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 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
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.
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 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.
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.