Alienware obviously wants to challenge Razer’s ultra-thin Blade series with its X15 and X17. The two gaming notebooks of the brand-new X-series impress with one thing in particular – their slim dimensions. With a height of just 16 mm, the X15 is the thinnest notebook from the manufacturer so far. We take a look at the information published so far.
The Alienware X15’s construction height of 15.9 mm is a real challenge to the competition. However, minimum dimensions are only available in the version with FHD resolution and 360 Hz or WQHD resolution and 240 Hz. If you opt for the entry-level model with FHD resolution and “only” 165 Hz, you have to accept a slightly thicker build height of 16.3 mm.
Despite the thin dimensions, you don’t have to make any compromises in terms of performance. After all, Alienware spends the new Ampere series from Nvidia on the gaming behemoth. Besides the GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU, you can also opt for the RTX 3070 laptop GPU or the 3080 laptop GPU. According to Alienware, this is supposed to be the most powerful notebook in the ultra-thin range. A look at the industry king Razer Blade 15 in the pro model (test) underlines the manufacturer’s claim. The latter measures a good centimeter more with 16.99 mm in its features with RTX 3080.
The biggest challenge facing such slim devices is cooling the hardware. While the CPU and GPU are getting smaller, cooling is still subject to physical laws. You simply need a certain amount of space to be able to cool the components adequately. Alienware has designed a sophisticated cooling system for the X15, which is called Cryo-Tech. The cooling system is based on four fans.
But that’s not the only set screw Alienware uses to protect the components from overheating. On top of that, you have to live with a slightly weakened version of the RTX 3080 laptop GPU in the X15 model. It only has a TGP of 90 watts. However, it can be increased to up to 110 watts. Nvidia itself leaves a margin between 80 and 150 watts for the TGP of its RTX 3080. The RTX 3060 and RTX 3070 also have a lower TGP number. Processor power is provided to the ultra-thin notebook by Intel’s Tiger Lake technology. You can choose between the Core i7-11800H or the Core i9-11900H.
The larger model naturally can’t keep up with the build height of the X15. Nevertheless, the 17-incher still comes across very slim with just 20.9 mm. Again, the choice of display has a direct impact on the build height. The FHD panel with a refresh rate of 360 Hz is the thinnest. The height increases by 5 mm when you choose the models with FHD resolution and 165 Hz or the UHD resolution with 120 Hz. What might seem like a sensitive disadvantage compared to the X15 at first moment, shows clear advantages in terms of performance.
Thus, Nvidia keeps the maximum performance for its GPU. That means that the GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPU can use its maximum performance of 150 watts here. It should even be able to go up to 165 watts with the help of Dynamic Boost 2.0. Not only graphics, but also CPU performance is convincing in the large 17-inch model. Gamers should have the choice between Intel’s Core i7-11800H or Core i9-119000HK. Despite the difference in size, there are no differences in the battery. Thus, both X models offer a battery with 87 Wh in size. The corresponding power supply is supposed to have a capacity of 240 watts. The only exception is the X17 with the top configuration. Alienware provides Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPU with a 330 watt power supply.
A certain exclusivity can then be found in the Alienware X17 after all. Thus, the gaming experts offer an ultra-flat keyboard for a surcharge, which was developed in cooperation with the experts from Cherry. The special highlight of this keyboard is the fact that it is a mechanical keyboard despite its slim design. The top display of the Alienware X17 offers another advantage over the top display of the 15-inch version. While the panel of the WQHD display of the X15 manages a maximum of 400 cd/m², the X17 reaches maximum rates of 500 cd/m² with its UHD display. However, there are no differences in the displays with FHD resolution. These offer 300 cd/m² across the board.
Prices and availability
The US gaming community will be able to purchase the Alienware X15 and X17 starting June 15. Those who opt for the cheapest model of the X15 will have to accept an MSRP of $1,999.99. The Alienware X17, on the other hand, will start at an RRP of 2,099.99 US dollars. In addition to an FHD display with 165 Hz, you get a GeForce RTX 3060 as well as the Intel Core i7-11800H in the entry-level version. It is still uncertain when and at which price Alienware wants to launch its ultra-slim notebooks in this country. However, the two gaming behemoths definitely sound promising.