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Alienware Reveals External "Graphics Amplifier" For Alienware 13 Notebook

Back in August, Alienware revealed its Alienware 13 gaming notebook. Back then, it was already looking like a very nice notebook, but now it seems that Alienware had something more up its sleeve, something that certainly puts its ultra-compact unit into the "look at me" zone, and not in a bad way.

The Alienware 13 gaming notebook can be configured with either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 Haswell dual-core CPU, along with an Nvidia GTX 860M GPU. Storage options range from various SSDs to hybrid drives to larger mechanical hard drives, depending on your needs.

Additionally, there are three options for display types. You'll be able to opt for either a 1366 x 768 IPS panel, a Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS panel, or a very sharp QHD 2560 x 1440 IPS panel.

The laptop comes with eight different AlienFX LED lighting zones, each of which can be configured for one of 20 different colors.

The Alienware 13 weighs about 4.5 pounds and is only one inch thick. It may not be the thinnest notebook in its class, but we haven't gotten to the best part yet.

Today, Alienware also revealed its Graphics Amplifier, which is essentially an external PCI-Express interface that you can plug into the Alienware 13, equipping it with a desktop-class GPU such as the GTX 980 or AMD Radeon R9 290X. It can power GPUs with TDPs of up to 375 W, and it comes with four USB 3.0 ports for additional connectivity, meaning you can also use it as a docking station.

Pricing for the Alienware 13 starts at $999, and you can add a Graphics Amplifier to your purchase for prices starting at $299.

Alienware also announced its 2014 Area-51 gaming system, which has an odd triangular chassis.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • Au_equus
    Those and most laptop CPUs will choke mid to high end GPUs
    Reply
  • game junky
    For anyone in the market for a gaming laptop, this probably is going to move some Alienware laptops. Dell used to have an business docking station with a PCI-slot for a video card which was convenient for designers - this is like that on steroids. I hope someone creates a universal version of this product or that order manufacturers join in while using a universal cable type (thunderbolt/mini-displayport, USB 3.0, whatevs).

    Still, nice product for those that have that model of laptop
    Reply
  • bigpinkdragon286
    Is it too much to ask how the Graphics Amplifier connects to the laptop?
    Reply
  • CheapFitness
    external PCI-Express interface
    Reply
  • Louis Singley
    I would love something like this for other laptops. I have 4 people in my house with laptops that struggle on games we all play together usually just in pairs at any one time. Even a single one of these would let me pass down my old cards that are collecting dust since I own the only desktop in the house and we could pass it around as needed, eventually getting enough for everyone to have one.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    So turning a portable laptop into a non-portable, lower performing, desktop.

    Where do I sign up ???
    Reply
  • drapacioli
    Yeah...not worth it with a U series CPU, you'll quickly hit a bottleneck there.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    external PCI-Express interface
    Which in my opinion should be available on a lot more laptops. A much cheaper version of this housing handling a 150W GPU would be more than adequate for most laptops.
    Reply
  • Christopher1
    a dock at 300$ plus if you buy a good graphics card for ~400$. Man not to mention that dock isnt really portable. You might as well just save 200 more and build a full fledged up-gradable home pc, than have your laptop on the go. If the dock was ~150$ it could be understandable but that is not the case.
    Unless you are going between more than one home a lot (this is the situation for some people), then this makes sense.
    Reply
  • Samer1970
    I was waiting for this for long time since the external PCI Express ports and cables came out into the professional market.

    Now Dell should make a PCI express external port card , so that we can share this station with our desktops. and it is about time motherboards have native external PCI express 16X ports .

    Imagine a tiny Itx Machine connected with external native PCI express port ...

    Reply