Alienware Area 51m – Review
Do you want a gaming laptop that you can update? The Alienware Area 51m is the most powerful and stylish gaming laptop available, and the fact that you can swap out new components gives it perhaps incredible long-term value. If you’re happy to pay a premium and aren’t worried about its monstrous weight, then the Area 51m is a prime choice for you.
Brand Name: Alienware
Series: Dell Alienware Area 51M
Item model number: Dell Alienware Area 51M
Hardware Platform: PC
Operating System: Windows 10
Item Weight: 15 pounds
Item Dimensions L x W x H: 19 x 20 x 6 inches
Processor Brand: Intel
Processor Count: 1
Computer Memory Type: DDR SDRAM
Where to buy it: AMAZON.COM
About the Product:
- 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K (8-Core, 16MB Cache, up to 5.0GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
- 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS Display w/ NVIDIA G-SYNC + Tobii eye-tracking technology
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB GDDR6 (OC Ready)
- 32GB (2x16GB) 2400MHz DDR4 Memory
- 2 X 256GB PCIe Solid State Drive (R0) + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid Drive
- The most powerful gaming laptop
- Can be upgraded
- Stylish premium design
- Excellent keyboard
- Incredibly expensive
- Extremely large and heavy
- Underwhelming display
THE ALIENWARE AREA 51M
The Alienware Area 51m is a brand new high-end gaming laptop from Dell, which looks so futuristic and boasts such a lightspeed performance that you swear it’s out of this world. Weighing 8.5 pounds, the Alienware Area 51m is considered more of a desktop replacement than an on-the-go laptop. With top-of-the-line specs, it’s one of the fastest portables gaming laptops on the market, going head-to-head with the Acer Predator Helios 700 colossus.
There is always a reason for desktop replacements compared to bona fide desktop computers, though, and it’s an upgrade. If you want the latest processor or graphics card you will need to find a new laptop. That’s not the case with the Alienware Area 51m, on Dell’s revolutionary laptop that lets you transfer SSD, RAM, CPU or even GPU whatever you want.
The ability to upgrade is not only a futuristic future, with Alienware Area 51m integrated with Tobii’s eye-tracking technology, credential tracking and support for the Alienware Graphics Amplifier so you can add next-gen AMD or Nvidia graphics cards (Woop, Woop). With such comfy features that fix a serious package, it’s easily one of the most expensive gaming laptops ever made.
SCIENCE-FICTION DESIGN STYLE
The Alienware Area 51m laptop looks beautiful – especially compared to similarly-sized devices. The metal chassis looks elegant, and the Moonlight and Moonlight Darkness options, help Alienware seek sci-fi styling. Weighing only 8.5 Lbs, this is undoubtedly a bulky laptop, but it is much lighter than competitors such as the Acer Predator Helios 700, which weighs 10.8 Lbs. The Alienware laptop is too big to accompany you to work. The Alienware Area 51m is designed as a desktop replacement for use at home.
The rear section of the Alienware Area 51m is large, which can dissipate heat and highlight many ports. Large laptops usually have a thick border around the screen and easy to look cheesy and old-fashioned. Area 51m does not encounter such problems, and thin and smooth bezels look as complex as they are. A power button similar to the Alienware logo can be found on the mainframe above the keyboard. The alien head has RBG illumination that flashes between blue and orange when the laptop is charging and maintains a steady blue color when the battery is fully charged.
You can customize RGB lighting through the Alienware Command Center, and you can also personalize the color and effect of the keyboard, the lid logo, and the light strips that surround the rear vents. Speaking of the rear, the Alienware Area 51m has unconventional large-scale spoils, making it easy to be the most controversial design choice. However, you can’t blame it for its lack of personality, and the honeycomb vents and oval LED lights look like the inspiration for a spaceship.
You can also select a port from the back, the most striking of which is dual power input. That’s right, you need two plugs to get the Alienware Area 51m running at full throttle, which not only makes the expansion cable already overcrowded but also environmentally conscious. You can also find the ports on the back for HDMI, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet and Alienware graphics amplifiers (sold separately) – the latter allows you to add next-generation AMD and Nvidia graphics cards to your setup and connect to other peripherals.
