The hunt for the thinnest, lightest gaming laptop continues and Alienware’s newest laptop, the x14 is gunning for the top spot. Billed as the company’s thinnest Alienware system to date, the x14 boasts a thickness of only 0.57 inches, putting it in direct competition with the likes of Razer who plays heavily in the thin-and-light gaming laptop space. The 14-inch stunner is set to launch sometime during Q2 2022 and going by the specs, gamers can expect to pay a premium price for this top-of-the-line system.
Embracing Alienware’s Legend 2.0 design, the laptop has a streamlined design with elegant lines and smooth, rounded edges that still looks like the futuristic spaceship of several billionaires’ dreams. The chassis is made from CNC aluminum with some magnesium alloy parts. Like its larger cousins in both the x and m series line, the x14 is available in Alienware’s Lunar Light finish which boasts a slight pearlescence.
Despite the x14’s slim dimensions, it still hosts a full selection of ports you’d expect from a gaming laptop including three Thunderbolt 4 ports, a full USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, HDM! 2.1, a microSD card slot and a headset jack. And for security-minded gamers, the system has a Windows Hello IR webcam.
As the name suggests, the Alienware x14 has a 14-inch panel. The FHD (1920 x 1080) display boasts a 144Hz refresh rate with a 7-millisecond response rate. The x14 is the world’s first laptop to support Nvidia’s new G-Sync and Advanced Optimus technologies. For the uninitiated, G-Sync keeps the GPU and display refresh rate synchronized while Optimus allows your system to seamlessly switch between integrated and discrete GPUs. This should make for seriously smooth image render which delivers a gorgeous picture with virtually no jaggies or input latency.
The laptop also supports Dolby Vision and Atmos technology which serves up that attention-grabbing HDR I love so much. It should also sound pretty good for a laptop. The notebook also has the company’s ComfortView Plus, a low blue light technology to protect against eye strain. I was impressed with the x14 panel’s vivid color during my brief hands-on as well as the Dolby Atmos audio performance. However, my experience was in a somewhat controlled environment and I’m looking forward to seeing how the laptop looks and sounds during gaming and multimedia sessions.
It’s easy to write off a smaller laptop as a weak performer due to size, voltage and cooling restraints. It’d be a mistake to do that with the Alienware x14. When it debuts, it will come with a bounty of spec choices that should satisfy most entry to mid-tier gamer’s tastes. Consumers looking for a bit more oomph should look to the m Series.
For example, the x14 will make use of Intel’s new 12th Gen Core i7 processors. You’ll have a choice between the i7 12700H and 12800H which are sure to serve up boosts of power and efficiency compared to the previous series. For the GPU, the notebook starts with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU with 4GB of VRAM and maxes out at a RTX 3060 (6GB of VRAM) with a 3050 Ti (4GB of VRAM) in the middle. RAM configurations start 16GB and go up to 32GB while storage ranges between 256GB - 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSDs.
In order to keep things nice and cool, Alienware brings its proprietary Cryo-Tech cooling technology. However, the company has a few new tricks up its sleeve including a new exclusive Element 31 thermal interface material that consists of a Gallium-Silicone matrix. The system also has vapor chamber cooling technology and five unique power states designed to deliver optimal performance and efficiency. Finally, you have Smart Fan control technology that enables each fan the ability to speed up, slow down or remain steady independently according to various sensors within the system.
It all sounds cool, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how it all plays out in the real world after a five-hour gaming session.
Thin is in and Alienware is skating on the razor’s edge with the new x14. When it launches, it will be one of the thinnest 14-inch gaming laptops available. Thankfully, the company isn’t skimping on the power, offering Intel’s new 12th Gen processors. However, I wish there was an Nvidia 3070 option. But for now, I’m excited to see how the x14 will fare against the competition as the gaming laptop market is a crowded, competitive space with no signs of slowing down.