"It fires through games in mind-bending speeds and frankly kills all the competition out there in terms of performance."
The Dell Alienware series makes mincemeat of other PCs, be they desktop or laptop. The specs and performance levels of these machines are nothing less than world class – although be warned, they also carry a world class price tag.
The M17x is the largest of the three Alienware laptops. It comes with a 17 inch screen and will cost you between £1,400 and £3,300 depending on the specs you choose to go for.
These laptops are designed for gamers and it stands to reason that you would have to be a passionately dedicated gamer to decide to spend such a large amount of money on a PC. However the raw power behind these machines also makes them ideal for anyone looking for the very best laptop computing power that money can buy.
What we like best
The latest and most powerful ATI CrossFireX graphics processors give you one teraFLOP of graphics power that is backed up by up to Intel Core i7 processors, with Intel Turbo Boost Technology that gets up to 3.2 GHz in overclocking mode.
It fires through games in mind-bending speeds and frankly kills all the competition out there in terms of performance. It is as close as you can get to a super-computer in a hand held box.
The 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution widescreen delivers some of the highest quality video images you could hope for on a laptop. The picture quality is enhanced further by using two CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lamps) instead of the usual one.
The M17x comes with a seriously cool lighting feature that lets you change the colours of over ten different LED backlight areas on the laptop itself, making it more like a mobile disco than a PC.
That the specs are pretty much the best on the market are a given. Design wise you’ll either love it or hate it. The M17x has a definite Terminator style look to it that could almost be construed as being a tad on the geeky side – but anyone with a hard-core gamers’ mentality will probably love it to bits.
What we like least
The main two areas we like the least are the fact that it weighs a lot – although this is fairly understandable given the amount of technology inside – and the huge price tag that puts in out of reach to everyone, except the very rich.
You could almost argue that there’s just a little too much packed inside the M17x. Oh and incidentally, don’t expect the battery to run for very long either, this requires serious power at all times.
Despite the hefty price tag the Alienware M17x is pretty good value for money, when you weigh up the quality of components and the way in which that much power has been engineered inside a laptop. The experience of owning one of these will surely remain a dream to most gamers, but those of you persistent enough to acquire one will certainly realise as you take it out of the box and switch it on, that you are now the proud owner of one of the most elite laptops on the planet.
Today's best deal
Up to Intel Core i7 920XM
Up to 8 Gb 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM
Up to Dual 1 Gb ATI Radeon Mobility HD4870
Hard Drive Storage
Up to 1 Tb 7200 RPM
Up to 512 Gb Solid State Drive RAID Hard Drive
9-cell Lithium ION Sealed
Built in speakers
Internal high-definition 5.1 surround sound
Optional dual array microphone
USB digital TV Tuner
Headphone and mic jack
8-in-1 Card Reader
34mm Express Card
Slot loading DVD or Blu-Ray burner
4 X Hi speed USB 2.0
1 x eSATA/USB combo with powershare
1 x VGA video connector
1 x Ethernet
1 x IEEE 1394 4-pin
1 x Display Port
1 x HDMI
Audio, subwoofer and surround sound jacks
Weight & Size
410mm (W) x 320mm (H) x50mm (D)
Intel Ultimate N WiFi Link 6300 a/g/Draft-n 3x3 MIMO
Up to Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Dell Alienware M17x Review
There are many bold claims made by computer manufacturers that simply don’t stack up, but when Dell says that the Alienware M17x is “the most powerful gaming laptop in the universe” well, until E.T. turns up and says otherwise, they speaky thruthy earthling.
Whether you go for the entry level version with 17 inch screen, 2 Gb of RAM, Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor and 160GB of hard drive, or the fully loaded option with 1Tb hard disk, full HD screen and Quad-Core extreme mobile processor, you are basically getting the very best gaming laptop technology that your earth money can buy.
Here’s what Channel Five’s The Gadget Show says about the M17 on their website:
“Even in the entry level Alienware M17, the specs really are out of this world…it really is the ultimate gaming laptop: pop any of the latest titles in and the M17 will belt them out at the highest setting, on the highest resolution, like it’s powered by kryptonite”
And if that isn’t enough to get you mind-numbingly overexcited then you do not belong here, kindly return from whence you came stranger.
If there are any negatives to owning the fastest laptop on the market then it could come down to the fact that this is a big laptop. Not surprising when you consider what’s in it, but nevertheless don’t expect to sling it in a small shoulder bag and skip off to the park. It weighs almost 12lbs, is two inches thick and has dimensions of 16 x 12.7 inches.
However the anodized aluminium case design does a good job of making a bulky PC look pretty fantastic.
What I like
Pretty much the most exciting laptop out there, with amazing graphics and blistering speeds it will take your breath away of this is your sort of thing.
What I don’t like
The fact that I can’t afford one. With prices ranging between £1, 599 and £3,500 this is only for the seriously committed, and wealthy, gaming enthusiasts out there.
This is a stunning laptop that delivers on performance like no other and, although pricey, makes up for this through the quality of build and the exceptional components used in construction. If you do have the chance to pick one of these up you will not be disappointed.
- NVIDIA® SLI™’s most powerful graphics card
- 2 x Intel’s fastest Quad-Core Extreme mobile processor with overclocking capabilities
- Seamless 17″ widescreen LCD display with an extreme HD1200p resolution
- 1333 DDR3 memory, engineered to support the next-generation quad-core processors
- Serial ATA2 RAID 0 configurations as well as Serial ATA RAID 1, both with SSDs to keep your data safe with ultimate protection.
- Connect to a HDTV using the HDMI/DisplayPort and watch your favorite movies with the Blu-ray Disc™ drive
- IEEE 1394a (4-pin) port, 4 Hi-speed USB 2.0 ports, 1 eSATA/USB 2.0 Combo (2-in-1 port) with PowerShare
- DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA -Video Output, 8-in-1 Media Card Reader, ExpressCardSlot
- Front Speakers Audio Out Connector / Headphone Jack
- Center Speaker and Subwoofer Audio Out Connector / Headphone Jack Rear Surround Audio Out Connector
- Audio In / Microphone Jack, Two Built-In Front Speakers
By John Hillman
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