The Good Subtle improvements to Alienware's dorm-room-chic design; amazingly fast and powerful; highly configurable.
The Bad Good configs can get very expensive; no 16:9 display; garish lights don't scream "high end."
The Bottom Line Alienware's new version of the M17x makes some welcome design tweaks and offers the best laptop gaming hardware you can get. Just be warned: it ain't cheap.
With a brand-new look and some of the highest-end tech available in a laptop, we're semi-surprised that Alienware has kept the M17x name for its newest 17-inch laptop (even if it loses the X-Files-esque "Area-51" moniker). While the system starts at a reasonable $1,799, you'll need to configure something closer to our $4,849 review unit to really get the benefit of Alienware's years of experience making high-end gaming PCs.
We appreciate the evolved design of the new M17x, which does away with some of the dorm-like qualities of past Alienware systems, making for a (slightly) more sophisticated-looking package. The somewhat goofy custom lighting system remains, but the automotive-inspired front-end grille and edge-to-edge glass on the display offset that.
With an Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX9300, dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M GPUs, and 1TB of hard-drive space, this is about as powerful as laptops get without resorting to stuffing actual desktop parts in a chassis (as with the ). We often point to less expensive gaming laptops, such as the or the as offering a better bang for your buck, but if you want the very best, and are willing to pay for it, dropping several Gs on the new Alienware M17x will make you the coolest nerd on your block.