Alienware M17x R4 Notebook Review: Ivy Bridge and the GeForce GTX 680M
21 September 2012
Conclusion: What we're looking at with this review of the Alienware M17x R4 are really two things: the performance of the shiny new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M, and the Alienware M17x R4 notebook itself. Amusingly if unfortunately, the conclusions drawn are pretty disparate. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680M is a qualified win. They knew it, and now we know it.
Conclusion: The M17x is an excellent gaming laptop. It offers a beautiful display, incredible hardware and a great sound system. And while no laptop with a $2,599 price tag will ever be considered inexpensive, given what you receive, it’s a fair price.
Alienware M17x R4 (2012), Ivy Bridge and Kepler Refresh
1 February 2012
Excerpt: The term “laptop” can only be loosely applied to the nearly 9.39-pound Alienware M17x--you don’t exactly want to have the thing perched on your lap for any extended period of time. But you know what? Who cares. The M17x is a powerful and (mostly) portable gaming rig, and Dell can call it anything they want; awesome by any other name is still awesome.
Pros: Powerful performance, Great design and build quality, Beautiful display, Good included software
Conclusion: The sharp stealth fighter looks, the colourful keyboard, the great speakers and the awesome internals make the M17x R3 a brilliant entry by Alienware into the high end laptop gaming space. I would highly recommend it to any gamer because of the fantastic hardware and software of the M17x, even though the build quality is slightly lacking and it weighs a ton!
Conclusion: After using the Alienware M17x R3, I'm actually sorry I'll have to send it back. Usually with most of the notebooks I've reviewed there's some kind of fatal flaw, or something that makes it less than ideal for my purposes. But the M17x R3 is mostly bulletproof. It's bulky and heavy, yes, but it's also a gaming notebook running high-performance kit. The M17x R3's biggest problems aren't even necessarily issues with the notebook itself.
Summary: There's a reason we're giving the Alienware M17x a very, very rare five out of five stars. With its second-gen Intel quad-core processor, AMD's Radeon HD 6970M GPU, and Samsung SSD, this is by far the most powerful notebook we've ever tested. Not only does the M17x blow away every other notebook, gaming or otherwise, but it does so with panache. What other rig has multicolored backlighting and can wirelessly stream Blu-ray movies and games--in full HD--to your TV?
Excerpt: Alienware has been advertising its latest portable gaming rig as the “most powerful 17-inch laptop in the universe.” We’re not sure how to go about verifying the off-planet portion of that claim, but as far as Earthly laptops go, it’s hard to dispute. A fully tricked-out model like the one we had the opportunity to test comes equipped with Intel’s fastest mobile processor, a pair of NVIDIA’s quickest mobile graphics cards, and 8GB of the speediest memory around.
Pros: Ridiculously powerful, thanks to processor, graphics, and memory technology; appealing design, albeit a little geeky; plenty of perks, including AlienSense facial recognition and the ability to switch between integrated and discrete graphics
Cons: Slurps up power like a storm grate swallowing water; at $5, 600 fully loaded, it costs as much as a good used car
Summary: Gamers with deep pockets will love the Alienware Area-51 m17x. It’s the fastest gaming rig on the market, and competitors won’t likely surpass it anytime soon. It’s super sexy, and its customization features will make you the envy of fellow gamers at LAN parties. However, for $5,598, it shouldn’t crash under the stress of a game, even if it may be Vista’s fault.
Pros: Top-notch gaming performance, Customizable backlighting, Large beautiful display, Terabyte of storage, HDTV tuner,
Cons: PhysX support not yet available, Mediocre Wi-Fi range, Very short battery life,