, depending on readings from sensors within the machine.
While the x14 doesn't exactly pack the most powerful graphics cards (there'd be no space for them), it's still an excellent addition to an already zippy machine. Dell has also upped the x14's audio quality, offering Dolby Atmos certification on all models, and boosted the display to offer a 16:10 QHD+ resolution in the lineup as well. You can still expect 13th generation Intel processors, but there's no word on an AMD option at the moment, as well as GeForce RTX graphics.
The Alienware x14 R2 will launch with Intel and Nvidia entry-level specs at $1,799 in Q1.
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