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Pro Backlighting can be customized
Keyboard and touchpad backlighting can be customized with 13 preloaded profiles or by creating a custom profile via the AlienFX software. The lights can even be set to cycle or pulse.
Pro Good performance
Alienware 17 comes with 3 GPU options - GeForce GTX 880M, GeForce GTX 860M and Radeon R9 M290X with 3DMark's Fire Strike Standard Graphics 1920x1080 benchmarks showing scores of 6101, 3910, 5294 respectively and as of March, 2015 the top GPU has a score of 9598 so all of these options, except for GTX 860M, are still good choices.
There are also 2 CPU options - i5-4210M and i7-4710MQ with PassMark's scores of 4201 and 8028 respectively. As of March, 2015 the top PassMark score for a CPU is just above 10,000 so the i7-4710MQ is still a strong choice, while the i5-4210M should be avoided.
Pro One of the best displays in class
Alienware 17 has an anti-glare 1080p display that's bright at 268 nits, with excellent color reproduction at 106.3% of the sRGB color gamut, good color accuracy with a Delta-E score of 0.6 and good viewing angles.
Pro Good keyboard and trackpad
Keys have 3mm travel. Includes full number pad with additional keys above for macros.
Con Somewhat heavy
Weighs 9.2 pounds.