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Alienware x14 review: The thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop around

At a look

Expert’s Ranking

Professionals

  • Beautiful style and design
  • Incredibly slim and simple to have
  • Good performance, particularly for its dimensions
  • Foreseeable future-proof wired and wireless connectivity

Downsides

  • Fan sounds is a continual companion
  • Cramped keyboard and touchpad
  • Gets pretty warm below load
  • No Ethernet port, only just one USB-A

Our Verdict

The Alienware x14 is a slim, speedy gaming notebook that appears ready to start into orbit.

Rate When Reviewed

$one,999

Finest Selling prices These days: Alienware x14

Retailer
Cost
Supply
Best Buy
$1899.ninety nine
Cost-free
Dell Compact Business enterprise
$2059.00
Absolutely free
Dell Home
$2099.99
Free of charge

Want the thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop computer cash can purchase? The Alienware x14 is it. It by some means stuffs up to an Intel Core i7-12700H and RTX 3060 into a chassis that is only a hair thicker than a Dell XPS thirteen from 2020. I suppose a bag of keeping is involved. But does the magic increase to performance – or does Alienware operate out of mana? 

Alienware x14 specs and capabilities

The Alienware x14’s delivers only a handful of configuration possibilities. You can select an Intel Core i5-12500H or i7-12700H processor and one particular of three Nvidia GPUs: the RTX 3050, 3050 Ti, and 3060. Storage operates up to 4TB and RAM runs up to 32GB.

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H
  • Memory: 32GB
  • Graphics/GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060
  • Display: fourteen-inch 1080p 144Hz IPS Liquid crystal display
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Connectivity: 2x USB-C USB4/Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-C USB three.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-A USB three.two Gen 1, 1x HDMI two.one, 1x MicroSD card reader, three.5mm audio jack
  • Networking: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth five.two
  • Biometrics: IR camera, Home windows Howdy compatible
  • Battery ability: 80 watt-hrs
  • Dimensions: 12.65 inches x ten.34 x .57
  • Weight: 4.06 lbs
  • MSRP: $one,499 base, $one,999 as-analyzed

Pricing is aggressive. The foundation Alienware x14 is just $one,499, which is a great deal considerably less than Razer’s Blade 14 and similar to Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14. Our evaluation device, configured as proven in the bullet record earlier mentioned, was $one,999. That’s no deal, but it is a truthful value for a compact gaming laptop.

Layout and establish high quality

Alienware 14 cover

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Alienware x14 is a stunner. It harnesses the brand’s exceptional Legend style and design language in a limited, slim style and design. Every single inch of the equipment appears to be thoroughly regarded. The x14 has none of the odd warts or unexpected angles that spoil competing equipment from Acer and Asus, nevertheless it also avoids on the lookout generic. It’s perhaps the greatest gaming laptop design on the current market right now. 

The chassis is built not just from plastic and aluminum but also stainless steel and a magnesium alloy. Magnesium is a product a lot more commonly made use of by Lenovo’s ThinkPad line to provide rigidity with small body weight. It lends a unique “grippy” truly feel that’s as opposed to an aluminum laptop. It can experience a bit odd – chalky, even – but has the advantage of creating the notebook straightforward to decide on up and carry.

I recognized flex in the display screen lid. This is a single location that does not fairly match the x14’s in any other case luxurious truly feel. Even so, make high-quality is or else outstanding with limited panel tolerances and no misaligned elements. The laptop’s lessen 50 % resists flex when taken care of from a corner or edge.

The Alienware x14 is incredibly skinny. It actions a mere .57 inches thick – just a few tenths of an inch thicker than Dell’s outgoing XPS thirteen. The x14 is significantly slimmer than the Razer Blade fourteen and Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. Pounds arrives in at about four kilos, which is nicely below regular of a gaming laptop. 

Keyboard and trackpad

Alienware keyboard

IDG / Matthew Smith

Shaving a gaming notebook as thin as Alienware’s x14 leaves minimum vertical area inside. This forces the laptop to embrace a critical switch with just one.2 millimeters of vacation which, although not terrible, is much less than most gaming laptops. The consequence is a swift, short vital motion that bottoms with a firm, clicky sensation. It’s enjoyable to use but began to really feel tiring just after several hours applying the notebook.

The x14’s keyboard is pushed forward by the speakers and neat vent located among it and the display screen hinge. This leaves tiny house for the palmrest, which is significantly much more shallow than standard. My regular typing posture remaining the reduce 50 % of my palms dangling uncomfortably on the laptop’s edge. Typing can really feel cramped, especially for proprietors with big hands. 

A customizable RGB keyboard backlight is involved but only delivers a single zone, which limitations your choices. The backlight is dazzling and most keys appear evenly lit. There’s modest mild leak all over the edges of every single vital. 

