13-inch gaming notebooks; yeah we’ve seen those. 15-inch and 17-inch gaming notebooks? That’s a big yawn. But 18-inches of gaming goodness? Now you’ve got our attention. The folks over at Dell have resurrected the Alienware 18 nameplate for a balls-to-the-wall hunk of burning love for laptop lovers.
Given its huge 18-inch screen size, that makes for a form-factor that is capable of supporting a lot of high-powered gaming goodness. How good you ask? For starters, the base system (which rings in at $2,500) includes a 3.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710MQ processor, 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L memory, dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M GPUs (for a total of 12GB of GDDR5 memory) and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive.
Many gamers would be happy with that setup as a range-topping SKU, but there are three additional pre-configured options that up the performance factor even further. But we’ll skip the two middle configurations and go straight for the throat with the top-of-the-line model which will set you back an eye watering $4,649.99. That
down payment on a brand new car price will get you a Core i7-4940MX processor that can TurboBoost to 4.4GHz, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD plus 512GB SSD, and dual GeForce GTX 980M GPUs, each with 8GB of memory onboard.
No matter which configuration you select, you’ll find an 18.4-inch WLED FHD (1920x1080) display, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a slot-loading dual-lawyer DVD burner, and an 8-cell lithium-ion battery pack (86 wHr). You’ll also find the AlienFX lighting system, which provides a total of 10 “lighting zones’ around the laptop that can be configured in up to 20 different colors.
If you haven’t already figured it out, the Alienware 18 is a huge machine. It has a 17.972” x 12.909” footprint and weighs in at a not-so-back-friendly 12.064 lbs. But let’s face it, you won’t be carrying this thing around you like you would a 12-inch MacBook — it’s going to stay sitting on your desk plugged into the wall most of the time.
If you were to place your order today, Dell says that the Alienware 18 (all configurations) won’t even ship for another 26 to 30 days. Given the long lead time, we’re surprised that the laptop is still shipping with Windows 8.1 instead of Windows 10, which was released at the end of July. It’s not really that big a deal as you would still qualify for a free upgrade, but it’s a peculiar omission nonetheless.