back to article Dell Alienware M18x 18.4in gaming notebook

Last year, Dell added to its Alienware laptop family and simultaneously expanded the definition of ultra-portables with the tiny-beefcake M11x. This year's new addition, the flagship M18x, now expands the other end of the spectrum. Dell Alienware M18x Big player: Dell's Alienware M18x Labelling this colossus a desktop …

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Alien

Applify this?

I'd love to see the Apple designers go with the specsheet (functioning hardware-wise, not lights etc) and see what they can build for that --- at what price and in how few kilos.

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No Apple fan, but at least they'd use glass to cover the screen

The review missed a nasty drawback on the M18x... the screen is covered by a cheesy plastic panel that reflects like a mirror and easy to scratch..

There's companies like Sager who offer pretty much the same thing. 17" and 18" screen really isn't that much of a difference.

I'd go for a 22" laptop though, one that's designed to still fit into the roll-aboard bag size airlines allow.

And isn't this review a bit late? The M18x is pretty old news...

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Anonymous Coward

If only ......

I am looking at getting a nice powerful laptop and the Alienware models have always appealed on spec. The main sticking point if the chassis design. Oh for something with the same spec but in a more professional looking chassis. The old Dell XPS laptops looked great, something like that or in aluminium without all the lights show and pointless angles for us people that like meaty machines but not if they look like cheap toys

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Bronze badge
Holmes

Alternative

Dell Precision - up to 2.5Ghz quad core and 32GB RAM

I'm not too sure what they are like on the gaming front

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Paris Hilton

Notebook?

18.4" notebook?

Wow!

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Anonymous Coward

Didn't they call this form factor

...a suitcase computer back in the 80s?

: )

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Trollface

More money than sense

I worked with a guy who had one of these monsters years ago.

It was drool-worthy, cost 4 grand, looked amazing.

Yet it whined like a hoover (you never mentioned the noise level) and within 3 years its GPU was so out of date, and RAM maxed out, and nothing upgradable, that the thing was more useful as a doorstop than a laptop.

You can get a top-level desktop that crushes this thing, and a fine laptop, and an ipad, combined, for half the cost of the top model of this thing. I just can't see the point.

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Underclocking on battery

It should be noted that the battery packs used in such gaming powerhouses are just not capable of sustaining a >200W draw, lest they 'do a Macbook' and explode all over the place.

Same thing happens with Dell's original gaming monster, the venerable M1730.

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Pint

WOW!

I am tempted to buy a hair dryer and rip out the heating coil then plastic weld the hair dryer to the air intake of the laptop and then tweak the bios for this kind of laptop.

Hmmmmmm

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WTF?

ACK

I'm sorry, but as a former XPS user, I have to say that thing is FUGLY.

What is the deal with the down rez in screens these days? My ancient M1710 had 1920x1200 and this thing only has 1920x1080!? What's the deal with that?

I'm glad that Dell kicked the audio up a notice with the Klipsch speakers, but judging from the underside pics, they also dropped the really nice subwoofer on the bottom that the XPS had. That's a real shame.

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config etc

So out of curiosity, is it possible to spec an XPS to similar levels?

Just wondering as once you strip the fancy glowing bits and whatnot off, what's the difference?

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DT
Megaphone

like with like marking?

Surely the price and battery limitations of this product are inherent to all laptops of this type?

Reviewing this and saying it's expensive and dependant on batteries... it's like reviewing a two seater sportscar and complaining about the lack of practicality for doing the school run.

Factoring this in is fair... if you're going to include a note on the lack of portability on all desktop machine reviews

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Anonymous Coward

That's one ugly looking PC

I wonder why manufacturers of gaming rigs go all out to put silly sharp angles, neon underlighting and other gaudy crap into their designs.

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Gold badge

Microwave car meets laptop

They're appealing to the Max Power generation.

There's people with cars who look like that.

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Silver badge
Alien

That is not a moon!!

Having said that, why does the styling remind me of the cylons in the early Battlestar Galactica series?

Cool specs, but what a monster. Must start weightlifting to handle that beast

Alien, because well,....

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FAIL

Hmm

Trust Dell to cock up the Alienware brand....

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Boffin

For that money...

... I could put together a 'suitcase' or lunchbox desktop machine, with about the same amount of horsepower, the same need to be plugged in for best performance, and the same amount of portability.

(I actually tried this a couple years ago, with a limited degree of sucess, to retrofit a reasonably powered mini-desktop system into one of the old 'luggable' computer chassis I bought off eBay. worked out reasonably well, until grounding issues with the chassis I selected nixed the whole thing.)

