Alienware M14X - High-End Gaming Systems With Geek-Chic Designs

10/3/2012 4:03:57 PM

Alienware is renowned for high-end gaming systems with geek-chic designs. The M14x gaming laptop is on the chunky side, although it's the smallest and most portable in the company's line-up. Our sample came in matt 'cosmic black’; it's also available in 'nebula red'.

Description: Alienware M14X

Alienware M14X

The finish combines plastic and rubber, which feels nice to the touch and aids grip. The lid can become marked rather easily, although Alienware supplies a plush bag for transportation.

The keyboard and trackpad are of a decent size, and unearthly lights are spread all around the laptop. These include four light-up sections on the bottom of the chassis, which can be customised in hue and react to onscreen action.

Available built-to-order, you can get this laptop for as little as $1568 if you drop below the default spec. Our sample features a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-3720QM, 8GB of 1,600MHz RAM, a 64GB mSATA SSD for booting Windows, and a 500GB hard disk.

The Alienware scored a fantastic 168 points in WorldBench 6. It was beaten by the MacBook Pro, but this is still one of the highest scores we've seen from any laptop.

Dedicated nVidia GeForce GT 650M graphics take care of the gaming show. The Alienware M14x breezed through our basic Fear test with an average 180fps framerate. And it managed 107fps in Crysis at 1024 x 768 resolution with Low detail and DirectX 9.

A relatively high 1600x900 pixel count underscores a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen offers crisp detail, but its double-gloss finish hinders viewability; we'd prefer a matt anti-glare option.

Connectivity is well rounded, with VGA, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB 2.0, microphone, headset and headphone ports, plus full-size SD and microSD slots, all on the left side of the laptop. On the right is a Kensington lock slot, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 ports and a slot-load DVD±RW drive (Blu-ray is optional).

We managed to get just over five hours (307 minutes) from the M14X's 63Wh battery in the MobileMark 2007 Productivity test.

Description: Alienware M14X

Verdict: The Alienware MMX offers style, high levels of gaming performance and plenty of connectivity inside a portable shell that has a screen big enough for gaming sessions.


Price: $2,194



Build: 8/10

Features: 8/10

Performance: 10/10

Value: 8/10


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