Home' LAPTOP Magazine : September 2010 Contents GAMINGNOTEBOOKS
For such a small laptop, the M11x's ports include
DisplayPort, Ethernet, FireWire, and HDMI.
The new M11x has a 1.2-GHz Core i7-640UM
CPU and 4GB of RAM; it simply demolished other
notebooks in its class. Its PCMark Vantage score
is about 2,000 points higher than the average
ultraportable. Surprisingly, it was only 11 seconds
faster than the original M11x when transcoding a
114MB MPEG-4 video file to AVI.
The M11x's 7,200-rpm, 500GB hard drive was
plenty fast, copying a 4.97GB folder in 2 minutes
and 45 seconds, a rate of 30.8 MBps.
The GPU notched a 3DMark06 score of 6,976
in the same league as much larger gaming rigs; it
even bested the Sony VAIO Z by about 700 points.
Still, the 18-inch Toshiba Qosmio X505 scored
9,801 on the same test.
The M11x had more than
enough oomph for the latest
titles. With resolution set to 1366
x 768, we averaged 74 frames per
second in World of Warcraft and
60 fps in Call of Duty: Modern
Warfare 2. We connected the
M11x via HDMI to a 32-inch
Samsung HDTV and were able
to notch a frame rate of 44 fps
when playing C.O.D. at 1920 x
1080, an improvement of about
14 fps over the older M11x.
After playing COD for half
an hour, the touchpad and left
When the Alienware M11x first came
out, the only thing we didn't like was
that you had to manually switch
between the discrete and integrated graphics.
With Nvidia's Optimus technology---which does
the switching for you---it's all automatic. But
that's not all: this 11.6-inch machine boasts an
Intel Core i7 processor, which gives it even more
power. Despite some heat issues, this rig blows
away other machines in its class.
The M11x looks as if the company sent its
M15x through Willy Wonka's shrinking machine.
A prominent Alienware logo on the lid glows when
the system is turned on. Our all-black system was
coated with a soft rubber finish (known as Soft
Touch Stealth Black). Its front edge has an angled
design like the newer Chevy Camaros. The
deck is a matte black plastic, which doesn't
pick up fingerprints, but the glossy black
screen bezel does.
Two areas on either corner of the
front edge, which have a honeycomb
pattern, are backlit, as is the keyboard
and Alienware logo beneath the screen.
Each key shares this treatment, making
them really pop in dark rooms. The colors of the
lights are customizable.
Weighing 4.6 pounds, the M11x is considerably
bulkier and heavier than other 11.6-inch laptops.
The keys have a slightly glossy coating, which didn't
cause our fingers to slip, but picked up oil from our
skin. The slightly narrow keys are very responsive.
Gamers will find the touchpad large for a system
this size, although most will use a mouse.
The 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel display on the
M11x is one of the better we've seen. We enjoyed
deep blacks and bright colors whether watching
videos or playing games. The glossy finish tended
to kick back reflections, though.
Audio on the M11x was stellar for a system of
this size. Deeper bass sounds had enough room
to resonate, and higher tones were crisp without
palm rest reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and
the temperature by the vent fan was a scorching
120 degrees. Don't game on your lap.
This M11x improves upon the original with the
inclusion of Nvidia's Optimus technology, which
switches between discrete and integrated GPUs on
the fly. The newer M11x lasted just about six hours
on a charge, which is quite good. When the Nvidia
GPU is active and the backlighting is on, though
battery life will suffer.
The M11x comes with virtually zero software.
Aliensense lets you log on using your face, and
can be set to automatically log off when the
webcam no longer sees you; Alientouch adjusts
the touchpad controls; Alien Fusion lets you change
power settings; and AlienFX lets you change the
The Alienware M11x with Optimus really satisfies.
Coupled with a Core i7 CPU, the Nvidia graphics
produced the highest frame rates we've seen in a
system this size---not to mention almost 6 hours of
battery life. Overall, the M11x is an ultra-powerful
and ultra-stylish PC you can take anywhere.
Innovative lighting features
Excellent gaming frame rates
Good battery life
Fan gets loud
LAPTOP | September 2010
The eyes of the Alienware logo head glow with customizable
colors, just like on the M11x's larger brethren.
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