Alienware M17x

Alienware M17x


It is hard not to stop breathing when one gets a first look at Alienware M17x. But our reviewer did his best to stop hugging the machine for long enough to write up a review of it for our readers. Click on and enjoy!

At the top of the gaming tech

Alienware have a history of delivering high performance gaming rigs like no other. Founded in 1996, it has held the record for fastest pre-built branded computer, four times. During this time it has been the pedigree by which all others have been measured, and for good reason. Alienware's rigs are fast - super fast. We got our hands on the M17x, the speediest laptop in the Alienware range at the moment.


Alienware M17x
Receiving the laptop, we were instantly worried that we had actually been sent the wrong device, for the box it came in was bigger than most large PC cases. Opening up the box we were greeted by a styroflex frame holding a much smaller box in place. Clearly the safety of the device during postage was of the utmost concern, which is not so surprising when one considers the rather steep price.

Lifting the laptop out, covered in its own dustcase, I was immediately assaulted by it's weight: one could easily tone their entire upper body by the daily process of picking it up and putting it down again. It is such a heavy laptop, that my underdeveloped gamer wrists can't pick it up one handed, but that is such a small price to pay for such a package.

Turning it on

Removing the dustcase and looking over it, you can straight away tell that this is not going to be your regular everyday laptop. It has a solid, sleek, professional look about it that just screams 'turn me on'... and we did just that. Starting her up, you are immediately entered into a world of super-fast response times and incredible high fidelity graphics. A custom welcome screen with an Alien head greets you before the wonderfully average operating system from Microsoft begins its boot sequence.

The load times of the M17x are incredible. From hitting the power button it only took us a few moments to be greeted with the Alienware custom login screen. The special facial recognition system learned my face after only a few times and the high definition webcam would log me in before the welcome screen had even finished loading. Testing some of the latest games, the speed kept up throughout every test we could throw her way, Medal of Honour purred like a dream, and even Arma 2 was crushed by this stark behemoth.

If you are planning on laying out the money for such a glorious piece of technology, surely how the game runs isn't your only concern, and rightly so - powered by a dual CCFL and WLED backlighting, the display on the M17x is nothing short of fantastic. While gamers might moan about its 8ms response time, really any response lower than 9.7 eliminates ghosting. All on an amazing 17 inches of pure delight.

Alienware M17x
While it's size might be considered 'ungainly' by some, it is extremely well balanced, and reminiscent of the older style laptops you used to see around... but those laptops would sound like a sturdy V6 powering up and down repeatedly... and in comparison to that, M17x is like a whisper. Even though it has a wave form exhaust system underneath and vents that come out in every direction, it still maintains its shy quietness... In fact, it's only after prolonged gaming sessions that it seems to make any kind of sound at all.


M17x has many options for personalization, such as lighting effects that allow you to change the lighting of distinct parts of the laptop's massive full-length keyboard, touchpad border, and more. Additionally, all M17x's are custom built, allowing you to change options to suit your own gaming needs. While the base model is already a monster of epic proportions, the customisation choices allow you to put the crown on the whole experience. Even if you prefer Radeon over GeForce, Alienware gives you the ability to choose. And those who intend to haul this beast along on their gaming trips will certainly appreciate the possibility to choose an SSD drive instead of the more easily breakable HDD.


But it's what is under the hood that stands out. The model we reviewed had dual graphics cards capable of speeds well over a TERAFLOP (One Trillion floating point calculations a second), and 3DMark tests amongst the highest I've seen even out of desktop PC's.

Alienware M17x
Controlling all this power is a quad core i7 processor, able to be overclocked up to 3.2Ghz, and holding an 8mb cache... bear with me if this is all too technical for you, because all you need to know is that this beast is fast. Not holding any stops 8GB of RAM sits around hard drives capable of holding over 1TB of information. Under the hood, this machine is nothing shy of a nuclear bomb.

For those technically minded, overclocking options are easy to work with, and just like a deluxe sports car, upgrades have to be certified to work well with the Alienware technology. Upgrading drivers that haven't been passed can cause the system to slow down, so the certification system is quite a nice touch.

Pure gaming perfection!

Originally, I didn't want to say that I liked this laptop. I wanted to say it was too big, too bright, too pricey... but it won me over. Every single piece of technology has been lovingly placed. So lovingly, in fact, that people have been known to completely break their Alienware laptops by opening them incorrectly. It is speedy, slick, and a huge load of fun. Even its perfectly balanced weight allows it to make you fitter than Wii Fit ever will.