Review Alienware 18 Notebook

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 09/28/2013

Superlatives. Alienware does not make any compromises with its latest 18-inch monster. You can not only select the best mobile quad-core processors in the configurator but also the fastest high-end graphics cards. The manufacturer also combines two of these models for a dual GPU system to increase the performance even further. Continue reading to find out whether the high price is justified.

Alienware branding

For the original German review, see here.

We already mentioned that the customer can customize the Alienware 18. You can choose between different components depending on the base configuration you select. 

The cheapest Alienware 18 is the standard configuration for 2,200 Euros (~$2975) with 8 GB RAM, a Core i7-4700MQ, a 750 GB hard drive, a DVD burner as well as two GeForce GTX 765M GPUs. We already reviewed the latter combination in the Schenker XMG P723.

More powerful but also more expensive is the next model in line for around 2,500 Euros (~$3381). While the processor, memory and optical drive are identical, you get an additional 64 GB mSATA SSD (only SSD cache). Graphics are handled by two GeForce GTX 770M in SLI that we could not review yet. If you can spend even more money, you can also get the configuration for 3,000 Euros (~$4057) with a Core i7-4800MQ, 16 GB RAM and Blu-ray drive. The other components are similar to the less expensive version. 

Our review unit is based on the top configuration, which starts at 3,150 Euros (~$4260) at the time of this review and has been massively upgraded by the manufacturer. Instead of a Core i7-4900MQ, you get the extremely powerful Core i7-4930MX CPU. Other differences are the storage solution (512 GB mSATA SSD), the operating system (Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) and the graphics card (GeForce GTX 780M SLI). Retail price: 4,260 Euros (~$5761).

Dell (parent group) frequently changes the hardware options, so the mentioned configurations and prices could already differ by now. All models use the same 18.4-inch Full HD display with a glossy surface and ultra-wide viewing angles (Super PLS). The manufacturer also deserves credit for the large 8-cell battery.

Case

dignified chassis
dignified chassis

The Alienware 18 is a rather large device. The case is also very bulky and very heavy with dimensions of 457 x 328 x 58 millimeters (~18 x 13 x 2.3 inches) and a weight of almost 5.5 kilograms (~12.1 pounds). 

Because of the consistent design, there are many similarities with the smaller siblings. Just like the Alienware 14 and Alienware 17, the 18-inch version also has an extremely high-quality display cover, which is made of anodized aluminum according to the official specifications. The manufacturer uses a soft rubberized surface for the display bezel and the area around the keyboard. You should only see fingerprints if you have very greasy fingers. A big drawback of the dark colors is the high visibility of dust particles.  

Otherwise, the case leaves a great impression. The excellent build quality is typical for Alienware and is clearly superior to many competitors. Only the Asus G750 leaves a similarly good quality impression.

Despite the rather futuristic design, we prefer it over the predecessor. Compared to the M18x R2, the new version is a bit more dignified and less playful. The stability however did not change. Thanks to the bulky construction, you cannot really dent it anywhere. Only the keyboard and the touchpad can be slightly pushed in. 

Other characteristic features are the laser engraved nameplate and the extensive illumination. Besides the manufacturer's branding and the two lines on the display cover, you can also light up the input devices and the entire base unit. The preinstalled Command Center (see screenshots further below) enables the wildest color combinations

A few words about the hinges: Alienware integrated a very firm opening mechanism so you will have to hold the base unit down when you open the display cover. The notebook is intended for stationary operation; we cannot recommend frequent transport because of its sheer size. 

Illumination Alienware 18
Illumination Alienware 18
Illumination Alienware 18
Illumination Alienware 18

Connectivity

Ports

Even though the connectivity was reduced (no VGA, eSATA, S/PDIF & ExpressCard), users can look forward to a comprehensive port variety. Starting at the right side we get an RJ-45 Gigabit LAN port in the rear area and two USB 3.0 ports. Further at the front is the stylish slot-in drive, which is accompanied by a 9 in 1 card reader. 

The majority of ports are on the left side of the case. Alienware did not only integrate a mini DisplayPort and three stereo jacks but also two more USB 3.0 ports. The power connector is surrounded by a Kensington Lock and an HDMI port. Excellent: The digital video port can also be used as an input and transfer 7.1 sound. Except for the stereo jacks, there is no criticism with the port layout.

Most of the ports are in the rear area so you should not have any problems with attached peripherals like a mouse. The connectivity is completed by a 2 megapixel webcam and two digital microphones (each above the display)

Communication

A product from Broadcom handles all wireless communications. Besides WLAN, the notebook also supports Bluetooth 4.0. Our range test did not show the best results for the adaptor. There was often only one bar with a distance of 15 meters (~49 feet/several walls); other competitors are better in this regard.

Wired networks can be used with the Killer e2200 controller. According to the homepage, the product was optimized for online gaming and media streaming. Especially gamers should benefit from the prioritization of latency-sensitive applications.

