Alienware 13 Gaming Ultraportable

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The Alienware 13 is an ultraportable gaming notebook PC. With a unique screen size of 13.3″ in the gaming notebook category, the Alienware 13 doesn’t offer top performance. It rather delivers mid-range gaming potential in a portable form factor. The mid-tier Intel Core i5-4210U dual-core processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M 2GB video card are packed in a 1.1″ thick chassis with a total weight of 4.5 pounds. Quite thin and light for a gaming notebook.

However, graphics department of the laptop is expandable with help of an external separately sold graphics card box. The device is officially called Alienware Graphics Amplifier. It’s a 300-dollar box with a PCI Express slot in which you can insert a desktop-use graphics card, a power supply, and its own power cable. Both Nvidia and AMD video cards are supported. The Amplifier connects to the Alienware 13 via a proprietary cable.

Alienware 13 with Graphics Amplifier

As for RAM memory, the Alienware 13 ships with 8 or 16GB, both sufficient for all home, office, and gaming scenarios. Data storage choices are a 500GB hard drive combined with 8GB of Flash memory for data caching, a 1-Terabyte HDD, a 256GB solid state drive. The notebook has no built-in DVD drive.

The display comes in three different variants: 1366×768-pixel TN panel with 200-nits brightness, 1920×1080 with IPS wide viewing angle tech and increased 350-nit brightness, and a 2560×1440 IPS 400 nit panel. The last one can optionally have touchscreen support.

Regarding other on-body features, notable are a well-sized keyboard with backlight and programmable keys for easier game commands, a trackpad with integrated click buttons, Klipsch certified stereo speakers located on the left and right sides of the laptop, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and mini DisplayPort video connectors, and Gigabit Ethernet LAN port. The laptop also has Wi-Fi 802.11AC wireless and Bluetooth connections. A memory card reader is missing on this model.

The 4-cell battery with a 52WHr capacity is quite big for an ultraportable laptop. Dell hasn’t officially provided info on battery life, but judging from the specs it should be certainly good for more than five hours of web surfing and obviously much less if you game on it.

Specifications of the Alienware 13

Here's the specs sheet of the Alienware 13. For comparison against other laptops, use the "Compare Specs" button.

Brand

Dell

Screen Size

13.3-inch

Screen Resolution

1366×768 pixels (HD)
1920×1080 pixels (Full HD)
2560×1440 pixels (QHD / WQHD)

Touchscreen

Optional

Other Display Specs

IPS (wide) or TN (limited) viewing angles – depending on configuration

Processor (CPU)

Intel Core i5-4210U 4th Gen dual-core 1.7-2.7GHz 3MB cache (User Benchmark CPU score: 35)

Graphics (GPU)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M 2GB GDDR5 Dedicated Video Card

System Memory (RAM)

8GB
16GB

Storage

256GB SSD
500GB + 8GB HDD / SSD Hybrid
1000GB (1TB) HDD

DVD Optical Drive

None

Input

Backlit keyboard without numeric pad
Multi-touch trackpad with integrated buttons
Touchscreen

Speakers and Audio

Stereo speakers

Camera

Front

Wi-Fi

802.11AC
802.11N

Ethernet LAN

Yes

Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G LTE)

No

Bluetooth

Yes

USB

2 x USB 3.0

Video Ports

1 x HDMI
1 x mini DisplayPort

Media Card Reader

No

Other Features

Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port

Battery

4 Cell 52WHr

Weight

4.5 pounds

Height

1.1"

Width

12.9"

Depth

9.2"

Windows Version

Windows 8.1 (Eligable for free upgrade to Windows 10 Home. Check Windows.com for more info.)
Windows 8.1 Pro (Eligable for free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Check Windows.com for more info.)
Windows 7 Pro (Eligable for free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Check Windows.com for more info.)

Warranty

1-Year

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Written by Dan Z on October 31, 2014

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