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Old March 5, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Thumbs up Alienware M11x

Alienware M11x review


Well I received my Alienware M11x yesterday (about two weeks earlier than Dell had previously told me!), so i figured i would take some photos and make a nice little review. Now this is my first real review of something, so if there is more info you want just post and i'll do my best to get more info up. Here are the specs of the model i purchased: Core2Duo SU7300, 4GB DDR3 1066MHz, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 1GB GT335m.

Size


So First thing i will talk about is the size, shape, heft, and build quality.
The M11x is about the size of a magazine. It's dimensions are about 1.3" x 11.2" x 9" and it weighs about 4 pounds. The unit i purchased is their Cosmic Black Color, you can also get it in Lunar Silver. It seems to be made of some glossy metal, it doesn't feel like plastic. It seems very durable.

The build quality of the M11x is insane. This laptop feels Solid! No flex at all anywhere. It is very sturdy and made of very high quality materials.

Keyboard, Touchpad, Speakers


The keyboard on the M11x is very big and very sturdy. The keys are big and are lit up nicely. They also feel like they are made out of some kind of rubber. There is a nice big enter key as well as two large shift keys and a nice large backspace key. It has a very similar layout to the Logitech G11 keyboard. I could definitely type on this keyboard for long periods of time.

The touchpad on this is heaven. I went from using the touchpad on my Asus N10j to this one on the M11x and the difference is amazing. The M11x has a nice textured touchpad that feels similar to the inside of a Teflon frying pan. It also supports pinch zoom and two finger scrolling. The mouse buttons are also nice and are completely silent, which is nice because usually when you are using a laptop it is somewhere away from home and lots of clicking can be very irritating for others.

The speakers are very good for a laptop. Sound good in most games and for movies and music. They aren't amazing by any standards but they are not bad for a laptop of this size. Also the M11x has dual headphone inputs, so you can a friend could listen to movies or music when travelling or just out and about.

AlienFX


AlienFX is the whole lighting thing going on with the M11x and it is a very cool feature. There are 5 zones that can be changed and they can all be changed individually. You can also save themes and open them later. The 5 zones are; The alienware logo just below the screen, the alien head power button, the wifi indicator light, the keyboard (The fan on the bottom glows the same color as the keyboard) and the "headlights" on the front. You can change them to about 30+ different colors. You can also make each zone either be a solid color, fade between two different colors or pulsate. Now the pulsing one is cool but it may cause you to have an epileptic seizure when trying to game :P.

Screen, ports


The screen on the M11x is 11.6" and is LED backlit. It has a resolution of 1366x768 and its very nice. It is very crisp and clear and even with the brightness on lower settings it is still very bright. It is similar to a Macbook pro where it has glass over the screen. There are some downsides though. The screen is very VERY reflective and that can make it hard for others to see the screen, especially on an angle. But if you are sitting dead on then it is a very nice screen.

The M11x has a VGA, 1 usb, LAN, HDMI, Display Port, Card reader + sim card reader, and a smaller firewire port on the left side of the laptop. The right side has dual headphone ports, a microphone port, and 2 usb ports. A really cool thing about this laptop is that you can use the dual headphones and microphone port as 5.1 surround sound ports. So if you plan on plugging this laptop into a monitor, with a mouse and keyboard, you can still plug in your 5.1 surround sound speakers. Very nice feature for those using this as their main PC. The back of the laptop has a large fan grill and the DC input jack.

Performance, Battery Life


The M11x is a very fast ultraportable laptop. It may only have a Core2duo SU7300 at 1.3GHz but it does offer overclocking feature in the BIOS to overclock the CPU to 1.6GHz. It is as easy as changing the overclocking from disabled to enabled in the BIOS. very nice feature as it barely raises the temperature of the processor and the battery life stays basically the same. Now i really only use this laptop for gaming and watching HD movies on my TV, so i don't really have any benchmarks for things other than those, but if you guys want any just let me know.

This laptop also has a very cool feature, similar to my old N10j. That feature is switchable graphics. Now the N10j had an Intel GMA950 and an Nvidia 9300m gs, it also required being restarted everytime you switched from one to the other. This is where the M11x really excels, it has an Intel GMA4500 and an Nvidia GT335m. The really cool feature is that all you have to do to switch them is press Fn+F6. The screen flickers for a second and thats it!

