Alienware is a subsidiary of Dell. Both companies have very good ratings when it comes to building quality computers. Alienware could be considered Dell’s gaming-focused brand. All Alienware computers are built from the ground up with the PC gamer in mind. The company only offers higher-end gaming laptops and designs that will appeal principally to gamers.
Quality and Selection
Alienware computers are consistently rated to be very high quality. They generally have excellent performance and very little need for maintenance. When they do need maintenance, the company has a history of standing behind their products.
The Alienware selection is considerably more limited and more focused than basically any other PC brand out there. The name is basically synonymous with gaming computers. A person generally doesn’t buy an Alienware for basic computing needs, business work or school. Even their least expensive and lowest spec machines are still considered to be gaming rigs. The selection for Alienware computers recently, especially for laptops, is extremely limited. The company generally offers only 3-4 machines at any one time, and all of them are very expensive. It is unlikely to find any recent Alienware product for less than $1000, and most of them will be in the $1500 to $2000 plus range.
Design and Appearance
Design is something that Alienware has mastered for the computer gamer. Each product in their line-up is visually distinct in a way that basically no other laptop manufacturer can match. This means making gaming machines that look the part, with stylish edges and lines that make the computer look much more sci-fi and advanced. It is clear the company is making a visual statement with each of their products, and many computer gamers consider them to be works of art in their own right. The company makes full use of lights and other visual additions to enhance the appearance and style of the product. There is also the unique alien head logo that basically any dedicated PC gamer will instantly recognize.
By their nature, Alienware laptops are going to be heavy and bulky. They are built to be hardcore gaming platforms and not portable everyday work machines. The realm of the gaming laptop has always been one that tries to strike a tedious balance between power and portability. Alienware machines favor power. Their lineup is going to be more portable than a desktop, but not by much.
Recent models of Alienware have seen some distinct changes in their scheme compared to traditional models. The company has always been somewhat flexible with colors, offering a range of lighting and surface appearances. They have joined other manufacturers such as Asus in offering a machine that is overall lighter in appearance, using grey instead of black and softer hues on the lighting effects.
Warranty and Support
Alienware has the advantage of being backed by Dell’s service and support. Dell achieves consistently high ratings among consumers when it comes to support services both by phone and online. They are second best in the industry behind Apple. This professionalism extends to Alienware products, which the company tends to favor even more than its less expensive product lines.
Graphics Amplifier Accessory
Laptops are mixed when it comes to their use as gaming machines. Unlike desktops, which can be taken apart and upgraded as needed, a laptop is static. What is bought on day one is what the buyer is stuck with for the life the computer. This can be a big problem in gaming as laptops tend to struggle more than desktops when it comes to keeping up with the latest demands. Alienware has the advantage of offering a unique accessory in the form of a desktop grade graphics amplifier that allows the laptop to perform like a desktop. While the amplifier robs the laptop of its key advantage of portability, it does allow a dedicated gamer to invest in only one computer for all of their gaming needs.
Pricing and Value
While there are not many negatives to buying an Alienware machine, pricing of these laptops deserves more of discussion than with other brands. Alienware computers are expensive, and they are not a very good value from a specifications perspective. While gaming laptops will always run more expensive than desktops of the same specs, Alienware machines tend to run about 25 to 30 percent higher than comparable laptops. Consumers need to judge if they are willing to spend that much extra purely on the style and reliability the brand carries.