Close-up With Dell's Alienware M11X Mini Gaming Notebook

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News Posted: Tue, Jan 12 2010 4:12 PM
There were a few stand-outs at this year's 2010 CES, like Intel's WiDi Wireless Display demo and of course NVIDIA's impressive Tegra 2 demo.  However, if we were to call in a close 3rd runner-up to those two, it would have to be the absolutely HOT looking new Dell Alienware M11x gaming notebook.  Dell was pre-announcing this machine that is soon to be released and for us at least, it was a proverbial show-stopper.  The M11x is built on an 11.6-inch LCD form-factor and from what we could tell, it's svelte, well-built, super stylish and rugged.  You can think of it as a mini version of the M15x or M17x series but we think it's just darling either way you look at it.  Feast your tired geek eyes here...




Dell Alienware Product Manager, Mark Diana took us on a nickel tour of their new little bad boy as well.  Take it away, Mark and don't look so serious man, will ya?


 
With looks that kill, a back-lit keyboard, bitchin' Camaro-like illuminated speaker/vent grills and a GeForce GT 335M under the hood, this little hot-rod is a real head-turner that you'll feel good about sitting on the street corner, with the lid up as the chicks walk by.  All that in a 4lb package and reportedly for "well under $1000". We'll reserve judgment on performance until we get one in our greedy paws here, though Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta nearly made off with the demo unit under his shirt.  Foiled again bud.  Guess we'll have to wait until those press samples get seeded after all.  More on this little turbo-charged Alien in the days ahead!




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kid007 replied on Tue, Jan 12 2010 6:03 PM

" Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta nearly made off with the demo unit under his shirt." I would not judge you if you have pull that off :)

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Jan 12 2010 6:39 PM

No doubt... it is a FINE looking machine. Can't wait till we can get it in for testing!

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acarzt replied on Tue, Jan 12 2010 8:09 PM

I never really cared too much about the whole gaming laptop scene...

I guess I just don't get out enough :-(

I stay locked up at home plopped down in my chair gaming on my 24" dell :-P

lol... also a random funny note... while I'll be gaming i'll here my GF cursing up a storm in the other room lol Turns out she's playing Fear 2 and yelling at all the guys she's killing. I'm so proud lol

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Marco C replied on Tue, Jan 12 2010 10:29 PM

I will be buying one of these the day they are available...

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acarzt replied on Tue, Jan 12 2010 11:35 PM

So you had your hands on one breifly Marco... how heavy, or light was it?

I know it's only 11.6"s but that sucker look thick and pretty heavy duty!

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I came across a contest to win one of these bad boys.  May have been an ad from here at HH.  It does look like a slick notebook and has nice specs.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 13 2010 2:22 AM

Yeah I would be very excited to see the specs and details on one of these for testing. The components sound great and the price is about the vest thing I've heard with that general hardware. I also know how Dell or any OEM with an online retail sale's site as well works. Advertise get people to pop in and look then they start adding components. For a specialty site this makes sense and generally they are much more hardware specific with extra detail inside and out on the case and components etc. . The way this one sounds though is to good to be true if I could actually get a competent machine for under a grand that's a good deal in anyone's book!

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 13 2010 2:38 AM

I was looking over the GPU specs on Nvidia's site. It looks like a truly mobile GPU with major enhancements for the sector in capabilities as well as energy conservation which is sweet. The only thing about small machines specifically for me and I would think at least a decent amount of men is keyboard size. In general anything 10" or under I can use but my hands can also wrap around completely with ease (I am 6'3" tall which may influence that lol). Either way I have always been wary of anything under 10 inches especially for using often. I do however like the way this looks. So what did the keyboard look like I know something basically an inch bigger in circumference than a netbook that would play Crisis would be a mega sweet add.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 13 2010 2:39 AM

Especially for a grand or under!

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acarzt replied on Wed, Jan 13 2010 1:52 PM

Man, rapid you're tall lol I'm almost a foot shorter :-( So keyboard size is generally not a probably.

There does seem to be a good amount of bezel around that screen which allows the notebook to be a little wider. It almost looks like a standard sized notebook keyboard.

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kid007 replied on Wed, Jan 13 2010 4:39 PM

i'm very surprised that they didn't make it into a 13" instead of the 11"

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 14 2010 12:43 AM

Well like I said acarzt I can use a netbook when I have to but it's pecking at least on one of the 8.5" units when it gets to 10 it's more comfortable. So the 11" seems good and as has been said they seem to have a wide body. However they are small enough and light enough to carry without a problem. Something like this I doubt I would even notice, as carrying my gateway FX 17" is possible and I do for mobility when needed (it's generally rare and spends it's time plugged in when on generally). However; a unit like this is switchable display as well as powerful enough to run high end games so as a portable package especially at a grand or less is very, very attractive.

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I'd love to see some benchmarks on this mini rig, but I think I'd require a fully featured desktop replacement anyway.

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@rapid1 Thanks for the info on the Graphics card. My only major concern with this would be heat dissipation in such a cramped setup.

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jan 14 2010 4:03 AM

It doesn't hurt that it's a looker either.

I'd still like to hear about how heavy it feels tho. My experience with gaming laptops has always been that they are VERY heavy lol

I'm personally on the prowl for a nice cheap light weight laptop with a keyboard I can live with typing on. Tho I don't actually plan on buying one any time soon lol But it's fun to look.

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I've got an aging gaming laptop and it clocks in at 9.5 lbs, and the brick is another 2 lbs. I'd expect this to be around 5 lbs, heavy for its size.

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gibbersome replied on Thu, Jan 14 2010 12:54 PM

The GT 335M would have to perform as well as a GT 9600 to be worthwhile, right?

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I have been looking for a new laptop since I got burned by Hp and their defective Tx1000 series. I like the punch this little guy packs, Its a great size and would be easy to carry around at work or school. Was thinking about a Netbook from Dell or Asus but the specs in this one has got my attention for the price.

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Tell me about it! My gf's TX2500z has brought her to tears multiple times. Cheap quality, cheap components, had to be sent back 2 times within the first year, with several other problems as well, including the drive bay, the power cord, screen, motherboard....well you get the picture.

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The problem with the TX1000 series, and a problem that many buyers had, was that they didn't attach the heat sink combo for the Cpu + Vpu to the Vpu. So over time this laptop would get so hot that the solder would slowly breakdown and the VPU would become dis-attached from the motherboard. This wasn't covered by warranty and usually happened after the laptop was about a year old anyway, so the warranty wasn't worth anything.

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Ahh, I see. Yeah, that's what happened to hers. The first one gave so many problems that they sent her a new unit 6 months afterwards. And right around the 18 month mark the unit had to be opened up and the power connections had to be resoldered, otherwise it wasn't charging properly. Good thing that she purchased it with Amex and their extended warranty covered it.

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