Alienware M14X Review

Got a chance to played with the Alienware M14X and my very first impression when I carried it home is it was so heavy (2.9kg)! But hey, it is Alienware, they make good gaming laptops which is not meant to be light in the first place.

The base model starts at S$1,899 with the following specifications:

  • Processor: 2nd generation Intel Core i5-2430M 2.4GHz (3.0GHz with Turbo Boost, 3MB Cache)
  • OS: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (English)
  • Memory: 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 2GB)
  • HDD: 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • Display: 14″ (35.6cm) WLED HD+ (900p) display (1600X900)
  • Graphics Card: 1.5GB DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M using NVIDIA Optimus technology (Stealth Black)
  • Optical drive: Slot Load 8X DVD+/-RW Drive with DVD+R double layer write capability
  • Wireless: Intel® Ultimate N WiFi Link 6205 a/g/n 2×2 MIMO Technology
  • Security Software: McAfee Security Center – 15 Months Version
  • Primary Battery: 8-cell Primary Battery
  • Warranty: SG 2-year Premier Service with 1-year CompleteCover

The review unit that I have has slightly better specifications but it seems that the processor is slightly outdated so you cannot get the exact same specification online.

The main difference is the processor (Intel Core i7-2630QM 2.0GHz), memory (8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2 x 4GB), HDD (750GB 7200RPM Hard Drive) & Graphics Card (3.0GB DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M using NVIDIA Optimus technology).

Box
Box

Charger Is Pretty Big
Charger Is Pretty Big

Top View
Top View

Bottom View
Bottom View

Ports

Left View
Left View

The left side of the M14X contains the following ports:

  • 1x VGA Port
  • 1x HDMI Port
  • 1x Mini Display Port
  • 1x USB 2 Port
  • 1x 3.5mm Audio In/Microphone Port
  • 2x 3.5mm Audio Out/Headset Port
  • 1x 9-in-1 Media Card Reader

Right View
Right View

The right side of the M14X contains the following ports:

  • 1x Security Lock port
  • 1x RJ45/LAN Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • 2x USB 3 Ports

The power cable is plugged-in to the back of the laptop.

Keyboard/Trackpad
Apart from the power hardware that you are paying for, you are also paying for the beautiful keyboard and trackpad which allows you to customize the colors of the light via their own AlienFX software.

Dull Looking Keyboard
Dull Looking Keyboard

Look At Those Colors
Look At Those Colors

AlienFX Software
AlienFX Software

I can spend a few hours just tweaking the colors to suite my liking! By using the AlienFX Software, you can choose from 20 colors to customize the 9 different areas of the M14X.

The keyboard and trackpad area are all rubberized to give you a better grip and friction against the laptop. However, I believe once you used it for more than a year and due to wear and tear, the rubbery texture will start to come out and it will look ugly.

Also the placement of the trackpad is not exactly in the center. I did not notice that till my brother pointed that out to me, but it does not really bother me.

Scores
Ran PCMark 7 (Basic Edition) benchmark on it and it return with a score of 1,988. I also ran 3D Mark 11 (Basic Edition) and it return with a score of 1,305.

Judging from the results of 3D Mark 11 from Intel Core i7-2630QM Processor & NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M, it is possible to archive a score of 2,115 which is about 1.5x the score I am getting.

PCMark 7 Score
PCMark 7 Score

3D Mark 11 Score
3D Mark 11 Score

Sound
I am pretty impress with the audio quality of the M14X, it can produce really loud and clear audio. The 2.1 Speaker configuration with Subwoofer is powered by Klipsch (which is my favorite earphone brand).

No, This Is Not The Speaker
No, This Is Not The Speaker

Battery Life
I did not test the battery life as I don’t see a need to. The M14X is just too heavy to be brought around. But I heard the battery life is about 3-4 hours after reading some other reviews. But according to the official specifications, you can get about 6 hours of battery life.

Summary
The only use case I can think of getting the Alienware M14X is that I am overseas temporary and I of course I am a gamer. The reason why I said overseas is because when you are there temporary for 1 or 2 years, there is no point in getting a gaming desktop as you will need to sell it when you leave as bringing the desktop back home is just too much of a hassle.

If you are not going anywhere, I think you are better off with a proper (and perhaps cheaper) gaming desktop.

Pros:

  • Very nicely designed
  • Love the ability to customized the colors of the lights
  • As a gaming laptop, the specifications are excellent
  • Excellent Speakers

Cons:

  • Heavy (2.9kg) and hence it is not portable
  • Dislike the rubbery finish around the trackpad area
  • Poor battery life
A

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