Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

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Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by MattS on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:12 pm

So, one thing that increasingly confuses me about the games industry is the existence of dedicated gaming laptops. 

It confuses me because 1) they're not portable and so would basically be the same as a desktop and 2) desktops are more upgradable and therefore better for PC gaming. 

And yet Alienware continues to have a really good business selling gaming laptops. 

So I am really interested to understand what these devices are for - who would buy one, and what does it offer you as a gamer? Question
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by Midori on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:14 pm

1) I suppose the idea is that you can head down to Starbucks with one or take it to a hotel more easily than carting around a monitor and having to assemble your rig every time. Obviously you're not going to bust one out on the bus to get some Skyrim in, but they are highly advantageous for frequent travelers. The heaviest and bulkiest are still far easier to transport than any reasonable keyboard+mouse+monitor+computer combo. 

2) I'm not a master techie by any means, but I do know gaming laptops are considered a joke in many circles. In fact, you said of the reasons why yourself with the comment about desktops having greater upgrade potential. I believe the appeal of them then, is that they are "portable" (insofar as they can be carried around and used at defined locations without much hassle).

If you're away from home a lot, a gaming laptop might not be a terrible idea on the grounds that you still get decent power in a "portable" format. It should play a fairly decent selection of games for a few years. If you have time for home consoles though, you can definitely get sufficient mileage from a custom-built gaming PC (not to mention it would be way cheaper).

Personally? I might get one if it was cheap since I haven't used a proper desktop PC in years and my current laptop is getting a bit outdated. I've grown accustomed to the laptop format too.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by Chalgyr on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:33 pm

I'd love to win one - but I doubt I'd buy it. If I'm doing gaming on the computer, I'll probably just stick to my PC - which I recently upgraded quite a bit. I do have a laptop that sometimes I play game on, but they're usually older titles that are a lot less resource heavy.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by Shaan Joshi on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:46 pm

Yeah I think I'd pass on an Alienware. If I really needed a gaming laptop, I would go with something a bit more affordable, like the new ASUS rig.

But if I was ever out somewhere, I would just play handheld/mobile games (Vita, 3DS, iOS), as opposed to lugging around a laptop. That way, I can also balance my playtime, as I tend to ignore handhelds when I'm at home, unless I play a bit in bed before I fall asleep.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by segisaurus on Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:18 pm

Alienware is expensive for what they give you. I have a gaming laptop from Asus (G73JH).  Its not portable in the same sense as a PSP or DS, but it is much easier to move around than a full desktop. 

As for the upgradability standpoint, PC games are not pushing the limits of my hardware and this laptop is 3 years old.  This is mainly due to developers designing games around the consoles and then porting to PC.  The constant upgrading of PC parts has not been needed to play the latest games for many years now.  Unless you are playing competitively there is just no need to worry about persistent upgrading. 

The are 2 real cons to getting a gaming laptop.  1) If a part breaks the whole system tends to need replacing, where you could just replace the individual part in a traditional desktop. 2) The battery life is much shorter.  I can only get 2 hours out of my battery.  

I'd rather be able to move the system around easily so I'll probably get another gaming laptop when I decide I need more power.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by MattS on Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:12 am

segisaurus wrote:Alienware is expensive for what they give you. I have a gaming laptop from Asus (G73JH).  Its not portable in the same sense as a PSP or DS, but it is much easier to move around than a full desktop. 

As for the upgradability standpoint, PC games are not pushing the limits of my hardware and this laptop is 3 years old.  This is mainly due to developers designing games around the consoles and then porting to PC.  The constant upgrading of PC parts has not been needed to play the latest games for many years now.  Unless you are playing competitively there is just no need to worry about persistent upgrading. 

The are 2 real cons to getting a gaming laptop.  1) If a part breaks the whole system tends to need replacing, where you could just replace the individual part in a traditional desktop. 2) The battery life is much shorter.  I can only get 2 hours out of my battery.  

I'd rather be able to move the system around easily so I'll probably get another gaming laptop when I decide I need more power.

Thanks for that - as I said, I was having difficulty figuring out what the target audience was for gaming laptops, and you appear to be that target audience. 

