HWM (Singapore) - - Multi- test -

Dell’s Alien­ware line has al­ways been tar­geted at hard­core gamers, and the new Alien­ware 14 is no dif­fer­ent, boast­ing im­pres­sive spec­i­fi­ca­tions and a rich fea­ture set.

The first thing we no­ticed was the hulk­ing di­men­sions and not in­con­sid­er­able weight. Mea­sur­ing 40mm thick and tip­ping the scales at just un­der 2.8kg, the Alien­ware 14 is by far the bulki­est and heav­i­est note­book in our shootout, mak­ing it also sig­nif­i­cantly less por­ta­ble than its com­peti­tors. You could still fit it into most note­book bags, but un­less you’ve been work­ing out reg­u­larly, this isn’t a lap­top you want to lug around for ex­tended pe­ri­ods.

For­tu­nately, the Alien­ware 14 makes up for that in other ways. Un­der the hood is In­tel’s lat­est Core i7-4700MQ pro­ces­sor, 8GB of RAM as well as NVIDIA’s very ca­pa­ble GeForce GTX 765M dis­crete mo­bile GPU. It also has a bril­liant 14-inch IPS dis­play panel ca­pa­ble of Full HD res­o­lu­tion.

How­ever, un­like its ri­vals which all uti­lize SSD stor­age, our Alien­ware 14 test unit is fit­ted in­stead with a 7200rpm HDD. This means it boots up and starts ap­pli­ca­tions (and games) more slowly, al­though it should not have a di­rect im­pact on gam­ing frame rates.

Where the Alien­ware 14 re­ally shines is in con­nec­tiv­ity; apart from three USB 3.0 ports and a 7-in-1 mem­ory card reader, it is also the only note­book in this shootout to fea­ture both Su­perMulti DVD combo drive and Mini Dis­playPort. The op­ti­cal drive makes it eas­ier to in­stall games, while the Mini Dis­playPort will max­i­mize the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the Alien­ware 14’s pow­er­ful GPU and let it eas­ily drive ex­ter­nal mon­i­tors with res­o­lu­tions in ex­cess of 1920 x 1080 pix­els. That said, the Alien­ware 14 also has a HDMI port, how­ever, a short­com­ing of the HDMI in­ter­face that is com­monly found on note­books is that it can­not drive ex­ter­nal dis­plays be­yond 1920 x 1080 pix­els with­out sac­ri­fic­ing re­fresh rates.

While the Alien­ware 14 might be huge and bulky, Dell has done well to dress it up to ap­peal to gamers. For in­stance, the Alien­ware 14 is dec­o­rated with LED lights that are grouped into 10 sep­a­rate zones and are cus­tom­iz­a­ble, so users can change the col­ors to suit their pref­er­ence and mood. Also, the note­book’s sur­faces are mostly soft-touch rub­ber, which gives it a matte look and makes it quite nice to touch. This rub­ber treat­ment ex­tends to the key­board, giv­ing the en­tire note­book a con­sis­tent look and feel. How­ever, there are some as­pects of its de­sign that we do not agree with, such as the un­usu­ally large dis­play bezel, which makes it look car­toon­ish.

In other ar­eas, Dell has es­chewed the more pop­u­lar Chi­clet-style keys for a tra­di­tional key­board, which means the keys are more closely po­si­tioned; if you’re more used to the lat­ter style, the Alien­ware 14’s key­board will take some get­ting used to. That said, the key­board had good tac­til­ity, be­cause of its deeper travel and the rub­ber­ized sur­face. To add, the ac­com­pa­ny­ing track­pad is spa­cious, ac­cu­rate and re­spon­sive.



The in­clu­sion of a Mini Dis­playPort means that it can eas­ily drive ex­ter­nal mon­i­tors be­yond Full HD res­o­lu­tion. The track­pad has back­lights, whose col­ors can be cus­tom­ized.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.