Alienware 13 Launched with External GPU Cabinet

The Alienware M11x was Dell’s first attempt at an ultraportable (sort of) gaming laptop, which was rather successful. Earlier this year, Dell announced a modern follow-up in the form of a new 13-inch Alienware 13, which positions itself between the manufacturer’s now-defunct 11,6-inch and 14-inch models.

Portable gaming is more popular than ever and many of the world’s largest notebook manufacturers are launching slimmer and more portable gaming machines in addition to their ordinary workhorses in the 15-17-inch interval. Dell’s latest attempt to meet this demand is the Alienware 13, which was announced last quarter and has now been officially launched.

What makes this one different is that it’s been rolled out along with an Alienware Graphics Amplifier, a cabinet to dock the laptop with an external (desktop) graphics card.

The computer itself weighs about 4 pounds and can be purchased with three different screen resolutions, including a rather mediocre 1366 x 768, Full HD 1920 x 1080 up to QHD: 2560 x 1440 pixels. The Alienware 13 can be configured with a low-voltage Intel Core i5-4210U processor (2.7 GHz) and an Nvidia Geforce GTX 860M, with 640 Maxwell-based CUDA cores and 2GB of GDDR5 memory, as well as 8 or 16 GB of internal RAM.

The interesting Alienware Graphics Amplifier is an external cabinet where you can plug in any PCIe graphics card with a TDP of up to 375 watts, as well as four USB devices such as mouse and keyboard. The cabinet is connected across a proprietary PCIe and USB-based connection to the Alienware 13 to easily hook it up when you’re at home and want some extra graphics muscle. 375 W of juice allows you to install just about any single-GPU desktop graphics card at the moment, including the – also Maxwell-based – GTX 980, which has a mere 165 W TDP.

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