Welcome to the DELL Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV 14-Inch Gaming Laptop.
Aren’t we talking about music production?
Sure – and in any discussion of the best laptops for music production, Alienware has to be considered.
Alienware is famous for making one of the most powerful laptops in the world. Alienware is a Dell brand devoted to gaming machines (it hasn’t always been a Dell brand – Alienware was purchased by Dell back in 2006). These laptops are aimed squarely at the deadly serious gaming market. Any gamer worth their joystick will know what Alienware is.
Alienware laptops come with a price tag commensurate with their high level of “oompf”. They are not cheap. But as you read on, you’ll come to understand the features and benefits of these magnificent machines that command such a price tag.
The reason they are worth considering as the laptop for your home recording studio is simply due to their incredible computing power. They really are just a high-end laptop. The features you need for music production are essentially the same as those you need for serious gaming.
The main things you will want to know are :
|Screen Size||14 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1366×768|
|Processor||2.4 GHz Core i5-4200M|
|RAM||8 GB DDR3L SDRAM|
|Hard Drive||750 GB mechanical_hard_drive|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||1|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||2|
|Item model number||ALW14-1250sLV|
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|Item Weight||7 pounds|
|Item Dimensions L x W x H||20.31 x 4.50 x 14.58 inches|
|Processor Brand||Intel Core I5|
|Hard Drive Rotational Speed||7200 RPM|
|Batteries||1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)|
Now, there is a version of the Alienware 14 available with the Intel Core i7 4700MQ Processor 3.4GHz, but honestly, the i5 stacks up just fine. When it comes to audio, the processor is the most important part of the computer. The better the processor the more your system can do, and the faster it will run it. Get the fastest processor you can get, but if you’re trading off price for power, get the i5 – it will do the job.
Experienced music producers will tell you that you won’t need more than 8Gb RAM. 16Gb is good, but not needed. From someone who knows and has 16Gb RAM and has never even gotten close to maxing out the RAM when recording producing or mixing. Using too many plugins can overload the system, but never has RAM ever been an issue. Knowing this in hindsight, it’s recommended to spend less on RAM and buy an i7 instead of an i5 – if you want to spend the money. You can look at the i7 here.
WHAT YOU’LL NOTICE
If you want a laptop that can run anything this is definitely the pick of the bunch. We have no hesitation recommending the DELL Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV for anyone looking for a serious computer. Whether it’s gaming, video production, music production or just no-nonsense computing, you won’t be disappointed.
Build & Finish
Alienware traditionally used all-aluminum in their chassis construction. Although things have changed with the times, this particular Alienware 14 uses magnesium alloy and aluminum where needed, and other fine-to-the-touch materials in other places – such as a soft-touch finish on the palm rest. A steel plate is used under the keyboard for stability and copper heat sinks are used inside to provide sufficient cooling for the processor. All this adds to the weight and the general acceptance that the DELL Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV is not as small as other devices in the ‘ultraportable’ market. It’s not quite as ‘ultraportable’ as other machines.
Weight & Portability
To provide the increased power needed to make this machine as high-end as it is means the hardware design is more complex and bulkier than it otherwise could be – and other ultraportables generally are. At 6.5 – 7lbs, the Alienware 14 weighs nearly twice as much as other ultraportable machines, but its massive power is unrivaled and the added disk space and included DVD ROM mean it’s just miles ahead of the game. The competition may be lighter (and cheaper) but most are just do not have the computing power to run modern video games or music production software.
Other 14-inch laptops are generally thin and lightweight so the the Alienware 14 looks quite solid in comparison – it’s 40mm thick and looks as thick as probably two lightweights would stacked one on the other. You can definitely feel the quality in this laptop.
All in all, the materials, the size the weight and the futuristic, angular design ooze quality and prestige. If you want this, you’ll wear the cost and extra weight with pride.
Heat & Fans & Fan Noise
So with this much power and performance and despite the best efforts at implementing internal heat sinks in the design, the machine produces a lot of heat, and it is noticeable to the user. This can be problem if you want to use it on your lap (like a – laptop!). It’s advisable to provide good circulation around the base, or raise the base slightly. Keep the fan vents clear of dust and consider investing in a cooling pad.
To keep the machine from overheating, serious fans are installed in the system and with them come a higher level of fan noise than you may be used to. Most users report that they do notice this, but most also admit that it doesn’t really bother them too much. Let’s face it – if you’re gaming, you’re probably making a racket and if you’re producing music or DJing, you’re probably making a racket!
This is an interesting one. The experience of some users is that battery life is great for this machine, while for others it is abysmal. Why the variation? The battery life is rated at 3.5hrs (as compared with potentially 8hours of battery life for other ultraportables) and some report less than this is achieved. Battery life will depend entirely on what you are running and how hard you are running it. Treat the battery well, operate as recommended and plug in when you’re able.
To get a feel for what’s different about this magnificent machine, take a look at this video :
OTHER FEATURES TO LOVE
You don’t have to use too much imagination to work out that a lot of the cost of the Alienware range of laptops goes on the aesthetics.
Like the rest of the range, the DELL Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV is distinctive in its appearance – although a sleek, understated exterior, the glowing lights, angular design and the ever recognizable alien face logo on the top of the case (which, by the way, glows to the color of your choice), this is truly a living creature!
The lights are amazing, the screen is beautiful, the keyboard is flawless. People love that it looks so amazing in the dark – the design is so distinct and the fact that the lighting is customizable is a real buzz.
Owners describe their Alienware as so sleek, sexy and sassy. It oozes “classy” as well as being sturdy and built like a tank! Even the box and packaging rates a mention, being so impressive that you’ll surely want to keep it as well.
Many can’t get enough of the screen, loving the non-reflective screen and enjoying no glare but still all the bright colors and sharpness. Brightness, sharpness and contrast rates well on a technical level. Note : it is not a touch screen.
Not to be left out, the keys have a great feel and the touch pad is comfortable.
So many buyers of this laptop are astounded that it has performed beyond what they expected – that it has exceeded their expectations. In many cases, it’s the best computer they’ve ever owned and they are thrilled with their purchase. This sentiment too, from non gamers, who just wanted the computing power for everyday use and studies.
For the aspiring music producer, this should all be reassuring.
If you’re a newbie to music production and this is your first laptop for that purpose, you may find the price tag a bit of an ask. But hey, if you get a cheaper laptop and it lets you down, or can’t do the task you ask of it, you’d be disappointed. You may even be put off continuing with your dream and passion. You may also accelerate your skills faster than you imagined at the beginning and you won’t be held back with the DELL Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV. These machines also have a good resale value, but having said that, if you buy a cheaper machine, then sell that one to upgrade to an Alienware, you’re going to have paid more anyway. So if you’re dead serious about your music production career, then one of the best laptops for music production is the DELL Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV. Get Yours Now!