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?

Performance

When it comes to the A13’s everyday gaming performance, it’s fair to say there were some ups and downs. However, it should be noted here that the review unit we were sent had 16GB of RAM rather than the 32GB usually found in the OLED A13.

Still, despite the heavy-duty specs, the A13 really seemed to struggle struggled when we threw modern releases (like Overwatch and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider) at it on the highest-possible settings.

Moving things down a few notches to medium fixed most playability issues but did leave us with a diminished level of visual quality that can’t really be said to live up to the high-end price-tag attached to the new A13. After all, an OLED display can only do so much.

When it came to benchmarking, the A13’s shortcomings became more pronounced. The price for this gaming machine is pretty comparable to offerings from MSI and EVGA but the performance falls short of the mark on a number of fronts.

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

The Bottom Line

Given the low-ceiling on how high you can push the fidelity of games running on the new Alienware 13, it’s hard to know who to really recommend this product to. Sure, the combination of brand power, high-end specs, slick glowy-metal-sci-fi-death-machine form-factor and the next-gen OLED display make the new A13 a downright appealing package. However, based on the performance we encountered, it seems difficult to justify spending this much on a gaming laptop that can’t deliver anything less than the best - and the Alienware 13 - OLED or otherwise - doesn’t quite live up to that standard.

Credit: Alienware

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