Latest Alienware laptops get desktop Pascal and Polaris graphics

— 1:38 PM on September 2, 2016

Alienware teased the Internet a few days ago about an important product reveal, and the curtains have now opened. The company is showing off some hefty updates to its well-known lineup of gaming laptops.

Let's kick things off with the big one. The Alienware 17 is now equipped with Tobii's EyeX gaze-tracking hardware, letting owners use their eyes to control games and Windows itself with their pupils alone. Recent graphics card releases didn't go unnoticed by Alienware, either. On the green corner, buyers get the option of the celestial GTX 1080, the demigod GTX 1070, and the mighty GTX 1060.

Most interestingly, though, Alienware is perhaps the first laptop maker to incorporate one of AMD's Polaris chips into its gaming notebooks. The company is offering the same Radeon RX 470 graphics chip that's available in desktop cards as an option for the latest Alienware 17 (and 15) notebooks. While we're curious to see what effect the thermal constraints of a laptop form factor have on the 120W RX 470's performance, this is a big design win for AMD.

CPU options range up to a Core i7-6820HK overclocked to 4.1 GHz, in tandem with up to 32GB of RAM. Alienware offers multiple options for the laptops' storage compartments, up to a mix of PCIe and SATA storage. Screen options are aplenty, too: 1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 3840x2160 monitors are all on offer. Touchy-feely gamers should enjoy the "TactX" keyboard, which offers RGB LED lighting, a steel-reinforced base, and 2.2-mm key travel.

Next up is the Alienware 15. This machine is mostly similar to its 17" brother, and offers GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 graphics cards options, as well as the fully-enabled Radeon RX 470. Buyers can get a 1920x1080 IPS screen or a 120Hz monitor with G-Sync variable-refresh-rate tech. There's no indication of a FreeSync display for the RX 470, though. The stock battery offers a capacity of 68 Wh and an option for a 99 Wh upgrade.

Last but by no means least, there's the Alienware 13. Although it could easily be dismissed as the runt of the litter, this machine has a couple tricks up its sleeve. First, gamers can order it with a GeForce GTX 1060 card inside, which is an unusual pairing with a 13" laptop size. Second, Alienware offers an OLED screen option. Yes, you read that right. The company says this monitor has a 1-ms response time and a contrast ratio of 100,000:1. Given our experience with OLED screens, we'd expect black levels like nothing else out there.

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