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back to article Dell refreshes Alienware laptops

Dell has boosted its Alienware line-up with some fresh gaming-centric laptops, the M11x, M14x and M18x. The Alienware M11x, which we covered last year, has been refreshed with Sandy Bridge processors and comes with 2nd-gen Core i5 or i7 CPUs, up to 16GB DDR3 RAM and either a 750GB HD or 256GB SSD. There's also the bonus of USB 3 …

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LAPtops

Rugby players' laps? What about the rest of us?

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Silver badge

No longer called laptops.

Manufacturers call them notebook computers these days, mostly due to modern processors and roasted-testicle issues.

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Got mine

Last year and still loving it. Althought the AlienFx software can be a bit flakey.

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Anonymous Coward

What you need to do is

Do a search for OSD_Main which is the On-Screen Display executable, then create a convenient shortcut for it.

What happens here is that at boot the Alienware power manager service sometimes (pretty rare) fails to start within some timer period (god knows what) and that service seems to be the one that spawns the OSD_Main executable. Double clicking the OSD_Main shortcut brings everything back to life.

If on the other hand you mean the keyboard lighting and a certain internet spaceships game then that's just the game developers being utterly incompetent ;) Hell even I can understand the SDK :D

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WTF?

Overpriced?

Comparing the M11x to an Thinkpad X220 I can't help but feel Dell haven't quite got their pricing right

Looking at 'top option' specs (Sandybridge i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, 2x2 Wifi, etc) - for £600 *less* the ThinkPad can match the best the M11x has to offer plus give you a faster CPU or an IPS monitor plus its a fair bit lighter and smaller (despite having a larger screen size)

Sure, the M11x has a meaty video card and therefore gaming potential which the ThinkPad does not, but £600 for gaming and some flashy LED's a bit of an excessive premium.

If only it was £200-300 over a similarly specced business ultra-portable and they could probably rake it in..

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Of course

AlienWare laptops are overpriced quite a bit, the DeskTops are about 100% overpriced! That's how they operate: charging huge amounts extra for funky looks and little else.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Of course

Actually when I got my M17x last year, there were surprisingly few alternatives that did exactly what I was after at the time (1920x1200 screen, i7, eSata, Firewire, 2HDD and displayport out) and as much as I hate Dell, if it had gone wrong I'd rather be shouting at them than Eurocom who were the main alternative as they wouldn't even accept overseas credit cards so I was going to have to wire the money to Canada and have no purchase protection whatsoever. If anything, I'd rather it was in a more conventional case so I didn't get such strange looks taking it into client meetings! Law of diminishing returns rather than paying for some flashing lights.

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Price

Yes you could get a cheaper laptop, but can you get one that can run games? Alienware are basically in their own niche these days as the competition seems to have dried up. If there was some competition maybe Dell would be forced to be more competitive, but as it stands, they're the only game in town.

My M11x from last year is still going strong, I finished Portal 2 on it the other day and regularly play Mirror's Edge, Mass Effect 2, Dead Rising 2, Arkham Asylum, etc on it. It's basically a portable Xbox 360 for me. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Yes and no

There's no doubt Alienware lappies are overpriced - and I speak as someone who has bought two - however the warranty is great (I got 4 years and 3 years next-day onsite on the 2 we have), the build quality is excellent and you don't deal with the normal Dell support people.

I have had a video card changed on one machine due to a dodgy fan so I know the people I used for support weren't reading a script - basically emailed the guy a screenshot of the GPU temps and he phoned back about 20 minutes later to arrange the techs visit.

The desktops are stupidly priced given its pretty much standard parts in a flashy case.

We have the M17xR1 and M17xR2 (both with dual video cards - xfire on R2 and SLI on R1) and frankly they are very portable desktop replacements, they're not laptops. Use one as a laptop (literally) and your legs will go numb from the knees down and burn from the knees up :) I generally have mine on a desk with a couple of external monitors attached and the lappie screen as well.

The M11 is a notebook sized machine and is REALLY nice if you can live with the resolution. Its superb for FPS gamers but other games get badly hurt by the vertical resolution.

You're never going to buy these machines unless you ARE a gamer anyway. Yes there is potential for CUDA etc but if your needs are that way then you're unlikely to be using a laptop.

The hardware is undoubtably overpriced but the laptops are built to last - 5mm metal (magnesium alloy IIRC, who knows?) casing all the way round, good layout inside.

I think that even with the cost I'd recommend the laptops to friends and not be worried that it'd go tits up. Desktops are stupidly expensive for whats there.

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I nearly bought an M11

I like the netbook form factor and initially naively was contemplating the M11 as a potential 'gaming' netbook.

Alas, many things about it made it less than desirable. Battery life, heat, glossy screen (unless you can get them matte now?).

