Secretly, we all crave an Alienware gaming machine, be it a desktop or a laptop. Okay, perhaps we don’t necessarily want the hardware that’s in it, and at that price, we won’t blame you. However, you can’t argue that their designs, sleekness, and general high standard brand name is all we desire. I mean, wouldn’t you enjoy being the guy with a $2000 Alienware gaming laptop among your friends?
Anyway, in this article, we at MB Reviews will be reviewing the ALW14 gaming laptop by the folks at Alienware.
Alienware ALW14 Review
However, Sitting at close to $1200 on Amazon.com, the ALW14 will burn a steep hole in your wallet. That price is only for the 14-inch version, and includes no extra peripherals such as a gaming mouse, a separate keyboard (in case you don’t want to burn through the original one quickly), or a separate gaming monitor if you enjoy a wider screen. This isn’t to say the ALW14 can’t function without the extras (it can), but it just leaves a slight empty feeling after you spend well over a grand on gaming hardware.
Alienware 14 Review – Features
The ALW14 gaming laptop has some pretty nice specs. Again, it’s not a bad computer. With a 4th-gen Intel i7 processor that can go up to 3.4Ghz with Turbo Boost and a GeForce GT 750M with 1GB GDDR5 graphics card, it has plenty of beef for you to plow through games on.
Alienware did it’s consumers some good service by adding 8GB of RAM and a lot of space for a tiny laptop in it’s 750GB SATA hard drive, which can run at 7200 RPM.
The gaming laptop itself includes a sturdy 14-inch display with anti-glare and full HD capabilities, which hardly does anything to make up for the disappointing 14 inch display size. The audio is also taken care of with preloaded Dolby audio software, but if you’re going to be playing on this system a lot rather than on-the-go, we recommend purchasing a separate set of gaming speakers, or preferably some gaming headphones.
The ALW14 we bought from Amazon.com also came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, but we’re unsure if any other retailers will provide an included operating system. Windows 8 is pretty awesome and gaming isn’t affected by the operating system.
Alienware 14 Gaming Laptop Review – Performance
We played a variety of video games, but decided to stick with new 2014 releases just for our 2014 Alienware ALW14 review. The games we tried on this laptop were Dead Rising 3 and Metro Redux.
Both looked absolutely phenomenal on the ALW14, specifically Metro Redux. This updated game (both Last Light and Metro 2033 re-made) took the graphics and resolutions to an incredible new level.
For each of the stress video game examinations, we reinstalled the Windows 8 that our computer came with and restarted to ensure complete fairness in testing the PC’s limits.
First was Metro Redux. When we finally finished downloading and installing it from Steam, we adjusted the settings to a high point (although we did turn off a few features that we heard would otherwise ruin gameplay) and removed some unnecessary processes running in the background.
Playing through the campaign, I noticed how beautiful the game played. With FRAPS installed, this Alienware gaming laptop powered through with a healthy frames per second of approximately 45-50. If all you want to play is 60 frames per second and higher, we tried lowering the settings and the laptop was able to reach that framerate. If the 14-inch laptop seems a bit underpowered for you, for a few hundred more dollars Alienware actually offers the “bigger brother” with a 17 inch version, the Alienware ALW17. We suggest taking a quick look at the differences between the two on Amazon.
Dead Rising 3 had slightly less graphical fidelity. Due to this, we were able to put the graphical settings to high and still get 60 frames per second. There was 2 or 3 small stutters during our gameplay period, whichwe don’t think will matter in the long run, but it is something to consider if you’re on a tight budget.
Alienware 14 Review – Conclusion
In all, the Alienware 14 is a fairly good gaming laptop. However, the price point is surely too much for most people. There are already a ton of alternatives on the market from great producers like ASUS or even Dell selling less flashy-looking laptops at a more affordable price. It’s still always much better
Though these gaming laptops won’t look as sleek as the Alienware 14, they are financially more friendly for you as a consumer. However, if you are a fan of Alienware or Dell, the ALW14 is a great option as a gaming machine or a laptop for gaming on the go.
Note: We reviewed the gaming desktop version of the Alienware, with the Aurora R4. Check it out here!
In the meantime, take a look at these two alternative gaming laptops that are more affordable and provides more bang for your buck than the Alienware 14.
Alienware ALW14 Gaming Laptop Alternatives
The ROG is one of my favorite ASUS products of all time and probably my favorite sub-1500 dollar gaming laptop. It’s affordable for the amount of value it gives and is, in almost every way, better than the 14-inch laptop manufactured by Alienware.
Though it does hold the same power i7 processor the Alienware 14 cases in, it does have several advantages in it’s graphics card (GeForce GTX 860M) and a hefty amount of RAM (12GB). It’s hard drive is also a great option for a smaller computer with 1TB, though it is slightly slower with a 5400 RPM speed.
Though not quite the alternative in power and brand, the P70 is a good alternative for those that want a budget gaming laptop. This P70 Leopard computer is several hundred dollars cheaper than both the ROG G750JM by Asus and the ALW14 by Alienware.
Don’t account it’s much lower price range for a huge deficit in power, however. It still packs a huge punch a more-than-capable Intel i5 core that goes to a speed of 3.0Ghz and a solid 8GB of RAM.
The graphics card isn’t much to boast about, but for a much, much cheaper laptop, a GT840M with 2GB of GDDR3 video RAM will more than suffice for today’s games.
Like we said, the MSI Leopard isn’t a lot compared to the big dogs, but for the price, expect to be able to play today’s games at around medium settings, which is more than enough for a great video game experience.
We hope you found this article informative and continue on your venture for a better gaming laptop. Explore more of our website with some of these extended articles: AMD Processors for Gaming and Dell Gaming Monitor Review.