Hands-on with Alienware’s new line of VR-ready laptops – Geek

Alienware’s always had a reputation for being somewhat… opulent. Its ostentatious machines demand a certain kind of attention and a price premium to match. Even so, over the past few years Alienware has continually worked to bring prices down and tighten up its design scheme, shifting to a more refined, neo-industrial look.

At PAX West, the Dell subsidiary announced their latest laptop line. These portable powerhouses are each running Nvidia’s 10-series GPUs. They’re all optimized for VR, high frame rate gaming, or 4K gaming. Plus, if the video card company is to be believed, its 10-series mobile GPUs should be just about on par with their beefy desktop counterparts.

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With those power-hungry and heat-vomiting cards running at their peak, Alienware claims that they’ve totally redesigned the cooling systems in its laptops to compensate. Batteries are now at the front of the machine — where your hands rest. This gives a bit more room at the back for the GPU and CPU to chill (literally).

The hinge that supports the monitor has come forward a bit too, meaning that the sometimes painfully hot hunks of silicon that power the PC aren’t near the keyboard or trackpad, so even while gaming your hands and fingertips shouldn’t feel the heat.

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The larger of the two laptops, a 17-inch monster, also comes with eyetracking courtesy of some IR sensors from Tobii. In-game, you can use the tech to look around instead of relying on a mouse or analogue stick. Alienware’s partnered with the company to develop some additional software for competitive gamers to help you track where your eyes move during recorded replays, so you can see where your attention was (mis)directed when you died. I’m not sold on the utility of features like these, but surely someone finds them worthy inclusions.

The 15-inch and 17-inch laptops start at around $1,200 and $1,500 (respectively). They are available for pre-order now and will start shipping at the end of September. There’s also a smaller 13-inch model planned for those who need a little bit more portability.

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