Alienware products have long been the objects of desire for gamers seeking high performance, powerful graphics and flashy styling. Dell's 17.3-inch Alienware M17X continues that tradition, now in its third iteration, the R3. The R3 has been upgraded with NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, Klipsch speakers, a second-generation Sandy Bridge i7-2860QM 2.5GHz processor, and graphics options starting with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M, upgradeable to the GTX 580M. If 3D gaming isn’t something you’re interested in, Radeon HD 6870M or 6990M GPUs are also available.
Price-wise, the M17X R3 is definitely not cheap. The basic configuration starts at S$3499 with the same i7-2860QM processor, but with a non-3D LCD screen, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, and dual 750GB 7200RPM hard drives in RAID 0 configuration.
Our review unit, which sports a 17.3-inch Truelife Full HD 3D LCD panel, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M and 16GB DDR3 SDRAM will set you back a hefty S$4887. If you’re looking to boost your performance even further, a single 256 B SSD is available as an upgrade for S$439.77, or try dual 256GB SSDs, again in RAID 0 configuration, for a whopping S$1539.73 extra. Strangely enough, despite having two drive bays, there’s no option available for an SSD and HDD combination.
Weighing a backbreaking 5.3kg, the M17X R3 is far from portable. This is definitely one notebook that will be spending most of its time in one place. On the plus side, its weight does make it extremely solid and stable.
In terms of looks, Dell has opted for a full aluminum chassis, although, since it doesn’t favor the brushed metal look, it’s hard to tell from a distance. Instead, two color options are available: Stealth Black and Nebula Red. Both feature a soft touch, rubberized finish that’s great for hiding fingerprints, smudges and scratches. We favor the Nebula Red, a classy metallic color that wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury car.