The Tom's Guide 'Ask Me Anything' with Alienware

Graybush

Estimable
Feb 13, 2017
582
1
2,960
102
Ever wanted to ask one of the big hardware or software giants something directly? "How did you design that? Where did that feature come from? What’s in store next?" Now you have the chance to do so!

Tom’s Guide is proud to announce a Q&A and Alienware 15 Laptop Giveaway with our friends at Alienware.

Joe Olmsted, the Director of Product Development for Alienware and Dell Gaming, will be joining us in the next Tom’s Guide Q&A. He'll be answering your in-depth questions about the Alienware line up, including the newest Alienware 15 and 17 gaming laptops.

The Q&A starts Thursday, June 7 at 12pm EST. Please submit all questions to this Q&A thread.

All questions will be moderated and supervised by the Tom’s Hardware Guide Community Manager, Catherine Strachan, and a full team of Tom's Guide Senior Moderators.

Meet Joe Olmsted, Director of Product Development for Alienware and Dell Gaming


Joe Olmsted serves as the Director of Product Development for Alienware products and Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktops. He leads a team of people who define all products that carry the Alienware brand and the Inspirion Gaming Desktops brand.

Joe joined Alienware in 2003 while the company was still a small business operating in Miami, Florida. He first left his mark on the brand by bringing a series of living room focused PCs to the market under the DHS moniker. Innovating for over a decade as a Product Manager and Director, Joe has been defining and developing nearly every factor of product from Alienware; including peripherals, desktops and notebooks.

Prior to joining Alienware and Dell, Joe has held various product marketing positions at Intel, NEC Corp, and was a co-founder in an online music startup. Joe now resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and daughter.

Don’t Forget the Alienware 15 R4 Giveaway

[widget="https://gleam.io/IWOfe/the-toms-guide-alienware-15-r4-giveaway", 600][/widget]

We're also proud to announce an upcoming giveaway done in partnership with Alienware. Up for grabs is a fully loaded Alienware 15 R4. This laptop has been our favorite consumer laptop for quite a few years now. Don’t miss out on your chance to win! The sweepstakes opens today, June 4th, and will close at 11:59 pm EST on June 14th. Please see the contest entry page for a full list of rules and ways to enter.

System Configuration

Alienware 15 R4
Processor: 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8750H (6-Core, 9MB Cache, up to 4.1GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64bit English
Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 OC with 8GB GDDR5
Display & Color: 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 120Hz TN Display 5ms response time, NVIDIA G-SYNC Enabled
Color Choice: Black
Memory: 16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4, 2666MHz
Hard Drive: 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD + 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Power Supply: 240W Power Adapter
Wireless: Killer 1550 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0

Ask Me Anything Rules

  • ■No tech support questions, as these require in-depth personal follow-up and diagnostics.
    ■All Rules of Conduct apply.
    ■Keep questions direct and to the point.
    ■Avoid opinion bias, as in, "Why are all your products awesome/horrible?"
    ■Be respectful of our guests--no insults, no leading questions.
    ■Do not post duplicate questions or repost your question multiple times.
    ■Not all questions may be answered. Questions may not be answered in the order in which they are received or posted.
    ■To reiterate: No opinion bias, insults, leading questions, or breaking the Rules of Conduct.
    ■Breaking these rules may result in a one-day ban.
    ■Only registered users will be able to ask questions, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to register now for your chance to participate!
    ■The official representatives will reply periodically over the time the AMA is active using a recognized and verified account.
Please join us on this date to throw your questions into the mix and ask Dell what you've always wanted to ask!

What: Ask Me Anything with an Alienware 15 R4 Laptop Giveaway
When: Thursday, June 7th 2018 12PM EST
Where: Here! In the Tom’s Guide Laptop General Discussion Forum
Who: Joe Olmsted, Director of Product Development for Alienware & Dell Gaming
 

Lutfij

Splendid
Moderator
Thank you Joe Olmsted/Alienware for taking the time to do this AMA with us!
A very warm welcome from us. It's a pleasure to have you onboard ;)

I'd like to start off by asking if Alienware intends to foray into the tablet/smaller form factor mobile platform market? We've already seen a lot of other designs whereby they are lower profile and slimmer, less bulkier.

Not to say that your products are cumbersome but I'm sure there are people who'd love a lighter package to lug around :p
 

Shadowviper

Distinguished
Mar 8, 2006
2
0
18,510
0
With companies such as Asus, who not only build systems but also the components themselves, how does alienware plan to stay competitive in the future.

