GIFT REVIEW: Get an Alienware gaming laptop this Christmas

Looking for an awesome gift? Danny de Gracia reviews the Dell Alienware 14 laptop. Photo: Dell's Alienware laptops deliver stunning performance and value. (Photo: Danny de Gracia/TWTC)

HONOLULU, December 16, 2013 – Still looking for Christmas gifts? If there’s someone in your life that loves portable gaming or is looking for a power-packed computer, consider Dell’s awesome lineup of Alienware laptops this holiday season.

Last month, my hybrid Ultrabook laptop/tablet was completely destroyed and I needed an immediate replacement. Not wanting to spend another $2,000 for a computer, I took advantage of Dell’s holiday promotional sale and selected their Alienware 14 laptop.

After some personalization of my hardware and software, the total cost for my new computer was $1,229.32 including tax and next business day delivery. The configuration I chose features a 14-inch 1920x1080 WLED screen, Intel i5 processor, 8GB of DDR3L memory, an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 1GB GDDR5 graphics card, 750GB hard drive, a slot-loading 8x DVD/R/RW and Windows 8.

Design Elements

After a little less than a week of just-in-time factory assembly, my Alienware 14 arrived in Hawaii by FedEx and from the minute I opened the shipping case, I was extremely impressed by the immense customer pampering and attention to detail included with the new laptop.

Everything’s customizable: featuring LED illuminated keyboard and exterior case lights, Alienware laptops have a great look and offer a personalized gaming experience. (Photo by Danny de Gracia/TWTC)

While most laptops on the market are presented in very cheap, disposable packaging, the Alienware 14 comes in a thick cardboard briefcase design that is lined with extremely thick, professional-grade gray foam padding.

The laptop itself has a sturdy anodized aluminum, magnesium alloy and plastic shell which feels very solid and gives a user the impression of a very well-engineered product. As an added classy touch, the underside of the laptop features an engraved metal “dedication plaque” which indicates the day the computer left the production line and a brief summary of the system specifications.

Just like the infamous metal “I-beam” allegedly found at the 1947 Roswell crash, the computer’s plaque features engraved hieroglyphic-like alien script, along with countless other subtle extraterrestrial elements hidden in plain sight in the laptop’s case design. LED lights run across the cover, keyboard and sides, all of which are fully customizable for a personalized experience.

Weighing a little over six pounds and 1.6 inches thick, the laptop may be a little bulky for users who like to travel light, but the size of the computer is not bad when one considers the incredible hardware packed inside.

Performance

Even games like Call of Duty: Ghosts at max settings run well on entry-level Alienware laptops. Seen here is an actual screenshot from gameplay on the Alienware 14. (Infinity Ward/Activision)

The performance of the Alienware 14 is superb for its price and size, which means that most applications and games will run impressively at even high graphics settings. As an example, the first-person shooter Call of Duty: Ghosts looks incredible at maxed out settings, with only minor, occasional hiccups in gameplay. 

If you’re like me and enjoy watching movies on the go, the Alienware 14’s full HD, anti-glare screen makes video and images appear crisp and extremely life-like. My entire collection of HD movies on iTunes and Google Play look razor sharp playing on the Alienware, and the massive internal speakers brings powerful, immersive sound whether you’re playing games, watching movies or listening to your favorite artists.

For the more serious users, Alienware also offers 17 and 18 inch laptops that are basically “portable desktops” priced around $1.5 to $2.9k or more, depending on options selected. In my case, the Alienware 14 was more than enough for my computing needs.

The Alienware experience is outstanding for gamers, road warriors and even political consultants like myself. For great value at an awesome price, Alienware laptops are the perfect Christmas gift for your friends and family. 


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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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