Alienware delivers a UFO full of notebook updates


— 8:49 AM on August 28, 2015

Not content to make intentionally-terrible videos and an enormous luggable PC, Alienware has updated the rest of its gaming notebooks and its diminutive X51 desktop with newer CPUs and more I/O options. Since the full Skylake line of CPUs isn't available just yet, these systems' updated spec sheets look a tad familiar.

Some of these notebooks get Broadwell CPUs, while others rely on good ol' Haswell. The Alienware 13's base model starts at $1000. That nets buyers a dual-core Core i5-5200U, 8GB of memory, and 500GB of mechanical storage, with a 2GB GeForce GTX 960M graphics card. Upgraded models get a Core i7-5500U, double the RAM, and PCIe SSDs. The 1366x768 TN panel can be replaced with a 1080p IPS upgrade option, too. 

The Alienware 15 and 17 could have stepped out of a time machine set to 2014—they're all Haswell-based. The $1200-and-up Alienware 15 starts with a dual-core Core i5-4210H. Upgrade options include a quad-core Core i7-4720HQ or Core i7-4870HQ. GeForce options range from a GTX 965M with 2GB of RAM to a GTX 980M with 4GB of graphics memory. 1TB of mechanical storage is standard, and Alienware offers a 256GB PCIe SSD add-on to use as a boot drive.

The Alienware 17 drops the slowest dual-core CPUs of its 15" underling. The Core i7-4720HQ and a GeForce GTX 970M are standard, for a starting price of $1500. Both the Alienware 15 and 17 come with 1080p displays, and the 17" version can be upgraded to a 4K panel. 

Despite using pre-Skylake processors and platforms, all of the notebooks have Thunderbolt 3 onboard, running through a USB Type-C connector. Each model also has Killer 1535 Wi-Fi, HDMI 2.0, and support for Alienware's Graphics Amplifier external GPU system. None of these are ultra-portables: the Alienware 13 weighs in at just over 4.5 pounds, while the Alienware 17 weighs 8.3 pounds. 

Lastly, Alienware has updated its smaller X51 desktop with Skylake options, though the $699 base model still comes with a Haswell Core i3-4170. Skylake options include a Core i5-6600K or Core i7-6700K with liquid cooling as standard equipment. The base X51 has GeForce GTX 745 graphics, which can be upgraded to a Radeon R9 370 or a GTX 960. Memory configurations range from 6GB to 16GB. The base model includes a 1TB, 7,200-RPM hard drive, and a 2TB drive is available. The hard drives can be coupled with a 256GB PCIe SSD for a fast boot drive.

All of these systems are available on Alienware's website for order today, though the Skylake-equipped desktops have an estimated lead time of 20-24 business days. 

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