Front: Speaker grilles
Front: Speaker grilles
Back: Fan exhausts
Back: Fan exhausts
Left side: Kensington Lock, power, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, 3x sound
Left side: Kensington Lock, power, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, 3x sound
Right side: Slot-in drive, 9 in 1 card reader, 2x USB 3.0, RJ-45 Gigabit LAN
Right side: Slot-in drive, 9 in 1 card reader, 2x USB 3.0, RJ-45 Gigabit LAN

Maintenance

Hardly any notebook is as easy to maintain as the Alienware 18. You just have to remove three screws and two bottom covers to gain access to almost all important components.

While the battery is secured with two screws, the optical drive and the hard drive bay (2x 2.5-inch) are fixed with four screws. Between the three case fans are also an mSATA slot and two memory slots. The wireless module and the secondary memory slots (four memory slots for up to 32 GB) should be beneath the keyboard.

Preinstalled software
Preinstalled software

Software

The manufacturer preinstalls several applications, drivers and tools without exaggerating it. Besides AlienAutopsy (system information) and AlienRespawn (backup and recovery), there is also the already mentioned Command Center. There are several tabs for the case illumination, energy-saving features and adjusting the touchpad as well as macro keys.

A flash player and a PDF reader are also preinstalled. Thanks to Cyberlink PowerDVD 9.6 you will not have to buy special software for Blu-ray playback. 

AlienFX
AlienFX
AlienFusion
AlienFusion
AlienTouch
AlienTouch
AlienTactX
AlienTactX
AlienAdrenaline
AlienAdrenaline
AlienRespawn
AlienRespawn

Accessories

The times of extensive goodies (base cap, leather manual and mouse pad) at Alienware are over for environmental reasons. The scope of delivery is nonetheless quite extensive compared to many other notebooks. The box contains a quick start guide, safety information, an applications DVD and a resource DVD. 

If you order your device with Windows 7, you will also get an additional recovery DVD. You can also create your own backup if you want to or use the recovery partition on the hard drive. The large 330-Watt power supply unit occupies a lot of space: 197 x 97 x 42 millimeters (~7.8 x 3.8 x 1.7 inches) and 1,330 grams (~2.9 pounds) clearly surpass a standard PSU. 

Warranty

The 12-month warranty can be extended to 24, 36 or 48 months (180-380 Euros, ~$243-514). Dell uses terms like In-Home-ServiceNext Business Day Service and Premium Phone Support. You can also purchase accident protection for an additional charge (55-175 Euros, ~$74-237).

Main
Advanced
Performance Option
Wireless
Security
Boot
Legacy Boot
UEFI Boot
BIOS screens Alienware 18

Input Devices

Keyboard

Alienware does not rest on its laurels in regard to the input devices, either. Instead of angled and convex keys, you now get sharper-edged and boxier keys that show similarities to the Clevo barebones P170SM (One K73-3N) and P177SM (Schenker XMG P703). 

A direct comparison shows that the Alienware keyboard is softer and a bit spongy, but that does not mean that the input device lacks precision. The typing experience is very good in our opinion. This verdict is based not least on the good key size (~18 x 18 millimeters) and the reasonable noise development. 

It takes time to get used to the five macro keys. They are at the left edge and can be assigned with three commands each. You might accidentally hit the wrong key at the beginning because of the shifted main keyboard. The layout is otherwise stylish. 

The quadrifid numeric keypad is an enrichment, just like the shifted arrow keys and the convenient comfort features. You can use the F-keys to control the display, the wireless module, the speakers, the optical drive, the HDMI input and the illumination. 

Concerning illumination: Alienware is one of the few manufacturers that split up the keyboard into four zones that can be illuminated with different colors. The feature would be perfect if we could regulate the intensity. 

Keyboard illuminated
Keyboard illuminated
Touchpad illuminated
Touchpad illuminated

Touchpad

The touchpad leaves a very good impression. Thanks to the slight indentation and the extensive illumination (is automatically deactivated after a while) you can also locate the mouse replacement in a completely dark environment.

Another advantage is the smooth surface with excellent gliding capabilities. Dimensions of 100 x 56 millimeters (~3.9 x 2.2 inches) are also respectable but we are not sure why the manufacturer did not integrate an even larger unit if you consider the large palm rest.

It is also strange that only a few of the supported multi-touch gestures are activated ex-works (for example zooming). If you want to browse comfortably through documents, you will have to activate that option in the touchpad driver. Besides a classic scroll bar in the peripheral area there is also a two-finger gesture. The touchpad is typical in terms of precision; inputs are usually executed without problems or delays

No surprise for Alienware experts: The dedicated mouse buttons have a very soft pressure point or stroke, respectively, and are very similar to the keyboard. 

Keyboard not illuminated
Keyboard not illuminated
Touchpad not illuminated
Touchpad not illuminated

Display

The picture quality meets the requirements of the high retail price. Contrary to the current anti-glare trend, Alienware integrates a glossy panel with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The manufacturer speaks of a WLED panel that is supposed to have modest energy consumption and high color stability. 

306
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
342
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 342 cd/m²
Average: 314.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 342 cd/m²
Black: 0.38 cd/m²
Contrast: 900:1
Distribution of brightness

There is definitely no criticism with the basic qualities. An average brightness of 315 cd/m² is very good, just like the black value of 0.38 cd/m². Only very dark passages show a slight but not annoying shade of gray. A contrast ratio of 900:1 also confirms the premium claim of the notebook.

