Hands-On With Alienware's 18 Inch Gaming Machine: This Is Not a Laptop

By Chris Mills on at

Let's be clear: when Alienware say that the flagship of their new gaming laptop range is the 18, they're lying. The 18 is not a laptop. It is a leviathan, with two discrete graphics cards, 8GB of GPU RAM alone, and 4 -- count 'em, 4 -- SSDs. This is insanity.

The 18 sits at the top of Alienware's totally revamped gaming laptop range, above its puny stablemates, the pathetic 14 and the totally-overshadowed 17. They all feature the same design language -- solid aluminium lids (for extra weight, because gaming laptops have always struggled with being too light), the usual collection of Tron-esque lights, and specs that will have your inner nerd weeping: Core i7-M4930MX in the 18 and 17, and i7-4900MQ in the 14. Up to 16GB of RAM in the 14, and 32 in the 17 and 18; graphics maxes out at a NVIDI 765M in the 14, 780M in the 17 and two 780Ms in the 18, with 4GB of GDDR5 per card.

All the machines are as chunky as you'd expect; the 18 is definitely the most incredible though, at a hulking 5.5kg (and that's with just one SSD). The design language is classic Alienware, with programmable lights all over the place, and customisable everything. Performance is ridiculous, as you'd expect: Metro: Last Light ran at an undisclosed-but-clearly-very-high FPS, on very high everything.

Pricing starts at £1,099 for the 14, £1299 for the 17 and the 18 gets a pricetag to match its bulk: £1,999 ex. VAT and shipping, to be precise. They're all available starting today in the UK.