Alienware x14 review: Is thinnest best?

Alienware x14

MSRP $1,199.00

“The Alienware x14 takes the concept of a compact laptop further than ever before.”


  • Incredibly thin
  • A number of ports in back
  • Solid performance
  • Excellent construct quality
  • Comfortable keyboard


  • Limited to RTX 3060
  • Wrist rests are too small
  • Thick, plastic bezels

Competition for the lightest and thinnest gaming laptop has never been tighter. But Alienware has taken the crown with the Alienware x14, which defies anything that has come before it in size, including options just like the Razer Blade 14 or ROG Zephyrus G14.

It’s clear the Alienware x14 does something no other gaming laptop can do. The one problem? The quantity of those that would trade a couple of millimeters for higher frame rates is perhaps smaller than Alienware thinks.


  Alienware x14
Dimensions 12.66 inches x 10.35 inches x 0.57 inches
Weight 3.96 kilos (as much as 4.06)
Processor Intel Core i7-12700H
Intel Core i7-12900H
Graphics Nvidia RTX 3050 4GB
Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti 4GB
Nvidia RTX 3060 6GB
RAM 16GB 4800MHz
16GB or 4800MHz, 5200MHz (with RTX 3060), 32GB 5200MHz (with RTX 3060)
Display 14.0-inch FHD (1920 x 1080), 144Hz 7ms, G-Sync, Advanced Optimus
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 720p, Windows Hello IR webcam
Operating system Windows 11 Home or Pro
Battery 80 watt-hour
Price $1,199+

Insanely thin and lightweight

The side of the Alienware x14 on a table.

The Alienware x14 isn’t just light. It’s tiny. The chassis is just 0.57 inches thick, which is as thin because the Surface Laptop 4. And remember: this can be a gaming laptop. Considering the graphics card this thing has inside, that’s quite an achievement. Taking it from room to room is a breeze, as is tossing it in your bag. The dimensions actually comes with some compromises, but that doesn’t make this cutting-edge design any less of an engineering marvel.

What are the compromises for a gaming laptop this thin? Well, your mind probably goes to performance first, as did mine. The concept that the Alienware x14 could actually produce some decent gaming performance seems downright unimaginable considering how thin it’s. Nevertheless it handled its powerful components higher than I assumed it could.

It has an RTX 3060 under the hood, in addition to an Intel Core i7-12900H. That is the maxed-out configuration, which is available in at $1,750 and in addition includes 16GB of LPDDR5 and a 1TB SSD. Normally, I’d consider these decent specs for a gaming laptop, especially within the midrange territory.

The ports on the back of the Alienware x14.

However the Alienware x14 is not any budget laptop. It still is available in at $150 cheaper than the Razer Blade 14, but the worth, design, and construct quality all scream “premium.” That’s makes the range of GPU options disappointing. Paying $1,400 for a measly RTX 3050 appears like quite a stretch.

And there’s a crucial reason why the Alienware x14 is proscribed to only the RTX 3060: the ports. As an alternative of a standard barrel charger, the Alienware x14 is powered by only a single USB-C port. In terms of dedicated gaming laptops, that’s a primary. On one hand, it’s convenient for those of us who love the universality of USB-C. Nevertheless it does mean an RTX 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti is off the table.

Like the remainder of the ports, the USB-C port is positioned within the back, leaving just some vents along the perimeters of the chassis. While the offering of ports is every little thing you could possibly need, the positioning of the headphone jack within the back feels inconvenient. It’s slightly cumbersome to run your wired headphones to the back, especially since it may easily get caught within the hinge. I can’t complain in regards to the clean edges, though – it gives the device a really sleek look.

Good performance, with a caveat

The Alienware x14 in front of a window.

In case you get the RTX 3060 model, you’ll get simply enough gaming performance to make it well worth the money. In 3DMark Time Spy, the Alienware x14 is definitely the best-scoring laptop with the RTX 3060 we’ve tested, including the HP Victus 16, Dell XPS 17, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4.

That’s a superb sign, but there’s a reason this laptop only comes with a 1080p screen. Even at that resolution, you may only expect lighter games like Civilization VI to recover from 60 frames per second (fps). Meanwhile, heavier games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Red Dead Redemption 2 land right around 60 fps. These games still look and play well, mind you, just not enough to take full use of the 144Hz display.

Fortnite is an example of the form of game the Alienware x14 was made for. It runs at a median of 72 fps at Epic settings. Want much more speed? Move the settings right down to High and also you’ll get frame rates as high as 89 fps — all without losing an excessive amount of graphical fidelity.