The interesting values for professional users (gamma, saturation, color accuracy...) cannot quite keep up with the Alienware 14, but are still significantly better than many rivals. Just compare our CalMAN screenshots with the Toshiba Qosmio X70 (AUO209D) or the MSI GS70 Stealth (Chi Mei N173HGE) and you will see the difference. 

Alienware 18 vs. sRGB (grid)
Alienware 18 vs. sRGB (grid)
Alienware 18 vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
Alienware 18 vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
Alienware 18 vs. Alienware M18x R2 (grid)
Alienware 18 vs. Alienware M18x R2 (grid)
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker

Outdoor use is not really a strong suit of the Alienware 18. You have to deal with many annoying reflections because of the glossy display surface. This is not completely compensated for by the high luminance. Depending on the daylight and the angle, you will even have to live with reflections indoors. This is obviously no problem at night. 

Outdoor use Alienware 18
Outdoor use Alienware 18
Outdoor use Alienware 18

The viewing angle stability on the other hand is excellent. The picture below proves that there are only minor distortions for horizontal as well as vertical angles. You might believe Alienware integrated an IPS display, but that is not the case. 

Viewing angles Alienware 18
Viewing angles Alienware 18

Performance

Haswell
Haswell

Processor

The processor is a high-end model based on Intel's latest Haswell architecture. You can choose between the affordable Core i7-4700MQ (2.4-3.4 GHz) up to the wickedly expensive Core i7-4930MX (3.0-3.9 GHz), which is also integrated in our review unit. 

Intel specifies the TDP of the quad-core CPU with 57 Watts to enable the high clocks. That is 10 Watts more than the less expensive siblings. The eight MB L3 cache is similar to the Core i7-4900MQ (2.8-3.8 GHz) while the Core i7-4700MQ and Core i7-4800MQ (2.7-3.7 GHz) are only equipped with 6 MB. All processors share the same manufacturing process: Like its Haswell siblings, the Core i7-4930MX is also produced in 22 nm

Intel's Hyperthreading technology is also supported: The processor simulates four virtual cores and can execute up to eight threads simultaneously. The main feature of the Core i7-4930MX however is the free multiplier, which makes overclocking very easy. 

System information CPUZ CPU
System information CPUZ Cache
System information CPUZ Mainboard
System information CPUZ Memory
System information CPUZ SPD
System information GPUZ
System information GPU driver
System information HWiNFO
System information CrystalDiskMark (SSD)
System information CrystalDiskMark (HDD)
System information HD Tune (HDD)
System information DPC Latency
System information Alienware 18

Turbo Boost

Unfortunately, our review unit cannot use its full Turbo Boost potential. While the CPU worked with 3.1-4.0 GHz in single-core benchmarks, it only ran with 3.2 GHz in multi-core benchmarks. This result is sobering and not even close to the alleged potential of the Core i7-4930MX. It could reach up to 3.7 GHz in theory; 3.2 GHz are comparable to a Core i7-4700MQ.

If you spend that much money for a processor, you can expect the corresponding performance or the CPU upgrade makes no sense. We will have to wait and see if Alienware fixes this issue; some benchmark results show a negative impact of the limited Turbo Boost. 

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

CPU Performance

The Core i7-4930MX gets a good result in the Single CPU Test of Cinebench R11.5. 1.85 points for the top version are around 9% faster than the Core i7-4900MQ (1.70 points @ Schenker XMG P703) and 13% faster than the Core i7-4800MQ (1.64 points @ One K73-3N). The entry-level Core i7-4700MQ even falls behind by almost 20% (1.51 points @ DevilTech Fragbook DTX).

The situation changes in the Multi CPU Test, which is a bigger challenge for the notebook. Because of the comparatively low clock the Core i7-4930MX only manages 6.97 points. Despite its lower nominal clocks, the Core i7-4700MQ is actually on the same performance level (6.91 points @ Toshiba Qosmio X70). We should see around 7.5-8.0 points from the 57-Watt CPU under ideal conditions. 

We recommend you get a Core i7-4800MQ at most since the expensive models do not offer a good price performance ratio anyway.

Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
Core i7-4930MX
Alienware 18
25287 Points ∼71%
Core i7-4900MQ
Schenker XMG P703
25752 Points ∼72% +2%
Core i7-4800MQ
Schenker XMG P723
26702 Points ∼75% +6%
Core i7-4700MQ
Toshiba Qosmio X70
24617 Points ∼69% -3%
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
Core i7-4930MX
Alienware 18
7854 Points ∼32%
Core i7-4900MQ
Schenker XMG P703
7395 Points ∼30% -6%
Core i7-4800MQ
Schenker XMG P723
7225 Points ∼29% -8%
Core i7-4700MQ
Toshiba Qosmio X70
6650 Points ∼27% -15%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7854 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
25287 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6827 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.85 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.97 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
82.03 fps
Help

Graphics

SLI
SLI
GPU Boost
GPU Boost

The 18-inch notebook is equipped with two Nvidia graphics cards (Kepler architecture). Besides the GeForce GTX 765M SLI, Alienware also offers the significantly more powerful versions GTX 770M SLI and GTX 780M SLI. The latter was eagerly awaited by the community. That is no surprise when you have a look at the outstanding specifications of this high-end system.

