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First Look: Dell's Alienware 17 is almost portable

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First Look: Dell's Alienware 17 is almost portable

1:58 /

A little slimmer and lighter than some other big-sceen gaming laptops, but still not exactly portable.

I'm Dan Ackerman, and we are here taking a look at the Alienware 17. Of course, we just looked at the Alienware 18. That model, of course, has an 18-inch screen. This one has a 17-inch screen. Even though it's only a 1-inch difference, the 17-inch model is actually much thinner and much lighter-- although it's still obviously very big and heavy by laptop standards. That's because that 18-inch model, you can cram in two video cards in addition to two or three hard drives, and a super high-end processor. Here in the 17-inch model, it's much more like other 17-inch gaming laptops. You could still fit a Solid-state hard drive and a regular hard drive. You get a good Quad-core, Core i7 processor. But there's only room for one video card. In our case, we've got an upgraded video card, the very good Nvidia GeForce 780M. That's really the card you wanna get if you're spending, let's say, more than $2,000 on a gaming laptop-- which we're doing in this case. This configuration comes out about 2,600 bucks. You can get a lower-end entry level Alienware 17 for about $1,500. But at that point, you know, why bother? Just get a regular old 17-inch or even a 15-inch laptop. Gaming scores, this thing did really well. Not as great as the handful of super thick gaming laptops we've seen with two cards. But for a single card system, it played our "BioShock" and our "Metro: Last Light" test at high settings very well. I played the brand new Battlefield 4 in here. I set everything too high at full 1080p resolution, played great on some of the faster gaming systems. I was, however, able to make the jump to ultra settings, which of course, is what you get when you go past high. If you wanna have a desktop replacement laptop that doesn't look all that garish-- you know, it's got a nice, muted matte black design even though it has the standard Alienware lights. You can get a very highly configurable system here with the Alienware 17. And if you're willing to spend maybe up $2,000 or a bit more, you'll get a really nice configuration for your money. I'm Dan Ackerman, and that is the Alienware 17.

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