Alienware X14 (2022) review

Alienware X14 (2022) review

The Alienware x14 is the first 14-inch laptop from the company, and it uses the most recent X-Series design from Dell. The ultra-slim machine is impressive in its design and provides a luxurious experience at a lower cost. The Alienware X14 seems like it deserves its spot on the mid-range shelf despite its restricted configuration options, although it will appeal more to those seeking a premium experience than those chasing framerates.

Of course, the finest gaming laptops in the 14-inch category are up against some fierce competition. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 offers two similar pricing tiers with AMD components, while the Razer Blade 14 manages to cram some very amazing components into its small form factor. The Alienware x14, in contrast, falls into a “budget” category that is closely related to the high-end pricing range of the brand. you can read our article on Alienware X14 (2022) review.

Design

A beauty, the Alienware x14. It utilizes the distinctive Legend design language of the company in a compact, slender form. The machine’s entire size appears to have been meticulously considered. The x14 avoids looking generic while not having any of the strange flaws or abrupt angles that detract from comparable computers from Asus and Acer. It might be the best gaming laptop model available right now.

In addition to plastic and aluminum, the chassis is made of stainless steel, a magnesium alloy, and plastic. Magnesium is a material that Lenovo’s ThinkPad line uses increasingly frequently to increase stiffness with little extra weight. Unlike an aluminum laptop, it has a special “grippy” sensation. Although it can have a strange or even powdery feeling, it has the advantage of making the laptop simple to pick up and carry. Flex in the display cover was visible. One place where the x14 falls short of the overall opulent impression is this one.

Although there are no misaligned pieces and strict panel tolerances overall, construction quality is superb. When handled from a corner or edge, the lower portion of the laptop resists flexing. The Alienware x14 has a very tiny profile. It is only slightly thicker than Dell’s previous XPS 13 at.57 inches, or a few tenths of an inch. Compared to the Razer Blade 14 and Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, the x14 is substantially slimmer. Weight is roughly four pounds, which is significantly less than normal for a gaming laptop.

Keyboard and touchpad

Due to the thinness of the laptop, the 1.2mm of travel on the membrane keyboard is quite shallow. With the exception of the extra column on the right, which houses the volume, mute, and microphone mute keys, the layout is rather conventional. By pressing Fn+F1, just like the x17, you may quickly switch between “Full Speed” and “Balanced” power modes.

Although we had no issues with the keyboard’s functionality—it is reliable, quiet, and well-designed—we were little disappointed to see that there is no per-key RGB illumination. The keyboard on the Alienware is outstanding; it is quick, precise, and has 1.2mm of travel, which is respectable given the size of the device. It also has n-key rollover for independent press detection.

Long gaming sessions are no problem for this keyboard, however larger computers will naturally have more travel and a meatier action. Compared to the shallower keyboard on the Razer, this one is more enjoyable. Naturally, there is no number pad, but there is an additional column of media keys. While there are RGB LEDs, there is only one lighting bank rather than illumination for each key. The trackpad is tiny, so don’t anticipate much from it either. Connect a mouse to the lone USB port.

Alienware X14 (2022) review: Display

The new Alienware x14 is only compatible with one monitor from Dell: a 1920 x 1080 matte IPS panel with quick response times and a high refresh rate of 144 Hz. Although this is unquestionably a solid option for a gaming laptop, some users might want a higher-res model. Additionally supported by the Sharp display are Advanced Optimus and G-Sync technologies from Nvidia.

The decent black value of 0.25 and the average brightness of just over 400 nits produce a very good contrast ratio of more than 1700:1. Due to the refresh rate and quick response times, movements in particular are quite fluid, and the subjective picture impression is also excellent. However, the images simply aren’t as vivid and clear as those on OLED screens.

On a black background with a strong amount of brightness, you can only really see some backlight bleeding along the margins, but it is not anything you would notice in normal circumstances. The observed response times are very quick, and we are unable to discern PWM flickering.

Audio

The Alienware x14’s speakers, which activate from either side of the keyboard, are neither notably stunning nor underwhelming. The scraping and sweeping synths blended with Emese Arvai-Illes’ potent vocals in a satisfying, recognizable way when we listened to “Black Lava,” the first track from Black Nail Cabaret’s most recent album, Gods Verging on Sanity. Even at maximum volume, the percussion didn’t feel hollow or overdriven, but it could have used more low-end. also you will learn our article on Alienware X14 (2022) review.

Having said that, while there is sufficient sound to enjoy music or a game while seated in front of a laptop, we would have liked a little bit more audible output for when we went into the adjacent room to fetch a drink of coffee or a snack. There is a Dolby Access app with four presets for a “intelligent equalization” (detailed, balanced, warm and off). However, I preferred the default balanced option.

Graphic and gaming

Two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Night Raid and Time Spy, are used to gauge the visual performance of Windows PCs (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). Additionally, utilizing the built-in benchmarks of F1 2021, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Rainbow Six Siege, we conduct three real-world game tests. These are, respectively, competitive esports shooting games, open-world action-adventure games, and simulation games.