What kind of games do you usually use your gaming laptop for?
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by segisaurus on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:21 am

MattS wrote:
segisaurus wrote:Alienware is expensive for what they give you. I have a gaming laptop from Asus (G73JH).  Its not portable in the same sense as a PSP or DS, but it is much easier to move around than a full desktop. 

As for the upgradability standpoint, PC games are not pushing the limits of my hardware and this laptop is 3 years old.  This is mainly due to developers designing games around the consoles and then porting to PC.  The constant upgrading of PC parts has not been needed to play the latest games for many years now.  Unless you are playing competitively there is just no need to worry about persistent upgrading. 

The are 2 real cons to getting a gaming laptop.  1) If a part breaks the whole system tends to need replacing, where you could just replace the individual part in a traditional desktop. 2) The battery life is much shorter.  I can only get 2 hours out of my battery.  

I'd rather be able to move the system around easily so I'll probably get another gaming laptop when I decide I need more power.

Thanks for that - as I said, I was having difficulty figuring out what the target audience was for gaming laptops, and you appear to be that target audience. 

What kind of games do you usually use your gaming laptop for?
As I was running game titles in my mind I realized I play a lot of Bethesda Softworks games.  I mainly play RPGs.

TES III: Morrowind with the Morrowind Graphics and Sound Overhaul 3.0.  It's a self installing collection of mods that fixes a lot of bugs and brings the graphics up from 2002 to 2012.  It really looks and plays like a brand new game with that. 

Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, TES IV: Oblivion, and TES V: Skyrim, with lots of mods to up the graphics, add features.  Warcraft III. Torchlight 1 and 2.   Those are probably the games that push my system the most.  I have a nice collection of older titles from GOG as well.  Most of those are RPG's as well, but I do occasionally venture outside that comfort zone.  I just picked up Strike Suit Zero on GOG which is a space ship combat game.  I'm liking that so far and it looks great on my system.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by MattS on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:12 am

segisaurus wrote:
MattS wrote:
segisaurus wrote:Alienware is expensive for what they give you. I have a gaming laptop from Asus (G73JH).  Its not portable in the same sense as a PSP or DS, but it is much easier to move around than a full desktop. 

As for the upgradability standpoint, PC games are not pushing the limits of my hardware and this laptop is 3 years old.  This is mainly due to developers designing games around the consoles and then porting to PC.  The constant upgrading of PC parts has not been needed to play the latest games for many years now.  Unless you are playing competitively there is just no need to worry about persistent upgrading. 

The are 2 real cons to getting a gaming laptop.  1) If a part breaks the whole system tends to need replacing, where you could just replace the individual part in a traditional desktop. 2) The battery life is much shorter.  I can only get 2 hours out of my battery.  

I'd rather be able to move the system around easily so I'll probably get another gaming laptop when I decide I need more power.

Thanks for that - as I said, I was having difficulty figuring out what the target audience was for gaming laptops, and you appear to be that target audience. 

What kind of games do you usually use your gaming laptop for?
As I was running game titles in my mind I realized I play a lot of Bethesda Softworks games.  I mainly play RPGs.

TES III: Morrowind with the Morrowind Graphics and Sound Overhaul 3.0.  It's a self installing collection of mods that fixes a lot of bugs and brings the graphics up from 2002 to 2012.  It really looks and plays like a brand new game with that. 

Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, TES IV: Oblivion, and TES V: Skyrim, with lots of mods to up the graphics, add features.  Warcraft III. Torchlight 1 and 2.   Those are probably the games that push my system the most.  I have a nice collection of older titles from GOG as well.  Most of those are RPG's as well, but I do occasionally venture outside that comfort zone.  I just picked up Strike Suit Zero on GOG which is a space ship combat game.  I'm liking that so far and it looks great on my system.

Ok, I have to ask - you love Western RPGs, and yet your laptop seems to be lacking The Witcher and The Witcher 2. This is both surprising and shocking. affraid
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by SamM on Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:33 pm

To me the whole Alienware appeal is the same as the Mac appeal.

People can buy cheaper computers that can outperform Alienware easy, but they can't say they own an Alienware.

Also, it's a good (and bloody expensive) entry point for people who aren't that confident when it comes to building a PC.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by segisaurus on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:41 pm

MattS wrote:
segisaurus wrote:
MattS wrote:
segisaurus wrote:Alienware is expensive for what they give you. I have a gaming laptop from Asus (G73JH).  Its not portable in the same sense as a PSP or DS, but it is much easier to move around than a full desktop. 

