The Bottom Line
- Very Fast Performance
- Excellent Display
- Very Large And Heavy For 15-inch Laptop
- Expensive When Upgraded From Base Configuration
- Below Average Battery Life
- Intel Core i7-720QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 3GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 250GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WSXGA+ (1600x900) WLED Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M Dedicated Graphics With 512MB
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, eSATA, FireWire, DisplayPort, VGA, ExpressCard/34, 8-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.9" x 12.2" x 1.9" @ 9 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Guide Review - Alienware M15x 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop PC
Nov 18 2009 - Alienware's M15x redesign takes the styling of the larger M17x and scales it down to a laptop with a smaller 15.6-inch screen. It retains the same angular edges and corners that give it a sleek futuristic look and the magnesium alloy chassis for a sturdy feel. While the exterior shell is available in a black, red or silver color, the interior of the laptop is all black with a choice of various color lighting for the keyboard, vents and alien logo.
In terms of performance, the M15x receive a very significant performance boost thanks to the new Intel Core i7 mobile processors. The base model uses the i7-720QM model with a slower clock speed but with the four processor cores and the automatic turbo mode when not all cores are in use. This combined with the 3GB of DDR3 memory provide this system with outstanding performance for all applications including gaming and desktop video that Core 2 based systems just can't match.
Since the system is geared towards gaming, the graphics are crucial to the system. The stock NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M does a very good job with playing all of the modern PC games up to the panels 1600x900 panel resolution but at moderate details. This is because it only comes with 512MB of memory that restricts filter performance and higher resolutions. The 15.6-inch LCD panel has outstanding levels of color and brightness making gaming great.
Alienware's M15x comes with a 250GB hard drive that is half the size of what most laptops in the $1500 base price range include. It does spin at a 7200rpm rate over the more tradition 5400 to make up some for the capacity. A dual layer DVD burner is available for playing and recording of CDs and DVDs with an optional Blu-ray upgrade.
With all the performance features and gaming emphasis, there is not much to expect in terms of battery life with the M15x. DVD playback of one and a half hours doesn't even provide enough running time to get through a most movies. Standard non-gaming usage will likely push this upwards of two hours and those requiring more running time can purchase a larger battery option.
Speaking of options, Alienware provides a large number of options for customization. This includes external options such as the color of the laptop and interior lighting to internal features such as the processor, memory, storage, graphics and display. Many of these are upgrades over the base components that will add performance or features but can quickly add to the cost of the system.
The big problem though with the M15x though is its size. At almost 2-inches thick it is hardly thin like many other traditional 15-inch laptops. And it is far from a lightweight system with a 9 pound weight without the large AC power adapter. These probably won't matter too much to some gamers but it will reduce the systems overall portability.