The 14-inch and 15-inch portable gaming machines are pretty common and almost every vendor is selling them, but a portable gaming machine with 18-inch display is as rare as it gets. Alienware 18 (2014) is one of the very few gaming laptops that come with an 18.4-inch display and a dual-GPU setup. At $4166, it might be a little pricey, but it is truly something special and the best mobile gaming RIG a hardcore gamer can get.
Design and Features
The new Alienware 18 (2014) features a modern look with rounded edges and looks more like a spaceship than a laptop. It has an angular design which is accented with gorgeous LED lights and two large exhaust vents on the back. The chassis is made from a magnesium alloy, while the lid is made from anodized aluminum. Interior is in matte black with soft-touch rubbery finish. It is a relatively large machine, with overall dimensions of 17.97 x 12.90 x 2.26 inches (W x D x H), and weighs over 12 pounds. It comes with a variety of I/O ports which include Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 3.0 ports, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI port, 7-in-1 card reader, audio ports and Kensington security lock. For wireless connectivity, Alienware 18 features Bluetooth4.0 and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Alienware 18 features an 18.4-inch WLED TrueLife Display with full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The display comes with a glossy finish and features In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology. Thanks to IPS technology, Alienware 18 offers great viewing angles and darker than normal blacks with sharp details and crisp text. While the display is extremely bright, it still offers rich and vibrant colors. The full HD display is great for viewing HD content, Blu-Ray movies and gaming. It also comes with a pair of front facing Klipsch stereo speakers which are loud enough for to fill a large room without any distortion. When combined with Dolby’s Home Theater v4 software, the speakers produce a perfect combination of highs, mids and lows with balanced and rich sound.
Below the large display is a full size keyboard with separate numeric pad and backlit keys. The keys are soft and provide a reasonable amount of travel and tactile feedback. They are large and well-spaced for easier typing and sturdy enough to take a beating while gaming. On the extreme left are some macro keys and just below the keyboard you will find a glowing trackpad with separate mouse buttons. The trackpad supports Windows 8/8.1 multi-touch gestures and responds quickly and accurately to touch. The users can change the color of the trackpad using the AlienFX application. The laptop comes with Microsoft Windows7 Home Premium pre-installed but customers also have the option to upgrade to the latest version Windows 8 at the time of purchase. The laptop is mostly free of bloatware and comes bundled with Alienware-branded apps like AlienFX, AlienTouch, AlienFusion, and Alienware TactX.
Like always customers have a lot of customization options and they can configure their machine according to their needs and budget. The review unit was equipped with Intel Core i7-4910MQ quad-core processor with 8MB cache and Turbo Boost of up to 3.9GHz. It is one of Intel’s fastest processors and belong to their latest Haswell series of processors which are famous for their remarkable performance. It is coupled with 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM and a 256GB mSATA SSD for blazing fast performance. Alienware 18 (2014) cleared all benchmark tests with flying colors, in PCMark 8 Home it scored 4170 points, while scored 722 cb in Cinebench benchmark test.
Graphics card is one of the major components in a gaming laptop and Alienware 18 (2014) comes with two of those. It is equipped with 2 x Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M GPU with a total of 16GB GDDR5 memory. These are the latest and fastest GPUs by Nvidia and with these GPUs, Alienware 18 (2014) manages to dominate all graphics intensive tasks thrown at it. During 3DMark Benchmark test, it scored 24757 points in Cloud Gate test and 8,323 in Fire Strike test. In real life game testing, it scored 112 frames-per-second in Bioshock Infinity at full HD resolution and detail level at Ultra. During a battery test, it lasted only 1 hour 57 minutes, which is not surprising for a laptop with dual-GPU setup.
No other gaming laptop comes even close to the performance of Alienware 18 (2014) and gaming laptops with such a large display and dual-GPU setup are hard to come by. Alienware features all the latest and fastest components in the market and is capable of running all the latest games on max settings with playable frame rate. With its premium design, beautiful display and splendid performance, Alienware 18 (2014) is behemoth for mobile PC gaming.