1,536 CUDA cores are just as enormous as the 3.54 billion transistors and the 4,096 MB GDDR5 video memory (256-bit interface). Even though the core clock of 823 is comparable to the GTX 765M (850 MHz) and GTX 770M (811 MHz), the GTX 780M can manage a comfortable lead. It supports the GPU Boost technology and can raise its clock up to 850 MHz under load. 

This performance is even further increased by the second 28 nm GPU; however, the customer will have to live with the drawbacks of a dual GPU system. High driver dependency, huge energy consumption and demand for cooling as well as micro stutters: The Alienware 18 is not perfect for everybody. 

Especially new games might not have an associated SLI profile in the driver yet. The notebook might even be slower than a single GPU system in the worst case. However, only four of our 32 tested games were affected (Rome IICompany of Heroes 2Dirt: Showdown & F1 2012), which translates to 12.5%. This good result cannot be reached by the main rival AMD. 

Concerning the driver: Our review unit came with ForceWare 326.45 preinstalled. It is a current driver and should be somewhere between the official ForceWare 320.49 and the beta driver 326.80 in regard to the state of development. During this review, Nvidia released version 327.23.

7.6
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7.6
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.8
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
7.9
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
7.9
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
7.9

GPU Performance

The SLI system has a clear advantage over single GPUs in the synthetic benchmarks. A good example is Unigine Heaven 3.0 with 1920x1080 pixels, high details and normal tessellation. 133 fps for the Alienware 18 are not only remarkable but also 70% ahead of a single GTX 780M (76.8 fps @ One K73-3N). Two GeForce GTX 765 cards are even slower (66.7 fps @ Schenker XMG P723). Only a dual GPU system with two Radeon HD 8970M GPUs can almost keep up with the SLI system; the AMD duo is only 8% behind (One K73-3S). 

As expected, the performance in the latest 3DMark Fire Strike is not as good. The Radeon HD 8970M CrossFire is slightly ahead of the Nvidia competition with the beta driver 13.8 (GPU score: 10,354 vs. 10,091 points). Two GTX 765M are just as far behind with 5,351 points as a single GTX 780M (5,744 points).

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
14005 Points ∼89%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
7900 Points ∼50% -44%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
7897 Points ∼50% -44%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
12361 Points ∼78% -12%
3DMark Vantage - 1280x1024 P GPU no PhysX
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
43566 Points ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
27823 Points ∼64% -36%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
25748 Points ∼59% -41%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
38373 Points ∼88% -12%
3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
27957 points
3DMark Vantage36004 points
3DMark 1111960 points
3DMark Ice Storm140412 points
3DMark Cloud Gate22190 points
3DMark Fire Strike8009 points
Help

Storage Solution

AS SSD Benchmark
AS SSD Benchmark

Alienware equipped our review unit with two hard drives, a 750 GB HDD and a 512 GB SSD. The Samsung SSD SM841 is a very compact mSATA drive that competes with the 840- and 840 Pro-series (each 2.5-inch).

According to the AS SSD Benchmark, the small mSATA version does not have to hide behind its bigger siblings - quite the contrary. It is even faster than the standard SSD 840 (514 & 331 MB/s @ One K56-3N2) with 515 MB/s (sequential reading) and 425 MB/s (sequential writing). The performance is also very good with small data blocks. 

The Alienware 18 does not disappoint when it comes to the access times either: 0.07 and 0.05 ms (read/write), respectively, are excellent. The LiteOn LMT-256M6M in the Alienware 14 cannot keep up in many disciplines and "only" manages an overall score of 901 instead of 1,055 points. In short, the Samsung SSD SM841 is a good choice

All configurations of the high-end notebook are shipped with a 7,200-rpm Western Digital WD7500BPKT-75PK4T0. Despite the old magnetic storage technology, the 750 GB hard drive offers surprisingly high performance. Maximum transfer rates (read & write) of up to 130MB/s (CrystalDiskMark) are very respectable for a conventional HDD. The combination of an mSATA SSD and a classic HDD not only results in a great system performance for the Alienware but also enough storage for your personal data. 

Samsung SSD SM841 512GB
Sequential Read: 526.1 MB/s
Sequential Write: 435 MB/s
512K Read: 471.7 MB/s
512K Write: 441.1 MB/s
4K Read: 33.78 MB/s
4K Write: 84.14 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 386 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 276.9 MB/s

System Performance

We can see that the Alienware 18 is one of the most powerful notebooks on the market when we have a look at the system benchmarks. Especially the SSD improves the results significantly. 21,000 points in PC Mark Vantage and 5,740 points in PCMark 7 are comparable to other desktop replacements like the Asus G750JHBullman C-Class 5Deviltech Fragbook DTX or MSI GT70H.

