Alienware M17x at E3: Exclusive Video Hands-On

by Reads (20,774)

Article & Voice by Charles P. Jefferies
Video Composed by Lee C. Howley

Greetings from E3 – today we take an exclusive in-depth look at the new Alienware M17x gaming notebook. This all-aluminum beast can be configured with dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M 1GB graphics card and an overclockable Intel Extreme quad-core processor. The M17x comes already well-equipped at its base price of $1,799. Read on to see our take.

Alienware M17x Overview

The Alienware M17x is a brand-new gaming notebook from Alienware, featuring dual graphics cards and a 17-inch widescreen display. It features an anodized all-aluminum body (available in black or silver) and a full-size keyboard with backlighting. The entire system features a customizable lighting system called AlienFX; sections of the system featuring lighting include the keyboard, touchpad, and Alienware logo. The M17x is available for order now and starts at $1,799. The base model comes very well-equipped and includes all the AlienFX lighting features and the edge-to-edge glass display (there is no benzel on the edges of the display).
The base model has the following specifications:

  • 17-inch WXGA+ display (1440×900); WUXGA (1920×1200) available
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz) processor (Core 2 Extreme QX9300 overclockable quad-core available)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M graphics card with 1GB of memory (dual GTX 280M 1GB available)
  • 4GB DDR3-1066 RAM (8GB available)
  • 160GB hard drive
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
  • Slot-load DVD burner (Blu-ray available)
  • 9-cell Li-ion battery

The M17x weighs quite a bit at 11.68 pounds, but understand it houses desktop-class power and relative to carrying around an entire gaming desktop and monitor, is very reasonable. The unit is about two inches thick.

Video & Our Impressions

Please check out our video below:

What we are going to do now is give you our hands-on impressions of the M17x and describe its features in detail; be sure to check out the video. We would like to give special thanks to Christina Furtado of Enfatico, Alienware CEO Arthur R. Lewis Jr., and Executive VP of Product Group and Marketing Frank Azor for their time.

Build Quality

The M17x represents an entirely new design for Alienware and does not have much in common with previous models. The build quality is extremely solid thanks to the anodized aluminum construction. All of the aluminum is machined instead of being stamped, which is a more expensive process but yields significantly better quality and more attractive design possibilities.

The Alienware designers pride themselves on the undersides of the M17x, which features no screws at all (with the exception of those holding down the nameplate). Notice the large cooling intake vents for the system’s three fans; all hot air is exhausted out the back.

The back of the display is always an area of interest when talking about Alienware notebooks; the M17x’s lid features elements from previous Alienwares but is also entirely new. The rubberized grip is located at the bottom instead of the lid instead of at the sides as with previous Alienware notebooks, and has a new texture. The lid itself is extremely well made and is utterly inflexible; this is almost unheard of on 17-inch notebooks.

Overall, I came away extremely impressed with the build. This is the most solid notebook I personally have handled to date.

Display Quality

The 17-inch display features an edge-to-edge glass panel, which means no benzels; the entire display surface is flush. The models we evaluated had a WUXGA (1920×1200) resolution. The best thing about the M17x’s display is that it has dual backlighting lamps – it has 400 nits of brightness as a result. It looks absolutely beautiful.

Power Adapter

Yes, the power adapter deserves its own section. Typically, notebooks requiring extraordinary amounts of power come with a power brick in excess of two pounds – not so with the M17x. It has a power brick less than half the size of previous units, yet it still provides 240W of power (typical notebooks need 65-90W). A light on the connector plug lets the user know when it is connected. Please see the video to check it out.

Conclusion

The M17x is without a doubt one of the hottest, if not the hottest notebook to be released this year; it is unlike any notebook previously released. With up to dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M graphics cards and an overclockable Intel Core 2 Extreme processor, it is definitely “All powerful” and is positioned to take the gaming notebook market by storm. Please check back in for our full review of this most impressive notebook!

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