New Alienware Area-51m Gaming Laptop Review 2019
Performance is ruling the roost at the CES 2019 at Las Vegas, as it rightly should. Joining other laptop manufacturers in their quest for more power in compact packages, Dell launched the new Alienware Area-51m. A 17” gaming machine driven by a ninth-gen, eight-core Intel processor, it runs NVIDIA GeForce graphics with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The first Alienware laptop to feature a CPU this powerful, the Area-51m can support up to 125% rated power, making it comfortably competent not only at gaming but also other grueling activities alongside.
Performance That Doesn’t Pale
The buzzword that rules Dell’s most recent launch is definitely Performance with a capital P. Not only is it the first of its type to feature an eight-core, 16-thread CPU from the ninth-gen, but it is also the first to be fitted with 64GB of RAM. This configuration has been designed to satisfy the most ardent of gamers who cannot let their machine rest even after hours of play. The laptop also supports upgrades to the CPU (and the GPU). While Dell hasn’t stated the exact unplugged capacity to expect from this laptop, it does promise a 90Wh battery which should last for a good couple of gaming-full hours.
To ensure that things are sustainable during power spurts, Dell has designed a superior cooling system for its brainchild. The heat dissipation mechanism (Advanced Alienware Cryo-Tech v2.0) employs liquid-crystal polymer fans, eight heat pipes, and copper fins to keep the innards cool. Also, the vents are now hexagonal to boost the airflow; Dell claims that this design change has effected a 47% improvement in performance. The best part, however, is that the latest Alienware boasts of efficient cooling that is also silent. So, the CPU and the GPU can function at their optimum but generate little effective heat and sound. This sounds promising for professional gamers who often have to suffer from downtime on account of overheated machines.
Lending customizability to the proceedings is the command center that allows users to create gaming profiles, adapt the hardware to the need of the hour, and access all the gaming information at one go. Gamers will enjoy the liberty that comes with a flexible control center that prioritizes exactly what sets their hearts racing.
A Gaming Laptop That Looks the Part
Stylistically, the all-new Alienware is a good-looking machine that exudes the power it claims to unleash. The build is futuristic with neat, blended lines, bright lighting (AlienFX up to 16.8 million colors), and two color options, thematically titled “Lunar Light” and “Dark Side of the Moon.”
The chassis is built from a magnesium alloy that is durable but lightweight. Indeed, the machine weighs about 9.7lbs which isn’t too hefty for gaming laptops. In thickness also, the computer maintains quite a sleek profile— 1.09″ from the front, 1.23″ at the rear, and 1.7″ at the peak. This makes it more portable than users may have been accustomed to with contemporaries of similar configurations.
If the exterior looks glorious, the display also seems remarkable. The laptop has a full High-Definition screen with a refresh rate of 144Hz that should render even the most demanding of games without distortion. The GPU offers an additional overclocking up to 30W—a sound provision for out-of-the-world gaming sessions. In acoustic support too, Dell has outdone itself with exceptional headphone support and far-field audio.
Say it with Your Eyes
A feature that got the crowds whispering at the CES2019 is the advanced eye tracking (Tobii) that comes built into this Alienware. With Tobii, the machine receives smaller sensors that can detect fine movements such as a gaze, eye position, and head position. This means that gamers can interact with the in-game players through mere eye movements, thereby experiencing an unparalleled level of immersion. The software support ensures that the eye-tracking carries forward even during streaming.
Accessibility & Connectivity
The Alienware Area-51m is fitted with a gaming-friendly keyboard (TactX) that has a key-travel distance of 2.2mm. Per-key backlighting is supported, and so is an n-key rollover. The keyboard comes with a steel backplate to improve the ease of typing and gaming. Particularly useful are the programmable macro keys that allow users to program shortcuts for about 150 games. Dell has tested the keyboard for durability up to 10 million keystrokes.
For connectivity to devices/peripherals, this gaming laptop is equipped with a USB 3.1 Thunderbolt port that can serve multiple purposes. For instance, it can support data transfer with speeds as blazing as 40Gbps as well as double up as display port to connect to external displays and make things truly big-picture. To connect to an iOS or Android smartphone, the Alienware offers a straightforward “Mobile Connect.” Further, this laptop also has three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, an HDMI port, and a mini-display port.
This Alienware computer supports an Ethernet connection with a bandwidth of 2.5Gbps. This claims to be 2.5 times as fast as wired Ethernet connections, which means hopping onto the internet and playing online games should be a breeze.
Exciting Times Ahead
The Consumer Electronics Show 2019 has sprung up a fair few surprises and launches that have audiences waiting with bated breath. The new Alienware Area-51m is one of Dell’s powerhouse announcements to begin the year, and at first sight, it seems well worth the hype. There is tremendous power lurking within the confines of this machine, and it forays into many new territories for Dell—for instance, the first-ever Alienware laptop with a ninth-gen Intel eight-core CPU and 64GB RAM.
This gaming laptop also benefits from a host of pro-gaming features that the cognoscenti will appreciate, such as advanced eye-tracking, intuitive keyboard, sturdy but mobile design, and varied options for customization. Depending on the pricing bucket it falls into and the testified veracity of its claims, the new Alienware has the potential to take the market by storm.