PC Mark
PCMark Vantage21900 points
PCMark 75740 points
Help

Gaming Performance

almost all games with maximum details
almost all games with maximum details

We already expected it: The 18-inch notebook can take the performance crown in almost every game. Even complex titles ran smoothly with maximum details and activated anti-aliasing, at least if an SLI profile was available. A performance below 40 fps is more the exception than the rule. 

Even very demanding titles like Metro: Last LightCrysis 3Hitman: Absolution or Far Cry 3 are no problem for the notebook. Issues with micro stutters were rare, the experience was usually very smooth and older or less demanding games ran with more than 100 fps (Borderlands 2Counter Strike: Global OffensiveFIFA 13DishonoredCall of Duty: Black Ops 2Dead Space 3 and many more).

If you combine all gaming benchmarks, you can see that the SLI system improves the performance by around 40%. This is not bad but not overwhelming either. For comparison, the significantly less expensive Radeon HD 8970M CF (only 9% slower on average) showed a performance increase of 33%. However, Nvidia also offers the better driver support. Contrary to the One K73-3S, there were almost no problems with the Alienware 18 (crashes, graphic issues, performance drops...).

Another reason for the comparatively small advantage of the GeForce GTX 780M SLI over the AMD competition should be the CPU limitation in some titles. Both dual GPU systems have so much performance that the processor becomes the limiting factor. The difference gets bigger with the GeForce GTX 765M SLI, which only offers half of the performance. 

You can see all the results in the table below the verdict. 

GPU Overall Performance
GeForce GTX 780M SLI Basis (average of ~30 games)
Radeon HD 8970M CrossFire -9%
GeForce GTX 780M -29%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI -38%
low med.high ultra
Battlefield 3 (2011) 130.9124.283.6fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 101.887.3fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 240.5174.4107fps
Alan Wake (2012) 122.786.6fps
Risen 2: Dark Waters (2012) 112.18882.1fps
Dirt Showdown (2012) 78.673.855.4fps
Max Payne 3 (2012) 88.486.482.1fps
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 139109.472.2fps
Counter-Strike: GO (2012) 263.4261.9257.3fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 57.654.3fps
F1 2012 (2012) 128118100fps
Borderlands 2 (2012) 142.8134.6126.4fps
Fifa 13 (2012) 400.3420.8390.3fps
Dishonored (2012) 130130130fps
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) 606060fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012) 256.4199.4148.6fps
Hitman: Absolution (2012) 64.957.956.2fps
Assassin´s Creed III (2012) 82.381.853.7fps
Far Cry 3 (2012) 120.886.255.6fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 410.4384.1254.2fps
Crysis 3 (2013) 96.37847.2fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 365273.1130.1fps
SimCity (2013) 145.9108.357.1fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 233.5208.594.5fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 104.479.353.7fps
GRID 2 (2013) 143.9134.993.2fps
Company of Heroes 2 (2013) 53.743.620.7fps
Dota 2 (2013) 100.496.3fps
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013) 117.698.670fps
Saints Row IV (2013) 78.968.868.2fps
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013) 121.4105.364.7fps
Total War: Rome II (2013) 170.7131.431.6fps

Emissions

System Noise

Even though the cases are completely different, the noise development reminds us of the M18x R2. Depending on the energy profile and load, the noise varies between hardly audible 30 dB(A) and slightly audible 34 dB(A) during idle. 36 dB(A) during DVD playback are also reasonable.

You can really hear the 18-inch notebook under load (3D applications). 40 dB(A), which we measured in the first scene of 3DMark 06, should only be annoying for sensitive users, especially since the three case fans spin fairly evenly and do not tend to pulsate (Alienware 17).

Other gaming notebooks like the One K73-3N (47 dB(A)) or the Schenker XMG P703 (46 dB(A)) are significantly louder in this scenario. The system noise is comparable to the MSI GT70H (41 dB(A)) and the Toshiba Qosmio X70 (42 dB(A)).

Based on our experiences, the Alienware 18 is neither very quiet nor very loud. You cannot really criticize the Alienware 18 when you consider the performance of the components. The 53 dB(A) below are only the result of the stress test. If you want your gaming notebook to be as quiet as possible you should have a closer look at the Asus G750JH.

Noise Level

Idle 29.6 / 31.3 / 34.2 dB(A)
DVD 36.1 / dB(A)
Load 39.6 / 53.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test (Furmark & Prime)

The temperatures are somewhere between average and good. Let's start with the surface temperatures. We measure 32-33 °C (89.6-91.4 °F) during idle; the One K73-3S (HD 8970M CF) was almost 4 °C cooler (down around ~83 °F) in our review despite its compact construction.

It is a similar situation under load. While the Clevo barebones warms up to 31-32 °C (87.8-89.6 °F) on average after one hour maximum load with the tools FurMark and Prime95, we can measure 35 °C (95 °F, top) and 34 °C (93.2 °F, bottom) for the Alienware 18; the maximum value is 41 °C (105.8 °F). However, the overall temperature development is very modest and even longer gaming sessions should not be a problem. 

