Alienware 15 Review

Alienware 15 Review

I grew up being told that the pinnacle of gaming hardware was Alienware. You couldn’t buy it in South Africa and importing was unheard of to me a few years ago. You saw these amazing machines online and on shows like The Big Bang Theory and the top gaming MGO in the country was sponsored by them (oh hi Bravado). Alienware was exclusive. Alienware was the premium gaming brand and then they sent a new Alienware 15.6” to me. Like a kid in a candy store I was, talk like yoda I shall.

The Alienware 15

Alienware 15 Review

Alienware are gaming laptops, not a cool laptop to check your emails on but rather a fully fledged gaming monster.. with a price to match (more on that later). Initial reactions did not disappoint, with the absolute prize where the ENTIRE track pad illuminated in that classic blue LED colour. Not to mention all the fancy LED lights around the sides of the laptop too. All of which can be turned off with a click of a button to save power or completely modified in Alienwares  Command Centre 3.0.

Yes, a completely pink Laptop does look awesome. I don’t care what Stereotype I’m feeding

Alienware 15 Review

This is when the amazement began to wear off. Having a 15.6” screen is always a nice deal on a laptop but the thickness & weight of it was noticeable, possibly because of all the ultra slim notebooks that I’ve been fortunate enough to test lately. I got the impression that it really didn’t need to be so thick and those curved corners I would be able to live without. Beautiful, but completely unnecessary.

Alienware 15 Review

Furthermore, the Alienware 15 runs smooth and is insanely quick – which is expected for a gaming machine. Games play without any issue but here’s a problem, the machine I had did not run the new Nvidia GTX 10 series. With MSI, ASUS and others all bringing out 10 series integrated into their laptops, the Alienware 15 will be left in the dust and although you can buy the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, that ends up costing more. Considering the fee is close of R40 000 extra costs aren’t all that rad.

This leads me to the kicker, the price.

Alienware 15 Review

Alienware laptops are not cheap in South Africa. They are absolutely ludicrous when you look at the price which makes them a very hard sell. An equivalent gaming notebook will net you a R10 000 saving. This is after numerous comparisons on Evetech. So the obvious conclusion is why spend R39 999 on an Alienware 15 when you could buy an alternative that is better for the same price?

I can’t justify it even with the Alienware name on the box.

Alienware 15 Review

A real pity since the machine is a fantastic gaming laptop. With phenomenal build quality, impressive battery life for a gaming laptop (don’t expect it to last all day though obviously) and a ton of custom software that’s useful and rather fun to play around there is still that damn price looming over my head as I write this and that just makes me sad.

A solid 8/10 reduced to a 5 purely because of its price.

Disclosure: I was sent an Alienware 15 to review. It has been returned. 

4 Comments

  • Reply Cliff September 13, 2016 at 08:21

    I had the Alienware 17 from 2 years ago. (until it was stolen) and replaced it with the MSI Apache 17 inch, and for all the “coolness” that is Alienware was blown away by the MSI, thinner, lighter, better support in the country and was a bit cheaper. MSI > Alienware for me.

    • Reply Sam Wright September 13, 2016 at 08:24

      Yeah I’ll be honest – comparing them – I do think the MSI range gives you more bang for your buck.

  • Reply Richard November 6, 2016 at 01:32

    Hey Sam what do you think of the new 15 with the Intel 10 series? I just ordered mine under the Black Friday sale with an i7, 6G, 256 ssd & 1TB hd, 16 g of 2667hz ram, and the 1060 intel gpu all for $1350 with the sale. i was looking at the MSI equivalent but could not beat the price i received.

    Thoughts?

  • Reply Sam Wright November 7, 2016 at 16:30

    I think at that price you made a good call!

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