Colors: Red, Black
MSRP: $899.99 (base i5 model)
The Good: Sleek and sexy design, lightweight but packs a lot of power, long battery life, GPU and onboard GPU switching saves a lot of battery life
The Bad: AlienFX Lite, not a very big screen, not many USB ports, lacks an optical drive
Alienware continues to dominate as the top gaming computer brand in the world with the fastest hardware on the planet. If you can afford the hefty price tag you are in for a treat. If you already own a larger Alienware (M17 or 18x) then maybe it’s time for something more portable, but with almost as much power with the M11x. The M11 is Alienware’s answer to a netbook done right with the speed of a gaming computer, but the portability of a netbook. The R3 models have the second generation i series processors as well as the new generation of graphics cards. The model I got had the i5 2537m which runs at 1.4Ghz. Now you’re probably thinking that is slow, but it can run Crysis with almost maxed out settings (High not Very High) at around 20-25 FPS. That is impressive. With the help of an Nvidia GT 540m you are going to be smoking the competition on the go.
With 3D enabled your portable experience just got a whole lot better with games, movies, and even on the desktop. The netbook can run everything in 3D without any horrible slow down like older netbooks would get. If you are used to the bigger laptops a lot of the features have been stripped for portability, but this took a hit for me. There is no media bar, but everything is teamed up with the F keys using FN. I didn’t really like this, but they probably couldn’t fit a full size USB media bar in there. There is no DVD drive, and there are only 3 USB slots. However, one is USB 3.0 and the netbook also comes with firewire. If you really want more features you have to think portability or more of a desktop so this is for people truly on the go.
The screen is crystal clear with new LCD technology and with a nice resolution of 1386×768. The speakers sound amazing with true surround sound built-in, and during testing I could really hear a difference in sound with it on. The netbook also has a full touch pad, AlienFX, but unfortunately a lot of the FX for bigger laptops were stripped in this one such as the lid alien head, touchpad, and there are no individual settings for sections of the keyboard. However the netbook does have a built-in graphics processor so it can save battery life and not use bigger GPU during regular use. While you can save tons of battery life this way there is no way to remove the battery easily without unscrewing stuff.
If you come into the purchase thinking about portability you will be amazed at what this thing can do. It strips the desktop stuff of the bigger models while still packing in power under the hood. With great power saving technology, long battery life, and lightweight design (only 5 pounds!), you will really get your money’s worth.