The components leave a mixed impression. On the one hand, it is very positive that neither the GPU nor the CPU exceeds 90 °C (194 °F) even under maximum load and level off at around 80 °C (176 °F). However, this is only possible because of the automatic throttling of the components. While the processor dropped to 2.7 GHz (- 300 MHz compared to the nominal clock), the core clock of the GeForce GTX 780M SLI dropped to 614-666 MHz. That is a deficit of 25 and 19%, respectively. 

Similar to many other manufacturers, Alienware pays a little too much attention to the temperatures and does not allow a lot of headroom. At least the benchmark results do not suggest continuous throttling. Our stress test simulates a very impractical scenario, but it is still annoying because the throttling is not really necessary. 

Max. Load
 40.9 °C39.6 °C39.4 °C 
 37.1 °C37.4 °C36.3 °C 
 30.3 °C27.8 °C27.9 °C 
 
38.7 °C39.4 °C39.7 °C
30.6 °C35.2 °C34.0 °C
26.1 °C27.7 °C30.1 °C
Maximum: 40.9 °C
Average: 35.2 °C
 Maximum: 39.7 °C
Average: 33.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  48.7 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-550

Speakers

Dolby Home Theater v4
Dolby Home Theater v4

Alienware uses a 2.1 system, which was designed in cooperation with Klipsch. It consists of two speakers (front of the case) and a subwoofer (bottom). The sound experience of the high-end notebook comes close to the Asus G750JH, but cannot quite keep up with the quality of the MSI GT70H

Besides the excellent maximum volume (even sufficient for large rooms), we want to mention the Dolby Home Theater v4 support; the software comes with individual profiles and an equalizer. You should always activate this technology since it improves the sound quality. 

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Enormous is a good adjective to describe the energy consumption. While a typical single GPU notebook with Nvidia's Optimus technology needs between 10-30 Watts during idle, we measured between 29 and 49 Watts for the 18-inch monster. A Radeon HD 8970M CF system like the Clevo P370SM is on a similar level with 35-46 Watts. 

Both rivals are also very close in 3DMark 06 with 155 vs. 159 Watts. Only maximum load shows the impact of the faster graphics cards and the more powerful processor: 322 Watts are significantly higher compared to the One K73-3S. 

Power consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.6 Watt
Idle 28.8 / 39.0 / 48.8 Watt
Load 155.5 / 321.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Classic Test
minimum runtime (Classic Test)

Similar to our consumption measurements we tested the battery runtimes with activated SLI and activated illumination. Despite the high battery capacity of 86 Wh, the Alienware 18 is not a good choice for longer road trips

Even if you can use it under perfect conditions with minimum display brightness and activated energy-saving features, you will have a hard time exceeding a runtime of 3.5 hours. Two hours DVD playback and 2.5 hours web browsing are also mediocre at best (medium energy saving). 

Gaming sessions with the 18-inch notebook only last for an hour. However, the mobility is probably not the deciding factor for most potential buyers since the Alienware 18 was designed as a desktop replacement

Note: You can also use the integrated graphics card (longer runtimes) if you restart the notebook via Fn + F5. 

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 23min
WiFi Surfing
2h 26min
DVD
1h 54min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 04min

Verdict

Alienware once again lives up to its reputation as a manufacturer of high-end notebooks. The successor of the M18x R2, simply called 18, not only impresses with its dignified design but also with the excellent performance. Nothing comes close to the performance of an SLI system with two GeForce GTX 780M GPUs at the moment. Combined with a quad-core processor and a Solid State Drive the notebook even manages the most demanding applications. The retail price is consequently very high. 

The integrated Super-PLS panel is quite unusual: Saturation, viewing angles and contrast ratio are even superior to some IPS competitors. Other highlights are the adjustable illumination, the generously-sized palm rest and the excellent build quality. This is combined with good upgradeability and maintainability as well as an extensive port variety. 

However, we did not really like the WLAN performance, the size of the power supply unit and the fact that the battery is fixed with screws. The limited mobility is a general problem of a desktop replacement, but the notebook is even very big and heavy for an 18-inch device. The limited Turbo Boost during multi-core applications and throttling under maximum load might also scare off some potential buyers. 

The Alienware 18 would have gotten a very good rating if it had a matte display. It just misses the 88% in this configuration. 

