- Editor's Rating
- Great design and lighting system
- Excellent performance
- Good keyboard and touchpad
- Respectable battery life
- Touchpad surface could be firmer
Quick TakeThe Alienware 17 continues its tradition of all-around excellence in portable performance. There's almost nothing to dislike about this fifth-generation variant.
The Alienware 17 is a fifth-generation variant of the Alienware series of gaming notebooks and has received NotebookReview’s Editors Choice Award. The device features a new design as well as the latest technology, including the new Nvidia flagship graphics card. The Alienware 17 has the same futuristic design Alienware is known for, including the signature angles on the chassis. Changes include the lack of speaker grills on the chassis and addition of aluminum elements, including the entire back of the lid. The Alienware 17 starts at $1,499 at the time of the review. The configuration NBR tested is priced at $2,899 at the time of the review.
NBR said the Alienware 17 is built “as strong as we can imagine.” The notebook is 11.7 x 16.3 x 1.9 inches and weighs 9.14 pounds. The device also features a revamped, customizable LED lighting system. Available ports include an AC power jack, Kensington lock slot, HDMI, DisplayPort, four USB 3.0 ports, microphone jack, headphone jack and microphone/headphone combination jack, media card reader, optical drive and an Ethernet port.
The Alienware 17 has a 17.3-inch widescreen display with 127 dpi resolution and an anti-glare surface, which NBR noted works well. NBR also said the screen features good color reproduction and contrast, but the picture can change slightly based on the viewing angle. The notebook has two speakers, which NBR found are able to fill a small room with minimal distortion at high volume.
The full-size keyboard and separate numeric pad are backlit and have a “great feel,” according to NBR. The keys make very little noise and the touchpad is appropriately sized. The touchpad also has two dedicated mouse buttons, which NBR notes make no noise and have good action. The surface of the touchpad is completely backlit. NBR noted the touchpad accuracy is good, but requires a firm hand, which can be a bit frustrating.
The Alienware 17 has a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia’s new flagship graphics card; the GTX 780M with 4GB of GDDR5 dedicated memory. The notebook is customizable and available with up to three storage drives and up to 32GB RAM. The unit tested by NBR had a 256GB SSD and 750GB hard drive for storage and 16GB RAM. NBR noted the device easily plays the latest games at maximum settings. NBR also found the notebook keeps very cool and produces very little noise. The battery lasted two hours and nine minutes during standard battery testing, which NBR noted is an excellent result for a notebook at powerful as the Alienware 17.
Overall, NBR found “almost nothing to dislike” about the Alienware 17 and granted the notebook an Editors Choice Award. NBR was impressed with the design and lighting system, the performance, keyboard and touchpad and the overall battery life. NBR called the notebook “easier than ever to recommend.”