Dell Launches New Alienware and Inspiron 7000 Gaming Laptops Ahead of CES 2017

Dell ahead of CES 2017 has launched the 2017 models of its Alienware laptops, as well as the new Inspiron 7000 Gaming laptops. Separately, the company also launched the Latitude 5285 2-in-1 for business customers.

Dell Launches New Alienware and Inspiron 7000 Gaming Laptops Ahead of CES 2017Starting with the Alienware offerings, Alienware 13 R3 (2017) laptop has been priced starting $999.99 (roughly Rs. 68,300), the Alienware 15 R3 (2017) laptop has been priced starting $1,199.99 (roughly Rs. 81,990), while the Alienware 17 R4 (2017) laptop has been priced starting $1,349.99 (roughly Rs. 92,300). All three will be available from Thursday, January 5 in the US.

As for the new Inspiron 7000 Gaming laptops, Dell has launched two models – the Inspiron 14 7000 Gaming and the Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming. For now, the company has only provided pricing and availability details of the latter, larger laptop, which starts at $799 (roughly Rs. 54,600) and will be available from Thursday in the US.

Getting back to the Alienware (2017) laptop models, the company says the new lineup features build materials such as anodised aluminium, magnesium allow, steel, and copper, making the laptops both strong and as lightweight as possible. Users can now also easily access laptop internals with the new bottom door mechanism, while Tobii IR Eye-tracking configurations will also be made available on the Alienware 17 model. The laptops all offer support for the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, which levers the power of an external graphics card. All three also feature the steel-reinforced Alienware TactX Keyboard with 4-zone multi-colour RGB lighting and AlienFX lighting controls (8 to 13 programmable zones).
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The new Alienware laptops also sport a brand new speaker design with “internal smart-amps” that monitor waveforms to ensure the entire thermal margin of the speakers is utilised. All configurations also include Killer Networks Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity. The designs are very similar to the third generation Alienware laptops unveiled in September last year, but coupled with the new seventh generation Intel Core ‘Kaby Lake’ processors. All three laptops ship with a choice of 64-bit Windows 10 or Windows 10 Pro. While the Alienware 13 and Alienware 15 feature a stereo speaker configuration, the Alienware 17 adds a sub-woofer. All three are only available in Epic Silver colour variants.

The Alienware 13 R3 (2017) comes in 13.3-inch HD (1366×768 pixels) TN display, full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS display, and QHD (2560×1440 pixels) OLED display variants. Processor configurations include an Intel Core i5-7300HQ or Intel Core i7-7700HQ, with up to 32GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM. As for graphics, the base model ships with Intel HD Graphics 630 + Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB GDDR5 video RAM, and goes up to GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 video RAM.

While storage options on the Alienware 13 R3 (2017) start at 180GB M.2 SATA SSD, they go up to 1TB PCIe SSD (boot) + 1TB PCIe SSD (storage). Ports on board include Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 3.0 Type-C port, one Thunderbolt 3.0 port, one Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, one HDMI 2.0 port, one Mini-DisplayPort 1.2, one audio out port, and one headphone port. It measures 330x269x22mm and has an average weight of 2.6kg. It sports a 76Whr battery with an 180W adapter.

The Alienware 15 R3 (2017) has 15.6-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS display, full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) 60Hz IPS display with Nvidia G-Sync, full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) 120Hz TN+WVA Nvidia G-Sync display, and UHD (3840×2160 pixels) IGZO IPS display variants. One can choose between an Intel Core i5-7300HQ, Intel Core i7-7700HQ, or Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, with up to 32GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM. Base model graphics include Intel HD Graphics 630 + Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 2GB GDDR5 RAM, and go up to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5 video RAM.

dell alienware 17 r4 2017 dell

The Alienware 15 R3 (2017)’s base model has a 180GB M.2 SATA SSD, one can opt for up to 1TB PCIe SSD (boot) + 1TB PCIe SSD (storage) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA HDD. Ports on board include Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 3.0 Type-C port, one Thunderbolt 3.0 port, one Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, one HDMI port, one Mini-DisplayPort 1.2, one audio out port, and one headphone port. It measures 389x305x25.4mm and has an average weight of 3.49kg. It ships with a 68Whr battery and 180W adapter, though a 99Whr battery and 240W adapter is also an option.
The Alienware 17 R4 (2017) is offered in 17.3-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS display, full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS display with Tobii IR Eye-tracking, full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) 120Hz TN+WVA Nvidia G-Sync display with Tobii IR Eye-tracking, and UHD (3840×2160 pixels) IPS display with Tobii IR Eye-tracking variants. Users have the choice of a quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ processors or Intel Core i7-7820HK processors, with up to 32GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM. Base model graphics include Intel HD Graphics 630 + Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 2GB GDDR5 RAM, and go up to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 with 8GB GDDR5X video RAM.