Also as a owner of a high end alienware laptop, I have had to use your customer support a few years back and was left with one huge question: Why was i asked to give my social security number for verification of who i was to rma my 6k dollar laptop (admittedly I refused and then was asked for my drivers license instead which was also not giving).
 
Jun 6, 2018
2
0
10
0
1. Any plans to make a white color Alienware notebook? (so it would stay cooler out in the sun).

2. Alienware 17 R5 website says "Tobii IR Eye-tracking" is optional, but when you start ordering, it does not let you remove it. Will this option become available?

3. Any plans to add an optical network port to Alienware notebooks, so users could directly connect the optical fiber cable to their notebook instead of having to do an optical to ethernet conversion?

4. Any plans to add the InfinityEdge display to Alienware notebooks like Dell's XPS series has?

5. Any plans to add a Linux OS option for Alienware notebooks?

Thanks, TT
 

ThatoldGuy

Prominent
Jun 30, 2017
2
0
510
0
Thanks for taking the time to review our questions,

1) With the confirmation of no Alienware 13 Refresh, can we expect a different small form factor? (I loved both my AW 11 R2 and my current AW 13 R3 OLED; and hope Alienware continues to innovate in the small form factor gaming segment)

2) Any thoughts on investing in OLED development for the other Alienware models?

3) Would it be possible for Alienware to re-introduce the MUX switch? (Switchable on-board graphics though restart; not Nvidia Optimus mess)

4) Amy plans for an integrated mechanical keyboard?
5) Per Key RGB lighting?
 
G

Guest

Guest
Hi there Joe!

This week at Computex Intel and AMD released new 28 and 32 core processors respectively. Will Alienware try to work on incorporating these new cores into future laptops and desktops or do you think it's just more Tech Drama between Intel and AMD?
 

joeolmsted

Great
Jun 5, 2018
14
0
60
0
I'd like to start off by asking if Alienware intends to foray into the tablet/smaller form factor mobile platform market? We've already seen a lot of other designs whereby they are lower profile and slimmer, less bulkier.

As I'll answer to one of the other questions below, we have certain tenants that we build our products to. Typically when getting smaller there are trade-offs with keyboard, thermals, skin temps, material quality etc... these trade-offs are not ones we've been willing to make.

If we launch thinner notebooks, we won't give up those qualities in the process. We also see many new thinner notebooks that are based on NVIDIA's updated lower wattage/performance GPUs, We do offer one of those parts, but we run it at a higher wattage than everyone else. And that's our conundrum. Do we offer a 1070 that isn't the full performance potential of a 1070?
 

joeolmsted

Great
Jun 5, 2018
14
0
60
0


First, you should never be asked or provide any Dell / Alienware employee your Social Security Number. If you purchased using Dell Financing, and you called Dell Financing, then yes, I would expect them to ask. But our tech support should not ever ask, nor should you ever provide that.

Second, Asus does offer components in the desktop category in addition to offering notebooks. Our goal is to provide a full validated solution that provides a complete package and warranty - and we stand behind it. In the desktop space, the DIY community is still very much thriving and as a gamer, the opportunities to build on your own are the broadest and most feature rich I've ever seen. And if someone has that desire - the feeling they receive from building it on their own - I applaud them. I used to do it. I don't anymore as time is now something I have much less of. (I am also uniquely positioned where I have access to as much gaming hardware as I would want).

For notebooks, we like any other OEM, seek to provide the same - a quality and warrantied product. We believe that there are many ways to build a notebook and we have our own internal brand tenants. Those are iconic design, quality, performance and innovation. We won't sacrifice our materials to be cheaper. We won't chose a lower perf part if there's a higher one. My point is, our goal is to make our customers proud of their purchase. And it's more than a purchase, its an investment. It has to last and continue to delight them. We are now in our 21st year of business, 11 years being part of Dell. I've been around for 13 of them. Those tenants haven't change since I've been involved and I don't see that changing in the future.
 

joeolmsted

Great
Jun 5, 2018
14
0
60
0


1. At this time we are evaluating a wider color palette. I think I can safely say white won't be one of them, but we are looking at lighter shades. And it's not the sun making it hot, its the raw unbridled performance that is :)

2. Tobii comes standard on all high-hertz (120Hz) and UHD LCD panels. If you stay on the standard FHD panel, it will not come wtih Tobii.