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Anonymous Coward

Awesome - I give it 89%

There is a subwoofer. And the lighting scheme can be made more professional. Agree with the digging in on the wrists though.

It is awesome ...and to be honest perfectly transportable to work and back. I drive.

I think the look and lines is perfectly professional. Ok there is an alienhead on the front...really who cares! You employeed for your work, not your choice of laptop.

Negatives:

1. 16GB is expensive through dell, and diy involves a little dismantling...all fairly easy though.

2. Height.

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Thumb Up

I love my mine.

I wanted a movable desktop replacement. I have that. I'm a strong young guy, so the 30lbs. weight doesn't bother me. It isn't something you carry around the house like an iPad; but I can take it to a client site, or on a trip if needed, and still play games in extreme mode. Also, it makes a great space heater during cold Canadian winters. (Though 240 w is a lot less than the 400w + peripherals desktop it replaced.)

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FAIL

100% F-ugly

Congratulations Dell on building the ugliest most expensive laptop ever!

You'd have to tripping your t*ts off to even consider buying this POS.

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Dell can't spell Alienware!!

The M18X Dell Alienware page that's linked to has a rather poor sense of spelling.

On the right hand side there's a box stating an award that the laptop has got - they have spelt Alienware as Alinewire!!!!!!

Maybe Dell should go back to school to learn what a spell-checker is?

How long before they fix it?

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Go

This really needs wheels...

Wouldn't it be handy if it had a handle and flip out wheels? As it stands I wouldn't want to carry it very far, but if it had wheels and a handle...

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FAIL

Very nice, but ultimately, pointless

The speed at which hardware advancement moves, will see this puppy out of date in a few years.

What wasn't mentioned was the upgrade options.

If your going to fork out £2k+ your going to want the basic components to have at least a 5 year lifespan, with the option to upgrade parts of it as and when required.

So, the only advantage over a far cheaper desktop solution, is 1. It looks cool & 2. It's more portable for LAN parties.

Then again, at £2k+ you could buy yourself an incredible small form factor desktop rig and have change left over to buy a cheap second hand motor to cart it to LAN parties.

Failing that, if you shop right, you could probably get a small form factor, small monitor and a backpack that you can pack it into - it'll be heavy, but not that much heavier than this bulky beast of a laptop.

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Coat

What about

a service like onlive, but set up privately, 5K should cover it.

The only market I can see for this is the travelling community who need portability and the small form factor but don't actually move very often.

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ouch me back!

At 3800 pounds, that's a bit steep there. I suppose I don't need the raid 0 SSD.

I think this form factor needs to be revisited. Maybe as an all-in-one like the iMacs but dock your keyboard and mouse and with a carry handle and a fold-out stand. Keep the built in battery but only as a UPS or something. Should reduce the weight. I'd love a 21 inch all-in-one gaming rig.

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Unhappy

I've got one of the M17x R1

and wha tthey don't tell you is that in order to get the dust out of the damn thing, you have to actually remove the keyboard - there's no proper way (air cans can only do so much) to get the dust out from the underside...

A couple of clips would make the damn thing so much easier to clean and thus last longer, rather than having to perform computer surgery every 6 months!

Never again. It was nice at the time, but I've given up on all Dell's drivers (I don't care about the shiny keyboard, so I've now just using generic nVidia drivers).

Back to desktops for me next time.

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Alternative gaming beast

I looked at the Dell/Alienware offerings 12 months ago when I replaced my gaming laptop and wasn't impressed with the value for money, especially having had a number of problems relating to the build quality of my Dell XPS M1710. I went with the ASUS G73Jh and it hasn't put a foot wrong. Any chance of a review of the G74 line?

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Boffin

Dedicated gamers?

Surely the hardcore guys use desktops?

The hardware is:

- cheaper, unit by unit

- more configurable (you can choose *all* the components you want)

- more cost effective (overclocking ranges tend to be wider; you might be able to do with a lower spec, but overclocked unit)

- more reliable (cooling is far more efficient)

- more modular; if one unit does fail, it can be replaced and doesn't involve a total replacement of the entire unit

- more updateable; adding a new CPU or GPUs doesn't involve a total replacement of the entire unit

One of these just seems...a bit poser-ish

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Go

If it's portability you need just buy a desktop of equivalent spec instead and with the money saved you can hire a sedan chair + crew to transport you and your machine wherever you need to be.

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