CNET First Look
Alienware M11XDell's Alienware 11-inch ultraportable is a hybrid of high-end gaming specs crammed into a tiny chassis, like a gaming Netbook, but with considerably more power.
[ Background music ] >> Hi I'm Scott Stein Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com and this is the Alienware M11X. Now we talked about this at CES and it's been awhile since we've seen it but Alienware has made a very small laptop that's also capable of gaming and the idea is that it's sort of a gaming net book that can reach out to people for a little bit lower price, and they still want to take a gaming system with them on the go but not invest in one of those bulky gaming laptops. We'll admit we were a little skeptical in terms of how it would perform and whether or not a small screen would be a limitation. We're actually plesantly impressed; the system can pull off some interesting tricks. It's got a 11.6 inch screen and a Core II ULV processor inside. Now it's a U7300. We've seen that in the thin and light type portable machines. Its processing approach as a Core II Duo but it's certainly not a big you know quad core type of a rig. However, the graphics are impressive. It has a G Force GT 335M processor which has 1 gig of dedicated graphics which is great, I mean it's far and above, beyond what most people would see in their dedicated graphics, and really helps give this thing a great gaming boost. There is a hybrid searchable graphics mode in this which unfortunately doesn't happen on the fly like we've seen in some of the videos new optimist technology, but with the pressing of a dedicated button up here it take a few seconds and switches back with a little simple software switch, you have to log out and it's pretty easy to use. The size of the M11X is really compact. It does give up a few things to try to reach that size, there's no optical drive in this which is not surprising because it's a you know nearly net book sized form. So it's really ideal for using steam or downloadable games, or if you want to plug in an external drive. In addition the keyboard it has a really nice response, it has all of the crazy LED Alienware bells and whistles on the front grill but the keys are a little more compressed, the arrow keys over here are a little squished, the track pad is actually really nice and wide and the buttons felt good and the ports actually have a really nice feature there is a display port, HDMI and VGA, all three of them so certainly connecting to a monitor should be no problem. Unfortunately we would have there's a little bit of an empty space over here where we could have seen a few more ports be put in. We can't really complain too much because for a laptop this size it has more than expected. The question is who is this speaking to? Now I'm not a PC gamer per say but I've always admired people who were able to do gaming on their laptop, and I never really wanted to have a very large laptop to carry with me to do gaming so I appreciate the fact that something that's really backpack portable, you can achieve some really decent PC gaming on it. The screen size is decent enough for games when you're close to it, it's a little glossy, you got a little bit of glare was our one issue and the volume was actually much louder than we expected, it's pretty boomy. The price on this will vary, it starts at 799, of course you're gonna be getting a hard drive size that's more net book size for that cost. Our configuration at a 500 gig hard drive, 4 gigs of RAM, and around $1100. So it's not as expensive as high end gaming rigs but on the other hand it does begin to get into that sort of ultra portable size cost and performance and it may be an interesting hybrid for your needs. [ Background music ] I'm Scott Stein and this is the Alienware M11X.