Alienware's M11x is an 11.6-inch gaming laptop aimed at gamers looking for an ultraportable gaming laptop. It packs in two graphics cards and switchable graphics capability to strike a balance between greater performance or greater battery life, depending on your requirement.
We were most impressed by the Alienware M11x laptop's build quality. It has a magnesium-alloy body that is rock solid and the chassis has no weak points -- it doesn’t have an optical drive, for example, therefore no hollow spaces that could bend.
The Alienware M11x comes with a vibrant 11.6-inch with very good contrast and brightness -- without too much glare
The Alienware M11x’s battery is nicely tucked away inside the unit. The Alienware M11x weighs 2-kg -- not as lightweight or thin as the Sony VAIO Z, Apple MacBook Air or the Dell Adamo XPS.
Lights, Keyboard, Touchpad
The Alienware M11x is as much about looks as it is about hardware muscle. One thing you can’t miss is the Alienware M11x’s lights -- there are plenty of them. You get the alien head on the lid, the Alienware name below the screen, the alien head above the keyboard, the keyboard itself is lit up, and then you also get the 'headlights' at the front. The lights definitely add to the M11x a wonderful aura. And the lights are configurable through Alienware Command Center.
The keyboard lights come handy in the night gloom and make typing a joy. The keys feel soft yet sturdy when hit, and the touchpad is wide and accurate. It has a texture and the left and right click buttons are soft, comfortable to press.
The Alienware M11x gaming laptop came with an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3-GHz processor -- you can upgrade this to a low-voltage Intel Core i7-620UM with two cores. In addition to the 1.3-GHz processor, the Alienware M11x came equipped with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 320GB (7200rpm) hard drive, and a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 335M graphics processor. The Alienware M11x has good internal hardware, nothing spectacular.
You'll find three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, FireWire, 10/100 Ethernet, microphone and headphone ports (two of the latter) around the Alienware M11x laptop’s edge. You also get an SD card reader. Bluetooth and 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi are also present, and there is a webcam that can be used in conjunction with face recognition software to log you in to the system. The only blemish in the features department is the lack of Gigabit Ethernet for faster LAN transfers. The Alienware M11x gaming laptop comes with a 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.
The Alienware M11x’s overall performance was quite good. A WorldBench 6 score of 77 is quite good for an ultraportable gaming laptop. With a PC Mark 05 score of 5622, PC Mark Vantage score of 4401, and Cinebench score of 3089 are as good as (or even better than) most of our Mainstream Laptops recommendation. The Alienware M11x gaming laptop’s Nvidia GeForce GT 335M graphics gave a 3D Mark 06 score of 5426 -- Far Cry 2 at 1366x768 resolution, at High settings and no AA ran at 32 fps -- not best but good enough.
You can switch from the integrated Intel GMA 4-series graphics to the Nvidia GeForce GT 355M graphics by pressing the Fn + F6 key combination -- difference between the graphics processing is quite huge; Onboard Intel GMA raked up 547 on 3D Mark 06.
The Alienware M11x comes with a vibrant 11.6-inch with very good contrast and brightness -- without too much glare -- good for office and Web apps, as well as playing movies. Onboard audio is quite good as well on the Alienware M11x gaming laptop.
In our battery tests, at high performance preset and full-screen brightness, the Alienware M11x laptop's 8-cell battery lasted 3 hour 32 minutes on Intel GMA onboard graphics. In real-world usage, you should be able to extract close to 7 hours of browsing the Web over Wi-Fi on the Alienware M11x. On the Nvidia GPU, while playing games, don’t expect more than 2 hours of battery life on the Alienware M11x.
The Alienware M11x is one of the best small ultraportable laptops out there. It’s very well designed and built, and it has fancy lights on its exterior. The Alienware M11x unit we tested sells for a price of Rs. 65,900. While we aren’t thrilled by its low-end processor, the laptop’s very good graphics performance makes up for it.
If you want a style statement, look at the Sony Vaio Z, Apple MacBook Air or Dell Adamo XPS. If you want a strong, sturdy ultraportable laptop especially with some gaming muscle, take a look at the Alienware M11x. More on the Alienware M11x.