Alienware's M11x Laptop Easy to Take With You

In the M11x, gamers finally have a fully capable notebook that's easily portable and offers great battery life.

Alienware computers are known for shipping with little to no extra software installed to fill up your system tray and bog down performance, but one very useful utility is included: the Alienware Command Center. This slick interface lets you set up and configure the Windows power profiles, adjust the options for the touchpad, set up the Webcam-powered facial-recognition software (dubbed AlienSense), and tweak the AlienFX lighting. The last bit is really quite cool: You can independently adjust the backlighting for five different zones (the keyboard, the front lights, the Alienware logo beneath the display, the alien-head power button, and the activity lights to the upper right of the keyboard). You have 20 colors to choose from, you can make the lights pulse or cycle between colors, or just turn them off. The tool has two brightness settings for all lights, too.

I'm especially pleased with the port selection and location on this laptop. The left side has three video plugs (VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort), along with a powered USB port, gigabit ethernet, memory card readers, and FireWire. The right side is relatively clean, with two USB ports and three audio jacks (a microphone input and two headphone jacks, to make it easier to share a movie with someone in private).

Note that the machine has no optical drive, so if you buy your games on disc, you'll need an external USB drive to load them onto the system; with so many games and other PC apps sold through digital distribution these days, this limitation is less of a problem than it used to be. Both 802.11a/b/g/n networking and Bluetooth 2.1 are standard.

At 4.6 pounds, the Alienware M11x is certainly heavy for an ultraportable laptop. It's thicker than many of its contemporaries, too. As a gaming laptop, it's downright svelte. Even 13- or 15-inch models that offer this kind of performance typically weigh a pound or two more, and are physically larger.

If you've been torn between a bulky laptop that's powerful enough to handle games but gets mediocre battery life, or a more easily portable laptop with great battery life that doesn't perform well, worry no longer. In the M11x, Alienware delivers a product that offers the best of both worlds and answers the prayers of gamers who are sick of sore shoulders and dead batteries. I'd love to see a future version with Optimus switchable graphics and a better display, but what Alienware is offering right now is an excellent, much-needed product that fills a unique niche.

Our Score: 4/5

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jason Cross

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?