Touchpad high-quality is harmed by this design preference, much too. It is 4 inches large but only two inches deep, leaving small space for swiping vertically across the touchpad and working with Windows’ multi-touch gestures. The touchpad is responsive, at minimum, and does not register unintended inputs.

Show, audio

Alienware display

IDG / Matthew Smith

Each and every Alienware x14 has the similar exhibit: a 1080p, 144Hz, non-touch IPS Liquid crystal display screen. It supports Nvidia G-Sync as well as Highly developed Optimus, so it can change to the Intel integrated graphics to preserve electricity when the Nvidia GPU’s grunt is not necessary.

A traditional 1080p IPS Liquid crystal display doesn’t seem enjoyable in 2022, but the x14’s exhibit is as superior as the technological know-how receives. It has really precise shade, a substantial colour gamut, a dazzling of up to 420 nits, and an anti-glare coat.  The screen is so excellent it can effortlessly be employed for photograph or movie enhancing, building the x14 a reasonable selection for information creators in will need of a extremely moveable cellular workstation. 

Cramming 1080p into a 14-inch implies a pixel density of about 158 pixels for every inch. That is just a few pixels shorter of a 4K 27-inch keep track of. Video games look crisp with outstanding element in textures and sharp polygon edges. The only dilemma is the display’s absence of contrast, which snaps depth from darkish scenes. Having said that, the x14 does conduct improved than most Liquid crystal display screens. 

Audio good quality is not as amazing. The speakers give a very clear presentation that not often results in being muddy, but there is a major deficiency of bass. Action scenes and bass-heavy new music can sound hollow and distant. 

Webcam, microphone, biometrics

The Alienware x14 has a simple 720p webcam. It makes a smooth, dull image that has really serious problems handling minimal-light-weight or mixed-lighting situations. Even though wonderful for occasional video clip phone calls, you will need an external webcam to look your best.

Audio recording is managed by a twin-array microphone. It picks up satisfactory audio good quality, even though recording will often seem more distant and obscure than with a stand-by yourself microphone. Low-quantity track record sounds is commonly removed, but sharp or loud sounds will get via.. 

An IR camera is bundled and enables Windows Howdy facial recognition login. This is a excellent additional that is rarely found on gaming laptops. It is the quickest and arguably most safe choice for biometric login.

Connectivity

Alienware ports

IDG / Matthew Smith

Nevertheless slender, the Alienware x14 presents exceptional physical connectivity. It includes two USB-C ports that guidance Thunderbolt four, USB4, DisplayPort, and up to fifteen watts of Electrical power Delivery. Just one added USB-C port supports USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort, and up to fifteen watts of Ability Shipping and delivery. 

Video output is taken care of about both the USB-C ports or a single HDMI two.1 output. It is very good to see HDMI two.1 is included, due to the fact this will help make the most of a HDMI two.1 keep an eye on or HDTV.

Added choices consist of a one USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and a MicroSD card reader. The confined variety of USB-A ports could be a sore issue, since lots of Computer gaming peripherals use USB-A. I experienced to use a USB-C hub to hook up my flight stick for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

An Ethernet port is not incorporated, either, although a physical Ethernet connection is feasible by a USB-C adapter or USB-C hub. 

The deficiency of Ethernet is partially excused by the x14’s outstanding Wi-Fi. It supports Wi-Fi 6E which, at short ranges, can reach connection speeds previously mentioned Gigabit Ethernet. You are going to require a superior-close Wi-Fi 6E router to make the most of this feature, having said that. Bluetooth 5.two is also obtainable. 

Efficiency

The base Alienware x14 ships with an Intel Main i5-12500H processor and Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU, but my evaluate sample was upgraded to a Core i7-12700H processor with RTX 3060 GPU. This enhance adds a relatively modest $500 to the price. My sample was also equipped with a 1TB reliable point out generate and 32GB of RAM.

Alienware PCMark

IDG / Matthew Smith

My effectiveness exams commenced with PCMark 10, a synthetic test that is dependent closely on processor general performance but is far more well balanced involving one-core and multi-main functionality than some other exams. 

The Alienware x14 does well in this article, hitting a score of six,981. This is powering the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 with the newest AMD Ryzen 6900HS processor, but ahead of the Razer Blade 14 with outgoing Ryzen 9 5900HX. The x14 effortlessly beats the larger, fewer high-priced Acer Nitro five with Main i5-12500H.

Alienware Cinebench R20

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Intel Core i7-12700H leaps forward in Cinebench R20, squeaking out a slight gain around the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and simply beating the older Razer Blade fourteen. This is a incredibly robust consequence overall, and suggests the Alienware x14 is effectively outfitted to handle demanding productiveness applications. 

