Alienware’s X15 is its thinnest and coolest gaming laptop yet

Alienware has debuted its new X-series of gaming laptops, which it claims are its thinnest and most powerful yet.

Unveiled at Computex, the Alienware X15 and Alienware X17 are high-performance gaming laptops that are the first to join the company’s all-new X-series lineup, which Alienware claims is commands an “innovation-first prerogative.”

The Alienware X15 is being billed as the world’s most powerful sub-16mm gaming laptop, while the Alienware X17 is the firm’s thinnest 17-inch notebook to date, measuring in at 20.9mm-thick.

Let’s start with the X15, which will cost $1,999 for the base model, available starting today. Packed into that entry model is Intel’s 11th Gen Core i7-11800H processor eight cores and a boost clock speed of up to 4.6GHz, 16GB of RAM clocked at 3,200MHz (but not user-upgradeable due to size constraints), 256GB of fast NVMe storage which is user-upgradeable, with two slots that support either M.2 2230 or 2280-sized SSDs, and Nvidia’s RTX 3060 graphics chip (90W maximum graphics power, and a base clock speed of 1,050MHz and boost clock of 1,402MHz). A 15.6-inch FHD display with a 165Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and up to 300 nits of brightness with 100-percent sRGB color gamut support comes standard.

Alienware hasn’t shared pricing for spec increases, but you can load the X15 with up to an Intel Core i9-11900H processor, a 2TB NVMe M.2 SSD (with a maximum 4TB of dual storage supported via RAID 0), and 32GB of RAM. To top it off, you can put in an RTX 3080 graphics card (the 8GB version, with 110W maximum graphics power, a base clock speed of 930MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,365MHz). The display can be upgraded to a 400-nit QHD G-Sync panel with a 240Hz refresh rate, 2ms response time, and 99-percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The X15 has a 87Wh battery and includes a 240W “small form factor” adapter. At its lowest weight, the X15 comes in at five pounds, but it goes up to 5.2 pounds depending on the specs.

All of the X15’s ports, aside from a headphone jack and power input, are located on its back. There’s a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, one Thunderbolt 4 port, a microSD card slot, and an HDMI 2.1 port that will allow the X15 to output a 4K signal at up to 120Hz.

The X17 starts at $2,099 and has similar starting specs. It has a thicker chassis than the X15 at 20.9mm, and it’s heavier, starting at 6.65 pounds. But that extra heft apparently allows for more graphical and processing power, if you’re willing to pay for it. For example, its RTX 3060 card has a higher maximum graphics power of 130W. This pattern is seen for more pricey GPU upgrades, too, especially the RTX 3080 (16GB) that can sail with 165W of max graphics power at a boost clock speed of 1,710MHz. In the processor department, you can go up to an Intel Core i9-11900HK. Additionally, you can spec this one with up to 64GB of XMP RAM clocked at 3,466MHz.

As for the screen, there’s an upgrade option to get a 300-nit FHD G-Sync panel with a 360Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, but you can go all the way up to a 500-nit 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time. Like the X15, the X17 has an 87Wh battery, but whether you get a 240W or 330W power supply will depend on the configuration that you buy.

The X17 has all of the same ports as the X15, along with one extra USB-A port, a Mini DisplayPort jack, and a 2.5G ethernet port (the X15 includes a USB-C to ethernet adapter). Full configurations will be available starting June 15.

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