Alienware Alphaby Alienware

  • Alienware Alpha
  • Alienware Alpha
  • Alienware Alpha
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
Recommended, but seriously flawed. There are probably better alternatives.
74%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • You can easily play PC games on a TV and pick from a large library of Steam games.
  • The Alpha offers higher resolution graphics than some other popular gaming consoles.
  • The Alpha's portable design is smaller than the Xbox One and PS4. It weighs in at a ridiculously light 4.5 pounds.

CONS

  • Some testers consider the Alpha's UI clunky and slow.
  • Some components are upgradeable, but not the all-important GPU.
  • Non-Steam games are difficult, if not impossible, to run in console mode.
The Alienware Alpha combines desktop performance and advanced gaming to give users quick access to Steam games on their big-screen TVs. The unit ships with an Xbox controller and the Alienware interface. The 4th generation Intel Core i3 processor can be upgraded to an i5 or i7, and the standard 4GB of RAM is user upgradeable to 8GB. The Alpha comes equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and a 500GB SATA hard drive. Ports include two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI in, HDMI out, and optical audio out. The Alpha is equipped with AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
NameAlienware AlphaMillenniumErazer X315EclipseX51 R3 (2015)
ManufacturerAlienwareOriginLenovoDigital StormAlienware
Techwalla Score
74%
84%
80%
77%
77%
List Price$500$1731$500$700$699
80%

I'll be frank: the Alpha is not only the sharpest-looking Steam Machine yet, it's on par with the Xbox One and PS4 in terms of design.

I'll be frank: the Alpha is not only the sharpest-looking Steam Machine yet, it's on par with the Xbox One and PS4 in terms of design.

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80%

The Alpha’s use of Valve’s software means you only have access to the Steam library while using the Alpha UI.

The Alpha’s use of Valve’s software means you only have access to the Steam library while using the Alpha UI.

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80%

Underneath the shiny red veneer of Alienware's Alpha UI beats the heart of a reliable Windows 8.1 desktop.

Underneath the shiny red veneer of Alienware's Alpha UI beats the heart of a reliable Windows 8.1 desktop.

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73%

It's hard to quantify exactly how much waiting the machine imposes on the user, but I can say that it's far too much.

It's hard to quantify exactly how much waiting the machine imposes on the user, but I can say that it's far too much.

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70%

Installing and playing older titles on the Alpha can be frustrating.

Installing and playing older titles on the Alpha can be frustrating.

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70%

...the Alienware Alpha is actually a pretty good deal even if you intend to use it mostly as a PC with some gaming capability.

...the Alienware Alpha is actually a pretty good deal even if you intend to use it mostly as a PC with some gaming capability.

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70%

Those worried about potential fan noise should know that in our testing, the Alpha remained nearly silent when not gaming.

Those worried about potential fan noise should know that in our testing, the Alpha remained nearly silent when not gaming.

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70%

While dual-core CPUs are fine for the majority of games, for a little more future-proofing, we would have preferred at least a quad-core i5 …

While dual-core CPUs are fine for the majority of games, for a little more future-proofing, we would have preferred at least a quad-core i5 chip.

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70%

The Alpha interface is clearly first-generation stuff. Its heart is in the right place, but it's also clunky and awkward.

The Alpha interface is clearly first-generation stuff. Its heart is in the right place, but it's also clunky and awkward.

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What’s most impressive about the Alienware Alpha isn’t its speed or price, but that fact that it manages to squeeze so much power into such …

What’s most impressive about the Alienware Alpha isn’t its speed or price, but that fact that it manages to squeeze so much power into such a tiny package.

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Booting the system is slow. Launching Steam is slow. The user interface is slow. Games sometimes launch so slowly that Steam often seems to …

Booting the system is slow. Launching Steam is slow. The user interface is slow. Games sometimes launch so slowly that Steam often seems to think they've failed to launch at all.

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WOULD YOU BUY THIS AGAIN?
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