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Alienware used as ordinary Windows laptop.

  • 17-07-2022 2:09pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 683 ✭✭✭ Benedict


    Anyone know if there are problems using Dell Alienware as a normal laptop (with the option of gaming available if you want it).

    People keep ranting about it being for gamers only and saying if you want to use it primarily as a normal laptop (ie Office/MS Word, Excell, Gmail, Media player etc) just go and get a "normal" laptop. But if you really want the 16:9 ratio aspect and don't mind the bulkiness of the Alienware, then it can be an attractive option.

    Very high-end / high-spec Windows machines with large screens have become near enough to Alienware in cost. But are there things you can do with a Windows laptop that you can't do with Alienware. That's something you don't want to find out after you've bought it!



Comments

  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 19,643 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Mr.S


    You can use it for whatever you want - they are just marketed / built with Gaming in mind.

    If you are just doing basic things like you listed, they really are overspec'd unless you get a good used deal.

    If it's just for browsing / media you don't need a high spec'd laptop - if you want something stylish with decent specs that will last, look at the XPS range, should be a lot cheaper then the Alienware range. Plus Alienware laptops are fairly hefty due to the specs, which you don't need.



  • Registered Users Posts: 683 ✭✭✭ Benedict


    Many thanks Mr. S for your reply.

    From what you say it sounds like anything you can do with a normal laptop is not ruled out by the machine being Dell/Alienware.

    Yes, of course, the cost has to be an issue - especially if the usage will be mainly (not all) to do with files, downloading music, YouTube, etc etc - all the usual Windows laptop stuff. But if you really want a big laptop screen and you're addicted to 16:9 aspect ratio! The XPS 17" is way up there in price - in the same ballpark as the lower end Alienware. And the XPS has the 16:10 ratio aspect - which we're told everyone wants but I'm not so sure.

    There are downsides to the AW (Alienware) - such as weight and bulk - but the main issue for me would be to make the purchase only to find that there are things you can do with a Windows laptop that you can't do with an AW.

    From what you say, it sounds like if you can do it with an ordinary laptop, you can do it with AW.



  • Registered Users Posts: 830 ✭✭✭ harmless


    The only downside to Alienware is bulk,weight, heat, noise and battery life.

    They will run games and general windows software better than most laptops.



  • Registered Users Posts: 683 ✭✭✭ Benedict


    Thanks Harmless - I note what you say - that the AW will run general windows software "better than most laptops".

    The real issue would be if you invested in an AW and needed to use it as a regular Windows laptop for much of the time and then discovered that some things can't be done because it's an AW and not a regular laptop.

    Of course there are pros and cons - like the extra weight on the AW. But these are things you can assess so you're going in with your eyes open.

    As of now, I'm getting the impression that there are no hidden surprises if you want to use the AW as a regular Windows machine. But there's a lot of money involved so you don't want any nasty surprises down the road!



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,800 ✭✭✭ Homelander


    Not sure what's being put forward here, the idea that Alienware is somehow architecturally different to other laptops is completely false.

    Alienware is a brand of laptop. There is nothing whatsoever different about them to other laptops from a hardware, Windows, or general use point of view.

    The only thing different is the chassis and quality of design of the thermal solutions, etc.

    The only laptops using non-standard parts that cannot do everything a "normal" windows laptop can are Chromebooks.

    The reason an Alienware is not a good idea for normal usage is that they're clunky, heavier, have a worse battery and are more expensive then you would need for that purpose.

    That's not exclusive to Alienware, it's also true of the gaming laptops from every other brand, like ASUS, MSI, etc.

    At the end of the day like any designer brand you're also paying a hefty fee for that branding.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,788 ✭✭✭ newmember2


    Already answered in post above.



  • Registered Users Posts: 683 ✭✭✭ Benedict


    Yes, I agree. My question has been answered - which is great.

    I agree that the AW is expensive - but I just wonder how much more expensive is it than a regular laptop with similar specs. For example, an XPS with similar specs (Win 11, i7, SSD with similar storage, similar screen size etc. will come to around the same as the AW.

    Yes it's heavier, battery time without re-charge is shorter. Larger chassis - but they've improved on that. And not everyone loves a 16:10 ratio. So if you don't mind the downsides and like the upsides, then happy days. (Some people would actually prefer a chunky machine with 16:9 ratio.)

    I never suggested that the AW was, in some way, architecturally different to a regular laptop (RL) but I wondered was there anything at all that an RL could do that an AW couldn't. And it seems there isn't.

    So, info gratefully received.



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