Dell Squeezes in a New 14-Inch Alienware X Model and Boy Is It Thin

Dell Squeezes in a New 14-Inch Alienware X Model and Boy Is It Thin

If you thought Dell was done with the CES 2022 Alienware announcements, you were wrong. They’re drip feeding us this year and I’m not mad, I only wish I could have told you everything all at once. This time, I’m going to tell you about the brand new x, the Alienware x14.

The Alienware x14 is the thinnest gaming laptop yet.

The Alienware x14 borrows design cues from the Alienware x15 and x17 but fits all of its components into a 14-inch frame that weighs about 2 kg and measures just 0.57 inches thick. The thinnest laptop Alienware has ever released, the x14 uses a dual-torque hinge that frees up space within the system, allowing for 85W of power in a surprisingly compact footprint. Oh, and this thing is cute.

alienware x
Image: Dell

One of our writers, Sam, was told by an Alienware executive once that Alienware would never make a thin and light gaming notebook, because the company preferred to deliver systems with good value and performance without compromising on thermals.

But that exec doesn’t work at Alienware anymore, and according to Vivian Lien, VP of Alienware & Dell Gaming, the x line of products is still about prioritising performance, but thin is also a priority.

“We want to give you all the raw power that you can have when you game, less about optimising on the height,” she said during a press briefing. “Simply put, x is about powerful, thin performance.”

x14. Image: Dell

“I’m extremely excited about this because it represents a new category of PC gaming experience,” Lien said. “The x14 is really designed for that gamer who wants to be able to game well on the go.”

As you can tell from her quote, the new Alienware x14 promises great battery life and the ability to carry it around with you.

Did I mention it was thin?

“This record thinness is possible because of the inclusion of a patent-pending dual-torque element hinge that creates space within the system itself. This innovation allows us to achieve a 0.57 in. maximum z-height combined with a maximum graphics power of 85W,” Dell says.

Without the hinge, x14 would either be thicker or less powerful.

Keeping the system cool is Alienware’s Element 31, an encapsulated gallium-silicone matrix that allows for such a thin frame to harness up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12900H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics. Other components include up to 32GB of DDR5 memory (non-upgradable as the RAM slots are soldered on the x14) and up to a 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD in a single slot configuration.

While these aren’t the specs you get in Alienware’s notoriously chunky models, the combination of a Core i7 CPU and 32GB of RAM shouldn’t have any problems juggling heavier workloads, and Nvidia’s RTX 3060 graphics can play most games at higher graphics settings just fine.

Just like its siblings, the x14 has Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certification, it’s based on 12th gen Intel Core i7 processors, with Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series graphics and Maximum Graphics Power sums to 85W based on a 60W TGP and 25W Dynamic Boost with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060. Ya, this thing slaps.

Measuring 262.77 mm x 321.5 mm x 14.5 mm, they really mean thin.

x14 keyboard. Image: Dell

The Alienware x14 is a downsized version of the other two X-series laptops, with “14″ stencilled on the lid. The signature Legend 2.0 aesthetic is on full display with the part-aluminium, part-magnesium alloy chassis flaunting a glowing alien head on the lid, honeycomb-shaped air intake and the Lunar Light (it’s white) paint.

We’re expecting a starting price for the x14 is RRP $2,999

The other laptops Dell announced

Alienware x15 R2 and x17 R2

Alienware is also refreshing the larger models with the debut of the Alienware x15 R2 and x17 R2. The duo was updated with the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors with DDR5 support along with Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics. The 17-inch model goes up to a Core i9-12900HK while the x15 R2 maxes out at a Core i9-1900H. Dell hasn’t specified which Nvidia RTX GPUs will be available, so keep an eye out for updates.

alienware x
x17 R2. Image: Dell

Opting for either of these versions gets you two DDR5 slots configurable with up 32GB of 4800MHz RAM and up to 4TB of RAID 0 storage in a dual-drive configuration. You also get faster or sharper display options with the x17 R2 available with a 1080p at 360Hz panel or a 4K, 120Hz display, both with G-Sync and Advanced Optimus support. The 15-inch model swaps the 4K panel for a 1440p option with a 240Hz refresh rate.

alienware x
x15 R2. Image: Dell

All x17 R2 configurations now come with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certification. Dolby Vision is the premium visual experience for all things streaming, so makes sense Dell is now bringing it to gaming.

There’s a lot the Alienware x15 R2 has that the x17 R2 does, but its measurements come in a little smaller, at 277.33 mm x 359.7 mm x ~16 mm. Affecting the height is your choice of a FHD 165Hz panel (16.3 mm) or FHD 360Hz/QHD 240Hz panels (15.9 mm).The Alienware x17 R2 will have an RRP starting at $3,699 and the x15 R2 will have a starting RRP of $3,899.

If you prefer power or portable, Alienware is also refreshing its m15 R7 and m17 R5 Ryzen Edition gaming rigs.

Alienware skimped on details with the m15 R7, but we know the mid-size gaming system will be offered with either AMD Ryzen or 12th Gen Intel H-series processors and up to the latest RTX 30-series graphics.

m15 R7 (Intel). Image: Dell
m15 R7 (AMD). Image: Dell

(Spot the difference)

As for the m17 R5, we reviewed the Alienware m15 R5 and had mostly good things to say about it, although the price-to-performance ratio wasn’t exactly where we wanted it to be. The new m17 R5 Ryzen Edition has a larger chassis to accommodate a 17.3-inch display that scales from 1080p at 165Hz to 4K at 120Hz (or 1080p at 360Hz if fluidity is most important to you). If you’re looking for raw power, the m17 R5 should deliver with up to a Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU, 64GB of DDR5 RAM, 4TB M.2 SSD, and RTX 30-series graphics.

Like I said, we don’t know too much about the m15 R7 but Lien says the m series is more about the power than the profile. The Alienware m15 R7 Intel Edition has a starting RRP of $2,999.

Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition

Image: Dell

As we all know, Alienware m Series laptops are fundamentally about prioritising power and pure watts to its components with the idea of having gamers “experience their favourite games with high frame rates and graphics settings maximised”.

This new m17 R5, Dell says, is the result of combining an architecture that includes AMD Ryzen processors, AMD Radeon graphics options and AMD Smart Technologies like AMD SmartShift MAX, SmartAccess Memory and SmartAccess Graphics (making an appearance here for the first time on a laptop, FYI). Dell said this is the most powerful 17-inch AMD advantage laptop to-date.

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certification and Dell’s Smart Fan control tech also feature on this new beast, and with Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6E WCN6856 Dual 2×2 Wireless LAN, you can enjoy up to 6Ghz bands with speeds reaching up to 3.6Gbps, as well as the ability to simultaneously connect across two 2.4Ghz channels and two 5Ghz channels. Not bad.

The m17 R5 measures 298.71 mm x 397.3 mm x 26.7 mm and maxes out at 3.3kgs. It’s available in one colour, ‘dark side of the moon’ (the Pink Floyd fan is still at Dell, I see).

Over here you’ll find what else Dell unleashed earlier today in the world of Alienware, and just a spoiler alert, it’s an absolutely kick ass 34-inch curved gaming monitor.

This post has been updated since it was first published, with contributions (and a big thanks) to Phillip Tracy. We’ll make further updates once we have availability and pricing for the Aussie market available.

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