Hi there this jay from bestinlaptops.com and you are reading the ALIENWARE AREA 51M review. This is the Area 51m from Alienware.
Its’s alienware’s latest and greatest flagship, it’s their biggest laptop, it’s the most expensive, it’s very powerful, running the latest hardware, newest design and most importantly it’s their flagship.
It’s smaller than I thought it would be, like when you look at the pictures, it’s hard to kind of see the scale It’s big, don’t get me wrong.
This isn’t like a super portable device But, it’s smaller than I thought it would be based on the pictures that I saw.
So, the design on this thing is very typical Alienware. I personally really like this design. They’ve clearly spent time in making their product look and feel very unique.
The unit I have is in this lunar white color, It’s kind of light grey color, almost white, but not like stark white.
It’s also a soft touch finish, which is nice to hold. I am a little concerned about long-term durability of this particular color.
I don’t know if you’re Mr. Cheetos and you’re constantly dipping your fingers in like colored items, I could see the surface dirtying up over time, but if you take care of it, I think it’s a really nice-looking finish.
Built and Design
The ALIENWARE AREA 51M build quality feels very good. It’s very Alienware like, This is a device that just feels very tanky.
The logo up at the front lights up, it’s their alien head, but aesthetically, the attraction to this device for me is definitely the light-up trim on the tail end of the device.
The lighting here looks really cool to me, it’s kind of like the engine of an alien spaceship or something that is really techy.
I think Alienware did a really good job and honestly, if this device was just like a plain generic looking black box, the truth is, people probably wouldn’t be giving this thing as much attention as it gets, but because it looks as cool as it does, here we are.
There is a glossy plastic on the front of the Area 51m device and also on the trim like just around the bezel of the screen, and I really don’t like that.
They use a material that can get scratched very easily, so it’s unfortunate that they use it.
I feel like over time, if you don’t take care of it, this will look aged quite quickly compared to the rest of the device.
So, the ports on the Alienware Area 51m are kind of limited.
PORTS on Alienware Area 51m
I feel it’s got the same number of ports as a 15 inch device. It’s got 3 USB-A’s, and then 1 Thunderbolt 3, and even on a device this large, it doesn’t have an SD card slot.
For the people that are buying devices like this, they don’t need an SD card slot. So, I get it, like they don’t really need to put it in, but I would have liked to have seen it because there are people that can make use of it.
Now, on the back, there’s two AC adapter sockets, and we’ve seen devices like this before, devices that require two power connections.
But this time, there are two different sizes, there’s a 330 watt and a 180 watt, and this is just for this particular configuration, but the fact remains you do need two AC adapters to run this thing at full power.
I don’t like that, I got to be honest, I understand why they did it, like, you can’t have AC adapters that are larger than 330 watts in some regions.
So, to make this thing an international device, they have to do this, but it just makes this device so much less portable.
Despite its size you have to carry two large AC adapters. It can run off with just one.
The 330 watt will power this, but it won’t be full performance, it’s more for, I don’t know, if you need to go somewhere real quick, and you just need to bring something.
At least you can use it with just one adapter. So, speakers on alienware area 51m
There’s two speakers on the front and believe me they are very nice sounding speakers.
It’s Alienware and their flagship devices usually have great sounding speakers and these are no exception.
They have very rich sound and they’re well-positioned. The keyboard is a classic Alienware keyboard.
It’s got plush travel, good keyboard for gaming. I don’t like the positioning of the Page Up and Page Down keys.
This is something that’s bothered me on a lot of Alienware keyboards, but I think most people will enjoy this keyboard for gaming. Same with the touchpad.
It’s kind of a standard Alienware touchpad. Dedicated hardware buttons with Windows Precision drivers.
The inputs are good on this area 51m laptop, and you have full control of lighting in software Performance on the Alienware Area 51m is excellent.
Alienware area 51m Performance
The area 51m laptop is running an 8-core desktop-grade CPU, the 9900K, and alienware is running a desktop-grade GPU, the RTX 2080, not like a laptop RTX 2080, but an almost full wattage RTX 2080 from a desktop.
All packaged into here, and both of those components, the CPU and the GPU are upgradeable. That’s what make this machine so unique.
Playing games on this thing is fantastic. It has awesome performance, ultra fast frame rates, Ray Tracing support.
It’s basically a very powerful desktop system inside of this thing. I’ll say I’ve used other powerful laptops before too.
But, for some reason, this doesn’t feel like a big and bulky system when you’re playing games on it.
I’m not sure if it’s like the thin bezels on the screen or the ergonomics of the wrist rest, but it just feels like a regular laptop when you’re playing with it.
But, when you’re carrying it around, that’s a completely different story, especially with the two AC adapters, it is very large.
