Alienware 13 R3 (7700HQ, GTX 1060) 13 Inch Gaming Laptop Review

For this couple of years, we have seen of trend that even a gaming system is moving into a new direction where it gets thinner and lighter similarly like we find on business or entry level laptops. But, seeing a system with smaller screen than 15 inch is very uncommon and we only have some companies like Razer who provides of 13 inch screen gaming device. Unfortunately, the specification is not what we expect here. They drop the discrete GPU and adding an ULV processor which having less power. Surprisingly, there is a one company tries something better by putting the same exact specification in much smaller chassis. Yeah, the Alienware 13 R3 featuring the same specification like its older brother, but now in very small design that easy to carry around.

The only problem we might have here is probably the temperature issue. Smaller chassis means less empty place for hot air to breath and moving around. I have checked the laptop for couple of weeks and the issue is not really bad. I think its worth for us to take look inside and see how it goes beyond. That is what we are going to talk about on this article. Without further ado, let’s we jump into the article.

Design Impression

Not much changed found in term of design here. They still follow their tradition and philosophy by continue of using the similar design from its 15 and 17 inch one. Some of advantages and disadvantages are found toward this shift. On bad side, although the chassis is basically slim and light, the dimension is far than portable at this case especially in depth level. For some reasons, the lid looks weird as it moves little bit further in order to make a space for improving the cooling system. This changed does not really fit into its rest of design. On good side, the build quality is amazing in every area. The stability is incredible and the soft touch finishing is perfectly done and very comfortable.

Another worth mentioning thing here is the ruggedness. Pressing it with some amount of power won’t make it bend and twisting the base is almost impossible. The quality is what I expect from Alienware which well known for this case. As for the connectivity, the ports selections are complete. There are two USB 3.0 ports and two USB type-C which one of them is Thunderbolt 3. We also have of two HDMI ports and fully supported up to 4K resolution.

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The Biggest Selling Point

Alienware 13 R3 2 One of the bestselling points to find is located on its display. The 13 inch IPS panel looks incredibly sharp and bright. Its 13 inch OLED version is even better as it produces 97 percent SRGB color. Unfortunately, they put it on really expensive tag. At this case, the basic version is actually more than enough especially when it covers of 85 percent SRGB color and getting 300 nits of brightness. As long as you are really not crazy about the quality, then I will recommend of taking the cheapest one here. Just be careful on picking it as Dell adds numerous of different display configurations.

As for the input, we receive of four zones backlit support keyboard that featured from their previous generation. The keyboard feels smooth and responsive thanks to its soft feedback. Interestingly, the keys sizes are larger due its larger dimension. The typing noise is really consistent and I am so sure will not bother anyone around you. The manufacture still adds their famous LED touchpad that would glow in the dark. Users can customize any color they want included the one which looks perfect to match to rest of design.

Alienware 13 R3Main Specs
CPU Intel Core I7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz
Graphics NVIDIA GTX 1060
Display Size13.3-inch
OSWindows 10 Home
Memory 16GB DDR4 Memory
Storage 512GB PCIe SSD

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Performance and Maintenance

The gaming performance is exactly what you expect from a premium device. The combination of I7 7700HQ and GTX 1060 are capable enough to take any games in highest setting as long as you do not really put the anti-aliasing setting in highest level. Getting an ultra-level is considered as possible for FPS games like Battlefield 1 and COD, but the open world games like The Witcher 3 suffers of huge FPS drops and the framerate is far from stable. Thankfully, the highest setting is good enough to play. The temperature is being my concern, but I am surprised to find it does not run so hot even during any heavy usage. The CPU will easily reach 70 to 80 degree and then dropped quickly when the fan start to ramp up little bit. I have seen the worst case here in many similar laptops.

The Alienware surprisingly offers us plenty of upgradability option although I cannot find any way to fit an HDD here. It has of two RAM slots and fully upgradable to 32GB. There are also two M.2 SSD slot for later you want to upgrade its 512GB SSD. I just hope the storage won’t fill out in short time as I have so many backlogs from my Steam library. I cannot make a big complaint considering how small the chassis is.

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Final Thought

The Alienware 13 is an absolutely a good companion for doing a portable gaming. The design is great and the performance is very dependable. As long as you are okay with its expensive price tag, then this could be your best luck. Keep in mind, you might be able to find similar specs for under 1000 dollars at Dell Inspiron 15 7577, but once again the portability is making it expensive here. The choice is yours, so feel to take any consideration about it. Thank you very much for reading the article please leaves any comment for further assistance regarding the article.




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