Alienware netbook is out of this world

Apr 28, 2010 By Victor Godinez, The Dallas Morning News
Alienware M11x netbook

Some people are lusting after the sleek, stylish iPad. But the only portable gadget in my heart right now is the Alienware M11x netbook, a computer that's about as refined and subtle and awesome as a chain saw-juggling grizzly bear. The M11x is a gaming netbook.

That contradiction is resolved with surprising flair.

The machine looks like no other netbook you've ever seen.

The funky angles and explosive neon lighting oozing from every seam definitely exemplify Alienware's famous extraterrestrial styling, but this is more than just a coffee table display piece.

Under the hood is a stunningly powerful collection of hardware that makes this laptop a hard-core gaming machine.

On my review unit ($1,087), an Intel Core 2 Duo U7300 processor, 4 gigs of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 335M and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit were mated with a super-sharp 11.6-inch display at 1366x768 resolution.

In other words, this little netbook packs more heat than most desktops.

To test out the gaming credentials, I fired up the recently released (and fantastic) game Just Cause 2.

The explosive romp through the fictional banana republic Panau is a lush visual treat, and the M11x chewed it up and spit it out.

On the native 1366x768 resolution, with details turned up to "high" or "medium," the computer cranked out a more-than-respectable 32.5 frames per second.

Generally, anything under 25 frames is jittery and choppy.

The M11x did get pretty warm after a few minutes, so your lap is probably not the best perch.

The biggest missing feature on the M11x -- as with almost every netbook -- is a DVD drive.

While you can connect an external drive, lugging an extra component defeats the purpose of a netbook.

Fortunately, downloadable gaming is fairly advanced in the PC world, so probably the first application you'll run after booting up is the popular Steam game download service.

Still, hard-core gamers considering the M11x will need to do their homework on whether the software they want to use is convenient to install.

But any true gamer who spends even five minutes with this superb device will start mentally justifying the purchase.

Let the artistes and hipsters have their iPads.

For those who truly want a magical experience, the M11x might be the best netbook ever assembled.

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Pros: Distinctive visual style, horsepower to burn and a keyboard big enough for true touch-typing make the M11x the coolest little computer I've ever used.

Cons: As with almost every other , there's no DVD or CD drive, a big drawback for gamers with catalogs of disc-based games.

Bottom line: The M11x is the most impressive piece of portable firepower since the invention of the suitcase nuke. I want one of my own.

Explore further: Indiegogo project 'Switchmate' lets you run light switch from your phone without rewiring


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User comments : 11

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not rated yet Apr 28, 2010
let me guess 2hour battery life?
5 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2010
Such a well written review, love the opening.

Btw, unless you're running a machine from ~ 2006, the M11x doesn't offer anything other than bottom-tier performance. What you wrote isn't remotely accurate.

And a 32.5 fps average at 1366*768 isn't what gamers a phenomenon. Passable? Maybe, jury is out until you give us an idea of how much time was spent below 30, and what the minimum frame-rate was, during high-action scenes.

No battery life figures.

But gosh, lay on the mixed-metaphor hyperbole!
5 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2010
How is this a netbook? At all? Netbooks are two things: small and cheap. This is neither.
not rated yet Apr 29, 2010
I would rather a small cube machine with a HUD device for what gaming's worth, a cube machine with no wiring just cartridges so upgrading the machine would just require a new cartridge installation; would make it so easy children could do it.
4.8 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2010
What the hell is this. Why is this advertisement posted on my physorg.
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2010
This Alienware netbook could be fitted with a VASIMR engine.
not rated yet Apr 29, 2010
What the hell is this. Why is this advertisement posted on my physorg.

My thoughts exactly!
Or this person has no business doing objective reviews.
Apr 29, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
not rated yet Apr 29, 2010
Pack that think with sicker hardware, let it blend red to blue with lighting effects, and keep the price the same, I might just be interested.
1 / 5 (1) May 01, 2010
How is this a netbook? At all? Netbooks are two things: small and cheap. This is neither.
That's the salesman's way of saying it's got no DVD.
not rated yet May 02, 2010
A client's kid bought a super-hot Toshiba notebook about eight years back. He was deeply into gaming, and it gave him the option of not having to haul a desktop around....

Then he bought Version X+1 of something or other and couldn't upgrade the hardware.... Oooops....

(I bought it from him for about what he still owed, and until the dog kicked the comma off the keyboard, ran it pretty hard for e-mail & stuff like PhysOrg....)

That makes this netbook sort of an expensive toy....

Make a heck of a Web surfer, though, but I can spend a lot less....

not rated yet May 07, 2010
I agree with the author, but check out the VAIO F series. I7 quad, 8GB RAM, GT 330M GPU, full HD 1920x1080

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