x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Alienware launches latest gaming laptop at Gitex Shopper

Hardcore video-game fans who visited Gitex Shopper 2013 yesterday were treated to an out-of-this-world experience thanks to a close encounter with the latest, top-of-the-range Alienware super-gaming laptop.

A visitor enjoys the hands-on experience of a virtual racing video game at Gitex Shopper 2013 in Dubai yesterday. Razan Alzayani / The National
A visitor enjoys the hands-on experience of a virtual racing video game at Gitex Shopper 2013 in Dubai yesterday. Razan Alzayani / The National

DUBAI // Hardcore video-game fans who visited Gitex Shopper 2013 yesterday were treated to an out-of-this-world experience thanks to a close encounter with the latest, top-of-the-range Alienware super-gaming laptop.

The company chose the Dubai event, the leading electronics showcase in the region, for the GCC launch of the Alienware 18.

Power has always been the defining theme behind Alienware’s machines. Since its launch in 1996, the Florida-based subsidiary of Dell has been consistently producing the fastest, most powerful computers on the market.

And its target audience has always been the same – gamers.

“Gamers know what they want, you do not need to convince them, you just have to provide it,” said Pratik Nihalani, Alienware’s team leader in the region.

“Our machines speak for themselves. They know that you cannot get this kind of performance with any other machine. We have built a reputation that we stand by.”

But with great power comes great prices. The asking price for Alienware 18 is Dh17,999.

In return, you get a machine armed with Nvidia’s 8GB Dual GTX 780M SLI graphics card, offering unrivalled performance.

For those of a tighter budget, the Alienware 17 is also available at Gitex, costing “only” Dh10,999.

“When we first introduced Alienware to the market here in 2010, there was a lot of scepticism about the price,” said Billy Martin, the purchasing officer for Tecbuy, the main distributor of Alienware in the region. “That has all but disappeared now.

“The response from people all over the GCC has been overwhelming. We had clients coming from Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain just to buy an Alienware. We have since stocked Alienware at our branches all over the Arabian Gulf.

“To give you an idea of the power of the 18, you can connect six monitors to it for a 360 view of your surroundings, which is great for racing and shooting games.

Crysis, a first-person shooter that is one of the most resource-hungry video games, will comfortably run at the highest level of specifications all day on the 18.

Those fortunate enough to get a hold of one of Alienware’s top-of-the-line machines form a strong bond with the computer, sometimes to the point of obsession.

“I love my Alienware laptop,” said Ahmad Saeed Ahmad, 19. “I take it with me everywhere, especially when we go on holiday. I just have to have it with me.

“Alienware is like the Ferrari of computers – and then the guys of Alienware take that Ferrari and turn it into a Formula 1 Ferrari.”

The Emirati student said he had spent more than Dh20,000 on his Alienware laptop.

“Yes it costs as much as a car, and I love it like it’s my first car,” he said. “Once you experience Alienware, all other machines feel like they are operating in slow motion.

“I use it for my school work,” Ahmad, trying his best – but failing – to keep a straight face. “Of course I use it for gaming. That is what this machine was designed to do – for gamers, by gamers.”

He said his attachment to the computer was so obvious that his parents used it against him when they were punishing him.

“I’m very stubborn but the minute the conversation moves to my Alienware, that’s when I just do as I’m told,” he said.

“This is a hardcore gaming machine,” said Seejo Johnson, 23. “You can feel the depth of the game. If you play an action game, you feel completely immersed into it and not distracted by performance issues.”

Seejo, a business administration undergraduate, said he was a professional gamer and a veteran of many competitions.

“I’ve never used Alienware in competition, but I know many who do, and they always have the upper hand,” he said.

“I use Razor machines and accessories, but I’ve really been disappointed with how they’ve performed – too many issues keep popping up. I’ve never heard of anyone complaining about that with an Alienware.”

“It is very costly and that is the drawback, but I think it is worth it. You get what you pay for and it saves you all the hassle of dealing with glitches and technical issues.

“I can’t afford one just yet, but I’m saving up to get an Alienware.”

malkhan@thenational.ae