Alienware 18 Breakdown
- 8 GB Dual Channel DDR3L at 1600MHz
- Dual Nvidia and GeForce GTX 860M graphics with 4GB GDDR5
- 1 TB HD
- Windows 8.1 Pro
- DVDR/RW Drive
- Intel i7 3.4GHz CPU
About six years ago, I decided that I wanted to see what having a high end, super powerful laptop would be like and bought an Alienware 17 with everything except the Blu Ray disc drive. I have to say that I was completely sold on Alienware after spending a year with my Alienware 17 Laptop. It endured a very high fall and didn’t have a scratch on it, so they are certainly very durable. After six years my Alienware 17 is still rocking, but it was time for an upgrade, so I pounced on my new Alienware 18. This time I settled with the base and decided not to get it stacked. I loved the power of my Alienware 17, but felt that it may have been too much for what I actually use my laptop for. After a week, I can tell that I made the right call. I have had no issues with doing anything on this laptop. It multitasks like a dream.
I’m not much of a computer gamer, but I am sure there will not be a problem with games, because this beast can handle Second Life without missing a beat while iTunes is playing in the background with a bunch of browsers open. Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements runs flawlessly. There are lights around the laptop along with the keyboard and logo under the screen. You can modify the colors any way you want. You can even make a profile where every light is a different color. Even the Touch Pad lights up when you touch it and it is a pretty cool effect. I added a video below to demonstrate it. The only issue that I encountered right off the bat, was that the laptop kept locking up during start up. I was afraid that I would have to return the computer, but decided to format the hard drive and reinstall windows first.
The re-installation of Windows fixed the locking up problem and it has ran so smoothly. I am very impressed with this laptop. In fact I will probably never settle with anything else, because Alienware has really met my needs since my first one. In the past I’ve owned laptops from Dell, Toshiba, and Acer. In my opinion Alienware is the best and certainly my favorite. My only issue with them is their size. They are made for power and not portability, but for me that is a fair exchange in the end. The Alienware 18 laptop is very well built and has a very clean style to it. It will definitely get attention if you pull it out at Starbucks. The screen resolution is so much clearer and sharper than any laptop screen that I have seen so far. I recommend Alienware to my friends all of the time and will definitely continue to do so. This laptop is gorgeous and has blown me away on so many levels so far. The Alienware 18 Laptop is definitely a good investment.
After a week my Alienware 18 began to lock up during startup again. I traced the issue to Windows 8 and found the fix. If you are having the same issue the link below will help you out.
Alienware 18 – More Impressions
Touch pad has a really cool lighting effect when you touch it. The color of the light can be modified using the Alienware Command Center software included with the computer.
Alienware does a great job packaging their computers. I’ve received many in the mail where the company does not take much care in the packaging. Alienware’s shipping process is top notch. Below is the package picked up straight from Fedex. There is a cardboard outer shell.
Pull the cardboard shell away and the main box is below. This box is very well made and built to protect your computer.
I hate to keep going on and on about packaging, but Alienware has really impressed me with this and that fact deserves attention. They really deserve kudos for their attention to detail and you should know that your computer is well protected on it’s way to you. Yes, that is foam surrounding the entire laptop.
The AC adapter is huge.
The quick start guide and recovery software is housed below the laptop in a small compartment.
These laptops have managed to have gotten bigger so be warned. Here is a side by side comparison with my six year old Alienware 17. The Alienware 17 is the one on the right.
Alienware 18 Internal Rechargeable Battery
I learned early on not to leave my laptops plugged in all the time with the battery installed. This will destroy a laptop battery quickly. If you’ve ever had a laptop where it seems the battery never stays charged very long, that is why. The battery on the Alienware 18 is internal, so it is a little tricky. Below is how to remove the battery in case you are like me and leave your laptop plugged in more than you use it on the road.
1. Flip the laptop over and locate the three screws shown in the picture and remove them.
2. With the screws removed, just lift the panel up from the side of the screws. Raise it and pull it back. The battery is the object in the middle in the photo.
3. The battery has one connector, so go ahead and disconnect it.
4. Next remove the two screws that are securing the battery in place.
5. Once the screws are removed the battery can be lifted straight out. Now just store it in a safe place where you won’t lose it.
6. Reinstall the two screws, so you do not have to worry about losing them and reinstall the panel and you are done.