The Alienware 13 Is The Ultimate Laptop For The Dot Com Lifestyle

The beautiful thing about working on the internet & living the dot com lifestyle is the true freedom of location it provides.

It doesn’t matter if your sat in a coffee shop in Amsterdam or hanging out on the beaches of Costa Rica – as long as you have a laptop and internet connection, the world is your office.

alienware 13 review

Over the past couple of years I have built up my ‘work on the road’ kit by learning the hard way.

For example I never used to carry a network cable, now I do because LAN connections are usually free in hotels/airports where they charge for WiFi which not only saves me money, but gives me a much more stable connection.

Not so long ago I was dealing with a critical issue and only had my phone with me, then the battery died. So now I carry a pocket sized roll up solar charger with it’s own built in battery.

When you work and travel abroad you really need to be ready for anything, but at the heart of all that is the most important piece of kit of all – the laptop.

Your laptop is the heart and soul of your business when you are traveling – it provides the pulse to your business and without it, you are in trouble.

But choosing a laptop for work & travel is very different than choosing a laptop for working at home.

What A Dot Com Lifestyle Laptop Must Have…

When choosing the best laptop to work and travel on the road there are a few things that you need to consider-

  • Size – Quite often I travel only with hand luggage so its important the laptop is small enough to fit in a backpack
  • Weight – Equally airlines have weight limits and who likes lugging around extra weight? The laptop must be lightweight
  • Power – It needs to be quick, you don’t want to waste time waiting for things to load or videos to render

Honestly those 3 factors combined really narrow the choices down. Finding something compact, lightweight and powerful is a tough cookie.

Even though my old laptop was compact and lightweight, it lacked in the power department and I would find myself waiting for things like Word to open even with a clean install.

So when a Dell brand ambassador got in touch with me to reveal their new ultra portable Alienware 13 laptop, the timing couldn’t have been any better.

The Ultimate Laptop – My Alienware 13 Review

The Alienware 13 laptop was released a couple of months ago and I have had it since launch. Let me tell you now, this thing is an absolute beast!

It is easily the best laptop I have ever owned for a number of reasons.

It has already traveled with me across the UK, Amsterdam, Las Vegas & Costa Rica and I even dropped it off a table – not a scratch in sight.

Plus look at the pretty colours-

YouTube video

Weirdly everyone that has seen it has been impressed with the lighting effects, even though it doesn’t actually add any function to the laptop at all.

With that said it’s just as light and portable as my old laptop, except it has 4 times the power-

My Alienware 13 Specs

  • Intel i5-420U 2.7Ghz Processor
  • 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M
  • 8GB ram
  • 512 GB SSD
  • 13.3 Inch QHD Display

alienware 13 laptop on the train

The addition of an SSD drive makes a huge difference. I upgraded my main computer to full SSD a couple of years ago and I forgot just how much of a difference that makes.

If you haven’t experienced the performance increase of having Windows, programs and documents on an SSD drive you are seriously missing out and are spending more time working than you need to.

Living the dot com lifestyle with the ultimate laptop

Pushing The Limits

What some of you might not know about me is I have always being building computers and laptops from a young age.

I worked as a PC Technician for a couple of years fixing problems, building machines – you know the sort. That led on to me managing a PC Repair shop and dealing with local businesses and so forth.

So when it comes to computer hardware, I know my stuff.

alienware 13 at affiliate summit

Naturally I have pushed the laptop to the limits and was surprised to see it chugging along fine with Firefox running Adblock Plus (huge CPU hog) and 10+ tabs open, Adobe After Effects rendering an animation, Camtasia Studio rendering a tutorial & uploading a file via FTP.

While all of that was going on I was in Photoshop editing and manipulating images and the Alienware 13 handled it like a champ.

That is pretty incredible, especially when rendering 2 videos at the same time that are constantly reading and writing to the same hard drive.

The Only Problem…

The only problem I have found with the Alienware 13 is the black rubbery surface that is around the keyboard.

While its very tactile, grippy and nice to touch – it does leave behind huge greasy trails like a slug has crawled across the laptop.

Perhaps I’m just overly sweaty or something and hate cleaning but it does need wiping down quite a lot.

My previous laptop had an ‘aluminium effect’ inside which rarely picked up smudges, but did scratch easily – so it’s hard to judge.