Not knocking the M11 per se, I'm sure for some people its form factor would be ideal, but for me, as a small form factor netbook, battery endurance and a readable screen is of prime importance. I like being able to work untethered for more than 5-6 hours. So? Sacrifice the gaming (which in fairness performance, while satisfactory for the games I play, isn't stellar)

I'm sticking to a desktop based gaming solution - I did buy an aircraft carrier sized hi spec i7 gaming laptop for vacations but really they are portable desktop solutions.

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Thumb Up

you pay for respect ;)

Well i have an mx17 and i use it for work (!) mostly and sometimes for gaming. you have to see the faces of my customers when they see it, they all like it a lot and while i do get a bit labeled as a gamer, everybody shows admiration towards me and it.

i find that the hard edge that starts at 25% and 75% is a bit to hard when working a longer time. If you only use one hand, like in mass effect for instance it's fine, but they should have made that soft edge in the middle from the left to the right all the way. the LED screen you can order for your alienware is awesome, saturated colours and everything is fine except the vertical definition which is only 1080.

that being said, i'll definitely get alienware next time again(in two years is the next iteration for me), i'm happy to have the 3d thing and the ssd, those were really on my list.

And yeah mine is the one that looks like Sheldon's.

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Anonymous Coward

wrong about definition...

oops, thanks to the previous, i realized that i do indeed have 1200 vertical definition. weird thing is it doesn't feel like it, gush am I spoiled.

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Yeah, they look impressive...

What also impresses people I've found is fast boot (cheat by tweaking + SSD).

"You mean, your machine's already booted? WTF?"

Penguin ftw of course.

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FAIL

Laptops are going backwards

I had a fantastic Dell laptop about 6 or 7 years ago with a beautiful 1920x1200 screen. Now the best you can get from Dell is 1080p which I'm not interested in. If they bothered to make decent size screens on the Dell laptops I would buy one straight away. The problem with the 1080p screens is that I am both a gamer and a coder. On games I tend to be more of a fan of real time strategy than 1st/3rd person shooters. These games generally use up a chunk of the bottom of the screen for interface, so vertical resolution is key. And from a coder's perspective vertical screen resolution is everything since it means you can see more lines of code at the same time. At home I have a 2560x1600 monitor as my main monitor and a 1600x1200 on it's side next to it. Perfect for coding. Why are screen resolutions on laptops going down instead of up?

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Anonymous Coward

pencil pushers

That's why. They are just happy to have powerpoint fit on the screen and they're all mouse happy, most importantly the laptop is small and fits next to their wallet :P. I also looked a lot for my laptop, hard to find with high definition phuh.

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WTF?

Umm, you're not the market, then.

"Sure, the M11x has a meaty video card and therefore gaming potential which the ThinkPad does not, but £600 for gaming and some flashy LED's a bit of an excessive premium."

If you don't need a meaty video card, you don't need an Alienware box. Period. The whole point of them is that they've got meatier video cards than anyone else, so you can play the sorts of games you're normally stuck on a desktop for.

Meanwhile, if anyone has an 11" laptop with an even halfway-comparable graphics chip in it for substantially less than it, I'll accept that it's bad value for money (and probably go buy what you suggest). Although the fact that they're not a hell of a lot less in dollars to buy from the US site than they are in pounds from the UK one is a bit ridiculous.

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Anonymous Coward

The point he was trying to make...

...was that a similarly (even slightly better in some cases) spec'd laptop with one exception was 600 quid cheaper.

So what he is saying is that he would be paying 600 quid for the one difference (all other things being equal) which is the gfx card and that it is overpriced.

He would expect it to cost 200-300 more instead for the graphics card (which seems more reasonably I have to admit).

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Anonymous Coward

Sandy Bridge?

Oh, behave!

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Flame

OMG

Its hideous!

And someone has clearly spent a lot of time designing that. Why... WHY!!!

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Poor Design

Both the current Alienware and Dell range are ugly as sin.

I know, like people, it's supposed to be what's inside that counts but still, yeuch!

I've almost got to the point of shelling out for one and then just held back because of the styling.

I'll hang onto my current lappy a bit longer.

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Flame

i saw some alenware laptops at a Dell Exclusive Store

and had to make a concerted effort to stop myself from running out the store and puking. the only thing that helped me keep my composure was the dell streak 5" which with Android 2.2 (they offer to upgrade the official version in the service center as soon as you buy it) is quite a lovely bit of kit. the large size of the display actually has the "just right" feel to it.

coming back to the alienwarez, they're butt-ugly, overweight and way over priced for anyone except those who got rich daddies

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Happy

good laptop

i have Dell Inspiron N5010 Notebook

http://driverswin.com/dell-inspiron-n5010-drivers-vista/

vey good laptop

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