Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
When it comes to weight and size, the Alienware 18 is in a class of its own compared to its closest competitors, the Origin EON17-S and Alienware 17. The 18-inch unit tips the scales at 12.06 pounds while measuring 17.97 x 12.90 x 2.26 inches (W x D X H). If that sounds big on paper, the laptop is so enormous in real life it could double as an oversized buckler for LARP battles.
By comparison, the Alienware 17 looks like a kid, nearly an inch smaller in every respect at 16.3 x 11.8 x 1.8 1.9 inches. If the size discrepancy wasn't a big enough difference, the smaller Alienware also weighs a considerably lighter 9.15 pounds. The lightest and most compact of the three, at 16.2 x 10.9 x 1.8 inches and 8.5 pounds, is the Origin EON17-S.
Here is the Alienware 18 configuration given to TechRadar:
- CPU: 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-4910MQ (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 3.9GHz with Turbo Boost)
- Graphics: 2x Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M (16GB GDDR5 RAM); Intel HD Graphics 4600
- RAM: 16GB DDR3L (2x 8GB at 1600MHz)
- Screen: 18.4-inch, 1920 x 1080 WLED TrueLife Display
- Storage: 256GB mSATA SSD; 1TB HDD at 5400 rpm
- Optical drive: Slot-loading, dual layer Blu-ray reader
- Ports: RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet IPv6, 4x USB 3.0 (one with) PowerShare), Mini DisplayPort, HDMI 1.4-out/ 1.3-in, 7-in-1 media card reader, 2x audio out ⅛-inch ports (one for inline mic headset), line-in microphone ⅛-inch port (5.1 analog audio output), Kensington security lock
- Connectivity: 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0
- Camera: 2MP webcam, 1080p video
- Weight: 12.06 pounds
- Size: 17.97 x 12.90 x 2.26 inches (W x D x H)
What we have here is an extremely tuned up version of the base Alienware 18, equipped with two of Nvidia's biggest mobile GPUs totalling up to a Titan-slaying 16GB of video memory. Normally this configuration would also come with a 512GB Samsung 841 SSD, but the Dell unit sent to TechRadar was equipped with an older LiteON 256GB SSD (an option that's no longer available). Despite the mismatched storage drive, these two different parts are nearly on par, with similar write and read speeds.
Put all together, this configuration will run users $4,166 (about £2,434, AU$4,443). It's an insane amount of cash to drop for any gaming laptop – essentially a first round of new car payments. The good news is that, for all your hard earned cheddar, Alienware also includes one year of phone support, plus in-home service should anything go awry.
Keep in mind the same amount of money could buy an AMD-powered Alienware 17 for $2,449 (about £1,457, AU$2,644) and still leave enough money to spare for two extra gaming monitors and some peripherals. Alternatively, completely decking out the Alienware 17 with an even faster Intel Core i7-4910MX processor, triple SSD setup for 768GB in storage, a single Nvidia GTX 880M, and the same amount of RAM would run you $4,350 (about £2,545, AU$4,630).
A similarly specced Origin EON17-S with a single 880M graphics card and dual 500GB SSDs (for 1TB of flash storage) would cost buyers $4,282 (about £2,505, AU$4,558).
Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.