Pros Extreme Proccessor, 4GB Memory, Blu-Ray, up to 1TB HDD space, dual graphics cards
Cons Big and Bulky, $5500 for top end system, No Windows XP option
Summary I bought this computer as a complete desktop replacement, I do high end gaming and digital artwork so I needed something that could power through those processor and memory hungry programs.
Of course most people know that Alienware's customer service is terrible but I ordered online and never had to deal with them.
X9000 2.8 Ghz Extreme Processor
Dual 512MB GO 8800M GTX video cards in SLI
Internal TV Tuner W/Remote
Single 7,200rpm 320GB HDD
320BG 7,200rpm "smart Bay" HHD
1GB of "Turbo Memory"
While no laptop can, at least not yet, beat a top end desktop this one comes very close. I use it for 12-14 hours every day and have not seen so much as a flicker or jump in any program. It is cooler and quieter than it's m7700 cousin and with the vents on the back instead of the bottom stays much cooler whn used on a lap.
It is a big laptop to sat the least, I had to order a new carrying bag just for it because it is thicker and of course larger than most other laptops out there. It is quieter and cooler than it's closest competitor the Sager 9262 which I also own but no longer use. The Sager was $450 less than the AW but has a slower processor and no Blu-ray drives. Aslo no Smart bay option.
Styling: There is no competition, the sleek black case and customizable lighting ont he alienware put it above any other laptop I have seen or used. If you want to make a statement it is definitely a top pick. Incidentally I use this laptop in my office as well, you can disable the lighting and it looks like a sleek business notebook instead of a top end gaming machine. AW got the new styling just right for both office laptops and Gamers.
Bottom Line, If you have $5500 and are looking for the best overall desktop replacement notebook out there right now you will not be disappointed witht he Alienware area 51m 17x.
Pros online ordering was great,the whole process is cool and fun
Cons Don't make any changes, or you will be in Alienware limbo
Summary ordered on Dec 18 recieved order confirmation on the 19th. did some more looking and decided I would make two changes to my dream laptop better GPU and bigger HD. I called the order dept and spoke to Steve asked for his opion on my changes and if he had any other recomendations (upsale) he said it cost more so it should be better. ok so he really didnt know but it was my system and I was happy, so I asked Steve to verify that none of the new parts were on back order. He did and told me he had updated the order. I asked for a new invoice reflecting the changes he said I would get an e-mail. at this point I was very happy with my choices and Alienware. So I get the email the next day asking me to rate how my changes were handeled at this point I'am very happy its been three working days from my original order and Alianware has been on top of everything. this is great. 2 days later no email no invoice no updates. So I email the order change dept agian and ask for system build sheet and what I'am being charged. This is what Iget back from Armondo C "Please note that, you will receive a Sales Invoice in a black binder inside the system's box, with the details of the components, prices and promotions of your order.
On the other hand, I am glad to inform you that your order is currently in Phase 5 (Assembly). Once an order enters Assembly, it usually takes around 5-7 business days for it to be finished and ready to be shipped." Ok so back on the phone I speak to Mike he tells me he sees the new GPU but not the HD he says he,ll handel it he assures me it wont be a problem. I say ok I will call tomarro to ck on it . and I get this email from Maria L "According to your account information, your order PO+++++ was shipped today, December 30.
Unfortunately, we have been informed by our Order Change Department that the changes you requested were rejected, and they were not able to process them due to the advanced stage in which the order was." I made the change on the 2nd working day of my order bieng placed they got the GPU but not the HD ? I call the change dept he says its up to customer service now. sorry for the trouble you'll need to pull the HD out and send it back then will send you another one . as buisnes ownwer I have never considered "REJECTING" my customers plans to spend more money with me . Sorry for length and I know this is more about the company then the laptop but when your spending over 3k you need the whole package unless there is a major shift in there customer service this will be a 1 time purchase if I even accept the package. I so wanted to be amazed by this product. when you pay a premium for a brand like Alienware its for the service and if they dont provide that there is no point. You can buy the same components without the name for much less .
Pros Fast, sturdy build, cool extras (lighting effects, camera, etc), a variety of ports, lots of customizable options (specifically power specifications), lots of build options, looks awesome
Cons VERY heavy and thick for a laptop, huge AC/DC converter
Summary First off, I'm a little disappointed in the reviews by people who are die fans of other laptop companies. These are "User" reviews, i.e., reviews by people who actually own the laptop! That said, I am immensely impressed with my new M17x. It was delivered a full two weeks ahead of schedule and my question to Dell about my order was responded to the very next day after I asked it, so my experience with Dell customer service has been very good so far.
