“The Alienware x14 takes the idea of a compact laptop additional than ever earlier than.”
- Extremely skinny
- Plenty of ports in again
- Stable efficiency
- Wonderful construct high quality
- Snug keyboard
- Restricted to RTX 3060
- Wrist rests are too small
- Thick, plastic bezels
Competitors for the lightest and thinnest gaming laptop has by no means been tighter. However Alienware has taken the crown with the Alienware x14, which defies something that has come earlier than it in dimension, together with choices just like the Razer Blade 14 or ROG Zephyrus G14.
It’s clear the Alienware x14 does one thing no different gaming laptop can do. The one drawback? The quantity of individuals that will commerce a couple of millimeters for greater body charges is perhaps smaller than Alienware thinks.
|Dimensions||12.66 inches x 10.35 inches x 0.57 inches|
|Weight||3.96 kilos (as much as 4.06)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-12700H
Intel Core i7-12900H
|Graphics||Nvidia RTX 3050 4GB
Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti 4GB
Nvidia RTX 3060 6GB
16GB or 4800MHz, 5200MHz (with RTX 3060), 32GB 5200MHz (with RTX 3060)
|Show||14.0-inch FHD (1920 x 1080), 144Hz 7ms, G-Sync, Superior Optimus|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB|
|Wi-fi||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2|
|Webcam||720p, Home windows Hey IR webcam|
|Working system||Home windows 11 Dwelling or Professional|
Insanely skinny and light-weight
The Alienware x14 isn’t simply gentle. It’s tiny. The chassis is simply 0.57 inches thick, which is as skinny because the Floor Laptop computer 4. And keep in mind: it is a gaming laptop. Contemplating the graphics card this factor has inside, that’s fairly an achievement. Taking it from room to room is a breeze, as is tossing it in your bag. The scale definitely comes with some compromises, however that doesn’t make this cutting-edge design any much less of an engineering marvel.
What are the compromises for a gaming laptop this skinny? Nicely, your thoughts most likely goes to efficiency first, as did mine. The concept the Alienware x14 may truly produce some first rate gaming efficiency appears downright not possible contemplating how skinny it’s. However it dealt with its highly effective elements higher than I believed it could.
It has an RTX 3060 beneath the hood, in addition to an Intel Core i7-12900H. That is the maxed-out configuration, which is available in at $1,750 and in addition consists of 16GB of LPDDR5 and a 1TB SSD. Usually, I’d think about these first rate specs for a gaming laptop, particularly within the midrange territory.
However the Alienware x14 is not any price range laptop. It nonetheless is available in at $150 cheaper than the Razer Blade 14, however the worth, design, and construct high quality all scream “premium.” That’s makes the vary of GPU choices disappointing. Paying $1,400 for a measly RTX 3050 appears like fairly a stretch.
And there’s an necessary motive why the Alienware x14 is restricted to only the RTX 3060: the ports. As a substitute of a standard barrel charger, the Alienware x14 is powered by only a single USB-C port. Relating to devoted gaming laptops, that’s a primary. On one hand, it’s handy for these of us who love the universality of USB-C. However it does imply an RTX 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti is off the desk.
Like the remainder of the ports, the USB-C port is situated within the again, leaving just some vents alongside the perimeters of the chassis. Whereas the providing of ports is every little thing you may want, the positioning of the headphone jack within the again feels inconvenient. It’s somewhat cumbersome to run your wired headphones to the again, particularly since it may possibly simply get caught within the hinge. I can’t complain concerning the clear edges, although – it offers the gadget a really glossy look.
Good efficiency, with a caveat
If you happen to get the RTX 3060 mannequin, you’ll get simply sufficient gaming efficiency to make it well worth the cash. In 3DMark Time Spy, the Alienware x14 is definitely the best-scoring laptop with the RTX 3060 we’ve examined, together with the HP Victus 16, Dell XPS 17, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 4.
That’s a great signal, however there’s a motive this laptop solely comes with a 1080p display screen. Even at that decision, you possibly can solely count on lighter video games like Civilization VI to recover from 60 frames per second (fps). In the meantime, heavier video games like Murderer’s Creed Valhalla and Pink Useless Redemption 2 land proper round 60 fps. These video games nonetheless look and play effectively, thoughts you, simply not sufficient to take full use of the 144Hz show.
