Alienware seems pretty assertive about not losing the win to Razer when it comes to making a super slim gaming laptop. Alienware’s new X15 flagship model comes in two configurations with a 15.9mm thick body. This is nearly identical to Razer’s refreshed 15.8mm thick Blade 15 Advanced. The resulting work is even more impressive, especially considering that Alienware doesn’t usually try to compete in this space. Despite its thin build, the X15 looks like it will be a capable machine. Meanwhile, Alienware has also announced the 17-inch X17 laptop, which is even more powerful, big and thick.
Let’s start with the X15 for the base model, available starting today at $1999. This entry model includes Intel’s 11th Gen Core i7-11800H processor (octa-cores and clocked up to 4.6 GHz), 16GB of RAM clocked at 3,200MHz (not user-upgradeable due to size restrictions), 256GB fast NVMe storage (two user-upgradeable slots supporting M.2 2230 or 2280 size SSDs) and Nvidia’s RTX 3060 graphics chip (90W maximum graphics power and 1,050MHz base clock and 1,402 MHz boost clock). It comes standard with a 15.6-inch FHD display with a brightness of up to 300 nits, with a 165 Hz refresh rate, 3 ms response time and 100 percent sRGB color gamut support.
Alienware didn’t share prices on feature increases, but you can equip the X15 with an Intel Core i9-11900H processor, 2TB NVMe M.2 SSD (up to 4TB dual storage supported with RAID 0) and 32GB of RAM. On top of that, you can install an RTX 3080 graphics card (8GB version with 110W max graphics power, 930MHz base clock and 1365MHz boost clock). The display is upgradeable to a 400-nit QHD G-Sync panel with a 240Hz refresh rate, 2ms response time, and coverage of 99 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The X15 has a 87Wh battery and includes a 240W “small form factor” adapter. At the lowest weight, the X15 comes in at 2.27 kilograms, but goes up to 2.36 kilograms depending on the specs.
Except for the headphone jack and power jack, all the ports of the X15 are located on the back. There is a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, a microSD card slot and an HDMI 2.1 port that allows the X15 to output 4K signals at up to 120 Hz .
For those who want a laptop with a full 17.3-inch display, the X17 is available starting at $2,099. Moreover, it has similar initial characteristics to the X15. It has a thicker body than the X15 at 20.9 mm and is heavier, starting at 3.02 kilograms. But this additional weight apparently allows for more graphics and processing power. For example, the X17 RTX 3060 card has a higher maximum graphics power of 130W. This model is also considered suitable for more expensive GPU upgrades. In particular, the RTX 3080 (16GB), which can run at a boost clock speed of 1,710MHz with a maximum graphics power of 165W, can be added. In the processor section, you can go up to the Intel Core i9-11900HK. In addition, you can equip it with up to 64GB of XMP RAM clocked at 3,466MHz.
As for the display, there is an option to upgrade to a 300 nits FHD G-Sync panel with a 360 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms response time. But you can go all the way up to a 500-nit 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 4ms response time. Like the X15, the X17 has a 87Wh battery, but whether you get a 240W or 330W power supply will depend on the configuration you buy.
The X17 has all of the ports in the X15, along with one additional USB-A port, a Mini DisplayPort jack, and a 2.5G ethernet port (the X15 includes a USB-C to ethernet adapter).
Generally speaking, thinner laptops struggle more with heat management. But Alienware’s Quad Fan claims to move a lot of air and introduces a new “Element 31 thermal interface material” on X15 and X17 models with RTX 3070 or 3080 chips, which apparently provides an increase in the thermal resistance of their interiors compared to previous Alienware laptops. .
Rounding out the specs, the X15 and X17 each feature a 720p Windows Hello webcam. Configurations with the RTX 3080 also include an illuminated trackpad that can be customized in Alienware’s preloaded software. These notebooks come standard with Alienware’s X Series keyboard with per-key illumination, n-key shift, anti-ghosting and 1.5mm key travel. The X17 also has the option to upgrade to Alienware’s Cherry MX ultra-low-profile mechanical keys with longer 1.8mm key travel.
Finally, both laptops are also available in the “Moonlight” color option with a white outer shell and black inside.