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Alienware goes bigger and taller with the X16 and M18 gaming laptops

Alienware goes bigger and taller with the X16 and M18 gaming laptops


The gaming brand is ditching 15- and 17-inch laptops for 2023 in favor of 16- and 18-inch models with taller screens. Thank goodness.

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Alienware is unveiling a refreshed lineup of its M- and X-series gaming laptops at CES 2023. Like some other laptop companies, including Razer and Acer, Alienware is shifting focus away from 15- and 17-inch laptops toward thin, powerful 16- and 18-inch models.

The brand is going big with the new M18, an 18-inch model that’s being pitched as a desktop replacement. This is actually a resurrection following the M18’s previous spec update way back in 2015. The 2023 model will feature Intel’s 13th Generation HX CPUs and Nvidia’s RTX 4090 mobile graphics card. The latest processors and graphics options from AMD will be available in the M18 later in 2023.

Not only is the M18 massive and powerful — it’s a big deal in other ways. It can be configured with an 18-inch QHD Plus screen in the taller 16:10 aspect ratio and set up to include a ton of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet, an SD card reader, and many others. It supports user-upgradeable dual DDR5 RAM slots, and you can also cram up to 9TB of NVMe M.2 storage in it. This model starts at $2,099, but the first configuration it’s releasing will cost $2,899.

In addition to the ports displayed here, the M18 has a headphone jack, ethernet, two USB-A ports around its left side, and a USB-C port on its right side.
Image: Dell

The M18 sounds cool, but I’m more excited for Alienware’s new flagship 16-inch model, the X16. Despite having a smaller chassis than last year’s X17, the X16’s display is actually 14 percent larger, thanks to adopting the taller 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s also Alienware’s first laptop to feature six speakers (remember: quantity doesn’t guarantee quality). The X16 will support Intel’s promising 13th Generation processors and Nvidia’s RTX 4090. This model starts at $2,149, but a high-end option that costs $3,099 will be available first.

The Alienware M18 gaming laptop with its display showing the Alienware logo.
Switching from a 16:9 aspect ratio to the taller 16:10 helps the M18’s massive size look more flattering.
Image: Dell

As for traits that the M18 and X16 have in common, they’re designed with Alienware’s Legend 3 design language that brings some quality-of-life improvements. Each features its “V-rail” edges that claim to improve the comfort of the palm rest and to make it easier to lift the display. There’s also a new rubber foot on its bottom that aims to improve airflow.

Dell and Alienware usually release 15- and 17-inch gaming laptops, but that’s changing for 2023. In the X-series, it’ll have the X14 R2 (iterating on last year’s X14) and 16-inch models, while the M-series is getting 16- and 18-inch models. All of these laptops will be released in the first few months of 2023.

As is always the case, several other major laptop makers are taking to CES 2023 to debut new models featuring the latest chips from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, though Dell is usually one of the first to kick off the show. So stay tuned for many more announcements to come.