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Alienware M14x 2011 Review

Updated on October 8, 2012
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Alienware M14x Review


Ever since I was a child, I have been what you would call a “gamer”. In other words I enjoyed playing a large magnitude of video games. I have played video games on many varieties of computers and laptops as well as gaming consoles. Yet, nothing compares to Alienware’s M14X. Out of everything I have played in the past, this is the most powerful machine created.


For those of you that don’t know the name. Alienware is almost legendary for their gaming computers. They are high end machines that are off the charts on many features. In fact, critics claim it to be “The most powerful 14 inch laptop in the universe”. Today we will be talking about my personal experience with the Alienware M14X.



Purchasing


Purchasing an Alienware for the most part, must be done online. This is because many users have them custom made to their needs, as well as their staggering price range. Alienware is currently owned by Dell, which is slightly disappointing seeing as I have never had a good experience with Dell items. Originally, I had tried to order Alienwares MX11 (The number indicates screen size) notebook. Since I was a student, I was receiving a discounted price with a free Xbox 360. I tried to order it, but, they had a problem coordinating with the bank, which meant I wasn’t getting the laptop. Yet, they shipped the Xbox and charged me for it, then lost it in its shipment so I couldn’t return it.

After trying to order the MX11 twice, I gave up, only to resolve the problem and order the MX14 a month later. I was slightly relieved since I was skeptical at using a gaming notebook, even though it had outstanding reviews. I was able to customize the laptop to my own needs. After my experience with computers in the past, nothing could perform to my own needs; which usually resulted in crashing the computer and frying the hard drive. So I ensured I bought a product that I could use effectively for years.


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Specifications & Style


The base prices of these laptops are about $1100.00 with an Intel Core i5 Processor, 6GB of Ram, and a 500GB hard drive. Now, I’m not saying this isn’t enough since most video games only require 2GB of Ram. The game “Skyrim The Elder Scrolls V” recommends you to play with 4GB of Ram. Nevertheless, I wanted over kill so I made sure to get 8GB of ram, 750GB Hard Drive with an i7 Processor. I also made sure to purchase blue tooth capabilities with the “Killer Wireless Internet Card” and best speakers possible. As far as weight goes, it feels like you’re carrying a rock when traveling, the starting weight is 6.5 lbs.

This laptop lights up like a Christmas tree. It has a backlit keyboard to ensure that you know where the buttons are and “alert” you when situations arise. For example, if I am playing a game and get shot, the keyboard will turn red, injured yellow, on a quest gray. It helps you play with the sound off, but also immerses you in the world. When you play windows media player it flashes colors with the music. You can change the colors to reflect your mood or style in the Alienware Command Center, where you can also make the keyboard 3 different colors that rotate. I have never been a big fan of large screens which is why I enjoy the 14 inch. It isn’t too small to make you feel like you need glasses, but, large enough to overcome your gaming experience. All though it is heavy, it is still much lighter and smaller than the MX17 and MX18.

You can also get a free name plate on the bottom, it screws on so if you resell is you can take it off. But, you can get this with any name or nickname. I think this is a good idea incase it gets stolen, you might have a chance to reclaim it. Plus it just looks cool.




Performance


Let me start off with the speakers. They are fantastic! They can be compared to Beats by Dr, I am a huge fan of Beats and these speakers are right up there. It amazes me how much sound they can project, I used to use my Ihome to play music, but, now use my laptop. The battery doesn’t last too long if you are using it on high performance with the back light on, I would say an hour tops. If you have it on power saver and aren’t doing much it can last you about 2 hours.


Gaming is amazing, as long as you have the power cord connected. This is for high system requirement games such as Skyrim. If I do not have it connected the game will appear to be “Laggy” or “Choppy”. But, I can play SimCity with ease without being tethered to a wall. The laptop can get extremely hot while gaming. Don’t wear shorts while playing as it will burn you. You can slightly raise the laptop which will help, or buy a cooling fan. The laptop comes with a NVIDA graphics card which is great. I felt as if I was watching a movie in the opening credits of Fable. When I compared the graphics of Skyrim on Xbox 360 to my Alienware, you could notably tell the difference. Xbox 360 appeared slightly fuzzy whereas Alienware was crisp. The great thing is that I no longer have to run one process at a time. I can run music, Fable, and the internet all at once. Or run a game with Norton 360 anti-virus software in the background.


Conclusion


It is truly the most powerful machine I have ever played upon. I am no longer weighed down by my capabilities. This laptop can perform all day every day. Don’t let it fool you that this laptop is just for gaming as it can easily handle business aspects. If you want a great laptop that will perform in the present and the future and is easily portable the MX14 is for you. Don’t hesitate order now!


Alienware M14x Update


It has been a little more than a year that I have owned my Alienware M14x and so far it has handled a heavy load of gaming and application use. My only complaint to this point is that the left hinge has completely snapped. Ironically, just after my warranty expired. In fact, as I type this the computer screen is tilted at a 45 degree angle. Apparently this is large scale problem with M11x netbooks and Dell will now fix your hinges for free regardless of warranty. Now, keep in mind I own the M14x and this laptop will not fall under those same terms.



Now, you may ask yourself “how hard is it to replace a hinge”? Well, the problem is that your Alienware hinges are a part of your screen. In other words, you can't just replace the hinge and you will need to replace the entire component. Now, I'm not exactly sure how expensive it would be to replace it yourself. But, I did note that LCD screens were $60.00 to $100.00 and the Dell customer service representative claimed they were $200.00. Keep in mind that this is without a maintenance fee if you were to pay someone to do it.



If you’re lucky the issue won't happen, but if it should, just hope it is within your first year of free warranty. Now, I called Dell and they said that if I reinstate my warranty they would send a technician to my home within 24-48 hours to replace the piece. The warranty was not to much more than what I might pay to take it somewhere else, yet, would still cover the next year. I was thankful Dell was willing to reinstate my warranty and fix the product even though it happened out of warranty. Customer service was great and all though I wish the problem didn't occur it couldn't have gone smoother. The realization of it is that things break no matter what it is. To this point I couldn't be happier with my Alienware M14x as I do love this laptop.




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    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 4 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      Wonderful review of the Alienware M14x! Personally, I looked at Alienware but for the most part I don't think one is worth its "new product value". Of course I am only so critical towards them because there owned by Dell. Putting that aside Alienware computers are extremely sleek, cool, and powerful! They make a great gift for a son/daughter who is a gamer and you personally don't know much about computers.

      Thanks for the review!

      ~thranax~

    • NC4Life078 profile image
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      NC4Life078 4 years ago from United States of America

      I am the same way, as I am not a Dell fan. They became a subsidiary of Dell around 2005 I believe. I was skeptical about buying one when I found this out as well. Nevertheless, once you have it, nothing else matters, because it is truly an outstanding laptop. But, I do agree you might be able to find another laptop that performs just as well for a lower price.

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