The side of the Alienware Area 51m laptop also has several ports, including a USB 3.1 connection and jacks for headphones and microphones. DisplayPort does not have a dedicated connection, but the Thunderbolt 3 port supports this port, so 4K games can still be played with the correct cable.
THE KEYBOARD GREAT FOR GAMING AND TYPING
One of the most amazing features of the Alienware Area 51m is the quality of the keyboard. The Alienware TactX keyboard excels in every department, offering a tasty, almost silent ride when you hammer it and sporting many features like RGB lighting and anti-ghosting. With most gaming laptops I suggest choosing an external keyboard, but I honestly believe you will be happier with the keyboard of Alienware Area 51m.
You even get a dedicated number pad and a column of macro keys down the left side thanks to the large space that this laptop colossus offers. Alienware TactX keyboard is one of the best found on a gaming laptop, the touchpad is impressive too – ultra-responsive. You even get two clicks of physical hardware that make a satisfying noise to let you know that your entry has been registered. Of course, you probably still want a chance game for most games, but the track hat is perfectly usable for strategy games and the like.
The touchpad will also start bright blue when you touch it, withering away after a few seconds of staying useless. This can be configured with Alienware Command Center, so you can change the colors and effects, or even turn it off if you’re sick of RGB lighting.
UPGRADE WITH NEXT GENERATION HARDWARE
The crowning feature of the Alienware Area 51m is its ability to upgrade. Turn the laptop over, loosen the screws and you’ll get access to all the components underneath. Warning, though: if you’re not experienced in tinkering with computers, upgrading the Area 51m laptop is likely a daunting process.
To reach the processor and GPU, you have to unscrew different components. Area 51m may not have a simple modular design, but Alienware deserves credit for including clear labels while also providing a really useful online guide. The Alienware Area 51m CPU or GPU is not easy to access, with newbie PC builders likely to struggle. You are free to remove and replace any component you wish. The laptop uses Intel desktop processors instead of mobile variants, which are bonkers.
The Alienware Area 51m is a remarkable use of desktop processors, with 115X sockets ensuring compatibility with 9th and 8th generation Intel Core CPUs. The release of the GPU also causes its headache problems, only supports proprietary graphics cards made by Dell, and so users are limited to what the manufacturer has released in the market. This means if Dell decides to stop selling its adaptations to Nvidia’s graphics cards – perhaps because of bad sales – then users won’t be able to upgrade the GPU anymore.
The ability to replace components with more powerful options is an incredibly cool feature, in theory allowing Area 51m the same lifespan of a desktop computer. In reality, the long-term effectiveness of this modular design depends on several factors, some of which are out of Alienware’s hands.
With great power comes the miserable battery life – that’s just the nature of gaming laptops. For a portable device that requires two power ports to achieve peak performance, it’s no surprise that the Alienware Area 51m is struggling far from the network.
All our benchmark tests are focused on two hours of battery life, which is equivalent to the durability of the Acer Predator Helios 700. This only emphasizes the point that is not designed for portability and is a great replacement for a desktop instead of a laptop that you can take to work every day.
The Alienware Area 51m has such a large and heavy form, it lacks the portability that these days usually offer. This is a desktop replacement that will remain rooted in your desk, and thanks to its new upgrade capability, it can be considered as an alternative to a traditional gaming computer.
This computer is expensive, of course, but you get a lot of quality for the price. Of all the Trusted Review gaming laptops ever tested, this is the most powerful, most packages, has the best keyboard and is probably the best looking. It’s not perfect though, with a showcase and lack of 4K option, but you can order it with your monitor.
What is most exciting about this laptop is its long-term future. When a new, more powerful graphics card, processor or RAM is released, you won’t need to buy another laptop to reap the benefits. There are still many questions to be answered on that front, such as the limitations of the motherboard and Dell’s provision of its GPUs, but it is an exciting prospect nonetheless.