Alienware M14x Review: The Best or Worst Portable Gaming Laptop?

Discussion in 'Notebook News and Reviews' started by TechnologyGuide staff, Nov 9, 2011.

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  1. TechnologyGuide staff

    TechnologyGuide staff Notebook Enthusiast NBR Reviewer

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  2. sulliboys

    sulliboys Notebook Enthusiast

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    This thing is awesome. Having had one for over 5 months I can say I am impressed. Sure, I was kicking myself for a time about not getting the asus g53, but looking back I'm sure I made the right choice. This thing isn't tiny, but its not as large as the g53's massive 2 inches thick. It is also highly portable, and handles gaming pretty good consildering its a notebook. I'm impressed with it, you should be too.
     
  3. m1_1x

    m1_1x Notebook Evangelist

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    hey dont make fun of the g53 :(
     
  4. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator NBR Reviewer

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    The M14x isn't a bad laptop. As I said in the review, Alienware is telling the truth when they say it's the most powerful 14-inch laptop ... but that only goes so far when there are other notebooks that have essentially the same travel weight but have better in-game performance.

    I don't have sales figures for the M14x compared to other 15-inch and 17-inch gaming notebooks but I suspect the market isn't that impressive for a thick and heavy 14-inch gaming notebook that costs as much as 15-inch and 17-inch gaming notebooks that have better performance.
     
  5. kimjo42

    kimjo42 Notebook Consultant

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    The ONLY gripe I have with the M14x is the screen glare. I also wish there was a dedicated car adapter around.

    Weight is fine. Yes, it's heavy for a 14", but we are talking about what, 1 lbs.? Come on that's nothing.
    The heat? Pff. Mine has yet to reach upper 70s. I prop up the back with a book and it's fine.
    The fan noise? Also very easy to cope with, using decent earphones. Sure, you will annoy people at the library, but why would you go fragging in a library?

    For those that argue that no laptop is good for gaming, you are wrong. Yes, a desktop is more powerful and cheaper. But you can't really move your desktop in the living room so that your wife isn't bothered by the noise or the bad language when your gaming skills suck one night. You can't take your desktop to the coffee shop to finish a spreadsheet and then play some Civ V on the go.

    Everyone has different needs, and a laptop that can handle more demanding games than Angry Birds while at the same time provide decent mobility is a must for many people.
    I agree that if you already have a desktop dedicated to gaming, you don't really need a gaming laptop. But if you can't afford two machines, which would cost over 2k, the M14x can meet all your gaming and laptop work needs, easily.

    Most reviews I've read before buying failed to see the point of the M14x. A jack-of-all-trades that sacrifices battery life for power. Plugged in, it's magical! It's not perfect, but unless you get a lemon, it's very close.

    Except for the screen glare.
     
  6. Free_Day

    Free_Day Newbie

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    I have had this device for a couple of months and can say this review is almost completely accurate, but for me this device has been exactly what I needed. Though the device is not inherently portable, it has been far easy to travel with than my previous ROG Asus Notebook and the Aesthetics/Build Quality on this device continue to make this a worthy purchase.

    Also after fitting a 120GB SSD as the primary and replacing the Optical Drive with the 500GB Hard Drive this device has been more than I could have asked for.

    Note: When buying this device I called a Dell Rep and managed to get my price reduced almost $350AU so I would recommend following this path easing that rather large price tag.
     
  7. IKAS V

    IKAS V Notebook Prophet

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    It's a pretty good laptop but the the few flaws are pretty bad mainly the glossy screen.Not really that much smaller than the M15x.
    I miss the old M15x.
     
  8. Rami

    Rami Notebook Consultant

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    Glossy screens have got to go. I'm glad other manufacturers of gaming notebook have started to get a clue, and at the least offering an option.
     
  9. kdskamal

    kdskamal Notebook Guru

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    Jerry, can you comment on durability of its hinges? There were some people who were complaining about the weak hinges in M14x. The problem is not as as bad as M11x first gen, but I would still like to hear your comments on it.
     
  10. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator NBR Reviewer

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    As far as hinges go, I can say that the hinges continued to hold up just fine during our time with this review unit. That said, the hinges on my personal M11x R1 held up fine for a little over one year and then failed/snapped.

    Let's just say I'd feel more confident about the screen hinges on the M14x if Alienware used a different hinge design. The screen lid is pretty big and heavy compared to the centralized location of the hinge(s).

    I suspect the hinges would be stronger if Alienware put two separate hinge structures closer to the sides of M14x (one on each side). When you have a centralized hinge structure the weight isn't as spread out and the hinge is even more vulnerable to torque (twisting of the screen).

    If you are using the M14x as a desktop replacement then it's a non issue ... but if you regularly travel with the M14x (constantly closing and opening the lid and exposing the notebook to possible drops while you carry it around) then the hinge structure "might" be a concern.

    Again, I cannot in good conscience tell you that there is a problem with the hinges on the M14x. They worked exactly as they should during our time with the notebook. I just think there are alternative ways to design screen hinges that offer better support and long-term durability.
     
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