Alienware x14 Review

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Since the introduction of notebook computers, people have been in constant pursuit of two features: thin and light and performance. Today, all notebook manufacturers are studying how to make a product that is both thin, light, and portable with strong performance.

In this problem, the veteran gaming PC manufacturer Alienwareware has given an answer from its own perspective. Just recently, they crammed the configuration of a gaming notebook into the body of a thin and light laptop, officially releasing Alienwareware’s thinnest laptop ever, the Alienwarewareware X14.

From the outside, the Alienwarewareware X14 is so beautiful that it hardly looks like a gaming notebook – the A-side top cover and B-side bottom panel are all wrapped in a pure white color scheme, Alienwarewareware’s signature waistline running lights are gone, and the 14-inch version of the previous generation’s A-side ribbed design has become a simple pure white plane, with only the low-visibility Only the low-visibility logo still shows its Alienwareware heritage.

When the screen is lifted, the Alienwareware logo, screen and keyboard lights light up at the same time, and the RGB elements appear to remind people that it is in fact a powerful gaming notebook, but the too-slim weight and not-so-steady feel will always make people overlook the Alienwarewareware X14’s gaming heritage.

The Alienwareware X14’s best feature is its thickness control. In order to cram the standard Core i7 and RTX3060 into an ultra-thin body, Alienware made quite an effort: adopting the inverted motherboard layout common to ultra-thin gaming notebooks, using liquid metal with higher thermal conductivity instead of traditional cooling silicone, and even eliminating the SO-DIMM memory slots that come standard on most gaming notebooks and instead soldering DDR5 memory to the motherboard, which is how the Alienware The X14’s thickness is compressed to a staggering 14.5mm, but of course, this thickness does not include the feet.

For comparison, the ThinkPad T14 is 17.9mm thick, and the Macbook Pro14, which is always perceived as very “thin and light”, is 15.5mm thick. in other words, the Alienwareware X14 is actually thinner than a thin business laptop, and its thin and light design is quite successful.

But there are gains and losses, and the Alienwarewareware X14 naturally makes trade-offs in other areas in order to get such a thin and light body, such as the fact that it can’t upgrade its memory at will like a regular gaming notebook; the inverted motherboard and liquid gold cooling also make it more difficult for players to maintain their own hardware, such as cleaning dust and changing silicone grease; and the biggest impact on the experience is the sacrifice in expandability. It has only four USB ports and one headphone jack to connect peripherals, and there is only one regular USB Type-A port, which means that as long as the only one USB Type-A is occupied, all the rest of the A-port peripherals, whether it is a mouse, or keyboard need to use the docking station to transfer, which in effect adds a lot of trouble.

Moreover, among the three USB Type-C ports, the Alienwarewareware X14 also needs a separate port for charging. Yes, the Alienwarewareware X14 is a gaming laptop that supports and only supports PD charging, and the manufacturer has produced a set of 130W high power gallium nitride adapters for it, which is very puzzling.

Although taking up the PD port is not a big deal, everyone is doing it, but the original purpose of popularizing PD charging for notebook products is to reduce the size and weight of the power adapter. The 130W PD charger of Alienwarewareware X14 has almost no difference with the size of the regular DC charger, except for taking up more USB ports, there is no advantage, but rather than the convenience of the DC port.

In addition, under the squeeze of the large 80Wh battery, all the ports of the Alienwarewareware X14 have to be arranged at the rear of the chassis, so users need to practice their “blind plugging” skills when plugging and unplugging peripherals and power supplies.

Underneath the thin and light but somewhat overly aggressive exterior, the Alienwarewareware X14 has a wild core with Intel’s latest 12th generation Core i7 12700H 14-core processor and Nvidia RTX3060 graphics, reaching the mainstream level of current gaming notebooks with very strong theoretical performance.

In addition, the Alienwarewareware X14 is equipped with a 1080P 144Hz high refresh rate screen. From the official data, the screen covers a wide color gamut of 100% DCI-P3, with a maximum brightness of 400nit and a color accuracy ΔE of just 0.62, which looks pretty good and can even be used for simple professional image processing.

In daily use, the Alienwarewareware X14’s performance will depend on the actual test. In the stress test, we used Aida64 and FurMark. Under full load, the Alienwarewareware X14’s CPU power consumption was stable at around 30W, with a performance core of 2GHz up and down and a temperature of 75°C; the graphics card’s power consumption was 60W, and the temperature was finally stable at 70°C.

From the stress test, it can be seen that the thin and light body of Alienwarewareware X14 has a greater impact on the maximum performance of the processor and graphics card, and does not run to the maximum frequency and maximum power consumption during long and intense use. 30W+60W performance release is slightly inferior to even the 45W+80W of Blue Sky and Quanta public molds, not to mention the 50W+115W level of performance that is now mainstream Monsters. In other words, players want to make the 12th generation Core i7 and RTX3060 fully play the performance that should be on the PPT, I’m afraid it’s a little difficult.

However, the stress test doesn’t fully represent the actual performance of the Alienwarewareware X14, we also need to see how well it runs games. Despite the poor results of the stress test, the Alienwarewareware X14 is still “in the base” and is able to play most of the online games on the market perfectly, running large 3A games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and other graphics card killers are not a problem. The average frame rate is only 38.56 fps, although it is not obviously lagging, but the impact of power consumption limitations are still exposed.

 

High performance often comes with high power consumption, and the Alienwarewareware X14 is no exception. During game play, the Alienwarewareware X14’s palm rest and keyboard get a little warm, and fan noise is noticeable in quiet rooms, so even if it only has a USB Type-A port, it is recommended that you play with an external keyboard and mouse and headset via an adapter for a better gaming experience.

The Alienwarewareware X14’s slim body is a breath of fresh air among heavy mainstream gaming notebooks, and it can even change the way we use our notebooks: it’s perfect for playing games, and it’s perfect for disguising as a business notebook when we’re out and about. -If we want an “all in one” device, it’s the right one.

However, behind the aggressive industrial design of the Alienwarewareware X14, there’s still plenty of room for improvements, such as better performance release, a more logical number and layout of ports, and greater maintainability. More importantly, the Alienwarewareware X14 is in great need of a smaller and lighter set of power adapters, which have already been developed and sold on shelves by many third-party manufacturers, so it’s all the more important for Alienwareware, as a high-end gaming laptop brand, to catch up.

From a product level, we can look forward to Alienwareware’s future thin and light gaming notebooks, and when it optimizes the problems that still exist, then the “All in one” device that we really want will really be here.

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