The gaming performance on this thing absolutely blew me away! The Nvidia GT335m is a very powerful card. I installed a few of my Steam games; Left 4 dead, Left 4 dead 2, GTA IV, Unreal Tournament 3 and Fallout 3. I also installed Diablo II and Warcraft 3. It ran both Left 4 Dead games maxed all settings 8xAA 16XAI no problem at about 45-60 fps steady. GTA IV is a very CPU heavy game so it didn't do as amazing but with most settings high or medium i could get about 20-45 frames which is fine for that game. Unreal 3 did very well at max settings with around 45-60 fps as well. Fallout 3 at medium-high settings played at a very smooth 50-60 fps, and of course Warcraft 3 played no problem. Diablo 2 actually plays fine on the intel graphics chipset.

There is no problem playing HD content on this laptop. The GMA4500 can handle it no problem, you can switch over to the GT335m and use the HDMI port to hook it up to an HD TV and watch movies in full 1080p no problem at all. HD youtube is fine, i cant test Hulu because i am in Canada but i assume that is nice too.

Battery life on this beat is also incredible. The M11x has a huge 64Wh battery built into it. Which allows it to get about 7.5-9 hours battery life on the Intel chipset, with wifi on and brightness at about 3 (which is where is usually keep it as it is very bright.). When the Nvidia card is turned on, you can get about 3-3.5 hours battery life lightly gaming and web browsing, even watching a movie. But when you really start to game you can expect about 2-2.5 hours out of it. This is incredible, my first laptop was a Compaq v2000 series and its max battery life was 2-2.5 hours!

Conclusion


Overall the M11x is the best laptop i have ever owned. The battery life is amazing and it can perform no problem. It is the size of a netbook with the power of a midrange desktop. It will be joining me at quite a few lan parties!

Well now that thats all over with here are some pictures of the beast.









here are some size comparisons between the M11x, a Dell Inspiron 1520, and my Asus N10j






Some alienFX pictures





Guts

Last edited by vagnaar; March 6, 2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Old March 5, 2010, 01:18 PM
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You makes me jealous. Nasty little hobbitsy with my precious!
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Old March 5, 2010, 02:32 PM
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Sweet laptop dude!! Cant wait to see it in action. All you need now is sweet case to put it in.... Plasticase NANUK 920 perhaps...

http://plasticase.ca/productdetails.asp?node=153〈=en
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Old March 5, 2010, 05:05 PM
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yea that one would work nicely actually, Now i just need to find a mouse!
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Old March 6, 2010, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
The gaming performance on this thing absolutely blew me away! The Nvidia GT335m is a very powerful card. I installed a few of my Steam games; Left 4 dead, Left 4 dead 2, GTA IV, Unreal Tournament 3 and Fallout 3. I also installed Diablo II and Warcraft 3. It ran both Left 4 Dead games maxed all settings 8xAA 16XAI no problem at about 45-60 fps steady. GTA IV is a very CPU heavy game so it didn't do as amazing but with most settings high or medium i could get about 20-45 frames which is fine for that game. Unreal 3 did very well at max settings with around 45-60 fps as well. Fallout 3 at medium-high settings played at a very smooth 50-60 fps, and of course Warcraft 3 played no problem. Diablo 2 actually plays fine on the intel graphics chipset.
Would like to see:
1. 3DMK06
2. Vantage

To see how it matches against my Asus G51J / Core I7 / GTX260M....post em up ;) You can see my numbers under "Benchmark" Thread ....
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Old March 6, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellburst85 View Post
Sweet laptop dude!! Cant wait to see it in action. All you need now is sweet case to put it in.... Plasticase NANUK 920 perhaps...

http://plasticase.ca/productdetails.asp?node=153〈=en
I'd get this one: Matias Laptop Armor: Black Aluminum Slim 12"-15"
Soooo badass to have an aluminum case (but im obsessed with Alu, lol)
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Old March 6, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjbarker View Post
Would like to see:
1. 3DMK06
2. Vantage

To see how it matches against my Asus G51J / Core I7 / GTX260M....post em up ;) You can see my numbers under "Benchmark" Thread ....
Can do i'll run those today, what resolution setting?
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Old March 6, 2010, 09:38 PM
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Both at "default"....
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Old March 6, 2010, 11:31 PM
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I want one lol!

How much was it? I was not aware they were available in Canada yet
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Old March 7, 2010, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjbarker View Post
Both at "default"....
can do
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1K3Z0R View Post
I want one lol!

How much was it? I was not aware they were available in Canada yet
It was about $1200 with my config, i pre-ordered in early Feb they just only became available!
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