3. We aren't seeing optical networking growing in the consumer space (commerical yes). As as such, we aren't moving into it. However, we do track and intend on being at the forefront of new ethernet technology.

4. Often times, the LCD panel isn't what drives the size of our notebook, it's our thermals. We typically figure out the performance we need, then build a notebook around that thermal solution. If the we can offer the performance we want with narrower borders, we will.

5. At one point, we did offer the SteamOS on a desktop / console, the Alienware Alpha. Windows was also offered on that product and it outsold SteamOS considerably. We wanted to see the SteamOS flourish and provide a purpose built gaming ecosystem, but we did not see that happen.
 

joeolmsted

Great
Jun 5, 2018
14
0
60
0




1. We have been launched four notebooks with a smaller display size notebook for sometime and we think we get it right each time. We are now accepting that gamers want lighter notebooks that don't sacrifice on performance. So, we are looking at new form factors in the future, but we are no longer constraining those to 11-13" screens. But that OLED... MMMM that's nice....

2. Speaking of OLED, we are working with our suppliers on expansion of that category because MMMM... that OLED is nice...

3. Today, all of our notebooks that offer internal GSYNC displays are running in the way you are referring to. Also, any external display that you connect to the mDP or HDMI ports on all of our noteboks will run directly from the dGPU.

4. We agree, integrated mechanical is the unicorn of notebook keyboards. However, we haven't found a switch company yet to truly deliver on the same experince that exists in the desktop world.

5. Per-key-LED, internal I presume. Like above, we don't want to sacrifice the feel of a keyboard just to offer per-key lighting. We are working with our suppliers on new and different solutions.
 

joeolmsted

Great
Jun 5, 2018
14
0
60
0


Our goal is to be time to market with all gaming relevant technologies. If these new products provide benefits to gamers, we'll launch them both.
 

Graybush

Estimable
Feb 13, 2017
582
1
2,960
102
Hey there Joe,

What do you look for in a perfect laptop or desktop? Does that affect your decision making when designing multiple lines that have different purposes?
 
Jan 7, 2015
37
0
4,590
4
Hi there!

Quick question: If Human Civilization makes it to space, will Alienware try to make their technology accessible and usable in space and sub-space environments?

This question is from my grand-son. He's too young for the forums but thinks that Alienware is, in his words. "super duper ultra cool".
 

joeolmsted

Great
Jun 5, 2018
14
0
60
0


I am of course very biased :) But here goes. My lifestyle at work dictates the notebook that I use for work and what I value in a *work* based laptop. However, the one that I carry can still game on the road :)

But when we design a laptop or a desktop, we try to understand what a customer wants - beyond the CPU/GPU combo. We believe that Alienware customers are seeking a higher experience. Whether it be build materials, features etc. But all of the features need to be purposeful. For example, the lighting in our products to allow you to play in the dark, but also work with over 130 games to provide a better experience. This and other decisions (like our magnesium- aluminum alloy) cost money but we believe that they provide a richer experience.

When we look at our Dell gaming products, the biggest miss-conception is that an Alienware customer is somehow more 'hardcore' - that's not true. We know that your wallet doesn't dictate your gaming lifestyle. So when we design Dell gaming products we first want to deliver on the primary goal of gaming performance. Yes, they are less expensive, and do not have all of the same features, but we believe that we satisfy the core need - playing games for as long as you want to.
 

g-unit1111

Distinguished
Moderator
Hey Joe

My question that I have is when people are preferring smaller, more portable systems, why would someone choose to buy a laptop like the R4 that weighs more and has a large AC adapter? Is it because you trade power for portability or would people choose to buy a larger system because that sort of thing is not required? Or do people in the market for this kind of system not care about portability or aesthetics?
 

ThatoldGuy

Prominent
Jun 30, 2017
2
0
510
0


No, it has its own hi-bandwidth port. Not thunderbolt
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
I Laptop General Discussion 0
I Laptop General Discussion 1
B Laptop General Discussion 1
Graybush Laptop General Discussion 1
Graybush Laptop General Discussion 1
M Laptop General Discussion 4
R Laptop General Discussion 4
F Laptop General Discussion 1
B Laptop General Discussion 3
Marshall Honorof Laptop General Discussion 0
Graybush Laptop General Discussion 1
Graybush Laptop General Discussion 1
T Laptop General Discussion 1
Graybush Laptop General Discussion 25
F Laptop General Discussion 4
G Laptop General Discussion 0
K Laptop General Discussion 2

Similar threads


ASK THE COMMUNITY