However I did drop the Alienware 13 off a table by accident onto a hard tiled floor and it didn’t pick up a scratch, just hit the deck and carried on working away.

The only other laptop I have ever dropped was also a Dell (who own Alienware) which cartwheeled down a full flight of carpeted stairs with the lid open and survived to tell the tale!

Wrapping It Up

So there you have it – if you want the perfect laptop to work, live and travel on the road remember it must be-

  1. Compact
  2. Lightweight
  3. Powerful

The Alienware 13 more than checks all of those boxes for me and tomorrow I start a crazy 6 week travel schedule taking me through America, Amsterdam, UK, Greece, Spain & Romania.

So if everything goes wrong in the next 6 weeks you know it’s the laptops fault and not mine because I forgot to pack the charger or something.

But honestly, I think I have found the ultimate laptop to live the dot com lifestyle with the Alienware 13.

79 Responses

  1. Jonathan Phillips

    DO NOT go to ****.com, using the full link or typing in the domain itself manually. I did both and found that the domain is dead/unregistered and will redirect you to multiple malware, scamware, etc. sites.

    I am certain that Matthew did not intend for this link to go to such a site and this thread is a few years old to boot.

    Perhaps Matthew has another link and will update us, but in the meantime…I would not risk it.

    Oh yeah, great article about a laptop!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Ooops I have updated that sorry!

  2. Hoang Nguyen


    I couldn’t join an email list of wheresalvina.com to get coupons.

    After I filled out the form, Aweber shows a bad message
    “Mailing List Not Active
    This mailing list is not currently active.

    Please notify the website owner.”

    Could you tell her about it? I need to buy The Dell Inspiron i7559, It’s been great if I have a few coupons.


    • Matthew Woodward
      December 8th, 2015 at 1:54 pm


      You can contact her via her site :)

  3. seo cheetah

    Dang, no coupons!
    I could not get any coupon from the guide

    Is there anyway to get coupons, or does anyone has the contact address of the concerned person to get coupons

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 18th, 2015 at 3:47 am

      You could try actually reading the post perhaps?

  4. Rumel

    Can you get discounts in the UK? Thanks

  5. Bruce Garrison


    How do you think that this laptop stacks up against the new Dell XPS 13? The XPS is a gorgeous computer, and without the touchscreen, it is relatively cheap and outperforms the touch version. I didn’t know how important the improved graphics of the Alienware are.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 9th, 2015 at 4:59 am

      I haven’t had personal experience with it so I can’t comment but I would be looking at weight/specs

      • Bruce Garrison
        April 9th, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz)
        8GB Dual Channel DDR3L-RS 1600Mhz (On Board)
        256GB Solid State Drive
        Intel (R) HD Graphics 5500
        13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) infinity display
        802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0, Dual Band 2.4&5 GHz, 2×2

        Dimensions & Weight
        Height: 0.33-0.6″ (9-15mm) / Width: 11.98″ (304mm) / Depth: 7.88″ (200mm)
        2.6lbs (1.18kg), 2.8lbs (1.26kg) for touch

        Exterior Chassis Materials
        CNC machined aluminum
        Edge-to-edge Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™ on QHD+
        Carbon fiber composite palm rest with soft touch paint

    • Alvina
      April 10th, 2015 at 11:00 am

      You’re right. The New XPS 13 is absolutely gorgeous and the specs are absolutely impressive. I prefer touch screens because Windows 8 was made for touch navigation. However, many prefer using the touch pad over the screen anyway.

      Beyond that it really depends on what you will be using your computer for.

  6. dave

    I tried to get the ebook for the coupons but her site has a problem with the SSL and so Aweber says NO!!..

  7. Joshua Hardwick

    Matthew, does that blue (power?) light flash all the time? I don’t think I could deal with that!

    P.S. Don’t think you can beat a MacBook Pro (Retina) personally, but with Parallels + Windows installed for Scrapebox of course! :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 9:04 am

      No you have full control over every single light, the colour it is, how long its on for, whether it blends colours etc etc

      You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and put a Lamborghini badge on it, so why buy a Mac and loads Windows onto it? Just buy the Lamborghini in the first place.

  8. david

    Really matt no mention of battery life?

    As a digital nomad this is one of the most important factors to take into conisderation.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Ahhh that is a very good point :) The battery does very well, if I’m at a conference for 2-3 days I don’t need to charge it once.

