Alien­ware 13

Max­i­mum per­for­mance, min­i­mum size

PCPOWERPLAY - - Tech - PRICE $ 3385.70 www.alien­ware.com BEN­NETT RING

Who says you can’t have gam­ing per­for­mance in a tiny form fac­tor? Not Alien­ware, that’s for sure. They’ve just re­leased the lat­est ver­sion of its Alien­ware 13, a 13-inch form fac­tor gam­ing lap­top that is as pow­er­ful as por­ta­ble. It’s cer­tainly not a bud­get ma­chine, but to squeeze so much hard­ware into such a tiny chas­sis is a re­mark­able achieve­ment in­deed.

The big­gest up­date to this year’s ver­sion is the beau­ti­ful OLED screen. It truly is a won­der to be­hold, with the rich­est colours and con­trast we’ve ever seen on a lap­top. De­spite be­ing just 13 inches, it’s a crisp 2560 x 1440 res­o­lu­tion, and there’s not a hint of mo­tion blur. It’s also fully multi-touch com­pat­i­ble. We ex­pected to see a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti in­side, but Alien­ware has mag­i­cally man­aged to fit a GeForce GTX 1060 within, de­liv­er­ing im­pec­ca­ble per­for­mance for a ma­chine of this size.

The chas­sis is rel­a­tively sim­ply black square, though a cou­ple of an­gu­lar lines on the out­side hint at the power within. Part of the de­sign is very in­ter­est­ing – the screen is a cou­ple of cen­time­tres for­wards from the rear, in front of the fans, help­ing to keep the fan noise down. Even though it’s such a tiny chas­sis, the key­board feels like a full-sized key­board, and the touch­pad is ac­cu­rate and re­spon­sive. It has a 2.2mm key travel, al­low­ing for ex­tremely rapid re­sponse, and of course there’s full RGB con­trol across ev­ery key. There aren’t any ded­i­cated macro keys, but we can’t com­plain given the size. Twin cam­eras above the screen al­low for Win­dows Hello, which is a bio­met­ric way of re­plac­ing pass­words. Alien­ware has man­aged to fit a large num­ber of I/O ports around the edges of the chas­sis, in­clud­ing USB 3.0 type C, twin, USB 3 Type A, head­phone and mic, Thun­der­bolt 3/ USB 3.0 Type C, HDMI out, a card reader and Eth­er­net.

Back­ing up the ex­cel­lent graph­ics hard­ware is the dar­ling of the mo­bile gam­ing world, In­tel’s i7-7700HQ CPU, which has hy­per­threaded quad cores that boost up to 3.8GHz. There’s also 16GB of DDR4 mem­ory, but there’s just a sin­gle 256GB SSD, a nec­es­sary com­pro­mise given the lap­top’s size.

We bench­marked this ma­chine against HP’s Omen, which has the same GeForce GTX 1060. How­ever, the Omen uses Nvidia’s new Max-Q de­sign, which lim­its the fre­quency of the GPU. As you can see, there’s quite a gap in per­for­mance be­tween the two, yet the Alien­ware wasn’t in­cred­i­bly loud.

Alien­ware has mag­i­cally man­aged to fit a GeForce GTX 1060 within, de­liv­er­ing im­pec­ca­ble per­for­mance

It may be rather pricey, but this is the ul­ti­mate mo­bile gam­ing ma­chine. And with that de­li­cious dis­play com­bined with the power GPU, it re­ally is a great gam­ing ma­chine.

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