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Alienware M17x Article

March 06, 2011 By: lilybird Category: Desktop and Laptop

The M17x is Alienware’s flagship video game players laptop. It provides a stealthy design, aluminum chassis, plus a customizable lighting system. Our review unit comes complete to the gills with dual Nvidia graphics cards, an Intel Extreme processor, and 8GB of RAM. Does the M17x surpass Alienware’s claim of being the fastest gaming notebook on the market? Read our notebook review to uncover.

Design
By using a brand-new look and some of the highest-end tech obtainable in a laptop, we’re semi-surprised that Alienware has kept the M17x name for its newest 17-inch laptop (regardless of whether it loses the X-Files-esque “Area-51” moniker). While the system starts at a reasonable $1,799, it is important to configure something better our $4,849 review unit to truly get the good thing about Alienware’s numerous experience making high-end gaming PCs.We appreciate the evolved design of the new M17x, which eliminates some of the dorm-like qualities of past Alienware systems, making for a (slightly) more sophisticated-looking package. The somewhat goofy custom lighting system remains, but the automotive-inspired front-end grille and edge-to-edge glass on the display offset that.The previous M17x created few ways in the right direction, de-emphasizing the brand’s iconic glowing alien head design and offering a good matte black finish.This new version continues the march toward modern minimalist design, with fewer distracting flourishes on the keyboard tray, and a slick edge-to-edge glass overlay on the display. The front edge has gotten an overhaul, with an angled automotive-inspired grille which helps the look and feel from being too slablike. The anodized aluminum case feels heavy and substantial–but means you may not be taking it on way too many trips outside the house (unless you like lugging almost 15 pounds of computer equipment).

Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard is really untouched since the last generation of the M17x; then again, absolutely nothing is that needed changing. The keys are large, have a nice feel, and are generally very responsive. There was clearly a little flex in the keyboard, but Alienware told us that production models may have more support.While the previous M17x stood a honeycomb pattern on its touchpad, the newest iteration is smooth, but is usually a spacious 3.9 x 2.2 inches. The surface offered little to no resistance as our fingers glided across it, this is a advantage. Powered by Synaptics, the touchpad is likewise effective at multitouch gestures, though Alienware turns them off automatically.

Display and Audio
The 17.1-inch wide-screen LCD display gives a 1,920×1,200 native resolution, which can be what we’d expect from your high-end 17-inch laptop (cheaper desktop replacements will surely have 1,440×900 displays). The screen looks crisp and bright, and the edge-to-edge glass overlay adds a seamless feel, however it’s governed by glare from light sources. We also wouldn’t mind seeing Alienware embrace the trend toward 16:9 displays.

WirelessHD Streaming
The M17x carries a WirelessHD (WiHD) transmitter constructed in, which streams data at up to 4Gbps on the 60GHz spectrum, and has now a simple yet effective selection of up to 30 feet. Unlike Intel’s WiDi technology, WirelessHD doesn’t have latency and may stream protected content like Blu-rays movies to the compatible receiver (although WiDi 2.0 will support DRM through an upgrade).consumers who wanted this sort of capability was required to buy a device like the ASUS WiCast EW2000 or HP Wireless TV Connect, which involved connecting a bulky transmitter to the laptop. These accessories use an additional technology called WHDI.the M17x came bundled which has a Vizio XWH200 receiver. (Vizio sells a transmitter and receiver separately for $229). The triangular receiver, which appears a large Toblerone bar, measures 7.4 x 2.5 x 1.3 inches. The front is a sleek glossy black, and the back, sides, and bottom are vented. The only connectors are an HDMI port and power on the back.The Vizio receiver worked equally well as third-party WHDI devices; we used the HP Wireless TV Connect and the Asus WiCast EW2000 with the Alienware, and found that each three worked more or less the same; videos (both Blu-ray and from the hard disk) streamed smoothly, there wasn’t any lag whatsoever when doing offers. Like those other two devices, though, we discovered that by trying to experiment with a Blu-ray with the displays cloned, it will eventually only show on one screen.

Ports and Webcam
The M17x supplies a wide selection of ports specifically when looking at video out. HDMI is wonderful for connecting to HDTVs and Display Port to monitors that support it. All picture descriptions are still to right.In terms of operating system and software, Windows Vista 64-bit comes standard on the M17x; at the duration of publishing, Alienware is offering free Windows 7 upgrade coupons. Alienware computers in the past came clear of junk software understanding that trend continues with the M17x.The notebook carries with it an automated recovery feature, Alien Respawn 2.0. Pressing [F10] on startup initiates the procedure; it may back files and re-install the OS after that, or start a complete wipe.

Performance
In comparison, we a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX9300, together with 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and dual Nvidia GeForce GTX280M graphics card, which moves the M17x to the surface of our laptop performance list. One laptop we recently reviewed used a desktop PC 3.33GHz Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Quad Core processor, and was technically faster–but putting desktop parts in the laptop chassis can be an entirely different animal. The quad-core Extreme-edition CPU helped in the multitasking tests, but the real-world difference between this and the non-Extreme Core 2 Quad Q9000 present in other high-end desktop replacements isn’t enough to call it a must-have upgrade .The real star this is the SLI configuration of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX280M. With a couple of these powerful GPUs working together, we ended up 168 frames per second at 1,920×1,200 in Unreal Tournament 3, causeing this to be our gaming laptop performance leader by the wide margin. Anecdotally, we ecstatic F.E.A.R. 2 at 19×12 and most of the graphics options to medium or high for any smooth,impressive experience. Certainly, with very few high-profile Computer games currently in development, there may stop that a great many titles that deserve these types of high-end treatment (one exception may be Bioware’s Dragon Age: Origins, among the few buzz-worthy upcoming games that’s being developed for the PC and ported to consoles, as an alternative to the other way around).

Battery life
The M17x incorporates a feature called Stealth Mode which turns off the high-performance GTX 280M graphics cards and switches a great integrated GeForce 9400M graphics card. This configuration reduces energy consumption and for that reason, I had been able to utilize the M17x for just two hours and fifteen minutes in Stealth Mode with the display at one-third brightness. This is a respectable number for the gaming notebook. Our test unit has some power-hungry components for example two 7200RPM hardrives running in RAID 0 and the Intel QX9300 quad-core processor. Which has a power-saving SSD (Alienware offers one or two 256GB SSDs) plus a dual-core processor, We’ve without doubt the M17x could go with a minimum of another 30 minutes. Read the comparison with Alienware M11x.

1 Comments to “Alienware M17x Article”


  1. I bought the m17x R3 and I can’t get the wiHD to work. I click on the WiHD icon and it reports it can’t communicate with the sibeam module. I see information on dells site that this is a feature of the m17x R3 computer. Do you have any suggestions?

    help

    John

    1


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