Display Quality

The panel employed in the Alienware 17 is by no means bad; it's actually pretty solid for a TN panel, and 1080p is really the target gaming resolution right now even as higher resolution panels are creeping up the vine in ultrabooks. The time when 1080p will be inadequate for a desktop replacement notebook is on the horizon, but we're not there yet.

But while I appreciate that Alienware offers a 120Hz 3D Vision enabled version of the 17, I'm still going to take them to task for not offering a high quality IPS panel on this notebook. When the 14 and 18 both have IPS options, why are we still stuck on TN for the likely most popular model in their lineup?

LCD Analysis - Contrast

LCD Analysis - White

LCD Analysis - Black

LCD Analysis - Delta E

LCD Analysis - Color Gamut

It's hard to complain too much, though. This is a TN panel, but it's a pretty good one, and the switch to a matte finish is tremendously appreciated. Alienware opts to tune the panel a little more for brightness, but it's still lovely and I have a hard time imagining any end users are going to be especially disappointed beyond the initial irritation that they couldn't request an IPS display.

Battery Life

This class of notebook just doesn't exist to run off the mains. We're talking about a nine pound notebook here; NVIDIA's Optimus does a fine job of curbing power consumption, but you're not going to actually game off of the battery, not when the GTX 780M is pulling 100W on its own.

Battery Life 2013 - Light

Battery Life 2013 - Medium

Battery Life 2013 - Heavy

Battery Life 2013 - Light Normalized

Battery Life 2013 - Medium Normalized

Battery Life 2013 - Heavy Normalized

I never thought I'd see the day when Clevo notebooks would be posting better efficiency than Alienware, but there you have it. Battery life isn't awful and isn't as relevant for this class of notebooks, but the Alienware 17 does seem to be nipping at the heels of the competition rather than being out in front.

Gaming Performance Conclusion
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  • ddriver - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    What defines being the "king"? I guess it is not performance, since there appear to be faster products? Reply
  • nathanddrews - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    ... and not styling, since Alienware tends to build the ugliest notebooks without fail. That alien head just looks dumb, always has. That is my opinion. Reply
  • edwd2 - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    Well, it‘s designed for usually immature, enthusiast gamers who probably would think of it as cool anyway. Reply
  • bad_code - Monday, September 9, 2013 - link

    Must be plenty of immature gamers out there because most people I see are impressed with the looks and lights. Many are older and lots of them younger. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    It's designed for people that want an actual high end notebook (remember those?) that's reliable and can actually be pushed without dying. Reply
  • macov44 - Sunday, September 8, 2013 - link

    Their success proves you are wrong. Reply
  • Panickd - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    Both Voodoo (tragically bought by HP) and Falcon Northwest were better builders of gaming laptops that Alienware ever was (even before Dell came sniffing around). If I have the money to spend I am spending it with Falcon Northwest everytime. Smaller vendors tend to have a handle on what their buyers want and are more attentive when it comes to service. Plus getting a laptop painted any color you want is just hyper-cool. Reply
  • Kumouri - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    I believe in general the king of products would be the one that sells the best, that the most people have. Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    Dunno... to me "king" also implies exclusivity, rarity, premium that is usually not the best selling product most of the people have. Reply
  • kogunniyi - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    Durability, fit-and-finish, features, and cooling, I imagine. It's not so much that Alienware is particularly competent as that the competition is incompetent. Reply

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