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.
Conclusion: Things we hope to see in future iterations of Alienware laptops include a sheet of rigid, non-glossy glass in front of the LCD screen; a Blu-ray drive that comes standard even in the base model; and quieter exhaust fans.
Pros: Excellent performance for the price, Big, bright 1080p screen, Customizable lighting effects, HDMI-in port
Cons: Thick and heavy, Reflective screen, Loud exhaust fans blast hot air when gaming
Excerpt: Alienware is all but synonymous with aggressive styling, audacious lighting, and burly machines belching out heat and frame rates. The latest update to the M17x line is no exception; packed into the familiar chassis are a quad-core Intel Ivy Bridge processor, 8GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 680M GPU,...
Pros: Excellent performance, Great-sounding audio, Plethora of ports
Cons: Loud, and heavy, Expensive, Considerable heat
Conclusion: The Alienware M17x R4 adds the latest Intel Core processor and Nvidia Graphics to one of the best gaming laptop chassis in the business. It's ostentatious, audacious, over the top, and strangely enough, more affordable than rivals.
Pros: Large, bright screen. HDMI-in is rare on a laptop. Blu-ray drive. Lots of video outputs. Four USB 3.0 ports. Ivy Bridge processor. 3D performance that rivals dual-card systems. Full-size keyboard with numeric keypad. Solid build quality. Attention-grabbing lighting effects. 1080p screen.
Cons: Shiny screen. Heavy. Less than three hours of battery life.
Conclusion: You also get excellent sound quality, and unparalleled control over the lighting on the keyboard and other parts of the notebook. If you can live with some fan noise and don’t plan to stray too far from a power source, this machine belongs on your short list.
Pros: Solid performance, Striking HD display, Edgy design
Cons: Expensive, Short battery life, Fans can get loud
Summary: And that’s a wrap on the Alienware M17x R4 gaming laptop. You will have a lot of fun using it, as we did. It may not be perfection, but it’s very close to it. So give it a try one of these days.
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.
Excerpt: It's the pretty rare notebook that makes us giddy with excitement, but the Alienware M17x does just that. When we last reviewed this gaming rig, we praised its power, keyboard, and display, among other things, but lamented its high price and poor battery life.
Summary: Our configuration of the revamped Alienware M17x is expensive, but it's not bad value for money, considering the awesome components that lurk within. The Intel Core i7 CPU seems to really make a difference in terms of performance, and everything's wrapped up in a very stylish chassis
Pros: Huge array of customisation options; stylish chassis; incredible performance.
Cons: USB ports are too close together; unresponsive trackpad.