Sunday, 13 November 2011

Alienware M14x Review


The new Alienware M14x gaming laptop is the successor to Alienware M15x, the now defunct 15-inch laptop option. Sitting between the tiny Alienware M11x and gargantuan M17x, the Alienware M14x offers gaming enthusiasts a middle ground that's easy to drag to a LAN party without compromising on high-end performance.

Pros
  • High-end performance
  • Unique style and design
  • Vibrant screen

Cons
  • RAM, HDD is limited
 
 
 
The new Alienware M14x replaces the Alienware M15x for high-end enthusiast gamers looking for a slightly more portable gaming laptop that continues to deliver uncompromising performance. Sitting between the M11x and M17x, the Alienware M14x is a 14-inch gaming laptop with a widescreen form factor and enough firepower within to bring the latest and greatest games down to their knees. Let’s take a closer look at the Alienware M14x gaming laptop.

Design and Build: 
The Alienware M14x sports a unique style and design which if famously synonymous with Alienware machines, be it laptop or desktops. The 14-inch, widescreen laptop’s chassis is made of magnesium alloy and the laptop looks and feels rigidly built with metal almost everywhere (except the glossy screen). But the laptop’s slightly curved spine restricts the screen and chassis’ central hinge to a small section near the centre, giving the screen a slightly flimsy air. Nonetheless, the M14x’s thick, brawny profile with angular edges adds to the premium appeal of the laptop.
With an 8-cell in-built battery, the laptop weighs just about 3 kg -- heavier than most 14-inch laptops -- and it doesn’t win any awards for being slim and trim. But the Alienware M14x is the way it is for a reason and that’s to accommodate all the high-end hardware that sits within. It has huge heat vents along the chassis edge and the screen spans edge-to-edge -- much like an iMac -- which blends in well with the Alienware M14x’s charm.

Features: 

The new Alienware M14x has a 14-inch widescreen WLED display screen that’s glossy in nature. And unlike most 14-inch laptops that make do with a 1366x768 screen, the M14x’s glossy screen houses a 1600x900 pixel resolution display -- a true 16:9 aspect ratio screen. This enables the M14x to play games at higher resolution resulting in more fun. Its screen has a tiny webcam hole at the top bezel, it’s barely visible but the thing comes in handy if you do a lot of videochats over Skype, Facebook or Google+. The Alienware M14x’s screen is one of the brightest, most vibrant display’s we’ve seen in a laptop for some time -- the brightness and contrast levels are high, colour reproduction very good, and there’s very little motion blur which augers well for high octane gaming.

Alien FX Command Center
The Alienware M14x, like all previous Alienware machines we’ve reviewed, comes with an Alien Command Center software that among other things allows you to customize the gaming laptop’s glowing LED lights in a variety of colours and patterns. You can have just the keyboard split in three different sections with unique light glows, the same for the laptop’s logo and front vents. No other laptop comes anywhere close to offering the array of LED customization options that Alienware M14x does. It adds to the laptop’s overall appeal, no doubt.
Apart from a very good 14-inch display and Alien FX console, the Alienware M14x laptop sports an Intel Core i7-2720QM 2.2 GHz processor, 6 GB of DDR3 RAM, a 320GB hard drive and 1.5 GB Nvidia GeForce GT555M graphics. Quite a potent hardware combination for a laptop. The Alienware M14x has three USB ports, a VGA and HDMI port, 9-in-1 card reader, gigabit ethernet, headphone and mic for connectivity, apart from Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth for wireless communication. The laptop ships with a 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. All good but the only minor complaint we have is that the manufacturer should’ve offered more RAM and a larger capacity hard drive with the Alienware M14x at its asking price.

Verdict
The Alienware M14x manages to fill an important gap in Alienware’s mobile gaming offerings, with a laptop that’s easier to carry around than the bulky M17x and performs as well. The laptop has a pretty formidable hardware setup, is very well built, and offers all the regular connectivity features. And of course, none come close to matching the Alienware M14x’s unique aura and charm that is one of its kind. Overall, a very good gaming machine well worth its price.
Pricing: Rs. 94,500
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5Features: 4 out of 5
Build: 3.5 out of 5
Performance: 4.5 out of 5
Value: 4 out of 5
Contact Information for Product Enquiry: 1800-425-8118 and 080-2510-8983 / www.alienware.co.in
Test Scores Log Sheet
Manufacturer
 
Alienware
Model
 
M14x
PC Mark Vantage
 
 
 
PCMark Score
9181
 
Memory Score
5246
 
TV and Movies Score
4982
 
Gaming Score
7862
 
Music Score
6520
 
Communications Score
11552
 
Productivity Score
7406
 
HDD Score
9452
3D Mark
Overall Score
12556
 
SM 2.0
4977
 
HDR/SM 3.0
4893
Cinebench
Maxxon Cinebench R11.5 (CPU Score)
5.33
Battery Life
Battery Meter (in mins)
86
Real world
Speaker volume (at 50%)
7.5
 
Speaker clarity (at 100%)
8
 
HD video playback test (So 10)
7.5
 
WinRAR 3.9 (Compression / Decompression)
4274
 
4GB single file copy (secs)
110.2
 
4GB folder files copy (sec)
128.2
 
100 MB File Conversion (VOB-to-DivX) (secs)
29.87
 
 
 
Price
 
94500

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