Last year, I made the decision to purchase myself a new computer since my current laptop at the time was on its deathbed. When I say deathbed I mean it would take over 45 minutes just to load up a game of League of Legends. Granted, it takes a long time to get a game going in LoL anyways, but that’s beside the point. I knew I didn’t want to build a desktop because I wanted a gaming computer that was also portable. I’m usually traveling a lot, and I can’t pack a bulky PC setup in my carry-on (as cool as it would look if it were done pragmatically). So I began to look into Alienware. Eventually, I gathered my financial courage and purchased the Alienware 15 gaming laptop. Mind you, I made my purchase in March of last year, so I bought the now older version of the 15.
I was extremely satisfied with the laptop, and I still am to this date. Even if it has been replaced by the new Alienware line of gaming laptops, the 15 I own runs at an optimal level and can run even the most graphically demanding of games with few issues. But I found myself playing League of Legends at 60 FPS, while other games–like Rise of the Tomb Raider–at 30 FPS. I had a taste of what games being played at 60 FPS felt like, and I didn’t want to play a game any other way. I remembered seeing the Alienware Graphics Amplifier on the website when I first purchased my laptop, so I looked into it a bit more.
It took me awhile to get the money together to purchase the graphics amplifier, but I finally bought it last week. Just take a moment of silence for all the effort and time spent to get this amplifier, only to find out it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I think that Dell and Alienware should update the graphics amplifier’s marketing plan. Instead of barely making it known to the buyer that a GPU (graphics processing unit) doesn’t come with the graphics amplifier, make it so that it does come with one.
Dell and Alienware should work out a deal that allows the amplifier to be marketed as a package in order for the product to really be a game changer. This package could include the amplifier and a graphics card. The higher you’re willing to pay, the better graphics card you get with the amplifier. Unfortunately, this strategy wouldn’t change the fact that the graphics amplifier is worthless to a desktop owner. It would only ensure that Alienware laptop owners are given the option of buying a graphics card (better than their laptop’s) at the same time when they purchase the amplifier. I believe that this would make the whole process a lot more efficient and clear to the buyer, especially if they don’t have a graphics card just laying around.
I contemplated these thoughts and problems I was having, sometimes convincing myself that I could afford a new GPU. Ultimately, though, I knew I had to send the amplifier back. It was painful to see it go as soon as I received it. I simply couldn’t afford to buy a separate graphics card for a laptop that already runs games I’m trying to play effectively enough. So, honestly Dell, I’m asking, what’s the point of the graphics amplifier? I purchased a $1,200 dollar laptop for the portability of it, well-knowing that the performance would suffer a little bit. I was okay with that. But I bought the graphics amplifier for when I didn’t need to be portable. Yet, Dell and Alienware assume that you just have a spare graphics card sitting around like it’s an old, unused Duracell battery. Or, that you, the buyer, has an Alienware laptop as well as a desktop computer with a removable graphics card.
I understand that some people do actually have both a desktop and an Alienware laptop, but why would they buy a graphics amplifier for their laptop when they have a desktop that runs the games just as well without the amplifier? It’s not like the graphics amplifier is portable, either (the machine looks as if it’s a desktop tower sitting on its horizontal face). That would make sense. People could then travel with their laptop without sacrificing the quality they have back at home.
In all, the Alienware Graphics Amplifier is a product with potential. The problem is that it falls short of this potential and ends up being mediocre as a result. There’s really no point in buying the amplifier if you have a desktop, and the product is marketed badly for Alienware laptop users. Some graphics cards are extremely expensive, so it’s a shame that Alienware and Dell don’t help out consumers trying to buy their graphics amplifier. Making the whole purchase a package deal could bring the price of the graphics card itself down and make buyers comfortable with their decision in buying the amplifier. It may seem like a lot to ask. But, in the end, what’s the point of buying a piece of equipment that’s missing its key component? The point is…there is no point.