Two copies of Valhalla, Siege, and F1 2021 are run at maximum settings, with and without Nvidia’s performance-enhancing DLSS anti-aliasing. Although the new Alder Lake CPU merits a lot of attention, the x14’s performance is mostly determined by these results. Let’s examine the results separately from the other laptops first. Even for an RTX 3060, the scores and frame rates are above average.

The most demanding game, Valhalla, can play with an average frame rate of 80 fps on the Medium preset and a frame rate of little under 60 fps on the High preset. As a result, there will be some dips that appear jerky, however reducing a few settings can allow you to play the game more smoothly.

Alienware X14 (2022) review: Performance

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 in the Alienware x14 has a power range of between 60W and 75W, 6GB of memory, and 3840 stream processors. Although that is low given the GPU’s maximum power consumption of 115W, given the size of the notebook, it is not surprising. The internals of the Core i7-12700H are completed by 16GB of DDR5 memory and a 512GB PCIE 4.0 SSD, which provide excellent read and write speeds of 6766MB/sec and 4810MB/sec to ensure loading screens don’t last too long. This processor has six Hyper-Threaded performance cores with a peak boost speed of 4.7GHz.

The Alienware x14 blazed through Borderlands 3 at 63 frames per second and Horizon Zero Dawn’s Ultimate settings at 77 frames per second. Only the hardest ray-traced games will require you to make graphical concessions, and the majority of games will operate at a smooth 60 frames per second. The x14 can handle any eSports game because its 262fps performance in Rainbow Six Siege exceeds the display’s 144Hz refresh rate. The previous Zephyrus G14’s RTX 3060 was easily outperformed by the x14’s result of 7760 in the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark.

The revised Asus, however, now makes use of an AMD Radeon RX 6700S. Even though that GPU doesn’t enable ray-tracing, it still has more graphics card power thanks to its 100W TDP and 8400 Time Spy points. Due to the Blade’s own RTX 3060’s 90W-100W TDP range, it will also be a little bit faster. Performance wasn’t improved by switching to the x14’s overclocked mode, and the Alienware’s small RTX 3060 means that, unless you want to run lightweight games, you don’t really have the power to output to the 8K/120Hz monitors allowed by HDMI 2.1.

Although it may sound bad, the x14 nonetheless offers sufficient power for mainstream gaming, gladly taking on any well-known title. The x14 is offered with cheaper RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti cores and Core i5 CPUs, whereas the Razer climbs upward with the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti, and the Asus uses the Radeon RX 6800S. The Alienware’s slower GPU shows how this machine differs from rivals.

Battery life

The Alienware X14’s Achilles Heel is, very simply, its battery. In our video playback test and the PCMark10 battery benchmark, this gaming laptop only lasts roughly 6 hours total. This is probably due to the fact that the X14’s battery is only 80Whr in capacity as opposed to the 99WHr batteries seen in the majority of modern gaming laptops. also you can check our article on Alienware X14 (2022) review.

That means you’ll probably need to take a charger around, but it was presumably done to keep the laptop as small and light as possible. The good news is that you can charge this laptop with just about any USB-C charger you have lying around, to reiterate. It’s undeniably a compromise that we would want to avoid. We rarely travel anywhere where a laptop can’t be plugged in, but if you’re counting on this device to last you through an international journey, it probably won’t.

Alienware X14 (2022) review: Heat

The underside of the x14 reached a temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit during our typical heat test, which entails passing a heat gun over the laptop after streaming 15 minutes of full HD film on it. That’s just too warm; generally speaking, temperatures of 95°F or more are considered to be uncomfortably heated for most people to hold on their laps for a lengthy period of time. That’s only from watching videos, of course. The x14 becomes noticeably heated when playing hard games.

We gave it the Metro: Exodus benchmark assignment to run on Extreme settings six times in a row, and after the sixth run, we scanned the laptop with our heat gun to see how hot it could get. Our data indicate that the response is quite warm, reaching as high as 121 degrees on the underside close to the vents. In our heat test without gaming, the x14 maintains a temperature similar to the typical ultraportable, which is nearly as hot as a large, powerful gaming machine like the Razer Blade 17 gets while gaming.

Configuration options

The Alienware x14 comes with an Intel Core i7-12700H processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of NVMe SSD storage, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU as standard equipment and costs $1,649. It has a 14-inch, 144Hz, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 3-millisecond reaction time display. The system we examined costs $2,149 in a more robust configuration with a 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU.

The top-tier model with 32GB of RAM costs $2,299 if you want the greatest x14 available. Because of its price, the Razer Blade 14, another excellent 14-inch gaming laptop, is in direct rivalry with the MSI x14. The Blade can be configured with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, though it can also get a little more expensive.

Conclusion

The x14 is a remarkable engineering achievement. In a case that is less than 0.6 inches thick, it crams a lot of hot, rapid components. There aren’t many performance trade-offs either; the x14 excelled in our testing, and games looked fantastic on the crisp, bright screen. The x14 is also relatively lightweight at just 4.9 lbs when the bulky power adaptor is included.

What can you use it for on the road, though? Not nearly enough, sadly. Even while carrying out relatively straightforward chores like watching a movie or writing your next tweet about how terrible your gaming competitors are, the battery life is significantly less than that of comparable non-gaming computers.

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