Alienware Handbrake

IDG / Matthew Smith

Handbrake turns in a different stable result for the Alienware x14 and flexes the muscle tissue of Intel’s new Main i7-12700H processor with six general performance cores and 8 efficient cores. The x14’s slim design and style appears no obstacle for overall performance in multi-threaded workloads. 

Alienware 3DMark

IDG / Matthew Smith

Our initially graphics examination, 3DMark Time Spy, provides a much less favorable result for Alienware. The x14’s ultimate rating of 7,615 is not terrible but does come driving the Acer Nitro five, a larger sized but less expensive laptop computer with the RTX 3060 GPU. It’s also driving Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and Razer Blade 14, both of those of which we analyzed with much more powerful GPU alternatives not available to th Alienware. 

Alienware Tomb Raider

IDG / Matthew Smith

Our initial genuine-planet gaming notebook, Rise of the Tomb Raider, reached an typical of 103 frames for each second at 1080p resolution with element at Really Superior. This is a superior outcome, squeezing out a compact victory over the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and Razer Blade 14. It’s achievable this signifies a processor bottleneck that retains the Asus and Razer units from producing the most of their top-quality GPUs. 

Alienware Metro Exodus

IDG / Matthew Smith

We end on Metro Exodus Increased Version, an extremely demanding benchmark even with Ray Tracing set to its least expensive “normal” preset. The Alienware x14 does control to strike an regular above 30 frames for each second, but finds alone at the rear of the far more strong Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and Razer Blade fourteen.

On the entire, the Alienware x14 provides great general performance for a laptop computer of its dimension. It is commonly driving the fastest compact laptops, but this is mitigated by the x14’s reasonable pricing. You’d be tough pressed to see far better results from a 14-inch laptop computer sold at $two,000. The x14 also does very well in processor tests, which may well enchantment to content creators who need to have a quick but compact laptop.

Battery lifetime

A significant 80 watt-hour battery is crammed in the Alienware x14’s small body. This allows the laptop computer cope with its demanding hardware, but battery daily life stays much less than prolonged in taxing circumstances. 

Alienware Battery Life

IDG / Matthew Smith

Our standard battery lifetime check, which loops a 4K online video of Tears of Metal with the screen established to a brightness of two hundred nits, ate by way of the battery in three several hours and forty six minutes. This is improved than quite a few game titles laptops with very similar hardware but even now not exceptional all round.

However, actual-world final results can differ substantially dependent on how the laptop computer is made use of. A demanding 3D video game can conveniently drain the battery in less than two several hours, but searching the world-wide-web may possibly prolong battery daily life to 5 or six hours. The inclusion of Nvidia State-of-the-art Optimus, which can change off the discrete GPU when it is not essential, allows increase battery existence in light-load predicaments. 

Fan noise and thermals

Cramming effective hardware into a trim gaming laptop is hardly ever effortless. Lessening dimensions suggests considerably less place to distribute out a thermal load and much less airflow. Alienware combats this with vapor-chamber cooling and a gallium-silicone thermal interface, but it is not plenty of.

The Alienware x14’s supporter is a continuous companion at its default options and, at substantial load, becomes a whirlwind of sound and heat. This isn’t the loudest supporter at any time but its superior-pitched character is challenging to disregard. 

Alienware’s bundled program has several thermal modes together with a Peaceful environment. It does cut down supporter sounds. With Peaceful on, the enthusiast is typically tricky to hear at idle. Demanding hundreds guide to a lot of lover sounds, but it is tolerable. Nonetheless, Tranquil mode normally takes a chunk out of performance. The RTX 3060 performs far more like an RTX 3050 when Tranquil manner is on. CPU efficiency is even worse off, reduce around in half when compared to Well balanced manner.

This is appropriate when participating in older game titles, but gamers looking to get pleasure from Metro Exodus with ray-tracing (or any demanding activity) will need to set up with sound. 

Summary

The Alienware’s x14 is the world’s thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop computer. This is a blessing and a curse. Though moveable and modern, the x14 can not brush apart the basic physics trouble of a notebook this tiny. It’s loud, runs scorching, and performs no much better than a funds gaming notebook with a fifteen-inch show and RTX 3060 GPU.

Still, the x14 is an admirable performer offered its sizing and specs. On paper the x14 must be blown absent by solutions with extra highly effective GPUs, like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and Razer Blade 14, but authentic-earth success spot the Alienware close to its competitors. The x14 is also appropriately priced, with the base model undercutting the Razer Blade fourteen by $five hundred.

It all arrives down to this: do you want a slim fourteen-inch gaming laptop computer? If so, the Alienware x14 is a excellent decision, but if not, go for a 15-inch product.

Laptops