It’s safe to say that 14-inch-screen gaming laptops are popular.
There are now smaller versions of the most popular 15-inch and 17-inch designs from several companies.
One of them is the new Alienware x14, which starts at $1,649.99 and costs $2,299.99 as tested. It is a new size for the X Series and looks like the Alienware x15 and x17, which are bigger.
What About Its Screen?
But with a 14-inch screen, the slim and compact design makes a lot more sense than when the screen was bigger.
This makes for a truly portable laptop that has good reason to be slim.
The internal power backs up the idea: our model’s brand-new Intel Core i7 “Alder Lake” processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU make it a full-fledged gaming laptop, on par with or better than other laptops in the same price range.
You can still get more power for your money with a bigger laptop, but the Alienware x14 is a great choice if you plan to take your gaming rig with you a lot.
The Right Fit: 14-Inch X Series Design
First, let’s talk about why this downsizing is a good idea.
Did You Know Where It Came From?
Alienware’s X Series grew out of the M Series. The Alienware m15 and m17 were used as a base, but the look was changed and they were made even thinner.
The x15 and x17 are the results. The x14 is a new size for both lines.
There has never been a 14-inch M Series laptop before, so the x14 is just a smaller version of the X Series.
Even though the x15 and x17 are a little bit thinner than their competitors, they are also a little bit heavier, which doesn’t make them any easier to carry.
Users Would Find Case Thinner!
Also, because the case is thinner, there is less room for cooling, so the power output is slightly lower than in the m15 and m17.
We didn’t think that the 15-inch and 17-inch X Series laptops were worth it just because they had a slightly different style than the M Series.
It’s a matter of taste whether the white or black keyboard deck looks better.
The x14, on the other hand, is the best use of this design so far.
The redesign of the X Series didn’t change the math on how portable 15- and 17-inch laptops are, which left us unimpressed, but it makes a lot more sense here at 14 inches.
A laptop with a smaller screen is always easier to carry around than one with a bigger screen, and the thinner design of this screen makes it even better.
The smaller chassis looks slim and sleek, and it isn’t a trick: the x14 is only 0.57 by 12.7 by 10.3 inches (HWD).
It Is Also Not Much Heavy?
It also weighs 3.96 pounds, which is good for a laptop in general but especially good for a gaming laptop.
It’s a real gaming laptop that you can easily tuck under your arm or throw in a bag or backpack.
The power adapter is also small, which isn’t always the case in this field.
Sometimes a thin design is wasted on a power brick that is twice as thick and the same weight.
What About The Processing Framework?
The Razer Blade 14 and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 are two of the best 14-inch laptops that compete with it.
The build is more like the second one than the first one.
Razer’s all-metal offering stands out, but these two are still sturdy and feel like they are worth the money.
Simply put, a 14-inch chassis and the thin-and-light X Series concept are a natural fit.
Even though we call them “15-inch” and “17-inch” laptops, their diagonal screen sizes are 15.6 and 17.3 inches, which is not a round number.
On 14-inch laptops, the diagonal size of the screen is also 14 inches, and that’s what we have here. Even though the x14 is easy to carry, you can’t get around the fact that the screen is noticeably smaller.
What About Price?
This is the price you pay for being able to carry it around more easily.
Some gamers might not be able to play games at that size, but 14 inches is a good size for me.
More detailed or UI-heavy titles may be a little harder to read, but that’s a fair trade-off for being mobile.
If you’re seriously thinking about getting a smaller laptop, you already know how important it is for you to be able to take it with you wherever you go.
If you plan to leave your gaming laptop on your desk or at home most of the time, it makes more sense to get a bigger screen.
As for the technology behind the screen, our unit has a full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution and a refresh rate of 144Hz.
In a laptop this size, this is a combination that makes sense to me. Smaller laptops can’t put out as much power, so it will be much harder for them to ever make good use of a QHD or 4K display with a refresh rate of 240Hz or 300Hz for gaming.
Full HD and 144Hz are much more realistic goals for the components in this case. The picture is clear and bright, and our tests will show that it is even better than its 400-nit rating.
Dolby Vision To Improve Color!
The panel is also certified by Dolby Vision, which improves the colour quality and depth even more.
The keyboard and touchpad don’t stand out as much as the rest of the design, but they get the job done. The keys don’t move very far, and the space bar in particular isn’t very deep.
This is a side effect of the thin build, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
The keys on the G14 have a good amount of travel, and the Blade 14 is somewhere in the middle.
It also takes some time to get used to the smaller keyboard size.
At first, I kept putting my fingers down in the wrong places, but you’ll get used to it.
The keys are backlit in one zone, and the RGB lighting can be changed.
This can all be done through the Command Center software from Alienware.
What About The Touchpad?
The touchpad is very simple and maybe a little on the small side, but it works well with taps and full presses and moves smoothly.
All of this build’s ports are on the block in the back. Most of the ports on the x15 and x17 are also in the back, but the power adapter and headphone jacks are still on the left and right sides.
That’s not the case here.
It’s very rare for a laptop to have no ports on the left or right side, which is likely because it’s so thin.
Back there, though, you will find a lot of links. There are three USB-C ports.
Two of them can use Thunderbolt 4, to deliver power, and output to a DisplayPort, but the third one can’t use Thunderbolt.
The icon on the left side of the last one shows that it is the charging port, but all of them can charge the laptop.
Are Plugins Available?
You also get an HDMI port, a slot for a microSD card, a headphone jack, and a USB-A 3.2 port.
I’ll admit that reaching around the screen or turning the laptop to see what you’re doing is a little inconvenient, but after a while, you probably won’t think twice about it, and it’s hard to say that’s a real problem.
Most likely, plugging in wired headphones will be the most annoying thing, since these jacks are rarely hidden and often need to be plugged back in.
Overall, the I/O is good for a smaller system, and the laptop supports Wi-Fi 6E for the most modern wireless connections.
The top webcam works with Windows Hello, but its sensor isn’t full HD (1080p). Instead, it has a resolution of 1,280 by 720 pixels.