    • Alvina
      April 10th, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Beyond an excellent battery life, Alienware has Bios Overclocking, which allows you to run your system to the limit without compromising performance.

  9. David Briard

    I learned this the hard way being a guy who lives abroad and travels a lot. DON”T buy a 17 inch screen laptop. You may think, hey I need the power but the trade offs in size are too much. It’s annoying to take to a cafe, it’s annoying to take on a mini trip to an island or whatever. 14-15 inch screen, 8 gb of ram, and at least an I5 processor. That’s where it’s at.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Yeah my friend has this huge beast of a 17″ screen laptop with a huge cooling system. It’s more than double the thickness of the alienware and more than double the weight.

      Ironically they run a travel blog.

  10. Jorge

    Hi there, nice review, but I have missed some information about the duration of the battery (as it uses a gaming graphics card, I guess it doesn’t last too long).

    It also uses an i5U (which means it is less powerful than normal processors but more efficcient), so if you say it handles all that at the same time, I will take a look at that computer and processor.

    How about temperature? Does it get very hot?

    Btw, where are you going in uk and spain? I’m in Hastings till may, then come back to spain, so if you go down here and fancy a coffee/beer, tell me :)


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 9:24 am

      The battery does very well, surprisingly well actually and I’ve not been in a situation where it has been a problem.

      Temperatue wise it doesn’t got any hotter than your average laptop and you have to bear in mind I’m using it in tropical heats of 40 celcius plus.

    • Alvina
      April 10th, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Designed for maximum performance! Large GPU/CPU exhaust vents on the bottom and rear keep was built to keep the system cool even during the most extreme gaming sessions.

  11. Janet Nevins

    Great Article Matthew! I have been looking into getting the Alienware Computer. I love Dell computers! I would have to get a bigger screen though with my older eyes!!

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 9:30 am

      They have bigger screen versions as well but then your trading against portability so it depends on what is important to you :)

  12. Wojtek

    Which windows do you use and why do not you downgrade to win7 ? :P

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Actually I did ‘downgrade’ to Windows 7 from Windows 8, although I call that an upgrade :)

      • Jason
        April 6th, 2015 at 10:19 am

        From what we all know so far regarding Windows 10, will you be upgrading to Windows 10? :)

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 6th, 2015 at 10:33 am

          Haven’t even looked at it

  13. Jason

    Awesome stuffs! Matt, is there anyway possible you can also hook us up with the same deal by providing a link for us to order this Alienware.

    You’ve gotten me convinced because I was browsing looking for a new laptop, I have a Toshiba, but the thing is I can’t stand plastic-built and looking for aluminum metallic surface for durability. I’m not a fan of Windows 8, and was waiting for Windows 10 to be released, but with the news of Windows 8 get free upgrade, I said why not get it.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:11 am

      The coupons are generated manually for one time usage so its impossible to link, you need to speak with Alvina directly.

      I had it shipped with Windows 7 installed rather than 8

      • Jason
        April 6th, 2015 at 10:15 am

        Was there an extra charge for downgrading to Windows 7 instead of Windows 8?

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 6th, 2015 at 10:34 am

          I’m not sure I didn’t pick up the bill

        • Alvina
          April 10th, 2015 at 9:58 am

          Hi yes having windows 7 on the Alienware costs more than windows 8.

  14. Charles Floate

    I got the same spec Alienware at the start of 2014, They’re absolute beasts and I’ve used it more than my custom built desktop.
    Only downside to Alienware is they tend to be pretty bulky, and pretty heavy – Pain in the ass (or should I say pain in the shoulder) to have in a shoulder bag when travelling, but rucksacks will do you fine.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Thats the beauty of the Alienware 13 model, all the same benefits without the bulk and weight!

  15. Chris Lance

    How fast is the WiFi at the places you’ve been?

    Also how do I talk to you? I messaged you on BHW.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Well that is just the luck of the draw sometimes unfortunately.

      Use the contact page on this blog :)

  16. Daryl Cygler

    Aahh Matt, well written article as normal and i like the change in direction. Was this part of your plan to push the $50k income per month. Nice commissions on laptop purchases i would imagine. Loving your work!!!

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:15 am

      No that won’t be done with affiliate commision and I don’t take any commision on the laptops but I did get my Alienware 13 free of charge.

