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Best Alienware laptops for gaming in 2024

We've tried and tested the best Alienware laptops for gaming. Whether you want a desktop replacement or compact machine, find the best laptop for you.

Three of the best Alienware laptops for gaming on a bright blue background

Alienware has been a staple in the premium gaming laptop space since its first Area 51m was released all the way back in 2002. Made by Dell, Alienware gaming laptops are dedicated, high-end machines built proudly with power in mind. They’re not cheap by any means, and likely never will be, but they are some of the best gaming laptops out there.

Alienware gaming laptops offer a massive amount of power, performance, cutting-edge tech, and visually stunning designs. We’ve rounded up some of the best buys on the market today, from the 18-inch Alienware M18 to the compact Alienware X14 R1. Most machines can be customized to your liking, which allows you to tailor your purchase to your budget and needs like a premium gaming laptop boutique.

When shopping for an Alienware laptop, it’s best to avoid the very top-end specs if your budget is tight. Older Alienware laptops offer better value; the Alienware M17 certainly holds its own with its Ryzen 7 6800H CPU and RTX 3070 Ti CPU.

Of course, if you have deeper pockets then Alienware’s latest and greatest generation of gaming laptops are sure to please. The M16 and M16 both feature RTX 4080s paired high-refresh 16:10 displays, while the Alienware X16 offers a premium experience and is predictably our most expensive option on show today.

Whether you want a laptop for esports, a graphic powerhouse or a light and thin laptop you can take with you when traveling, you’ll find the best Alienware gaming laptops below.

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware and reviewing games and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

Alienware M16

Best Alienware laptop overall

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Alienware M16 specifications:
Graphics RTX 4060/RTX 4070/RTX 4080/RTX 4090
CPU Intel i9-13900HX 24 Cores 5.40Ghz Turbo
RAM 16GB/32GB/64GB
Storage 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB
Ports 2 x Type-C Port (Thunderbolt 4.0, USB 4 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4, and 15W Power Delivery (3A/5V) capabilities) USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 HDMI 2.1 Output port Mini DisplayPort 1.4 RJ-45 Ethernet Port USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A with PowerShare Port Global headset jack
Screen 16-inch QHD+ 2560 x 1600 240Hz
Size 14.5 x 11.41 x 1 inches (36.89 x 28.99 x 2.54 cm)
Reasons to buy
  • Very powerful
  • Great screen
  • Great price-to-performance ratio
Reasons to avoid
  • Heavy enough to stay on a desktop
  • No UK layout for mechanical keyboard

Alienware’s M16 gaming laptop can be equipped with a range of  graphics cards, allowing you to customize specs to suit your budget. We recommend the RTX 4080 model as our top pick, as the 12GB of VRAM will ensure a solid gaming experience on the most recent titles.

This particular 4080 has the full 175W, meaning you won’t be leaving any performance on the table compared to thinner and lighter options out there. Further enhancing the fidelity is the fast and bright 16-inch QHD display that supports G-Sync for a tear-free experience. You also benefit from the display having a 16:10 aspect ratio – not only great for games but also productivity.

32GB of RAM will ensure that anything from memory-intensive games to applications such as Adobe Pemier or AutoCAD will be well served. As a bonus, the RAM is completely user-replaceable, increasing the laptop’s longevity. You can opt for a mechanical keyboard option with Cherry MX ultra low-profile switches but for prospective buyers in the UK beware – this is only available in a US layout.

Seeing as this is a near top-end model – it is priced accordingly, but it still sits below the Alienware x16 and is only a little bigger for it, which does admittedly reduce its portability.

