Dell's Formidable Alienware Notebooks & Desktops


Dawn of the Aliens

Alien Invasions: The Beginning

Aliens and Area-51. Well, rest assured that this article isn't about UFO conspiracy theories originating from Nevada. We're talking about a bevy of Alienware rigs you can finally get your grubby hands on locally. Yes, they've landed. The launch was held at the J-Cube Cyber Cafe yesterday, where members of the press also had a chance to experience the mega rigs up close and personal.

Part of Dell's event itenary includes an FPS shootout. Blackshot was the title of choice as members of the media were pitted against a group of extreme gamers for a friendly showdown.

Dell has played a key role in serving up notable gaming platforms in recent years, both, on the desktop and notebook front. You might also recall their 17-inch XPS M1710 which made its rounds as a gaming machine in its heydays (and it still is a formidable machine). After their acquisition of the Alienware franchise in 2006, however, Dell has since re-branded their XPS gaming range as a multimedia suite in a logical bid to safeguard their own business interests. Well, it would be tragic if they shot themselves in the foot with a comparable product line, wouldn't it?

In the wake of the recent release of the M17x notebook, Dell is looking to augment their Alienware fleet further with more prolific systems for gamers here to relish. Their latest release includes a 15-inch M15x laptop and two formidable Area-51 desktops. Incidentally, there's good reason why we are excited about the M15x as well. While a number of desktops in the wild have already been fitted with Intel's Core i7 processors, Dell has made a notable head start against their competitors with the adoption of the Core i7 mobile platform.

Breaking New Grounds: Alienware M15x Gaming Notebook

We can't say if the M15x is truly the best of its class since we've yet to review it, but Dell has proclaimed that the Alienware M15x is "the most powerful 15-inch gaming laptop in the universe" as indicated in their press release. That's a rather bold claim to make, but the notebook's hard-hitting specifications seem to indicate an element of truth.

How do you identify a gaming notebook? Well, the fancy backlights and trimmings should give it away. The Alienware M15X is one of the first to bring the quad-core Core i7 processor into the notebook arena.

We know that aggressive specifications can lead to overheating issues. To combat this, the M15X is engineered with a chassis to better manage thermal efficiency. This 15-inch gaming machine packs an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M as its GPU of choice.

Brandishing a much anticipated Core i7 920XM processor, Dell has finally brought the world of quad-core Nehalem microarchitecture into the laptop space, previously available only on desktop systems. With this introduction, it's safe to say that the Alienware M15x would give their competitors something to think about, like ASUS and their upcoming G60J rig for example. Both models are torchbearers of Intel's Core i7 mobile processors, but it's apparent that Dell has drawn first blood here. On top of that, gamers can look forward to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M, a graphics processing module tailored for gaming purposes with a whopping 1GB worth of discrete video memory. With that, the Alienware M15x also promises higher HD frame-rates for a more pronounced high definition experience.

A gamer having a fragging good time on the M15X. It's good to know that FPS games like Blackshot didn't seem to faze the Alienware notebook. Let's wait and see if Dell's new toy would ultimately make a killing in the consumer market.

In addition, Dell is retailing the M15x with up to 8GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory and a slot-loading Blu-ray drive. Given its blend of hardware specifications, it appears to us that the Alienware M15x is set to undertake 3D games and those of a more demanding genre. Surprisingly, Dell did not incorporate any HDMI ports for this particular iteration, although there is a next-generation DisplayPort alternative to be found. If you're keen to get one, the M15x will be retailing at $2,999 onwards and is available online at www.alienware.com.

Alienware M15X Notebook : Key Specifications
Alienware MX15X Gaming Notebook
  • Colors: Red, Black or Silver
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 920XM 2.0GHz with 8MB Cache
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M with 1GB memory
  • Memory: Up to 8GB DDR3-1333
  • Hard Drive: Up to 500GB (7200RPM HDD) or 256GB SSD
  • Optical Drive: Slot-loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Disc Combo