Alienware refreshes gaming laptops with Intel Haswell processors, updated design

Summary:The new Alienware 14, 17, 18 models are built from anodized aluminum and magnesium alloy and feature Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 700 series notebook graphics.

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While many laptop makers chose to debut notebooks using Intel's new Haswell processors at Computex last week, Alienware decided to wait for the E3 gaming trade show this week to show off its latest laptops, which are new inside and out.

The Dell-owned brand has just unleashed fresh versions of the Alienware 14, 17, and 18, which now sport anodized aluminum and magnesium alloy and Intel's latest Core i7 CPUs, along with Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 700 series discrete graphics. The refresh includes a new adjustable lighting system and a fully lit trackpad that can presumably double as a night light.

As you might imagine, the bigger models not only include larger screens, but also more room for additional components. While the new Alienware 14 can hold up three drives (two hard drives and a mSATA solid-state drive), the Alienware 17 and 18 can hold four (three of which are traditional hard drives). The Alienware 18 can additionally house a pair of graphics cards in Nvidia's SLI configuration.

The Alienware 14 starts at $1,199, which gets you a 14-inch 1,366x768 IPS display, Core i7-4700MQ processor, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GT 750M graphics, 750GB hard drive, and your choice of Windows 7 or Windows 8. The base configuration for the 17 is priced at $1,499 and includes similar specs as the base 14 but features GeForce GTX 765M graphics and comes with a 17.3-inch 1,600x900 screen. The 12-pound Alienware 18 behemoth has a starting price of $2,099, which buys you dual GTX 765M cards and a massive 18.4-inch 1,920x1,080 display, along with the same processor, RAM, and hard drive as the other base models. Of course, you can customize any of these and jack the price up significantly.

In addition to the new laptops -- available to order now from the Alienware website -- the company has also released its line of Vindicator laptop bags that were designed to carry its new notebooks. The line includes everything from traditional cases (starting at $69.99) to messenger bags ($89.99 and up) to backpacks (starting at $99.99) and more. Only the backpack and briefcase can handle the Alienware 18, however.

Topics: Laptops, Mobility

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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