Review: Alienware Alpha and Steam Machine Carrying Case (A7888952)

The following is a review of the Alienware Alpha and Steam Machine Carrying Case (A7888952), provided to me as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Nice tight fit for the Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK

In February of this year I was lucky enough to receive an Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK for review. Since I’ve been trying to be better about putting away my consoles when I’m not actively using them, which I was treating the Alienware Steam Machine as, I was starting to look at picking up or using one of my usual containers for the purpose. However, as the Alienware Alpha and Steam Machine Carrying Case just so happened to be up for review, I grabbed one to try it out.

One thing that I was slightly concerned about is that almost all of the marketing refers to the Alienware Alpha, with seemingly only Amazon mentioning the Alienware Steam Machine as well. Would Alienware’s Steam Machine fit within this case, or was it designed for the Alpha? Once I received the item things didn’t get too much better as once again the Alpha was mentioned again and again.

When the moment of truth came and I started to pack up the Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK I found that I was actually having a difficult time getting it in the carrying case. However, after a bit of pushing the console fit in rather snuggly. In fact, that’s probably how the case is designed, since keeping the console tightly secured means it’s less likely to get damaged by moving around.

So, yes, the Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK will absolutely fit in this case, and I feel comfortable saying it won’t be sliding about once it’s within. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about the rest of the case, however.

The case itself is effectively split into two parts. The bottom half of the case houses the console itself, laying horizontally. The top half is self contained, with a smaller, zippered, pocket, about an inch of the way in from three of the four sides. This top half has two soft dividers so that you can separate out components.

Since the Alienware Steam Machine has a power brick and cable, as well as Steam Controller, I assumed these would fit within the top half. Unfortunately while I’m able to get the brick and cable within, the Steam Controller doesn’t really fit. Perhaps I could cram a controller in there, but then I’d be worried about the stick on the controller , or the cable that comes directly out of the power brick, getting bent.

For this reason I actually just left my controller out, or stored it in my drawer with the extra controllers I typically use with my gaming PC. Because of the size of the Stream Controller, I don’t believe a Xbox controller would have fared any better. If my particular Alienware console didn’t have a power brick I don’t think there would have been an issue, but mine does.

Part of me wishes that the carrying case had been designed so that the console would have sat up in half of the case, vertically, and the other vertical half would have been either open or pocked in such a way that the items could have been dropped in instead. With the handles on the side of the case I found myself carrying it flat instead of on the side. On the other hand, given how well the console itself sat inside the case I don’t think this was necessary, but for some reason the design strongly suggested to me that the console should be laid flat when within the case.

I haven’t lugged it around enough yet, but thus far I’m otherwise pretty happy about the build quality of the case. It does include a strap to use in addition to the handles, but I’ve yet to use it. However, I do think the price of the case is a little inflated, and that it includes a bit of the Alienware premium pricing. However, if you’ve already got an Alienware machine, then you’re probably okay with paying the little extra.

Ultimately, I give the Alienware Alpha and Steam Machine Carrying Case a full five of five stars. It works great for my Alienware Steam Machine in lieu of a rubbermaid container, and actually provides a much more secure method of travel. I do wish that it would comfortable house a Stream controller, but if you’re lugging around a Steam Machine chances are you might also be lugging around a keyboard and mouse as well, if not a second controller, and will already need another bag for those components.

Read my review of the Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK Desktop Console.