Alienware M14x Gaming Laptop Review - HotHardware

Alienware M14x Gaming Laptop Review

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Alienware's Alien Command Center software suite has been bundled with their M series of notebooks for a while now and the M14x also sports this package.  There are three primary sections of the Command Center: AlienFX, AlienTouch and AlienFusion.


Alien Command Center - AlienFX

AlienFX allows you to control the 9 lighting zones of the M14x that we spoke of earlier.  As you can see, a jog wheel is available to select colors from for each of the zone individually if you so choose.  The keyboard area has four divided zones itself, which could come in handy for certain gaming situations and key-mapping functions.


Alien Command Center - AlienTouch

AlienTouch allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the multi-touch capable touchpad area.  We're pretty thankful for this functionality as we often find ourselves accidentally bumping the touchpad on some machines, sending our cursor into a frenzy and wreaking havoc on the desktop.


Alien Command Center - AlienFusion

AlienFusion is where you control the machine's power plan and there is a fair bit of granularity here, with control of things like PCI Express link power under certain power profiles.  There are three preset power profiles (Balanced, High Performance and Power Saver) or you can create your own custom profiles.  Regardless, AlienFusion goes above and beyond simple Windows Power profile settings and really lets you dial the machine in at the power settings that make the most sense for you.


Alienware M14x Windows Experience Rating

Finally, before we dig into the benchmark numbers, here's a quick look at what Windows thinks of the M14x.  With a total available score of 7.9, the M14x scores rather competitively versus other 14-inch machines in its class.  The lowest subscores here are listed as the graphics and hard disk tests, though a 5.9, for notebook-built components in these areas is still respectable.  Next, let's look a bit deeper into performance with a few full-fledged benchmark datapoints.
 

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Thanks for the review Dave. This looks like a beast of machine. The lighting is a really nice touch that Dell has added in. Though I think if I personally were to spend that kind of money I probably would go with a MainGear System.

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It's a great notebook for sure. Dell's Alienware division makes some pretty sweet product.

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Powerhouse laptop for sure. My alienware was good for gaming while it lasted but it ran so hot so at least it sounds like they were able to take care of heating issues with these latest models.

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"A nice little monster thats for sure, the only thing that I'm not wild about is the glossy screen and the price, but Alienware and Dell makes some wicked Mobile machines. I just feel that their Desktop Lineup design needs a complete overhaul, its no attractive anymore and they are not aggressive anymore with overclocking.'

-Optimus

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Gaming laptops are a joke. Expensive whilst having bad performance. We need those desktop grade GPUs externally now! Sony started it but put a crappy lowend mobile GPU in it...make the whole external thing useless.

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http://www.amazon.com/G53SW-XA1-Republic-Gamers-15-6-Inch-Gaming/dp/B004X5XL3Q/?tag=thnenedo-20

$500 cheaper, higher quality, faster ( cpu and GPU) , full HD screen......

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Paintace, good to have you with us. That's a nice machine from Asus for sure but a larger form-factor, so a different animal really. It has the same CPU, not faster but the 460M in the Asus machine is faster than the 555M in the M14x. It's a trade-off really -- size vrs horsepower for the dollar. Both machines have their merits.

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>> The 8-cell battery in the M14x is self-contained and cannot be removed or replaced.

Yikes... I like it otherwise, but that kind of bites. That means that almost no one's going to make replacement batteries. So, when it's dead in a few years, you can pay Alienware a premium to replace the battery, or throw what would be a great web-book/office machine in the trash (it probably won't be good for playing Windows games at that point, but it would be a kick-ass software development box).

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"The 8-cell battery in the M14x is self-contained and cannot be removed or replaced."

This does not seem to be correct. See Dell's website for instructions on replacing the M14x's battery (http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/M14x/en/SM/battery.htm).

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What most laptop reviews are missing is more information about the hardware that's in the unit.

Simply running Lavalys Everest Ultimate or it's replacement will reveal exactly which LCD screen is used,what the stock wireless card is,which ODD is in there and more info about the camera,USB chips,sound,and lan.

I'm sure many potential buyers would like to know exactly what they're getting.

There's a lot more to a laptop than just the CPU and GPU..

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