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  • fausto412 - Friday, July 02, 2010 - link

    i won one from and this thing kicks major ass. it's fast and can run mw2 and cod4 easy. no meant to replace the desktop but boy i love it for my web browsing in the bedroom plus it is much cooler and light than my old laptop. Reply
  • Lerianis - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    What about more 'high intensity' things like Crysis and Crysis:Warhead? I'm more worried about it being fast enough to take on the 'future' games for at least a good 3 years, considering the cost of the computer. Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    I don't think 3 years is ever going to be a realistic option with a budget gaming laptop. Roughly speaking the 335 is at the same level as the 8600 was back in 08. Even on a low res monitor an 8600 is going to struggle to turn any eye candy on today. Reply
  • ARCHETECH - Friday, July 02, 2010 - link

    What about the vaio z. Granted the price is crazy but for a ultraportable laptop this is the business.It kills the 13" macbook pro and larger laptops. I would be interested to see a review of this beast. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    Sony has been very difficult to get hardware from for the past several years. The V series has a faster CPU, but the 330M is 48 SPs compared to 72 SPs on the 335M, so it would be slower in GPU tasks (as long as the i5/i7 ULV parts aren't a bottleneck). In terms of size, the M11x is pretty much a 13" chassis already, so the two are about the same there. Sony does manage to put in an optical drive to sweeten the deal. Still, it's almost twice the price of the original M11x, and $600-$750 more than the R2. Reply
  • Baron Fel - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    its also much thinner and lighter, and has a better higher res display. With even a 1080p option. A lot of the cost is probably it coming with an SSD standard. Reply
  • Roland00 - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    The 330m may have 48 SP but these SP are clocked at 575 mhz core, and 1265 mhz shader
    The 335m has 72 SP but these SP are clocked at 450 mhz core, and 1080 mhz shader

    Thus the difference between the two are not 50% but closer to 15-20%
  • TrptJim - Sunday, July 04, 2010 - link

    I may be incorrect on this, but doesn't the Vaio have a downclocked version of the 330m? Reply
  • synaesthetic - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    All Sony laptops have underclocked GPUs. Sony factory undervolts them to get better battery life figures. Reply
  • ARCHETECH - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    I think the processor would make a difference as the alienware just has ULV parts init and the Z does not. The Z looks hundred times better than the alienware and is much thinner and lighter. You could also overclock the GPU to get more out of it. Reply
  • synaesthetic - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    You can put the 330M back to *stock* clocks without much trouble, but I have heard of lots of heat issues with trying to OC the 330M in the Vaio Z. Also you must remember that Sony undervolts all its discrete GPUs so that gives you less OC room to play with. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    Similarly I'd like to see a review of it as the spec is absolutely jaw dropping, particularly looking at the quad SSDs and the dual graphics cards - it's something that AT tends to do well but instead I've just been doing a lot of forum reading on this.

    I was all set for a Z11 but couldn't get the quad SSD model here at all and now the Z12 is out, prices are up and spec is down - I could stomach £2,200 for the i7 quad SSD model as I know I'll get a lot of use out of it but the same spec Z12 is now coming in at £2,700 which is just too much.
  • aferox - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    I've had a Vaio VPC-Z11KGX/X for a couple of months now, and would certainly highly recommend it. Expensive, but fast and very light. The SSDs are amazing. It will play Fallout 3, for example, smoothly with fairly high settings. I don't play much in the way of shooters, so can't write about graphics-heavy games. I regularly run genetic statistics programs on it. It feels solid - definite aura of quality. Weight is a big factor for me. I sometimes walk to work and back (a fair distance), and an extra pound or two can add up. Having the optical drive in the laptop is a big plus, since it is one less "extra." Many ultralights can kill you weight-wise when you add external drives etc. I'd say this is the most exciting laptop I've had in the last 10 years, and I would also be interested in a review. Reply
  • dumpsterj - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    ordered mine the 28th , ships the 8th of this month or so. not a single good review of this new revision out yet, Make yours the first !!! I cant wait lol. I think its smaller than that ocz mousepad i won. Reply
  • buzznut - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    I agree, I have been waiting for reviews of the new revision. I am getting one for fall and getting rid of my 15 inch beast. I am torn as I would rather not pay the extra for minimal performance boost, however I've heard the i5 and i7 were faster and actually better for battery life. Improved battery life would be a big seller for me.

