Alienware's touting itself as the maker of the first virtual reality-ready 13-inch laptop with the new Alienware 13, a powerful notebook that packs an Nvidia GTX 10 series graphics card, sixth-generation Intel Skylake chips and up to 16 GB of RAM.
Alienware's name carries the weight of reputable gaming computers none of which are underserved with mediocre specs. The company's highly recognized for top-tier high-powered laptops, and Alienware 13 remains a service to that brand but with the prized presence of virtual reality tagging along.
This year saw tremendous inroads for virtual reality, as several companies fumbled together its own virtual reality headsets such as Google's Daydream, Sony's PlayStation VR, HTC and Valve's HTC Vive and others, with the sustained imminence of mobile VR platforms slowly gaining traction. It's still a fairly nascent platform, but many companies have been exceedingly toying with it, even Atari's Nolan Bushnell wants in on the game.
The Alienware 13 comes as Alienware's entry point in accessible virtual reality experiences because the setup involved in creating a VR experience requires very powerful and bulky equipment, a prerequisite many VR companies try to quash in order to make the appeal of the platform immediate.
The base model of the VR-ready Alienware 13 has a powerful Intel Core i5-6300HQ chip alongside an Nvidia GTX 10 series graphics chip, specifically, the GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB GDDR5 and 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. This configuration will net you $1,199, but if you prefer beefier specs, there are Core i7 models with 16 GB of RAM at much higher price points.
In terms of storage, Alienware 13 comes with up to 2 TB of internal storage split into two: 1 TB of PCI express of solid state drive as a boot drive, and the other terabyte serves as storage.
The screen may also come in different options, with the lowest being a 13.3-inch 1,366 x 768 display. If low-resolution displays are a pet peeve, there's an option for a 1080p IPS display and a Quad HD display with touch control. Of course, a better screen spells a more expensive price.
In terms of portability, the Alienware 13 weighs below six pounds and is less than an inch thick at its thickest point. Alienware has outfitted this laptop with "maximum thermal design power support," which keeps the system cool even under intensive performance. It comes with a 76 Wh battery and customizable color schemes for the keyboard.
The Alienware 13 is available now on Dell's online store, which ships in 23 to 27 business days.