The base model of the Alienware 17 R4 (2017) comes with a 180GB M.2 SATA SSD, though options up to a 1TB PCIe SSD (boot) + 1TB PCIe SSD (storage) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA HDD configuration exist. Ports on board include Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 3.0 Type-C port, one Thunderbolt 3.0 port, one Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, one HDMI port, one Mini-DisplayPort 1.2, one audio out port, and one headphone port. It measures 424x332x29.9mm and has an average weight of 4.42kg. It features a 68Whr battery with an 180W adapter, though a 99Whr battery with a 240W or 330W adapter can be chosen as welll.

dell inspiron 15 7000 gaming side dell

As for the Dell Inspiron 14 7000 and Inspiron 15 7000 laptops, the company calls them the most powerful Inspiron laptops ever. Dell says they are less than 1-inch in thickness, sport dedicated forward as well as rearward thermal vents, bear a subwoofer, provide Waves MaxxAudio Pro audio processing, and also come with an oversized service bay door on the bottom to simplify access to internal components. The new gaming laptops are said to “feature the most aggressive performance design and components offered within the entire Inspiron laptop family.” While both laptops ship with Windows 10, the Inspiron 15 7000 also comes with an Ubuntu option.

The Dell Inspiron 14 7000 and Inspiron 15 7000 share several specifications, such as the choice of processors – Intel Core i5-7300HQ and Intel Core i7-7700HQ – and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. The standard memory configuration is 4GB of DDR4 RAM. Other common specifications include Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2, and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, and the same ports – one HDMI 2.0, three USB 3.0 ports, one SD card reader, one Ethernet port, and a combo headphone and microphone jack. Both laptops will also be available in Matte Red or Matte Black colour variants.

Getting to the specifics, the Dell Inspiron 14 7000 only comes with a 14-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) LED-backlit display, and no other display options. Apart from integrated Intel graphics, users will get the choice of GeForce GTX 1050 4GB GDDR5 video memory dedicated graphics. The base configuration sports a 128GB SSD with a 500GB 5400RPM HDD, going up to a 256GB SSD.

dell inspiron 14 7000 gaming side dell

The Dell Inspiron 14 7000 ships with a full-size spill-resistant keyboard, though users have the option to go in for a backlit keyboard (with Red colour available in some regions). It bears a 56Whr 4-cell battery and ships with a 90W adapter.

On the other hand, Dell Inspiron 15 7000 ships with a choice of 17.3 full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) LED-backlit display, full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS Truelife LED-backlit touch display, or UHD (3840×2160 pixels) IPS LED-backlit display. Apart from integrated Intel graphics, users will get the choice of GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 video memory or GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB GDDR5 video memory. The base configuration sports a 1TB 5400RPM HDD and goes up to a 512GB PCIe SSD.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 ships with a full-size spill-resistant keyboard with numpad, though users have the option to go in for a backlit keyboard (with Red colour available in some regions). It bears a 74Whr 4-cell battery and ships with a 130W adapter.

Dell Latitude 5285 2-in-1 Business Laptop Launched Ahead of CES 2017

Alongside the new Alienware laptops and Inspiron 7000 Gaming laptops, Dell unveiled the Latitude 5000 Series 2-in-1 ahead of CES 2017, with the Latitude 5285 2-in-1 laptop for business. Priced starting $899 (roughly Rs. 61,500), the laptop will be available from February 28.

Dell Latitude 5285 2-in-1 Business Laptop Launched Ahead of CES 2017The Dell Latitude 5285 2-in-1 offers the “ultimate in 2-in-1 mobility”, and is designed to be “powerful, secure and last all day.” Touting its light weight of less than 1.23kg including the optional travel keyboard and the power of a seventh-generation Intel Core processor, the company says the laptop offers the “the performance of a laptop and flexibility of a tablet.” The tablet half comes with an ‘auto-deploy kickstand’.

Specifications of the Windows 10-based Latitude 5285 2-in-1 include a 12.3-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) touch display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, and a choice of seventh-generation Intel Core processors (with U Dual Core or vPro options) coupled with Intel HD Graphics 620. The base model ships with 4GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 RAM, going up to 16GB on request.

As for storage, Latitude 5285 2-in-1 users have a choice of up to 256GB M.2 SATA SSD, up to 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, or up to 512GB PCIe OPAL M.2 SED. The tablet section features an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Ports on the tablet include two USB Type-C ports, one USB 3.0 port, 1 microSD card reader, 1 Micro-SIM slot (in some models), and a port for the travel keyboard.

