Since its inception, Alienware has continued to raise the bar for gaming laptops. In 2004, the Aurora m9700 became the first laptop to include dual GPUs. Ten years later, the company introduced the first OLED screen in a gaming laptop, with the Alienware 13. And this year, Alienware launched the Area-51, one of the first fully upgradeable gaming laptops.
But what’s next for the company? We’ve compiled the latest whispering and murmuring about Alienware’s plans to help you decide whether it’s worth spending your hard-earned cash on the latest laptop or if you should wait for a more advanced rig down the line.
As Alienware continues to innovate, hardware refreshes and price cuts for older models become inevitable.
Alienware on laptops running AMD hardware
Last year saw the release of a Threadripper-equipped Area-51 desktop. But for Alienware fans hoping for an AMD Ryzen-powered Area-51m, it’s going to be a long wait
“Regarding Ryzen desktop processors in a new Area-51m, I wouldn’t expect anything soon,” said Joe Olmsted, director of Dell’s gaming products.
With Alienware’s former VP of product, Frank Azor, now at AMD, it wouldn’t be surprising to see AMD components running on Alienware hardware. Thus far, AMD hasn’t created anything powerful enough for Alienware’s higher-end laptops. With Azor at the helm, however, we could see more-powerful components than what has been released so far, allowing for more options. But if you were holding out for an AMD-powered laptop from Alienware soon, you’ll have to look for a product outside of Alienware’s gaming laptop line.
240-Hz display coming to Area-51m?
Arguably one of Alienware’s most impressive gaming laptops, the 51m still has room for improvement, namely in the display department. Some consumers are clamoring for a panel with a 240-Hz refresh rate.
It looks like those customers will have to wait until at least next year for a refresh. According to Azor, this is because the A-51m uses a brand-new, narrow border design and panel makers are just catching up to this. While there is a 15-inch, 240-Hz configuration, Alienware is working with suppliers on the larger 17-inch panels.
While the 51M’s SSD can be upgraded, the maximum 16GB capacity of configurable RAM is soldered and hence not replaceable with other modules. The only options offered at the moment are 8GB soldered or 16GB soldered. Azor has as mentioned that 32GB will be available in the future.
What we want:
Lighter Alienware machines
All of the technology crammed into current Alienware gaming laptops comes at a heavy cost — pun intended. While gaming laptops have come a long way, Alienware’s more-powerful products weigh quite a lot. We’d love to see lighter laptops that we could carry around without misaligning our spines. The company’s getting there, packing incredible power into the relatively light chassis of the m15 (4.75 pounds), m17 (5.80 pounds) and 51m (up to 8.54 pounds). However, we’d love to see an Alienware the size and weight of an XPS 15.
What’s better than one screen? Two. A second screen could be that innovation Alienware needs to get more productivity users aboard the metaphorical spaceship.
Imagine having a dual-monitor setup on the go, with streaming production open on one side and a comments section on the other. With dual-equipped laptops like the ZenBook Pro Duosurfacing, two screens are not outside the realm of possibility for future additions to the lineup.
Individual key lighting
Alienware is known for its customizable lighting. But lately, the company has fallen behind in this area. While the competition offers per-key lighting, Alienware still puts zones on its keyboards. We’re hoping that Alienware will bring this feature to the company’s Command Center software sooner rather than later. This kind of lighting can be the difference between a good machine and a great one.