Alienware X Series x15, x17 super-slim gaming laptops available now, starting at $1,999
You can thank a crazy cooling system for making it possible to have the thinnest Alienware gaming laptops ever.
Joshua GoldmanManaging Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Alienware's new X-series gaming laptops, first teased in May, are here now. Based on the price and spec info, they sound amazing if you're after great performance in the thinnest body possible. The Alienware x17 is its thinnest 17.3-inch laptop ever, while the 15.6-inch x15 is Alienware's overall thinnest laptop ever. The company also claims the x16 is the world's most powerful sub-16mm gaming laptop.
The Alienware x15 starts at $2,000 and the x17 at $2,100. Pricing for the UK and Australia weren't immediately available but those prices convert to roughly £1,410 and £1,480 and AU$2,585 and AU$2,715. Alienware says all configurations will be available in the US on June 15, but limited configurations and quantity are available right now through Dell's website, as well as Best Buy, both online and in select retail locations.
With the x17 being slightly larger, you get more configuration options, including the new Cherry MX ultralow-profile mechanical keyboard. Other specs include:
Intel Core i7-11800H or i9-11900HX processors
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB), 3070 (8GB) or 3080 (16GB)
16 GB or 32GB DDR4 3200MHz; 32GB or 64GB DDR4 XMP 3466MHz memory
Up to 2TB single NVMe SSD; up to 4TB dual PCIe SSD
17.3-inch FHD 165Hz or 360Hz (Nvidia G-Sync); UHD 120Hz with 100% AdobeRGB color gamut
Killer Wi-Fi 6E, Killer E3100 2.5Gbps Ethernet
In the slimmer, smaller x15 you'll find similar components -- but the performance is definitely dialed down a notch or two in favor of mobility. The x15 offers:
Intel Core i7-11800H or i9-11900H processors
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB), 3070 (8GB) or 3080 (8GB)
16 GB or 32GB DDR4 3200MHz memory
Up to 2TB single NVMe SSD; up to 4TB (total) dual PCIe SSD
15.6-inch FHD 165Hz or 360Hz (Nvidia G-Sync); UHD 240Hz with 99% DCI-P3 color gamut
Killer Wi-Fi 6E, 2.5Gbps Ethernet (via dongle)
Regardless of the model, that's a lot of high-performance components to stuff into laptops that are just 15.9mm for the x15 and 20.9mm for the x17. To avoid throttling and overheating, the company developed special cooling systems for these models using "an exclusive thermal interface material (TIM) concocted from an encapsulated gallium-silicone liquid metal compound."
Add to that a quad-fan design with sensors to deliver the right amount of fan speed and graphics voltage regulation -- eight-phase on the 15x and 12-phase for the x17 -- that Alienware says will allow for extended performance while you play for hours. There are vents all over these, too, to increase airflow.
Other extras includ a specially designed magnesium-alloy frame with CNC-machined aluminum parts; an improved AlienFX lighting experience using miro-LEDs; and high-endurance clear-coat paint to reduce stains. The x15 maxes out at a weight of 2.4 kilograms (5.2 pounds) while the x17 tops out at 3.2 kilograms (7.1 pounds).
For Alienware, the X-series gaming laptops represent the cutting-edge of design and technology. But keep in mind that if performance and price is more important for you than portability, you'll want to stick with the company's more mainstream M-series laptops, which also offer AMD options missing here.
We have yet to see the X-Series in person, but once we get test systems, we'll benchmark them and report the results in an upcoming review.