Appendix

Total War: Rome II - 1920x1080 Extreme Preset
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
31.6 fps ∼82%
GeForce GTX 780M (326.80)
Schenker W503
33.9 fps ∼88% +7%
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified - 1920x1080 DX11, High (PhysX Off) AF:16x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
64.7 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (326.80)
Schenker W503
35.2 fps ∼54% -46%
Saints Row IV - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:8x MS AF:16x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
68.2 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (326.80)
Schenker W503
51.9 fps ∼76% -24%
Splinter Cell: Blacklist - 1920x1080 DX11, Ultra / On, Field AO & HBAO AA:4x MS AF:8x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
70 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (326.80)
Schenker W503
41 fps ∼59% -41%
Dota 2 - 1920x1080 High / On, Render Quality: 100 %
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
96.3 fps ∼83%
GeForce GTX 780M (326.80)
Schenker W503
75.7 fps ∼65% -21%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
97.8 fps ∼84% +2%
Company of Heroes 2 - 1920x1080 Maximum / Higher / High AA:High
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
20.7 fps ∼57%
GeForce GTX 780M (320.49)
One K73-3N
23.3 fps ∼64% +13%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
12.3 fps ∼34% -41%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
23.2 fps ∼64% +12%
GRID 2 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
93.2 fps ∼78%
GeForce GTX 780M (320.49)
One K73-3N
71 fps ∼60% -24%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
56.6 fps ∼48% -39%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
110.3 fps ∼93% +18%
Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
53.7 fps ∼87%
GeForce GTX 780M (320.49)
One K73-3N
41 fps ∼66% -24%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
34.4 fps ∼56% -36%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
53 fps ∼86% -1%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
94.5 fps ∼91%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
46.8 fps ∼45% -50%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
49.8 fps ∼48% -47%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
86.1 fps ∼83% -9%
SimCity - 1920x1080 Ultra / High AA:on
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
57.1 fps ∼80%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
40 fps ∼56% -30%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
30.3 fps ∼42% -47%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
47.8 fps ∼67% -16%
Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
130.1 fps ∼92%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
65.5 fps ∼46% -50%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
65.1 fps ∼46% -50%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
126 fps ∼89% -3%
Crysis 3 - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:2xSM AF:16x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
47.2 fps ∼90%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
29.2 fps ∼56% -38%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
23.4 fps ∼45% -50%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
37.8 fps ∼72% -20%
Dead Space 3 - 1920x1080 Very High Preset
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
254.2 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
143.6 fps ∼56% -44%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
100.8 fps ∼40% -60%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
166.7 fps ∼66% -34%
Far Cry 3 - 1920x1080 DX11 Ultra Preset (HDAO, Enhanced Alpha To Coverage) AA:4x MS
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
55.6 fps ∼87%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
30.4 fps ∼48% -45%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
30.6 fps ∼48% -45%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
51 fps ∼80% -8%
Assassin´s Creed III - 1920x1080 Very High
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
53.7 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
42.9 fps ∼80% -20%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
37.3 fps ∼69% -31%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
32.5 fps ∼61% -39%
Hitman: Absolution - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS AF:16x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
56.2 fps ∼86%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
33.8 fps ∼52% -40%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
29.3 fps ∼45% -48%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
65.4 fps ∼100% +16%
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - 1920x1080 (Extra) High / On, FXAA AA:4xMS
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
148.6 fps ∼94%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
95 fps ∼60% -36%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
94.9 fps ∼60% -36%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
158.2 fps ∼100% +6%
Fifa 13 - 1920x1080 High AA:4xMS
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
390.3 fps ∼98%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
319.2 fps ∼80% -18%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
305.4 fps ∼76% -22%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
213 fps ∼53% -45%
Borderlands 2 - 1920x1080 (Ultra) High / On (PhysX low) AA:FX AF:8x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
126.4 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
86.6 fps ∼69% -31%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
90.4 fps ∼72% -28%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
119 fps ∼94% -6%
F1 2012 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
100 fps ∼92%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
104 fps ∼95% +4%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
99 fps ∼91% -1%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
69 fps ∼63% -31%
Guild Wars 2 - 1920x1080 All Maximum / On AA:FX
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
54.3 fps ∼97%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
41 fps ∼73% -24%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
42.3 fps ∼76% -22%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
36.6 fps ∼65% -33%
Counter-Strike: GO - 1920x1080 (Very) High, FXAA AA:4x MS AF:8x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
257.3 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
187.4 fps ∼73% -27%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
196.5 fps ∼76% -24%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
127.8 fps ∼50% -50%
Sleeping Dogs - 1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
72.2 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
30.9 fps ∼43% -57%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
33.8 fps ∼47% -53%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
62.5 fps ∼87% -13%
Max Payne 3 - 1920x1080 Very High, DX11 AA:Very High FX AF:8x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
82.1 fps ∼97%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
54 fps ∼64% -34%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
55.3 fps ∼65% -33%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
77.3 fps ∼91% -6%
Dirt Showdown - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
55.4 fps ∼64%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
66 fps ∼76% +19%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
34.1 fps ∼39% -38%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
87 fps ∼100% +57%
Risen 2: Dark Waters - 1920x1080 Ultra / on AA:on AF:8x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
82.1 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
53.7 fps ∼65% -35%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
46.4 fps ∼57% -43%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
71.8 fps ∼87% -13%
Alan Wake - 1920x1080 High Preset AA:4x AF:8x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
86.6 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
52.4 fps ∼61% -39%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
44.3 fps ∼51% -49%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
84.1 fps ∼97% -3%
Anno 2070 - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:on AF:4x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
107 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
72.8 fps ∼68% -32%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
64.3 fps ∼60% -40%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
104.1 fps ∼97% -3%
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:8x AF:16x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
87.3 fps ∼100%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
68.7 fps ∼79% -21%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
64.7 fps ∼74% -26%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
71.6 fps ∼82% -18%
Battlefield 3 - 1920x1080 ultra AA:4x MS AF:16x
GeForce GTX 780M SLI (326.45)
Alienware 18
83.6 fps ∼82%
GeForce GTX 780M (311.27)
Schenker XMG P703
49.2 fps ∼48% -41%
GeForce GTX 765M SLI (320.49)
Schenker XMG P723
43 fps ∼42% -49%
Radeon HD 8970M CF (13.8)
One K73-3S
86.2 fps ∼84% +3%

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In Review: Alienware 18. Courtesy of: Dell Germany.
In Review: Alienware 18. Courtesy of: Dell Germany.