  17. Mehedi

    Hay Matt, how is your battery backup time? when you do power draining multitasking. Love to hear your opinion on that matter.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Well if I’m out and about in the field I’m not normally doing anything beyond the basics of Microsoft Office, Photoshop and Wordpress.

      I save all my heavy duty stuff for when I’m actually sat at a desk and have 100% focus.

  18. George

    Why wouldn’t you go with a Chromebook ? Is there a major difference ?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Well it runs Chrome OS which sucks and secondly as an SEO my job is to manipulate Google – it would be very stupid to do that via Google hosted/owned/developed services.

  19. Luis Murcia

    So you are coming to Spain soon.

    If you visit Madrid contact me and we can have a drink together.
    I can show you the city and you can teach me lots of things bro. Hahahah

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Awww unfortunately not sorry!

  20. Mark

    I haven’t gotten around to reading many of your articles or watching any of your video’s lately, but when I saw this in my inbox I took a look because I had just spent a considerable amount of time deciding which laptop to buy as a desktop replacement and got an Alienware 14 a couple weeks ago. I dont travel a lot, but plan to move back to the Philippines in the next year so wanted something portable. I also wanted something that didn’t generate as much heat and was easy to move around the house so I think im scrapping desktop computing all together for the remainder of my life to use laptops as my desktop, and from a reliability standpoint I have always had fewer problems and breakdowns with laptops.

    Anyway I went with Alienware because they look very strong and solid and while it really was a toss up between getting an MSI I went with Alienware because they appear to be a more solid build, and got the Alien 14 over the 13 simply because I felt it had more expandability and refurbished I felt like i got a little more bang for my buck (although after looking at your coupon breakdown I’m not so sure thats true). Here is the exact mode I bought: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALIENWARE-14-i7-4710MQ-16GB-256GB-SSD-1TB-GTX765M-BLURAY-BLUETOOTH-7-ULTIMATE-/171700214900?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27fa215c74

    After getting it I’m overall satisfied, however I can see that I will want to upgrade the primary 5200HD to SSD. I have 1tbHDD and 256gig SSD. For some reason the way dell configured my computer (and something i didn’t know at the time i bought it because i assumed otherwise) Dell decided to configure my computer to use the HDD as the primary HD including windows OS, this really is an odd configuration and reduces the benefit of having an SSD in the first place, so one of these days I’ll get a 1tb SSD to replace the hdd and expect snappier performance and boot times. Aside from slow (around 1 minute) boot times the computer seems to run great, and its pretty small (see pic below). I think if I had it to do over again I’d probably go with the Alien 13 and live with the fact that I would have limited expandability.

    I’m not very technical about computers and my current trading computer I bought 6 years ago because it was a complete setup 6 monitor array and ready to go out of the box (for playing poker) but I like using multiple monitors anyway, so I have settled on being able to use 4 of them with the new laptop, and I do that with the Alienware 14.

    Here is my setup:

    – Alien 14 – i7 / 16gb ram / 1.25 storage
    – 2 monitors run using built in htmi/mini delay ports on the laptop
    – 2 monitors using: Plugable® UD-3900 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station.
    – To have extendable taskbar and other features such as separate background and screen savers I use “Actual multiple monitors” software.

    My setup pictures with Alienware 14 and 4, 22inch acer monitors I set next to the laptop. Actually you can configure the laptop display to be disabled, so i leave it closed and just work off my 4 , 22 inch monitors 99% of the time.


    If i want to leave or travel I just unplug the laptop and Im good to go.. Only suggestion I have for anybody buying a laptop as a desktop replacement ( Especially if you actually make an income from your computer) is to always get SSD because it will speed things up enough to justify the cost and profits you make from your business.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Well it would seem that great minds think alike :) The only difference is I have a dedicated desktop and seperate laptop but both are in perfect sync with each other so I can grab and go without having to worry if I have the latest version of a file etc

  21. David Lawlor

    Biggest issue I have had with our Mx13 for the past 3 years is the external power supply failure which resulted in the laptop not charging. Other than that its been great for everything else, I did pass it on to my daughter to go with a 17 inch dell with an extended keyboard cause I missed the number pad too much

  22. Waseim

    Matt, I wished you have posted this a week ago, as I bought Samsung Ultra-book 7 for $800. It fulfills all three conditions you mentioned but it has pretty much less storage of 128 GB SSD only :(

    Anyhow, Nice post (Y)

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Sorry about that!