The computer came well-packed with a full instruction book detailing all the features of the laptop. I had it up and running in no time. This computer is a replacement for my old Inspiron 9300, which was, at the time, the best laptop you could buy. But my M17x, without even getting all the top-of-the-line equipment, will certainly last me twice as long. The processor (an Intel Quad core 2.0 GHz) is 8 times faster, the graphics processor (just the single NVIDIA GeForce 9400M) is 4 times faster, the hard drive (500 GB) holds over 6 times as much data, and the memory (6 GB) is 6 times faster. There is no reason for me to assume that this computer won't keep up admirably with technology for another 10 years at least, and could last me for well upwards of 15 years.
The configuration I bought came out at around $3000 after tax and shipping costs. The full, no holds bared build costs upwards of $5000. This includes Intel's Extreme processor, the SLI duo video cards, and some other very pricey upgrades. Those, I've decided, are like putting cookies on a cake. Nice, but not so necessary. I am very satisfied with my configuration, and these claims of the M17x being overpriced are just pointing out the unrealistic. Few will really need all the extra overkill (this overkill which, buy the way, really does make the M17x one of the most powerful machines, in an efficient chassis, you can buy, if you have the bank)
The gaming experience, even without the optional SLI duo graphics card configuration, is fantastic. The computer can run Assassin's Creed with the most punishing video settings smoothly and beautifully. While there are some more advanced games out there, these settings on Assassin's Creed can be pretty taxing, and I'm impressed with the computer's ability to take it.
When not gaming, the computer is very quiet. The complaints I've read about excessive fan noise really only applies to the computer while gaming, which can get pretty loud. But that really just means that there is very little danger of any loss of performance due to overheating. The computer kept running efficiently through several hours of playing and only the back of the computer, where the "exhaust" vents are located, got warm. The bottom stayed impressively cool. This, like other things people don't consider, is something you're paying that extra amount for. Good design.
The variety of ports on the sides is impressive. My favorite is the HDMI port, which I've connected to a TV with no trouble at all. The computer recognized the extra display instantly and allowed me to choose if it is an extension of the desktop or if it should take the place of the laptop's screen (which looks fantastic anyway).
The Alienware Command Center, which features all of the Alienware-exclusive extras, is just fun. You can adjust the lighting effects (which backlights the keyboard, the speakers, etc) to hundreds of customizable configurations, program the webcam to automatically log you in by recognizing you face (which works very well), adjust power settings in tens of ways, and customize how the touchpad responds. You would expect some of these features to be gimicky, like I did, but I love all of them.
As far as portability is concerned, it isn't. This is really a desktop with the option of transporting it, which is exactly what I need, so the weight and size issue really doesn't concern me. Nor should it be an issue for buyers. If you need a more portable laptop, don't buy this one! It's not meant to travel the world. Plain and simple. Part of the weight and size come from the computer's sturdiness. The screen almost does not jiggle when the desk is shook and the whole computer seems as if it could take an artillery round, given the nice metal shell.
As a side note, I think that Alienware has made several improvements to the design since the M17x came out. The ports are better placed and the types make more sense and the keyboard doesn't do that bendy thing that early reviews remarked upon.
So there it is. There are more things that I would like to comment on but I'm out of space. Basically, the whole computer just makes sense for what I want/need. The ports make sense, it has more power than I might ever need, and It is just too cool to look at. I hope that people will read this review by someone who actually owns the M17x and decide that there is more to the machine than other shallow reviews would suggest. It is an awesome piece of technology and I'm happy to have it.
Pros Nice design
Cons Overheats and shuts down constantly, I have to use cooling fans to keep it on.
Bad customer service from Alienware
Summary My Alienware laptop start giving problems right away. It just shut down within 5min on, could do anything, send it back to Alienwara, and after 2 months got it back just to find out the problem was still there, have to send it back again, took them 4 months to finally tell me they did not know what was the problem. At the end they send me a new one, with the same configuration. The whole process took 11 months. So when I got my laptop it was aone year old technology, of course I did not get any compensation from Alienware. By the time I got it after they did the whole assembling process, the same configuration was a lot cheaper at the moment. Alienware did not made any disccount and gave me the same price for a laptop that I bought one year before. It was completely unfair.
The new model did not failed as before but after one month started to shut down for overheat from the processor, so I have always to carry my cooling fans with me. Not really portable anymore.
Pros Fast but not quite there check out my cons.
Cons Although they claim to have the fastest, Alienware fails to let its customers know that they sometimes resale from a company called CLEVO. Check em out they have the fastest laptops and Sager Notebooks is there number 1 reseller.
Summary Clevo is the winner here, although few people can actually afford to pay for such high end laptops. They are sweet if you can afford it though. My favorite for sure and will never go back to any other company.