Alienware m14x (early 2012) review: Alienware m14x (early 2012)

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
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The Good Next generation CPU and graphics. Even the base model has 1600x900. Usual Alienware fare: backlit keyboard, chunky design, decent port flexibility and upgrade options.

The Bad Deeply set glossy screen is slightly washed out. SIM slot is not active. Design is starting to look old.

The Bottom Line The m14x is now the smallest Alienware laptop you can get. It's a mid-range gaming device both in spec and performance, although at the price involved it will come up against stiff competition with Asus' G55VW.

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And, so, the great wheel of time turns. At least, a smidgen in this case.

If you've seen Alienware's last generation m14x, you won't be surprised by this new generation: it's the same thing, with different insides. Same goes for the bigger m17x and m18x models. The only real thing of note is that our favourite pint-sized gaming machine, the m11x, is now an ex-parrot. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible.


  • USB 3.0: 2
  • USB 2.0: 1
  • Optical: Blu-ray/DVD±RW
  • Video: VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Ethernet: gigabit
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Audio: 5.1, Sound Blaster Recon3Di

The unchanging aesthetic could be an issue for Alienware; in the face of increasingly thin and sharp-looking laptops, the gaming company has pretty much kept its look the same — thus, making the company appear stationary for years now.

There are limitations that other vendors don't face, of course — a full powered gaming machine usually requires a certain chunkiness, for one. As a brand that's meant to be pushing the envelope, on the laptop side, Alienware seems to have been content with replacing the letter inside, yet, leaving the envelope where it is.

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Where to Buy

Alienware m14x (early 2012)

Part Number: CNETAlienware m14x (early 2012)

Typical Price: $2,143.30

See manufacturer website for availability.