The search for capable, powerful, and reliable gaming notebook PCs that can handle VR setups like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is a long and arduous scavenge. There simply aren’t many options out there yet that are guaranteed to work how you want and give you the same bang for your buck as you can get, often for less, from a dedicated PC tower. As always, Dell-owned Alienware aims to be at the forefront of gaming’s biggest moments and the VR revolution is no different.
“We are as bullish on VR today as we were on gaming 20 years ago,” says Joe Olmsted, Director of Product Planning at Alienware during a phone interview. “Both of these notebooks we’re announcing are fully VR-certified from day one…We’ve also been working with HTC and Oculus on their next-gen HMDs so we will be VR-ready again when those are ready to come out.”
According to Olmsted, not only are Dell and Alienware serious about VR now, but they’ve already started preparing for its future. No one knows anything about the inevitable Rift 2 or Vive 2, other than the fact that they may be farther off than people think, but it seems like they’re developed enough for companies like Alienware to be privy to details. We at least know not to expect a Rift 1.5.
For today, in the world of Rift 1 and Vive 1, Alienware is announcing their first ever line of VR-ready gaming notebook PCs with the Alienware 15 and 17. According to a press release, the new notebooks sport a sleeker design than what you might be used to seeing from Alienware, with a 25% thinner design than in the past. The 15 and 17 will also feature 15.6″ and 17.3 FHD screens, respectively, each of which are powered by NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 10-series GPUs, or the AMD Radeon RX 470, as well as overclocked Intel Core i7 processors, and DDR4 RAM.
“With new mobile graphics from NVIDIA, these new notebooks we’re first showing at PAX West which are shipping later in September, and then our new design that allows us to be thinner with some new structural designs, are all part of our commitment,” explains Olmsted. “Our goal is to create the highest performance stuff and fit it into the smallest possible form factor.”
Olmsted also emphasized the company’s focus on never prioritizing weight at the expense of other components or features, explaining that given how excited many gamers can get, a flimsy or fragile notebook that is too light could easily break during some bouts of aggressive gameplay.
The new and improved VR-ready Alienware 15 and 17 are planned to start shipping later this month, with final prices and details coming soon.
Featured Image: Alienware 17 Product Photography