As for the upgradability standpoint, PC games are not pushing the limits of my hardware and this laptop is 3 years old.  This is mainly due to developers designing games around the consoles and then porting to PC.  The constant upgrading of PC parts has not been needed to play the latest games for many years now.  Unless you are playing competitively there is just no need to worry about persistent upgrading. 

The are 2 real cons to getting a gaming laptop.  1) If a part breaks the whole system tends to need replacing, where you could just replace the individual part in a traditional desktop. 2) The battery life is much shorter.  I can only get 2 hours out of my battery.  

I'd rather be able to move the system around easily so I'll probably get another gaming laptop when I decide I need more power.

Thanks for that - as I said, I was having difficulty figuring out what the target audience was for gaming laptops, and you appear to be that target audience. 

What kind of games do you usually use your gaming laptop for?
As I was running game titles in my mind I realized I play a lot of Bethesda Softworks games.  I mainly play RPGs.

TES III: Morrowind with the Morrowind Graphics and Sound Overhaul 3.0.  It's a self installing collection of mods that fixes a lot of bugs and brings the graphics up from 2002 to 2012.  It really looks and plays like a brand new game with that. 

Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, TES IV: Oblivion, and TES V: Skyrim, with lots of mods to up the graphics, add features.  Warcraft III. Torchlight 1 and 2.   Those are probably the games that push my system the most.  I have a nice collection of older titles from GOG as well.  Most of those are RPG's as well, but I do occasionally venture outside that comfort zone.  I just picked up Strike Suit Zero on GOG which is a space ship combat game.  I'm liking that so far and it looks great on my system.

Ok, I have to ask - you love Western RPGs, and yet your laptop seems to be lacking The Witcher and The Witcher 2. This is both surprising and shocking. affraid

I haven't finished The Witcher (only got as far as being arrested in the beginning so far and got distracted by other games) and I just got Witcher 2 during the recent GOG sale so I haven't started it yet.  I didn't want to list every game I have.  I probably should just update my backloggery account and link to it.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by MattS on Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:35 am

So I got to play around with an Alienware laptop last night at a press event. It was pretty neat, actually.

I imagine these would also be really good for non-gaming applications like video/ photo editing.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by segisaurus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:14 am

MattS wrote:So I got to play around with an Alienware laptop last night at a press event. It was pretty neat, actually.

I imagine these would also be really good for non-gaming applications like video/ photo editing.

My wife uses her gaming laptop for that as well. The portability was a big plus for her as it allowed her to go to the client and make changes on the fly.
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by MattS on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:56 am

segisaurus wrote:
MattS wrote:So I got to play around with an Alienware laptop last night at a press event. It was pretty neat, actually.

I imagine these would also be really good for non-gaming applications like video/ photo editing.

My wife uses her gaming laptop for that as well.  The portability was a big plus for her as it allowed her to go to the client and make changes on the fly.  

Agreed there. If I was to get a gaming laptop, I would want to use it for other applications too. Video editing is a big deal (and the only thing aside from gaming that my Chromebook completely fails at, to be honest)
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Re: Would you ever buy an Alienware gaming laptop?

Post by Tasuki on Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:34 am

I won't ever own another Alienware again. I bought one a few years ago and not even six months after owning it the hinges began to fall apart. Normally that wouldn't be a problem but Dell, the company that owns Alienware wouldn't acknowledge that there was a problem with their hinges and refused to fix my laptop for free since it was still under warranty. They claimed that I was too rough with my laptop and that if I used it under normal conditions it shouldn't have broke.

Well to make a long story short I surfed around the web and in Dell's forums of all places I found a whole thread of people who had the same problem as me. A month or two after getting the laptop the hinges fell apart. Well Dell for awhile just ignored the fact but I guess after people blew up the forums the finally realized that they had a problem. In the end they fixed my laptop for free but that was a year and half after I bought it which most of that time I couldn't use because of the hinges.

If Alienware was its own company like it was years ago I would probably go with them but since they are owned by Dell now and I have had lousy customer service with Dell I would go to them ever again. Now I get my computers from a site called ibuypower.com which specialize in gaming PCs.
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