  23. Nirav Shah

    Thank you for your info regarding the The Alienware 13 laptop .I will go n check out 2morrow n will definitely buy one if its worth.

    Thank you once again very very much,Mr.Matthew.

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      No problem :)

  24. Nate S

    Her landing page is all kinds of messed up… Her “Thank You” page is broken, you get an exit pop-up on email submit..

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Still a work in progress I think

    • Alvina
      April 10th, 2015 at 9:53 am

      The “Thank You” page is broken? Can you tell me what browser you are using?

  25. ivan

    I got the same one but 17 inch, love the thing.

    Hard drive does make a HUGE difference, so getting that + SSD is essential.

    Everything flies.

    I might also get this one for the next comp in the future:

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Lots of love for SSD :)

  26. Christi Johnson

    Great article, Matthew! I just have one question, though. Is the Alienware computer as virus-safe as a Mac? When I had a PC, my computer was so slow, all the time, and I didn’t even go on unsafe websites. Just being a blogger, copywriter, and internet marketer, I end up on a LOT of websites…so I found myself infected at least once a year – even with virus protection.

    With my Mac, I’ve not had a single problem in 3 years.

    I’d love to know how Alienware stacks up to that.

    Great review! I want one! :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Well that’s down to how you secure and maintain it, can’t beat BitDefender!

    • Angelica
      March 31st, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Hey Christi the alienware is just a brand like Gateway or Dell (which it’s technically a Dell computer) not an operating system. Alienware computers run Windows just like most other computers. So they have the same vulnerabilities as any other windows os.

  27. Jonny Hardwick

    Nice one Matt. I’ve been rockin the Alienware M17X for about 4 years now. I love it. It’s been to a few different countries with me. It’s very heavy but it’s a proper machine and I’m a strong boy so I still take it with me in the Alienware backpack :)

    It also tends to overheat a bit in the hot sun, and you can’t see the screen either because it’s like a mirror, but I can’t concentrate in direct sunlight anyway so it doesn’t matter. Didn’t get the discounts you got though wish I had. I just got a bit of cashback. If I upgrade I’ll get Alvina to hook me up. Despite it’s drawbacks in the sun I would definintely get another over a girly Macbook any day :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Wow that is true dedication to cart that thing around!!!

  28. Ray John Agregado

    Matt just curious on why you don’t use a Mac?
    Thanks for the info about the coupons btw!

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Windows all the way, Mac’s are too restricting

      • Ray John Agregado
        March 31st, 2015 at 12:48 pm

        Too restricting in terms of using softwares related to seo?
        Or some other things? (I’m also a Windows user btw) :D

        • Matthew Woodward
          March 31st, 2015 at 1:18 pm

          Yeah software

          • Nixk
            March 31st, 2015 at 1:30 pm

            Interesting. I have switched to Mac now after many years of of pc only. If I were to buy a pc laptop it would something like this for the discrete gfx card.
            However nothing beats the quality of a Macbook pro and after using one everything else just seems 2nd rate. With parallels or a vps you get access to the windows environment which is enough for most tasks.

          • Matthew Woodward
            April 6th, 2015 at 10:22 am

            I dont understand why you would but a Mac to emulate Windows when you could just use Windows?

          • Heidi Pungartnik
            April 6th, 2015 at 8:47 am

            How so? I must admit that after reading that your requirements are “Compact, Lightweight, and Powerful” I immediatelly thought of Macbook Pro. So what makes a PC like Alienware better?

          • Matthew Woodward
            April 6th, 2015 at 8:55 am


    • Rohan
      April 3rd, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Mac is something which can only be literally used for listening music and watching movies and it supports java only and do not support . Net framework

      • Matthew Woodward
        April 6th, 2015 at 9:05 am

        I agree, I tried working on a Mac for around 6 months. It was absolutely awful and the lack of support for the majority of software an internet marketer and SEO needs is like buying a spoon to hammer a nail in.

  29. Hunain Ahmed

    For me as being a blogger and a gamer.

    This laptop is perfect.

    Who know, maybe this laptop would make us successful as mathew ;) .

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 31st, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Haha there is no substitute for hard work my friend

      • bolaji
        April 2nd, 2015 at 7:03 am

        Love that word,” No substitute for hard word.”

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 6th, 2015 at 9:12 am

          /truestory :)

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