The Latitude 5285 2-in-1 tablet weighs less than 910 grams and measures 292×208.8×9.76mm. Connectivity options on the base model include Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth v4.1, and the company is offering optional mobile broadband with Qualcomm and Dell modems. Dell is also touting a stereo speaker configuration with Waves MaxxAudio Pro processing. Users have the option of a 31.5Whr or 42Whr battery, alongside the choice of a 45W or 65W adapter.

Optional security features for the Dell Latitude 5285 2-in-1 include an optional FIPS 201 Smartcard reader, touch Fingerprint reader, contactless SC Reader/NFC, Control Vault 2.0 Advanced Authentication with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Certification, TPM2.0 FIPS 140-2 Certified, TCG Certified, as well as optional DellData Protection and Management Software such as Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise, Threat Defense, Protected Workspace, Secure Lifecycle, MozyPro, and MozyEnterprise.

Intel Launches ‘Kaby Lake’ 7th-Gen Core Processors, 2XX Chipsets for Desktops and Laptops

Intel has formally unveiled its 7th-gen lineup of desktops and laptop processors, codenamed ‘Kaby Lake’, ahead of CES 2017. The announcement follows the launch of lower-power 7th-gen variants in the second half of last year, which are already shipping in Ultrabooks and 2-in-1s. Today’s launch is aimed at gamers, enthusiasts, and mainstream PC users.

Intel Launches 'Kaby Lake' 7th-Gen Core Processors, 2XX Chipsets for Desktops and LaptopsThe lineup comprises of three Core i7 models, eight Core i5 models, and five Core i3 models, along with five low-end chips using the legacy Pentium brand name. At the top end is the Core i7-7700K with a 4.2GHz base speed, followed by the Core i5-7600K with a speed of 3.8GHz – both have TDPs of 91W. For the first time, there’s an unlocked Core i3 CPU, the i3-7350K which has two cores, a base speed of 4.2GHz, no Turbo Boost, and a TDP of 60W. The rest of the lineup is split into 65W and 35W SKUs.

intel core desktop processor die map intel

7th Gen Intel Core desktop processor die map
Kaby Lake is most notable for being an unplanned entry into Intel’s product roadmap. In mid-2015, the company announced that its 10nm manufacturing process would be delayed long enough to warrant the insertion of a whole new 14nm generation, thus breaking the two-year “tick-tock” cycle of alternating architectural refreshes and process shrinks. Kaby Lake is an “optimisation” step in the new “process-architecture-optimisation” strategy.

Intel says that by using a refined “14nm+” manufacturing process, performance gains can be squeezed out of each processor regardless of architectural changes. The main difference between Skylake and Kaby Lake processors is their integrated GPUs. Intel has introduced new acceleration blocks for HD and 4K video in the H.265, VP9 and HEVC formats, which greatly improve speed and reduce power consumption.

Desktop Kaby Lake processors are pin-compatible with Skylake, and should work in the same motherboards. Even so, new boards using the new 2XX platform controllers will hit the market alongside Kaby Lake. Intel has announced the Z270, which supports overclocking and multiple graphics cards; the H270 and H210 for mainstream and budget users respectively.

Reigns 2 Announced; Free Expansion for Reigns to Release in February

Reigns is one of the better games on Android and iOS we’ve played in awhile. So much so that it found itself on our Best Games of 2016 list. It appears that developer Nerial isn’t one to rest on its laurels.

Reigns 2 Announced; Free Expansion for Reigns to Release in FebruaryA sequel to Reigns, tentatively titled as Reigns 2 is in development, Nerial confirmed this in an interview with French YouTube channel The Nayshow. It will have you in role of a queen, a massive shift from the first game that only let you rule as a king. In order to make this work, Nerial has brought a writer on board to tackle what this change of perspective could present players.

Furthermore, Reigns itself will get a new expansion pack in February. Expect more content in way of cards, characters, and creatures to uncover.

 Reigns’ strength is the crisp and enjoyable writing that’s full of sly jokes, which play on your expectations and tell a novel story in a completely new way. It might be a choose-your-own-adventure novel by way of Tinder, but it’s a great match, and it feels incredibly comfortable on a mobile device — which is where it really shines.

Ever so often mobile games have been hamstrung by counter-intuitive interfaces and a degree of complexity that’s off putting, and this is one of the rare games that’s right at home on mobile platforms. More so when you realise that it uses smart aesthetics and presentation to essentially create a strategic resource management sim.

With a fresh perspective to Reigns 2, it will be interesting to see how Nerial improve on what seems to a fine-tuned formula. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long to find out.