Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Laydown - Alienware M15x

After the Alienware brand had been purchased by Dell, growing numbers of consumers were concerned with Dell's ability to pursue high-end gaming and maintain the image of elite computing. 

Among the high end distributors for personal gaming laptops, companies such as Malibu, Wolf-Spider, and OCZ have struggled to obtain a marketshare to dominate the Alienware swagger - making Dell's decision an obvious ploy to obtain a large share of the high end gaming market. I personally decided to try out an Alienware M15x for myself. The specs are as follow:

The LED backlight is composed on 11 zones, and are all completely customizable.

PROCESSORIntel® Core™ i7 740QM Quad Core Processor, 1.73GHz 
OPERATING SYSTEMGenuine Windows® 7 Ultimate, 64bit, English
LCD PANEL15.6-inch WideFHD 1920x1080 (1080p) WLED
MEMORY4GB Dual Channel Memory (2x 2GB DDR3)
BATTERY OPTIONSPrimary - 6-cell (56Watt) Lithium-Ion Battery
WIRELESS CARDSWireless 1520 802.11n Half Mini-Card

When I received the product, I was extremely pleased with the fit and finish of the laptop. It is very heavy at 9lbs, but my laptop goals do not necessarily account for portability as much as speed, and the weight is not uncomfortable on top of the lap.

Very little bloatware is included with the device, if you could call it "bloatware", Power DVD 9 is included for blu-ray file playing (which would be more essential if my device had a BD-Drive, but alas, it does not), as well as CyberLink's YouCam software, which operates extra features for the built in microphone/webcam.

The hardware describes itself. I've been able to play Fallout 3 and Prototype without any screen lag or glitching. I haven't checked the FPS, but I've definitely been comfortable with everything the computer can do.

A large downside for me is the primary output for digital display, know as a DisplayPort, this plug requires an adapter to conform to the HDMI standard. I was unaware of this prior to purchase, but I was able to procure one easily off of the internet. According to what I've found out, the HDMI adapter is not quite royalty-free, and so Dell designed a proprietary display-out that carries both video and audio, and is capable of providing a 1080p stream. 

Overall, I've been very pleased with this machine and definitely recommend one. If price is a consideration, definitely check out the Toshiba Qosmio line and the Sony Vaio line - the same set of features can be found at a better price, minus the LED backlight.