Alienware 13 OLED Gaming Notebook: Full, in-depth review

Alienware Alienware 13 (OLED)
  • Alienware Alienware 13 (OLED)
  • Alienware Alienware 13 (OLED)
  • Alienware Alienware 13 (OLED)
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • OLED display is gorgeous
  • Built-in speakers are surprisingly good

Cons

  • Performance doesn't quite live up to the price-tag
  • Design as bulky as it is rugged

Bottom Line

As incredible as the OLED display looks, the Alienware 13 doesn't quite deliver the performance needed to justify the premium price.

Would you buy this?

Design

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it can be a good position to take when it comes to product design, and Alienware kept that mantra alive with the new A13. At first glance, it looks like every other Alienware laptop - and by extension, most non-Alienware gaming laptops. It’s all sharp angles, stylish backlighting and sleek-silver finish. It may well be just another glowy-metal-sci-fi-death-machine but it can’t be said that it isn’t one of the most polished of its kind out there.

Of course, the display is where the A13 really comes alive. It’s got one of the highest contrast-ratios available in a gaming laptop and it shows. Everything on it looks just that little bit nicer - regardless of what game you’re playing. Colors don’t just pop, they sizzle with more than just hype. Given this is the headliner for the new A13 (along with most of the rationale for the roughly $1000 premium between it and the next model down) that’s a really good thing.

Credit: Alienware

Thankfully, the A13 doesn’t just look exceptional. It also sounds great. The larger and more effective speaker box built into the laptop made a real difference during use - especially during games that support panning audio. While you’re still probably going to want to game with some dedicated headphones for greater immersion, the speakers in the new A13 feel like going without isn’t going to be a massive compromise. At least, when it comes to fidelity.

The newly-upgraded and built-in Alienware TactX keyboard is pretty satisfying to use as well - though it sometimes feels a bit on the narrow side. There’s none of the satisfying clickability you’d get of a proper mechanical but it does support n-key rollover and boast a 2.2mm of key travel.

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