In late April we introduced you to the 2011 Alienware M11x gaming laptop, now two months later NotebookReview has got their hands on this small powerhouse and given it the once over, however it is hard to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons.
Before we get into the pros and cons let’s tell you about the model which NotebookReview tested out, specs are customizable to suit your needs and their review unit featured an Intel Core i5-2537M (1.40GHz) processor, 4GB DDR3 (1333MHz) RAM, a 500GB SATA HDD, Nvidia GeForce GT 540M (1GB GDDR3) graphics, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, an 8-cell Li0-ion battery and an 11.6-inch LED backlit display which outputs at a maximum resolution of 1366×768. This configuration will set you back $1,99.99 (just $100 more than the standard configuration.
In terms of build quality and design there were no real surprises, it has the Alienware look which we are used to, and Alienware has decided to make a compromise in elegance in favor of battery life, cooling and performance, this in our opinion is a good thing and we think manufacturers have done well to fit everything into a chassis which is just 1.29 inches thick. The M11x is made from magnesium alloy and its exterior is covered in matte black plastic which helps it resist scratches, this model also has quite a rugged feel and does not flex when you are using the keyboard and touchpad. One thing which isn’t great about it is the fact that it weighs quite a lot for an 11-inch laptop.
The M11x’s real selling points are its “best-in-class” gaming performance, LED backlit keyboard and battery life. In testing the 2011 M11x delivered almost 8 hours usage from a single charge when carrying out pretty basic tasks, the battery also delivered 2 hours and 32 minutes of gaming whilst playing Mass Effect 2, this could have been even higher if the screen brightness was cranked down.
NotebookReview say that the hardware within delivered a snappy experience, you can see benchmark results here, it done very well and outperformaned larger, more expensive laptops. The M11x R3 came second to the ASUS G53SW-A1 in most tests, however this is a 15-inch laptop with a heftier price tag than the Alienware offering. One slightly bad thing about the laptop is the fact that the cooling fan is very loud, the reviewers say it sounds like a hair dryer, which is something which may be a dealbreaker to many.
There is one other bad thing about the M11x, this is its display, NotebookReview suggest that the lack of an alternative display option is frustrating as the standard glossy display is not ideal in all circumstances, a matte option with a higher resolution would be great for the end-user.
If you are considering purchasing the new M11x you should check out the fully detailed 5 page review over at NotebookReview, the general feeling seems to be that the display and loud cooling fans take the edge of what would be a great performing laptop which boasts long battery life.