Alienware M18

Best big-screen Alienware gaming laptop

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Alienware M18 specifications:
Graphics Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB GDDR6 175W
CPU Intel i9-13900HX 24 Cores 5.40Ghz Turbo
RAM 32GB LPDDR5 6000Mhz
Storage 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Ports RJ-45 ethernet Global headset jack Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port Type A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port w/ PowerShare Type C USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port Power/DC-in Port 2 x Thunderbolt 4 Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port HDMI 2.1 Output Port Mini-DisplayPort SD Card slot
Screen 18” QHD+ 2560 x 1600 165Hz
Size 16.15 x 12.59 x 0.99 inches (41.03 x 31.99 x 2.67 cm)
Reasons to buy
  • Very powerful
  • Immersive 18-inch display
  • Numpad
Reasons to avoid
  • Predictably immobile
  • Not the fastest screen

If you don’t regularly move your gaming laptop and want as much screen real estate as possible then you would be hard-pressed to do better than the Alienware M18 4080 which is the best 18-inch Alienware laptop.

Similarly to the 16-inch model, we’ve opted for the 175W RTX 4080 equipped machine as it offers the best price-to-performance ratio in the high-end segment of the market. The 4090 is getting into silly-money territory and we wouldn’t recommend it until it is highly discounted.

The same 13900HX makes its presence known and will provide enough computing power to keep the frames high and the render times low. The 18-inch model doesn’t miss out on the 16:10 screen ratio either, so gaming and productivity have extra room to stretch.

Given that the laptop is bigger, there is more room inside for cooling so the M18 will run a little quieter as a result with better-sustained performance. Also making use of the bigger size is the numpad, which is great for users who love strategy games with many macros. Unfortunately, the QHD+ panel can only go up to 165Hz, rather than the 360Hz seen on the X17 R2.

Alienware X14 R2

Best compact Alienware laptop

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Alienware X14 R2 specifications:
Graphics Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB GDDR6
CPU Intel i7-12700H 14 Core 4.7Ghz
RAM 16GB /32GB
Storage 512GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
Ports 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort™ 1 Global headset jack port 1 HDMI 2.1 port 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port with PowerShare 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports with Power Delivery and DisplayPort™ (Type-C port)
Screen 14” QHD+ 165Hz (2560 x 1600)
Size 12.64 x 10.25 x 0.57 inches (32.11 x 26.04 x 1.45cm)
Reasons to buy
  • Can replace a workstation
  • Quiet, fast and runs cool
  • Well-rounded specs
Reasons to avoid
  • Only RTX 3060 is available

The uniquely powerful yet thin Alienware X14 gaming laptop is ideal if you want to game on the go. Its well-built metal chassis has a premium feel, and while the ports are unusually all at the back of the laptop, this doesn’t affect access. The main downside of the X14 is limited upgradability. While you can upgrade the storage (a single m.2 NVMe slot) the RAM is soldered.

There is pause for thought when buying a 3060 GPU in 2024 – games are getting more demanding and the longevity of 6GB of VRAM is questionable, but with tools such as DLSS 2 and knowing where to make smart adjustments to your settings, you still get a great experience.

When running less demanding games, the 12700H keeps up with the GPU to ensure you’re getting out as many frames as possible before running into any CPU bottlenecks. With the RTX 3060, you can chew through esports titles like it’s nobody’s business – putting the 144hz screen to good work.

Alienware M17 R5

Best value Alienware gaming laptop

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Alienware M17 R5 specifications:
Graphics Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti 8GB GGDR6
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 6800H 8 Core 4.7Ghz
RAM 16 GB, 2 x 8 GB, DDR5, 4800 MHz
Storage 512 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
Ports 2 Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port with PowerShare Type-C Port USB 3.2 w/ DP Alt Headset combo jack HDMI 2.1 Output RJ45 Ethernet
Screen 17.3” QHD 165Hz (2560 x 1440)
Size 15.64 x 11.76 x 1.05 inches (39.73 x 29.87 x 2.67cm)
Reasons to buy
  • Great performance at this price
  • Sharp and large screen
Reasons to avoid
  • VRAM limitations

The Alienware M17 R5 comfortably places itself as our best-value Alienware gaming laptop. The RTX 3070 Ti is still a fighter today and will make short work of all but the most demanding of titles on high settings. DLSS 2 will help keep it chugging along for even longer than laptops that do without the technology.

