Where mobile devices are concerned, thin is in - something that applies just as well to our notebooks as it does our smartphones. If we're a bit more specific and are talking about gaming notebooks, thin is a word very rarely associated. While Razer has done a great job with its ultra-thin gaming notebooks, most vendors prefer to keep a little bit of the bulk, mostly in the name of performance. Personally, I prefer that, and as it happens, Dell does, too.
That's proven by the company's upcoming Alienware 13, a sleek 13-inch notebook that comes in at under 1 inch thick. That's even thinner than the 11-inch M11x, released a couple of years ago. The size alone makes the Alienware 13 very portable, but the 4.5lbs weight doesn't hurt, either.
One of the biggest highlights of the Alienware 13 is its ultra-crisp QHD display, giving us a resolution of 2560x1440. Remember, we're talking about a 13-inch notebook here. Even better, this QHD is spec'd with a brightness of 400 nits. I've never even heard of a display - notebook or desktop - surpassing 350 nits before, so that to me is impressive. If QHD is a little overkill for you, 1080p and 1366x768 options are also being made available.
Under the hood, Dell is going with Intel Core i processors, which I'm sure will range up to Core i7. For graphics duties, NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 860M is being put to task. In addition to those, the Alienware 13 can be configured for up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, and also support not one, but two SSDs. As a notebook designed for gaming, Dell's chosen to go with Qualcomm's Killer 802.11ac chipset for Wi-Fi duties.
Other features include AlienFX, allowing customization of the notebook's color accents, audio by Klipsch, a TACTX keyboard, and support for Windows 7 through 8.1.
In describing its Alienware 13, Dell touts "full throttle performance", and while it'd be easy to brush that off as marketing hype, there's a reason for that wording. A common issue with gaming notebooks is that their cooling can't keep up with the heat generated. That results in throttling, a problem we discovered in our look at MSI's GT 60 Dominator Pro. According to Dell, throttling will simply not happen with the Alienware 13 thanks to its very efficient internal design.
If you're an on-the-go gamer that needs a small notebook, I think it goes without saying that the Alienware 13 is well worth a look. Even as someone who demands as big a screen as possible while gaming, I can't help but want one.