But, playing on it, it’s a comfortable gaming experience. It also benchmarks like a beast, like there’s not much else out there that can compare to this in the laptop market right now.
The GPU scores are very close to the desktop RTX 2080 scores, It’s pretty nutty. In regards of thermals, I would say I’m content.
Area 51m thermals
Alienware area 51m is a very unique device in terms of what Alienware was trying to deliver.
It’s running a desktop CPU, desktop GPU, both of those are very high wattage and they just run extremely hot.
If you’re expecting excellent thermals on like quiet fans, it’s not going to happen.
Your system will stay quiet but will gonna throttle in games. Same with boost clock, if you want this thing to be running at max turbo on all cores, it’s like, this is not that system for that.
So, if you cranked the fans on this thing and you cranked it up to maximum fan speed, you will get good thermal performance.
They’re gonna run loud, but the temperatures are good, even after several hours of heavy gaming.
On one hand, I’m impressed that DELL is able to cool that CPU in this particular chassis, but on the other hand, it is an overclockable CPU and there’s a part of me that thinks.
If you’re gonna put that CPU into this chassis and give users overclocking options in the software, it should be able to, but there was no amount of undervolting and tweaking that I could do in the software to get a substantial overclock on this particular chip.
On a desktop, I’ve seen that chip go really hard but, not on this chassis. It kind of makes me question the whole idea of even using a desktop chip in a laptop in the first place, like if it’s not giving you really substantial gains.
Is it really worth it? Now, the GPU is overclockable as well and I’m able to get decent performance increases with that. Okay, I want to take a look at the insides.
Internals of Alienware area 51m
To get access to the standard stuff, you just remove the bottom panel. You get access to your RAM, your drives, and your Wi-Fi card.
But, to get access to the good stuff, you got to remove a little bit more. You got to pop off a bunch of screws, disconnect a few cables.
It’s not super hard, it’s a 15 to 20 minute job. But inside, you’ll see the CPU socket and the GPU.
The CPU is a desktop LGA socket, you can swap that out whenever if you want, if you want.
The graphics card, however, is a custom Dell form factor, so if you want to upgrade that in the future, you’re going to have to buy that directly from Dell.
There does seem to be some confusion in regards to the upgradeability of these Alienware area 51m devices.
I’ve seen some discussions saying that the RTX 2060 config, like the base config, can’t be upgraded in the future because it doesn’t have the ventilation on the side.
I reached out to Dell, they say that’s not the case. All the devices will have side ventilation and all devices can be upgraded in the future.
That being said, I do have some thoughts in regards to the upgradeability of this device.
The alienware area 51 m laptop sounds awesome on paper, right? The idea of an upgradeable laptop has been like everybody’s dream.
But in this particular scenario, the CPU socket that they’re using is like, it’s the LGA 1151.
By the time a substantial upgrade appears in the CPU segment, we don’t know if that will use the same socket as it may, it may not, it’s a bit of a gamble.
If you’re gonna purchase this laptop with the intent of upgrading the CPU in the future.
The GPU upgradeability is something that I think is great on this alienware area 51m laptop.
That’s something that just makes a lot more sense to me. But, the CPU upgradeability is, I’m not sure on that. The battery life is short.
Battery life of Alienware area 51m
I’m getting an hour and a half of battery life with the screen at 250 nits.
I can’t say I’m surprised like these are desktop components being run off a battery Right?
That’s never gonna give you long battery life, Tobii eye tracking.
Tobii Eye tracking
This is a feature that is on a lot of the Alienware flagships. I don’t think it’s particularly useful, but there are sensors that track where your eyes are looking at on the screen.
I know that some e-sports team use it for training and stuff like that. But, I personally have never found something useful with it. The screen, 17 inch and 1080p.
Display on Alienware Area 51m
There’s supposedly some higher-resolution options that’ll come out later this year once manufacturers started making some thin bezel high-res panels. But right now, you only get 1080p.
Personally, I don’t mind, like I feel, for most gamers out there, 1080p is where it’s at, like if you look at many of the popular streamers or pro gamers out there, they’re often running 1080p panels.
This particular panel is pretty bright and color accurate and it supports G-Sync.
I want to wrap this Alienware area 51m review up with my own personal thoughts on the Alienware Area 51m.
It’s awesome for video editing, it’s awesome for gaming, but I don’t know if the extra performance that you get from this device really warrants the extra cost, the extra weight, the extra fan noise.
Like there’s a lot of stuff you have to deal with, if you’re gonna use this system.
The upgrade-ability on it is awesome. It’s something I think is gonna draw a lot of people to it.
But, you got to carry these things around. Two huge AC adapters to power something like this because it really is a desktop in a laptop form factor.
That all for this ALIENWARE AREA 51M review. comment down below what do you think about this laptop. Hope to see you in the next review. Till then make sure you subcribed for all future updates!.