The Ryzen 7 6800H is a very capable CPU too and is well suited for multitasking. It isn’t just a productivity champ – the 6800H can game very respectably and keep up with the 3070 Ti. The CPU also has a very capable iGPU in the form of the AMD 680M which is more powerful than the Steam Deck and efficient too – perfect for watching YouTube and doing light tasks and gaming away from the wall outlet.

The larger screen variants of Alienware laptops typically go for less than their smaller siblings due to them not being as popular and we’re not ones to complain as the 17.3” display lets us see everything in great detail – especially seeing as it’s QHD. The display is also buttery smooth at 165Hz and pairs well with the 3070 Ti with any game that does fluctuate in frame rate being handled by G-Sync to ensure a hitch-free gaming experience.

Alienware X16

Best premium Alienware laptop

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Alienware X16 specifications:
Graphics Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB GDDR6 175W
CPU Intel i9-13900HK 14 Cores 5.40Ghz Turbo
RAM 32GB LPDDR5 6000Mhz
Storage 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Ports 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port Thunderbolt 4 Headphone/mic combo HDMI 2.1 port Mini Displayport microSD card slot
Screen 16” QHD+ 2560 x 1600 240Hz
Size 14.36 x 11.41 x 0.73 inches (36.47 x 28.98 x 1.86 cm)
Reasons to buy
  • Unbelievably thin design
  • Fun trackpad
Reasons to avoid
  • Less powerful than M16 and M18

If you’re after the slimmest of Alienware laptops, the Alienware X16 is a great buy. It features top-of-the-line specs in an impossibly thin chassis adorned with cool RGB lighting effects which solidifies it as our pick for the best premium Alienware laptop.

Contained within its thin frame figure is an RTX 4080 graphics card, and Alienware’s Cry-tech cooling technology comes in with its gallium-silicone thermal interface and quad fans flex their cold chops to keep the beast under control. The same lovely 16” QHD+ 240Hz panel returns from the m16 which is befitting of such a premium device. The i9-13900HK makes do with 14 cores but these are still plenty powerful enough to keep everything ticking over.

With so much in such a thin package something has to give, and unfortunately, the X16 isn’t as fast as the M16 or M18, with fewer CPU cores and less cooling headroom. The result, however, is a very portable Alienware gaming laptop which used to be an unthinkable proposition. Its high price brings us back down to earth, though it’s reasonable given the specs on offer and the quality of the craftsmanship and design.

 What’s the newest Alienware laptop?

There are many new Alienware laptops and these are the M16, M18, X14, and X16. These all feature Nvidia’s latest RTX 4000 series of cards and sport tall 16:10 aspect ratio displays which is becoming the norm in the mid to upper range gaming laptop market.

There is now also the Alienware M18 range that runs on AMD hardware, such as its most powerful laptop GPU, the Radeon RX 7900M, which has proven superior to the RTX 4080 models in early testing.

Is Alienware a good gaming laptop brand?

Alienware has been in the gaming laptop space since its inception, and the brand (owned by Dell) is well-trusted among gamers. Alienware also manufactures plenty of peripherals, such as mice and monitors, so if you like the aesthetic you can match up your devices for a cohesive look.

It is a testament that the Alienware brand has excelled for so long without falling into the gaming community’s bad books. In a cut-throat industry, longevity is one of the biggest identifiers signs of strength and reliability.

Are Alienware laptops worth the cost?

A question as old as the brand itself, Alienware has often faced critique over its premium pricing, but you’ll rarely find anyone who investing in an Alienware laptop saying it wasn’t worth the outlay.

This is largely because with a premium brand, you expect performance on par with a desktop PC with similar specs, only it’s portable. The typical lifespan of a premium gaming laptop like an Alienware is also longer, meaning that initial outlay can be spread across up to five years rather than the typical two or three.

Is Alienware better than Razer?

Alienware and Razer laptops both offer different things. Alienware tends to offer bulkier designs with more room for cooling, while Razer focuses more on portability. The thicker Alienware laptops will generally outperform their Razer counterparts but the RTX 4000 series is very efficient, so this gap has narrowed.

The Alienware X16 and X14 strive to be more portable but still aren’t as easy to take with you, and the Razer Blade 16 or 14 and have similar performance.