I think it depends on the actual model specs of what you're getting. The description on that Packard Bell didn't give me much detail. (Perhaps it's my phone and the sites not giving me much detail, as I'm not home this evening, to look them up on a desktop...)
Compare the drive types that you're actually gettig in each. SSD will perform better, albeit pricier.
Compare the memory (shipping amount, as well as what it will max out at.)
Compare the processors. I know the Alienware ships with an i7 quad core (good choice) but didn't see the Packard Bell's specific listing.
If you want to do wireless, what chipset does each have onboard? (You can add external, but if one already has the right internal...)
Look at GPU performance (graphics processor) Password cracking can be significantly sped up with the right GPU in play.
Based solely on what I could see (which again, for the PB wasn't much), I can say the Alienware would do a good job, given the right amount of memory, etc. I'd make sure, if I could afford it, to have an SSD hard drive, and a minimum of 8 GB RAM (because I like having the ability to duplicate targets on the fly, so memory / processing is key.)
Aside of the above, how are the sizes? Is one smaller and more convenient, while still packing the power you want? Is one too bulky? I personally use a rather large laptop, day to day, but I have a smaller one for portability and presentations.
Wish I could be more specific tonight, but again, with more specific specs on the PB, I might be able to compare apples to apples.
For home lab and toying around, I can make do with just about anything. But if you want bang for the buck, and something to last a while, while giving you options, then you really have to dig into the details, and make your decisions, based on your specific needs / wants and your financial situation.
I'll try to look up more on that PB, tomorrow, but I'm guessing you'll get more feedback, yet, tonight.
Last edited by hayabusa
on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~ hayabusa ~
"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'
OSCE, OSCP , GPEN, C|EH