Home / Gaming / I tried out Alienware's ridiculous handheld gaming PC, and it made me want a Switch Pro – PC Gamer

I tried out Alienware's ridiculous handheld gaming PC, and it made me want a Switch Pro – PC Gamer

Alienware showed off a prototype handheld gaming PC called the Concept UFO at CES 2020. Looking at the UFO, your first instinct might be to think that it’s basically a Nintendo Switch with your Steam library, which in theory sounds like the best thing ever. It does seem that the UFO was heavily inspired by the Switch, and it even improves on some of the Switch’s design shortcomings (like the flimsy kickstand and problematic joy-cons). It has a big, bright 8-inch display, detachable magnetic controller, and well-built kickstand. It even has a dock that connects to a monitor. But that’s where all the comparisons stop, since the UFO is a fully functional Windows 10 PC. 

We’ve seen attempts at Windows 10 gaming devices from hardware manufacturers in Asia with, let’s say, mixed results. Being able to bring your entire PC gaming library on the go is an incredibly appealing proposition, and Alienware even designed special software that acts as a universal launcher for your games regardless of where you bought them. You can even connect a keyboard and mouse to the UFO and use it as a PC for gaming or normal productivity.

I spent some time playing F1 2019 in handheld mode and World War Z docked and connected to a USB-C monitor, for a more traditional gaming PC setup. Concept UFO’s shoulder buttons were a bit too small and the trigger placement was a little off. When playing F1 2019 I found myself accidentally hitting the trigger when I wanted to hit the shoulder button, because the trigger and bumpers feel too much like one large button instead of two. The same thing happened when I tried to mow down tons of zombies in World War Z. 

(Image credit: Future)

The resolution running in both docked and the handheld mode was 1200p, which beats out the Nintendo Switch’s 720p in handheld and 1080p in docked mode. (Alienware wouldn’t say, but it looked like the games were running at medium settings.) The framerate remained stable even in a game like World World Z where you are often overwhelmed by zombies and explosions. It’s hard to speculate on how more demanding games will run since Alienware didn’t disclose the UFO’s specifications, but I do like the idea of being able to play Cyberpunk 2077 at the dog park even if it’s on lower settings. 

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