Fortnite is an instance of the form of sport the Alienware x14 was made for. It runs at a mean of 72 fps at Epic settings. Need much more velocity? Transfer the settings all the way down to Excessive and also you’ll get body charges as excessive as 89 fps — all with out shedding an excessive amount of graphical constancy.
|Razer Blade 14
|Predator Triton 300 SE
|3DMark Time Spy||7662||8605||6038|
|Civilization VI||117 fps||111 fps||84 fps|
|Fortnite||72 fps||96 fps||78 fps|
|Murderer’s Creed Valhalla||60 fps||60 fps||50 fps|
|Pink Useless Redemption 2||56 fps||n/a||n/a|
We don’t have one other gaming laptop with the precise specs because the Alienware x14. The Triton 300 SE is an identical laptop, however the final one we examined was an Intel Eleventh-gen mannequin, which explains a few of the decrease efficiency in CPU-dependent video games like Civilization VI and Murderer’s Creed Valhalla. In comparison with non-gaming laptops just like the Dell XPS 17 or the Asus Zenbook Professional 16X with the identical graphics, the Alienware x14 is a greater performer in video games.
And because of the standard of the Alienware x14’s panel, video games and different media actually do look sharp. It’s a really colourful display screen, hitting 91% of the AdobeRGB shade gamut. It’s additionally an expertly calibrated display screen, with a Delta-E of simply 0.6. This is among the finest 1080p panels I’ve ever examined, so kudos to Alienware for going above and past.
The Alienware x14 performs effectively in non-gaming eventualities.
Nonetheless, enjoying video games on a higher-resolution display screen is definitely preferable, particularly in video games that emphasis the richness of the visuals. The 1440p 165Hz display screen on the Razer Blade 14 is the extra spectacular gaming expertise, nevertheless it’ll value you $2,600. That’s hardly a good comparability to the Alienware x14, which is available in beneath $2,000, even with a maxed-out configuration.
The Alienware x14 performs effectively in non-gaming eventualities too. My review unit used the Core i7-12700H, paired with an pointless 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. Throughout taxing workflows, the followers ramp up quick, even within the default Balanced thermal setting. The result’s quite a lot of fan noise, however spectacular CPU efficiency. It’s solely round 8% slower than the Dell XPS 17 in duties like video encoding. Purchase the Alienware x14 to sport on, however you probably have some aspect initiatives that contain the Adobe Inventive Suite, the efficiency of this laptop received’t get in the best way.
Odds and ends
You possible need to use the Alienware x14 for extra than simply video games, and fortuitously, it’s a well-made, considerate design for getting work performed too.
There are some small usability issues to say concerning the Alienware x14. First, it has a wonderful keyboard, each for typing and gaming. Keypresses really feel tight and exact, and the keycaps don’t wiggle. I recognize having media buttons separated over on the appropriate of the format too. The RGB lighting is a bit lackluster all through although, with simply single-zone backlighting on the keyboard and nothing on the ring across the vents within the again. This doesn’t trouble me, however if you would like extra customizable lighting, you’ll need to go for the Alienware x15 or x17.
Choosing a 16:10 facet ratio display screen would have shrunk the bezels down.
The touchpad works effectively, however I had some points with palm rejection infrequently. It’s somewhat small too, as are the palm rests. Transferring the keyboard and touchpad away from the hinge permits for higher cooling of the elements beneath, however they make for an uncomfortable place to place your wrist.
The 720p webcam isn’t the perfect, however the inclusion of a Home windows Hey IR camera is a unbelievable characteristic that’s nonetheless unusual in gaming laptops. Talking of the webcam, the Alienware x14 has some pretty tacky-looking plastic bezels that body the skin of the display screen. The underside bezel is especially massive — and it’s a little bit of an eyesore. Choosing a 16:10 facet ratio display screen would have solved this drawback, which is what laptops just like the Predator Triton 300 SE have.
Battery life is nothing to jot down dwelling about. Like many gaming laptops, it’ll final round 5 hours on a really gentle load, and only some you probably have a extra concerned multitasking setup going. Probably due to the usage of its AMD processor, the Razer Blade 14 is the one competitor that’ll final round three extra hours than the Alienware x14 on a single cost.
It’s spectacular, nevertheless it’s not for everybody
Alienware made the very best gaming laptop it may at this dimension. It didn’t come with out some compromises, after all, however as long as you purchase a higher-end configuration, you’ll nonetheless get first rate gaming efficiency. If you happen to care extra about greater body charges than dimension although, you’ll discover a higher stability in laptops just like the ROG Zephyrus G14 or Razer Blade 14 — each of that are nonetheless fairly small in comparison with the common gaming laptop.
The Razer Blade 14 has extra on supply with its cleaner design, extra intensive GPU choices, and higher battery life. To me, that’s price the additional $150.
However for these that can love the intense portability the Alienware x14 affords, you’ll be impressed by what this little factor can do. Simply be certain to no less than go for the RTX 3060 mannequin.