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My M14x Review [PICS + VIDEO]

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Alienware M14x Review

This will be my first ever review, suggestions and criticism are welcome; and if i missed anything let me know and I'll add it.

Brief Specs

Added Options are in italics
Configured price for me was $1419

CPU
Intel Core i7-2720QM

RAM
6GB DDR3 1600Mhz

Hard Drive
500GB 7,200rpm

Display
1600x900 HD+

Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce GT555M 1.5GB

Size
13.2 x 10 x 1.5 inches
(imagine it as 2 macbook pros stacked on top of each other, then cutting 1' off the side)

Weight
6.4 pounds

Case and Design

Everyone has different opinions to styling so I'll keep my opinion to a minimum and show you a video instead.



Overall the laptop is solid. Soft touch can be found on the lid and less so on the sides. The bottom is plastic. The bottom cover hidden under the main body is actually 1/4" thick, making the laptop look a bit thinner and the impression that it is floating. Also, the wrist rest is rubberized.


The soft touch on the lid is a bit harder than the G73's lid, if you have one to make the comparison...


A very hard to press battery status button can be found beside the bottom intake fan


The 150W power brick is the same size as the 135W one on the XPS 15 L502x.

AlienFX



There are 9 zones on the M14x

- 4 on the keyboard
- Alienware Logo
- Power Button
- Intake Grill
- Caps Lock & WiFi Indicators
- Trackpad

Keyboard & Trackpad


The keyboard takes a while to get used to. It has a longer key travel than your average chiclets. It does feel nice to type on though, and the keys are standard size, unlike the ones on the M11x. The keys are illuminated evenly. There are very low amounts of flex on the keyboard when typing normally. It flexes considerably more when a strong force is put on it.

The trackpad is outlined by a light and turns off when the trackpad is disabled. The trackpad is right under the space key and is the same width. Surface is very smooth and untextured. The buttons are unusually soft and a bit loose, but there's a tactile (but quiet) feedback when depressed.

Heat and Noise

Dell has yet to release the firmware update which fixes the fan speed. The fan is inaudible in idle, but ramps up at random occasions. The fan also spins up and gets very loud in gaming. I could hear 4 distinct fan speeds and there is nothing in between.

Heat is not a problem though. The bottom and the wrist rest gets just a bit warm when gaming, but not uncomfortable. GPU temperatures stay under 75C when playing BFBC2.

Screen

As you can see in the picture the screen is very reflective

I do not have testing equipment for the display so I'll have to give my thoughts. The 1600x900 screen is not terribly high in pixel count, but it's enough for a 14 inch screen. Viewing angles are pretty good, but the brightness is average. Color isn't all that great, especially when compared with the RGBLED screen of the XPS 15. I believe that my screen on my MBP looks better. This screen is definitely better than the average 1366x768 screens on most 15" laptops today though.

For the people worrying about the hinge, it's very solid.

Audio and Webcam

What can I say? It's your average stuff. Audio is actually not bad for a 14 incher. It's nothing compared to the XPS 15 though. If you are expecting great sound though, you will be disappointed.

Battery Life


It lasts around 4-5 hours with medium screen brightess. Not sure how long it lasts gaming though, because the performance is reduced when run on batteries so I keep it plugged in while gaming. I did have one day where it lasted 3 hours of word documents and 30 minutes of gaming.

Benchmarks

Not sure what to do yet. Suggestions greatly appreciated
Edited by Winrahr - 5/15/11 at 4:41pm
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post #2 of 13
I only see 1 pic?
    
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
omg sorry accidently posted it im still typing it

i was supposed to reserve the second post for benchmarks too...
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sorry for double post, but I finally finished the review
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post #5 of 13
I can attest to the complete annihilation of my M11X by Winrahr's M14X.
post #6 of 13
wow how long did this take you?
post #7 of 13
3DMark Vantage, 11, 06, Cinebench, AvP, BC2, Crysis Warhead, Crysis 2... Any games you think would push that little GPU to the limit. I know it's just behind mine but that CPU is a powerhouse that mistakes mine for dust.

Also, overclock the bajeezus out of the GPU too. I know mine got a good 100mhz out of the core, 500mhz out of the memory, and 200mhz out of the shader respectively and I see a few frames a second improvement.
     
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post #8 of 13
Nice i cant wait till i get mine
post #9 of 13
what is it like to use this outside?
have u tried to overclock it yet?
    
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfergolfer View Post
what is it like to use this outside?
have u tried to overclock it yet?
Haven't tried using it outside yet.
I have the GPU at 730 core and 985 mem.
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Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Samsung 2443BW-HAS 1920x1200 Razer Blackwidow Corsair HX850 
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Project Taro
(15 items)
 
HAFX ReVamped
(18 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 4690k Asus Z97I-Plus EVGA GTX 980 SC Kingston Hyperx Fury 2x4GB 1866Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial MX100 512GB Samsung Spinpoint M6T 2TB 2.5" Custom Loop  Windows 8.1 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell P2414H CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid-i Silverstone SX600-G Fractal Design Node 304 
MouseAudioAudio
Mionix Naos 7000 Audio Technica A900X Fiio E17 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 @ 4Ghz w/ 1.3v HT on Asus P6X58D-E 2x Zotac GTX 470 @ 850Mhz Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Corsair Force 3 120GB 2x WD Black 640 GB (RAID0) Seagate Barracuda 3TB See Sig 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Samsung 2443BW-HAS 1920x1200 Razer Blackwidow Corsair HX850 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Cooler Master HAF X Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Asus Xonar DX Klipsch Promedia 2.1 
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