Dell Alienware UFO Handheld Gaming Concept Shown at CES 2020
For hardware fanatics and IT aficionados, the Consumer Electronics Show is like Christmas and New Year’s Eve combined. Most of the biggest IT companies in the world converge in Las Vegas to showcase their upcoming products and state-of-the-art concepts like the Dell Alienware UFO.
All About the Dell Alienware UFO
This is the strangest concept of the bunch. Still, Alienware is already showcasing a finished, fully functional prototype. If they receive positive feedback from the public, there’s a good chance they might send it into production.
It’s easy to write the Dell Alienware UFO as a Switch clone, but it’s more than what meets the eye. You’re getting a full-fledged operating system (Windows 10), two USB Type-C ports (no Thunderbolt 3 now), so you could hypothetically connect the device to a desktop monitor or an external HUB and use it as a computer. When you want to go somewhere, you disconnect the main tablet component (where all the actual hardware is stored), put it in a bag and get out in the world.
Besides the tablet, you’re getting two Switch-like controllers that you can attach to the sides of the device and turn it into a portable gaming console. You can also attach these two controllers to a grip and game that way, much like you would on a Nintendo Switch.
If, however, you want to place it on a table, you can open up the reverse kickstand on the back of the device to ensure it’s perfectly stable on a flat surface. Connecting Bluetooth peripherals, like a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller, would be the only thing standing in your way before queueing up and playing.
At this point, the Dell Alienware UFO concept isn’t running a discrete, dedicated GPU. It is instead powered by an integrated GPU, either from an Intel Ice Lake CPU or something like Radeon RX Vega from AMD. No information regarding the hardware used was disclosed, but we can certainly make educated guesses based on the overall design and obvious cooling solution.
Nowadays, integrated graphics are undoubtedly capable of pushing modern titles at moderate settings.
This is just a tablet with a fast CPU and a more than capable integrated GPU. So, laptop-grade hardware crammed into a tablet for entertainment and gaming purposes. If they can get something like the latest series 4000 Ryzen in there as well (a bleeding edge CPU built in a 7 nm process), they could attain GTX 1050 level graphics in a device this thin and light.
Is It Good for Esports?
Well, that depends. First, some prefer to play esports titles with maxed out settings at a million frames per second. Others, however, are perfectly fine with playing on lower resolutions with low to medium settings. It’s all about the gameplay. Even though higher visual fidelity elevates the whole experience, it is by no means a necessity.
So, if this little machine can pack solid internals, it’ll be more than capable of running esports titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and so on at 720p/1080p with solid settings. The first two wouldn’t be overly playable on such a small screen, but the latter would undoubtedly be a blast.
If you don’t mind carrying a mouse and a keyboard with you, then this could be a product worth your time. That said, with cloud gaming and streaming on the rise, it’s hard justifying spending upwards of $1,000 on a device that can effectively be replaced by your phone. You don’t need a ton of horsepower to game on the go. You just need a fast-enough internet connection and a subscription to a service like GeForce Now (just one of many such services).
Even if Alienware (Dell, to be more exact, as they’re the parent company) decides to start production, it’s probably at least a full year away. Regardless, it’s hard not to be excited after seeing a glimpse of the future.