Alienware 13 OLED Laptop Review: 13 Inches Of Gorgeous

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Introducing The Alienware 13 OLED

There's a first time for everything, as the saying goes, and the Alienware 13 OLED is a first for us without question. Though there were a couple of OLED (Organic LED) display driven laptops at CES 2016 this year, Dell's Alienware division is the first in the door here at HotHardware with a retail ready product. OLED displays offer better brightness, contrast, saturation and pixel response times versus legacy display types like IPS, and in in general they're more power efficient as well. OLED displays are somewhat common these days in smartphones and as it turns out, OLED-enabled handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are some of our favorite devices in this arena, primarily because of their superior brightness, color reproduction and overall image quality. 

That said, OLED displays are also expensive, with 30+ inch desktop monitor sized displays and TVs costing several thousand dollars currently. However, like anything else in high tech, as manufacturing technologies improve, OLED display technology is making its way into mainstream device categories like laptops. Factor in economies of scale with multiple notebook manufacturers entering the OLED fray, and before you know it OLED will be a standard option for high volume production models like the Alienware 13. 

Alienware revamped its 4.5 pound light-weight gaming laptop with the latest Intel 6th gen Skylake Core series processors, and although the external skins look virtually identical, there are a few other tricks under the lid of the AW13, not the least of which is its swank new OLED display. 

Alienware 13 Windows 10 wake screen art


We'll dive in and discuss all the salient points of the Alienware 13's revamp, and take a long lustful look at its OLED display on the pages ahead. But for now, here is a video tour of this compact, vibrant little beast, then we'll circle back with deeper analysis and performance metrics... 

Dell Alienware 13 OLED
Specifications & Features
Processor
Core i7-6500U Dual-Core 2.5GHz (Max 3.1GHz)
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Display 13.3-inch QHD OLED Touchscreen (2560X1440), 1ms Typical Response
Video Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 520, Discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 4GB
Storage 512GB M.2 NVMe PCI Express SSD
Memory 8GB LPDDR3-1600
Audio Support
Creative Soundblaster X-Fi MB3, Klipsch 2.0 Speakers
Camera FHD 2MP Camera With Dual Digital Mics
Networking Killer Networks Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi w/ Bluetooth 4.1
Ports: Left Side
1x USB 3.0, Headphone/Mic jack, Power Port, Lock Port
Ports: Right Side
Ports: Rear
1x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type C Thunderbolt 3, 1 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
1x Alienware Graphics AMP Port, 1x Full Size HDMI 1.4
Battery 4-Cell 62 WHr Li-Ion
Weight 4.537 pounds
Dimensions 12.91 x 9.25 x 1.09 (W x D x H)
Lighting
Backlit Keyboard With AlienFX Lighting Zones, 8 Zones Programmable
Warranty 1 Year Hardware Service with Onsite/In-Home Service
Price $1,949 (As tested) Starting at $899 - Find It At Dell

Alienware 13 with power adapter
So, in addition to its nimble NVMe PCI Express SSD (Samsung model PM951), the Alienware 13 OLED also has been equipped with a Thunderbolt-enabled USB Type C port for gobs of glorious external bandwidth for high speed IO as well. The other upgrade to the AW13 is with its GPU, which is now slightly higher end in the GeForce GTX 965M versus the previous generation GTX 960M. The GTX 965M offers 1024 shader processing units versus the 960Ms 640, and 64 texture units versus 40 in the 960M, though the 965M doesn't turbo up quite as high. The net result is about a 10 - 15 percent performance gain in gaming for the GTX 965M versus the 960M, but without a marked difference in its power envelope.

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