Alienware 13 review: This compact gaming laptop is a sight to behold

IDG.TV | Nov 1, 2016

The combination of a gorgeous OLED screen and Nvidia's GTX 1060 makes games look fantastic on this portable notebook.

The Alienware 13 is small, but you can’t judge a gaming laptop by its size anymore. Not when so much incredible hardware has been crammed into a portable notebook.


We expected some of the components, like the quad-core Skylake processor and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card. The quad-HD OLED screen, however, was a welcome surprise. Games look fantastic on this laptop with deep blacks and rich colors, and thanks to the magic of Nvidia’s Pascal architecture, they run pretty fast and smooth, too.

At 1080p, older games like Shadow of Mordor play at over 80 frames per second on Ultra settings, and in newer games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, you’ll get about 50 frames per second on Very High settings. You’re not limited to just 1080p gaming, though. When we bumped up to the Alienware 13’s native resolution of 1440p, we still got 60 frames per second in Shadow of Mordor on Ultra settings.

The Alienware 13’s only real drawback is that you can feel some warmth on the keyboard while gaming, but it’s not bad at all. With solid performance during CPU-oriented work, a battery life of 4 hours during 4K video playback, and a manageable weight of five pounds, this laptop is so well-rounded that, for us, it actually has greater appeal than the monstrous beasts that dominate the gaming notebook space. You can actually carry this one around without a back brace or with an eye out for the next nearest power outlet.