For a while, only desktop computer rigs were equipped to put out the power that the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift require. It wasn’t very long at all before there were laptops highlighted that could handle the load, but even those are a bit more cumbersome to move around. Now, Alienware has created the first 13-inch laptop that is VR ready.
Though small, innovative use of materials like anodized aluminum, magnesium alloy, steel, and copper results in a device that is durable and can withstand the higher temperatures the compact design can create.
The new Alienware 13 is powered by an H-series Intel quad-core i7 processor (the previous model had an i5) and takes advantage of the features introduced in their most recent 17” and 15” models, including a hinge-forward design for better ventilation, the new, durable TactX keyboard, an infrared camera supporting the Windows biometric Hello security system, and Tobii Aware eye-tracking software.
Most importantly, the 13’s graphics capabilities are bolstered by a 10-series NVIDIA GeForce GTX which includes NVIDIA VRWorks. VRWorks optimizes VR output on the graphics card via virtual reality specific visual, audio, and interactive enhancements such as lens matched shading (natively render in VR shapes) and PHYSX (interaction measures to deliver realistic feedback for touch controllers). These specs combine to mark a 5x increase in graphical performance over the previous Alienware 13.
With such a form factor and durable materials, this product could inspire more people to pack their VR gear up and take it around to treat friends to the new experience. Alienware’s VR ready 13” is available to order starting today in North America, has a base model that retails for $1199, and an OLED screen option (first gaming notebook with this option) for $2099. There are other configuration options available that could influence price. The laptop will be available in select European countries on November 10th and China on November 21st.
Correction: An earlier version of this post included incorrect information about the speed of the included graphics card. It is now updated.