Alienware x14

(RTX 3060)

Razer Blade 14

(RTX 3070)

Predator Triton 300 SE

(RTX 3060)

3DMark Time Spy 7662 8605 6038
Civilization VI 117 fps 111 fps 84 fps
Fortnite 72 fps 96 fps 78 fps
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 60 fps 60 fps 50 fps
Red Dead Redemption 2 56 fps n/a n/a

We don’t have one other gaming laptop with the precise specs because the Alienware x14. The Triton 300 SE is an analogous laptop, however the last one we tested was an Intel Eleventh-gen model, which explains a number of the lower performance in CPU-dependent games like Civilization VI and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. In comparison with non-gaming laptops just like the Dell XPS 17 or the Asus Zenbook Pro 16X with the identical graphics, the Alienware x14 is a greater performer in games.

And due to the standard of the Alienware x14’s panel, games and other media really do look sharp. It’s a really colourful screen, hitting 91% of the AdobeRGB color gamut. It’s also an expertly calibrated screen, with a Delta-E of just 0.6. That is the most effective 1080p panels I’ve ever tested, so kudos to Alienware for going above and beyond.

The Alienware x14 performs well in non-gaming scenarios.

Still, playing games on a higher-resolution screen is actually preferable, especially in games that emphasis the richness of the visuals. The 1440p 165Hz screen on the Razer Blade 14 is the more impressive gaming experience, however it’ll cost you $2,600. That’s hardly a good comparison to the Alienware x14, which is available in under $2,000, even with a maxed-out configuration.

The Alienware x14 performs well in non-gaming scenarios too. My review unit used the Core i7-12700H, paired with an unnecessary 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. During taxing workflows, the fans ramp up fast, even within the default Balanced thermal setting. The result’s plenty of fan noise, but impressive CPU performance. It’s only around 8% slower than the Dell XPS 17 in tasks like video encoding. Buy the Alienware x14 to game on, but when you may have some side projects that involve the Adobe Creative Suite, the performance of this laptop won’t get in the way in which.

Odds and ends

The keyboard of the Alienware x14.

You likely need to use the Alienware x14 for greater than just games, and fortunately, it’s a well-made, thoughtful design for getting work done too.

There are some small usability things to say in regards to the Alienware x14. First, it has a superb keyboard, each for typing and gaming. Keypresses feel tight and precise, and the keycaps don’t wiggle. I appreciate having media buttons separated over on the best of the layout too. The RGB lighting is a bit lackluster throughout though, with just single-zone backlighting on the keyboard and nothing on the ring across the vents within the back. This doesn’t trouble me, but should you want more customizable lighting, you’ll need to go for the Alienware x15 or x17.

Choosing a 16:10 aspect ratio screen would have shrunk the bezels down.

The touchpad works well, but I had some issues with palm rejection on occasion. It’s slightly small too, as are the palm rests. Moving the keyboard and touchpad away from the hinge allows for higher cooling of the components underneath, but they make for an uncomfortable place to place your wrist.

The 720p webcam isn’t one of the best, however the inclusion of a Windows Hello IR camera is a incredible feature that’s still unusual in gaming laptops. Speaking of the webcam, the Alienware x14 has some fairly tacky-looking plastic bezels that frame the skin of the screen. The underside bezel is especially large — and it’s a little bit of an eyesore. Choosing a 16:10 aspect ratio screen would have solved this problem, which is what laptops just like the Predator Triton 300 SE have.

Battery life is nothing to write down home about. Like many gaming laptops, it’ll last around five hours on a really light load, and only a couple of if you may have a more involved multitasking setup going. Likely because of the usage of its AMD processor, the Razer Blade 14 is the one competitor that’ll last around three more hours than the Alienware x14 on a single charge.

It’s impressive, however it’s not for everybody

The front of the Alienware x14.

Alienware made one of the best possible gaming laptop it could at this size. It didn’t come without some compromises, in fact, but as long as you purchase a higher-end configuration, you’ll still get decent gaming performance. In case you care more about higher frame rates than size though, you’ll find a greater balance in laptops just like the ROG Zephyrus G14 or Razer Blade 14 — each of that are still quite small in comparison with the common gaming laptop.

The Razer Blade 14 has more on offer with its cleaner design, more extensive GPU options, and higher battery life. To me, that’s well worth the extra $150.

But for people who will love the acute portability the Alienware x14 affords, you’ll be impressed by what this little thing can do. Just make sure that to not less than go for the RTX 3060 model.

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