Specifications

Alienware 18

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
:: Memory
16384 MB, 4x 4096 MB SO-DIMM DDR3-RAM PC3-12800 (1600 MHz), 4 slots, up to 32 GB
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI - 4096 MB, Core: 823 MHz, Memory: 1250 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 326.45
:: Display
18.4 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Samsung XJY7J_184HL, Super PLS, WLED, FHD, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Samsung SSD SM841 512GB, 512 GB mSATA + Western Digital WDC WD7500BPKT-75PK4T0, 750 GB, 7200 rpm
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC668 @ Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
4 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x out, 1x in, 1x headset, Card Reader: 9 in 1,
:: Networking
Qualcomm Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Broadcom 802.11ac (n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRWBD CA40N
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 58 x 457 x 328
:: Weight
5.5 kg Power Supply: 1.33 kg
:: Battery
86 Wh Lithium-Ion, 8-cell, 14.8V
:: Price
4260 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 2 MP (Full-HD) with microphone, Speakers: 2.1 (Klipsch, Dolby Home Theater v4), Keyboard Light: yes, PSU: 330 Watts, Applications DVD, Resource DVD, Recovery DVD, Quick Start Guide, Safety information, CyberLink Power DVD 9.6, Command Center, 12-48 Months Warranty

 

The design is similar to its smaller siblings.
The design is similar to its smaller siblings.
The manufacturer combines silver and dark-gray surfaces.
The manufacturer combines silver and dark-gray surfaces.
You can easily remove the maintenance covers.
You can easily remove the maintenance covers.
The 18-inch device is one of the heaviest notebooks at around 5.5 kg.
The 18-inch device is one of the heaviest notebooks at around 5.5 kg.
The maximum opening angle of the display is average.
The maximum opening angle of the display is average.
While the outer surfaces are made of anodized aluminum, ...
While the outer surfaces are made of anodized aluminum, ...
... the inside is rubberized.
... the inside is rubberized.
You have access to the most important components.
You have access to the most important components.
The device stands out from the masses even without the illumination.
The device stands out from the masses even without the illumination.
Most of the ports are on the left side.
Most of the ports are on the left side.
The Blu-ray drive occupies a lot of space at the right side.
The Blu-ray drive occupies a lot of space at the right side.
The stability of the case is very good.
The stability of the case is very good.
Many components can be removed or replaced.
Many components can be removed or replaced.
A conventional hard drive for large data collections.
A conventional hard drive for large data collections.
Windows is preinstalled on a fast mSATA SSD.
Windows is preinstalled on a fast mSATA SSD.
The integrated 7,200 rpm hard drive does not have to hide behind the competition.
The integrated 7,200 rpm hard drive does not have to hide behind the competition.
You can equip the 2.5-inch bay with two hard drives.
You can equip the 2.5-inch bay with two hard drives.
It is very easy to remove the slot-in drive.
It is very easy to remove the slot-in drive.
Alienware integrates a drive from Hitachi LG.
Alienware integrates a drive from Hitachi LG.
The battery is fixed with two screws...
The battery is fixed with two screws...
... and attached to the notebook via cable.
... and attached to the notebook via cable.
86 Wh are quite a lot.
86 Wh are quite a lot.
Four RAM slots for up to 32 GB.
Four RAM slots for up to 32 GB.
Not many manufacturers use a dual GPU system.
Not many manufacturers use a dual GPU system.
A total of three fans take care of the heat.
A total of three fans take care of the heat.
A subwoofer improves the sound experience.
A subwoofer improves the sound experience.
Everybody makes mistakes: The hardware specifications of our review unit were not correct.
Everybody makes mistakes: The hardware specifications of our review unit were not correct.
You can still find the distinctive Alien branding.
You can still find the distinctive Alien branding.
A Full HD webcam is surrounded by two microphones.
A Full HD webcam is surrounded by two microphones.
The display frame could have been a bit thinner.
The display frame could have been a bit thinner.
It is really hard to criticize the design.
It is really hard to criticize the design.
The soft touch finish is a matter of taste.
The soft touch finish is a matter of taste.
Have you ever seen such a large palm rest?
Have you ever seen such a large palm rest?
The macro keys are a nice feature but you have to get used to them.
The macro keys are a nice feature but you have to get used to them.
The arrow keys are slightly shifted.
The arrow keys are slightly shifted.
The touchpad could have been even bigger.
The touchpad could have been even bigger.
You can also use the HDMI port as an input.
You can also use the HDMI port as an input.
The right stereo jack is a combined headphones and microphone port.
The right stereo jack is a combined headphones and microphone port.
The card reader is above the optical drive.
The card reader is above the optical drive.