For many users, Alienware represents the pinnacle in the high-end PC gaming market. And while Dell’s upmarket PC brand continues to face challenges from rivals, the company says its consistent focus on catering to the small “enthusiast” segment has helped find a niche despite the increase in competition.
“If you are an enthusiast and you have an aspiration to get into the Pro League that’s when the Alienware comes into play where you have much more control and customisation possibility in the product,” Anand Subramanya, Director-Product Marketing, Consumer and Small Business at Dell Technologies, India, told ahead of the launch of Alienware’s new 15-inch and 17-inch X-Series gaming laptops in the country.
The Alienware x15 and x17 models use Intel’s latest mobile processors as well as Nvidia’s latest graphics chips. They have new cooling technologies and are amazingly thin for “pro” level gaming laptops. In fact, the 15-inch model is 0.625 inches thick, and the 17-inch is 0.822 inches. Subramanya touts that the “design language” of the new X-series laptops is based on what Alienware calls its Legend 2.0 designs, which succeeds the Legend 1.0 from 2019. The new 15 and x17 laptops are available in the market, starting at Rs 240,990 and Rs 290,990 respectively.
Dell is also updating its G-series of gaming laptops, which now give users the choice to choose between Intel 11th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors. Subramanya is clear on who are the target consumers for Alienware and that way it makes it clear to differentiate the premium gaming laptop brand from Dell’s G-series which is mainly designed to cater to the budget gaming segment.
“In the last one year, where the entire growth has come from at a very small base even the enthusiast segments have grown multi-fold, but a larger growth has come in the mainstream space where at a larger base it has almost doubled,” he explains.
Subramanya thinks both the Alienware brand and Dell’s own G-series can survive the cut-throat PC gaming market in India. “We are looking at two different sets of customers,” he said, adding that the G-series is for those who are graduating from the mobile to PC ecosystem, whereas Alienware laptops stand out on the customisation and design. The Dell G15 with Intel processors starts at Rs 89,990 and the G15 with AMD options at Rs 78,990. Both G-series laptops will hit the market from mid-September.
The launch of the new Alienware X Series and Dell G-series show the potential of the PC gaming market, despite the industry grappling with semiconductor shortages. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the key reasons behind the uptake of PCs, especially gaming laptops. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Gaming Tracker, shipments of gaming PCs and monitors grew 26.8 per cent year-over-year in 2020 to 55 million units.
Subramanya says with the gaming market changing, Dell too is thinking about how to make notebooks that reflect the new era. In the case of the Alienware X series, he said the engineers had to come up with a new cooling system for making the thinnest Alienware gaming laptops ever without messing up with the performance. “The boundaries are blurring where the same device is being used for work during the day and play during the evening or otherwise. So the design philosophy has also changed,” he said when asked about what brands are doing to make gaming laptops look more like mainstream notebooks in bringing new users to the PC gaming ecosystem.