Alienware M14X Gaming Laptop Review

By Muhammad Faisal 2 comments
Proper gaming grunt in a portable package. Can it be done? If anyone can pull it of it's Alienware - now backed by the might of Dell. Thanks to its 14.1-inch LCD, this is by far the most compact notebook here. At 2.9Kg, it's the lightest, too. However, at 38mm it's a chunky little customer.

Normally, that's undesirable. But we're talking gaming lappie here and we'll happily sacrifice some slim-line style in return for pixel-pumping prowess. Thanks to solid construction and backlit keyboard, it's a pretty desirable physical specimen, too. Well, if you can live with the slightly adolescent design vibe.

Alienware hasn't made too many compromises in return for that 14-inch form factor. The screen itself packs 1,600x900 pixels. Squeezed into 14 inches, the result is a tight pixel pitch and sharp visuals.

That said, for nearly $2,780 the panel's TN technology and merely decent image quality are disappointing. We're not convinced Alienware's choice of a matte screen surface behind a clear plastic cover makes much sense, either. Because the screen itself is matte, you don't get the heightened contrast of a true glossy panel. But thanks to that plastic cover, you o get the reflections. It's the worst of both worlds.

No complaints, however regarding the CPU. Four Intel's Sandy Bridge-style cores in the form of the Core i7 2630QM is bang on target. Even better is the Samsung 256GB SSD. It makes such an enormous difference to real-world performance. That includes games, especially hose that load or cache level data on the fly.

Gaming prowess
The sight of NVIDIA's GeForce GT 555M in device manager is not something that fills your heart with joy. However, Alienware has at least gone with the more upscale version of 555M, with comes with a 192-bit memory bus.

That's pretty critical given the plodding 1.8GHz speed of the graphics memory. Still, with 3GB of the stuff, you won't ever suffer from texture swaps over the PCI Express bus. Pretty much any game with fit inside 3GB.

As for the frame rates, well, solid but not spectacular is about as generous as willing to be. Less demanding titles like Dirt 3 run just fine, even at full native resolution with anti0aliasing enabled. But fire up World in Conflict and the 555M's limitations are all too obvious. A quick zap through the tessellation-heavy Heaven benchmark makes it clear that there's nothing left in the tank for the expected onslaught of geometry-soaked next generation games, neither.


VITAL STATISTICS
Price
$2,780
Screen
14.1-inch
Native resolution
1,600x900
CPU
Intel Core i7 2630QM
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GT555M 3GB
Memory
4GB
Storage
256GB Samsung SSD

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2 comments for this post

  1. Alienware M14X Gaming Laptop astonishingly high Configuration and fine Look

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  2. The m14x is a beast that eats laptop batteries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a desktop replacement which is will perform at a high level anytime. I love mine and hope that it will serve me for a long time.

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