Alienware M11x

Spec review :

  • Processor : Overclockable Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3GHz (3MB Cache) 
  • Memory : 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 800MHz
  • Hard drive : 500GB SATAII 7,200RPM
  • Graphics card : 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 335M, switchable to Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics
  • Screen : 11.6 inches (1366x768 native resolution)
  • Operating system : Genuine Windows 7 Ultimate, 64bit, English
  • DirectX 10 supported (slow)
  • Dimensions (HWD) : 1.3x11.3x9.2 inches
  • 8-Cell Li-ion 64WH battery 

  • 65 Watt 3 Prong AC Adapter with 3.28 ft Power Cord
  • 1 Year Basic Plan
  • Plus internal system.
Prices : $1,609.00
Starting prices : $799.00
Starting weight : 4.39 pounds
Customizable : yes.
For more informations about components, customizations and prices, visit Alienware's official website here.
These components are recommended by Alienware, exception for the processor. External accesories (keyboard, mouse, gaming controller, TV tunner, headphones, bluetooth, etc) are not inculded.

Again, Alienware launched another gaming laptop. Yet unexpected, this Alienware's new product is a mid-end gaming laptop, and has nothing so special... except for its tiny size! M11x is the only 11-inch gaming laptop, or just call it an ultraportable, in the world! And the smallest one, of course. M11x is also fairly light for a gaming laptop. But don't jump to conclusion badly due to its small size, because this ultraportable-sized gaming laptop is capable of playing Fallout 3, CoD : Modern Warfare 2,  Left4Dead 2, Command & Conquer 3, Red Alert 3 in high-full setting flawlessly! But don't expect the same for Crysis, as it can be played quiet smoothly only in medium setting.
M11x : tiny, light and good...
Actually, there's no processor recommendation from Alienware. The default processor is Intel Pentium SU4100 1.3GHz (2MB Cache), but I put Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3GHz (3MB Cache) because SU7300 has  VT (Virtualization Technology) and bigger cache, with an extra cost of $100. Aside from VT and bigger L2 cache, there's no significant difference between those two processors, except that Core2Duo is much better for gaming than Pentium.
GeForce GT 335M is advanced with PhysX technology to bring more realistic game environments and virtual worlds playing at high resolutiuons, along with CUDA to experience new multimedia capabilities. Oh, and the GeForce GT 335M can be switched to integrated graphics  Intel GMA 4500MHD to conserve power. With GeForce GT 335M, M11x  can last for about 3 hours, and with integrated graphics it can last for 6 hours or so. And if you use SU4100  processor with integrated graphics, the longest I've ever heard for a gaming laptop, it can last for 8 hours and 39 minutes! Wow... long live, M11x!
Alienware recommends to have an 8GB memory. It enables playing latest video games at high speed and  keeping great performance while doing multiple tasks. But, isn't 8GB memory too big for an 11-inch laptop, with mid processor and graphics card? 
"More RAM doesn't always mean better performance (don't believe it? Read here). Usually, 8GB memory is for any high-end laptop and PC with intense specification and insane price for running multiple media applications. And also, recommended memory requirement for current video games (Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 3, Crysis, Mass Effect 2,  BF : Bad Company 2, etc) is far less than 8GB, approximately 2GB. I will get the 4GB instead of 8GB for the reason above and to save my precious $300."
- Axa's personal opinion.
For the hard drive, 500GB is big enough to store about 100,000 songs and HD games. External hard drive is unnecessary, unless if you want to store tons of tons of applications. With 7,200rpm it also provides speedy  multimedia and gaming performances, but not as fast as SSD.
Alright, enough for the good. The badness is waiting. Move it!
First, M11x is a gaming laptop, but it doesn't have an internal optical drive. So, how do we instal games  and other applications from CD or DVDs? Do we have to use external optical drive? Yes. Wherever you go with your M11x, you've to bring an external optical drive, too. Dell offers 4 kind of external optical drives, start from $14 to $80. Actually, no internal optical drive is a normal case for ultraportable-sized laptops. But, how annoying...
M11x is very limited to upgrade, unlike his big brothers which can be upgraded in some extents. So, if you were to purchase M11x, make sure you have configured its components at best for you, or you'll suffer for the rest of the Earth's life (2012? I don't think so).
M11x does support directX 10, but it's agonizingly slow in most cases. Returning to directX 9 is the best option, I suppose.
Alienware's recommendation is too expensive. It will be much cheaper if we downgrade it a bit. Say, get the 4GB memory (-$300), Windows7 Home Premium (-$150) and no power adapter (-$60) will lower the price to $1,099. Not bad to save $510. A little sacrifice, a worthy return.
Okay, these are the cons I know from many sources. If you have any additional pros and/or cons, please write in comment.

References :

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