Whenever it comes to PC gaming, Dell knows how to make gamers turn their eyes towards its alien-themed gaming hardware, Alienware – well, personally for me.
With the recent emergence of Alienware 17, it has probably become a desire for gamers to own one.
Being one of the lucky few to get my hands on the 17.3-inch Alienware 17, it comes completely with a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia 10-series graphics and with a classy appearance – what else could you ask for?
Dell has kept the Alienware’s trademark – where the angular design is on full display and has maintained its gunmetal-gray spaceship look.
Nonetheless, the 17-inch gaming laptop gives an aggressive and powerful through its angles and two-toned mix of gray and black.
However, its solid aluminium construction and soft-touch plastic has given the Alienware 17 a classier and refined look.
Meanwhile, the laptop’s keyboard, touchpad, Alienware logo and light strips are on the sides of the deck and can be lit up with customizable RGBs.
In terms of weight, the Alienware 17 weighs at 9.6 pounds, which is heavier than most gaming laptop out in the market. It is also thicker (16.7 x 13.1 x 1.2 inches). Personally, this is one gaming laptop you do not want to bring it around too often, unless you plan to use is as weight training.
On the other hand, its thickness comes with some good value as it is literally surrounded by ports. From the right side, there is a single USB 3.0 port and some vents, while the left sports a Noble lock slot, a USB Type-C port, another USB 3.0 port, a microphone and headphone jacks.
Looking at the back, there is an Ethernet jack, a mini DisplayPort, HDMI output, a Thunderbolt 3 port, the power jack and a connection for the Alienware Graphic Amp where it allows you to attach an external desktop GPU for 4K gaming and VR.
The audio of the Alienware 17 is stunningly clear and solid. While listening to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, the vocal was crystal clear as well as the bass. Good home-party equipment, in my opinion.
Meanwhile, the presets in multimedia section of the Alienware Sound Centre were something I could not get myself accustomed to very well. However, the default gaming audio setup provided a good amount of boost in volume.
While on the gaming default profile, playing Total War: Warhammer, the sounds of swords clashing, characters’ voices and background orchestration were balanced and clear.
The graphic card on the Alienware 17 I tested on was the Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM which packed quite a performance punch.
To test the GTX 1070 performance, while playing Total War: Warhammer, the setting were all cranked up to ‘Ultra High’ while playing a co-operative game with a friend where the results were stunning.
The gameplay was smooth, (credits go to its 16GB of RAM too) and without significant drop in frame rate.
Meanwhile, under its hood, the Alienware 17 sports a 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. To test its processor, 40 tabs were opened on Google Chrome, two of which were on Youtube and Netflix streaming on high quality. Amazingly, there were no signs of slowing down or lag.
The battery life of the Alienware 17 could just last slightly more than three hours and mind you, this does not account for gaming, where it only lasted about two hours.
Maybe this is something where gaming laptops need to have more focus on, improving the battery life as most people, including myself would like to game on-the-go.