Colors: Black, Red
MSRP: $1,799 (factory standard)
The Good: Amazing design, AlienFX is stellar, great display, nice and big, tons of ports, run everything you can throw at it, Windows 7 is superb
The Bad: Some driver issues, display isn’t perfect, big size means extremely heavy and clunky, AlienFX could use more options, pricey
Ever since I was young I always a PC that could run the latest games. Who would have known that today would be that day? The M17x is the most powerful gaming laptop (or laptop period) available on the market. Alienware has always strived to provide the highest tech and smooth running systems to date. This is well worth the $1800 so let’s get started from the beginning
Out of the Box
GPU: 1GB ATI RADEON Mobility HD 5870
CPU: Intel Core i5 @ 540M 2.53 GHz (3.06 in Turbo Mode)
Memory: 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
HDD: 250GB SATA II
When you get the box it’s about the size of a desktop PC. This sucker isn’t light. Inside the box is another box with some collectibles such as a baseball cap, sticker, a leather bound manual, the restore CD, and a resource CD as well as a mousepad, and the charger. The mousepad is very sturdy and wonderful to use and the leather bound manual is a nice touch.
Once you get that out of the way the laptop has a nice soft cloth over the monitor and when you pick it up…you almost drop it. This sucker is by no means portable and you almost need a wagon to tow it behind you. Is it worth it? Yes by all means yes.
The laptop has a ton of ports such as USB, firewire, HDMI, VGA, Expresscard, SD, and a ton more. There is something here for everyone so you have tons of options for display purposes and peripherals.
Once you flip up the lid and drool at the 17″ crystal clear LCD display you will notice the brilliant lights. Everything on the keyboard lights up as well as the alien emblem on the top lid and above the keyboard. The whole thing feels sturdy and the touch pad even feels nice to use. The keys feel great and they are nice and big as well as quite. There is a media panel at the touch to eject the disc, volume control, internet connection, Alienware control center etc. The alien head emblem above the keyboard is actually the power button and the eyes blink as the HDD light. The emblem on the lid will glow when the computer is in sleep mode so you know what’s up. The emblem above the keyboard will glow different colors to indicate that the laptop is charging as well. This is one of the, wait for THE, slickest laptops I have ever seen.
I liked Vista but 7 tops it all. With a faster GUI and slicker design Windows 7 is the ultimate gamers’ OS. You can now switch everything on the fly such as taskbar management, theme switching, and pretty much everything. There are a lot of bugs and kinks worked out of Vista and so far I’m happy with it.
The Alienware Control Center is very slick with the coolest of all being the Alien FX. This allows you to change anything that lights up to the color you want. You can even have the keyboard cascade different colors! There is an advanced editor that allows you to customize what the LED lights do such as morphing into different colors (adding actions and looping is infinite), and there’s even an option to have the theme change when you open a certain program! Of course, the editor could have been more robust, but it’s exclusive to Alienware and will make all your friends cringe with envy. Alien Fusion allows you to deeply customize your power settings, and Alien Touch lets you customize your touch pad. Alien Sense is the facial recognition technology when logging in and this can make you feel like a spy!
64 bit has a few issues such as running some games, but it’s usually the game’s fault and not the OS. Coupled with the amazing processor speed 7 runs like butter (or diarrhea?) without any slowdown or hitches. I can have a game installing, play a game, then decide to minimize the game and check my email all without much slowdown. Windows 7 Home Premium is amazing and the best Microsoft OS to date.
Let’s get down to it. How do the games run? This laptop can trump any game you throw at it even Crysis on Ultra settings. Every high tech game out there can be played on highest settings and range from 20-80 FPS and that’s a triumph. The laptop runs really well under such stress and doesn’t really get too hot. The fans can be a bit loud but it’s expected with this kind of setup.
The game sound amazing with 5.1 capabilities and even the laptop speakers will blow your hair off. I just wish there were some located near the monitor as well since your arms can block the sound some times. The games also look super crisp with the HD monitor so you’re in for one hell of a time.
There are a few games out there that just don’t support ATI hardware very well like Batman: Arkham Asylum. It’s hand crafted for NVidia cards so it didn’t run the smoothest on my machine. Dreamkiller just didn’t want to work at all thanks to some sort of bug that kept me from playing. The first installation gave me white textures and the second gave me frame rate pauses. A lot of other games run smooth and it just feels great to have a computer that can run these high tech games.
The whole point of this beast is for gaming and it does it well and goes above and beyond the call of duty to bring you a perfect gaming experience. Are there any flaws? Sure, as of right now there is a nasty display driver glitch that makes you have to hard boot your computer every so often, the laptop should have come with a mouse, and there’s a lot of room below the keyboard, but this can be utilized for a mouse area and arm room. There is some fuzziness on the screen during certain games. The computer is great to look at, and use and it’s just so sleek and silky smooth. Is it worth $1,85o? It’s worth more to me. I would probably pay over 3k for this baby.