    I think I would be inclined to go for the i5 to save a few dollars.
    I'm hoping by sept prices will fall a bit. If the i5/i7 show reasonable enough improvement, I am sure I can convince my wife!

    Thanks for doing the article, I am sure there are many others that will appreciate the full review on this very hot product.

    My question is that on the alienware site, they list the m11x as having vga, display port and hdmi out. For the i5/i7 machines, they don't list the vga port, just the other two. May not seem like a big deal but every classroom I have been in on campus takes vga, and i will certainly be doing a number of presentations. I'd rather not have to carry around a dongle that I will most likely lose! (the day of the presentation seems a sure bet)
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    You are correct: there's no VGA port on the M11x R2 -- you can see it in the image gallery. Why they dropped that I couldn't say. There also was no HDMI->VGA dongle in the package (or DP->VGA), so you'd have to buy your own. If you need VGA, that's a bit of a bummer. Hopefully, more projectors will start including HDMI and make this a non-issue down the road; I'd really like to see VGA go away now. Reply
  • Lerianis - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    Yeah, VGA is really a dinosaur tech that shouldn't even be included on new laptops anymore. I mean, all the computers I have bought in the past 3 years have had a HDMI connector on the graphics card on them, unless they were bargain basement laptops that I got for a 'school computer'. Reply
  • buzznut - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    Perhaps it is getting a bit long in the tooth, but I'm sure you know VGA is still widely used. There are 20,000 students at Metro and 40,000 total on auraria campus. I have been in most of the buildings and VGA is still used in all the classrooms. I've never seen dvi, and my guess is half the staff have no idea what HDMI is.

    I think you can see where there is still a need for vga outputs on devices..
  • jfmeister - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    I was one of those who was waiting for the refresh to come. Most of all features were updated, except 2 that I consider important; still no DirectX11 GPU and LCD needs improvement. It's been a year that DirectX 11 GPU are available; I would have expected Alienware to give the opportunity to select another GPU than the same old same old 335M. At the price they are selling the R2, I would like my investement to last a bit longer.

    Thanks to the incredibly bad Dell French customer service (called them 3 times to buy an M11x R2 and each time I was told they would call me back, to then find out that they never took my order) I now find myself waiting again for at least a Dx11 GPU and in the mean time, while 11.6 inch for World of Warcraft on the road seems a bit small, I will keep an eye on a possible 13 inch model from Alienware, using the same chassis as the M11x.
  • Lerianis - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    NEVER call to do an order with any company with an online ordering thing. Just do it online, make meticulous records (including a printout of the final 'before click to buy' window with all of the specs of your computer), and don't bother with phone support. Reply
  • san1s - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    why do you want to wait for a dx11 gpu, any laptop gpu that has low enough power consumption and heat for the m11x won't have any decent current dx11 performance, let alone games in the future Reply
  • erple2 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Since there were no NVidia DX11 parts available when the M11x refresh happened, I'm not at all surprised. Based on the power draw and heating capability of current gtx400 based cards, I also doubt that even just a cooling system would fit in a sub 15" chassis (or at least could be classified as "gaming"). I wouldn't be waiting for that any time soon.

    Optimus would require at least 3 major chips - GPU, CPU and southbridge chip... And I don't think that there's enough space for that in a "11 inch" notebook. I think that was the same reasoning why they didn't put that in the 13" MBP refresh (Still using Core2Duo with integrated NVidia 320m chip - that's only 2 chips)
  • zefyr - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but should the HP Envy 14 that has just been released be more powerful w ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics. I am extremely interested in this category. I've been putting off getting a laptop for a long time thinking someone will soon be able to give gaming level performance in a light (and hopefully aesthetically appealing) package. I feel like the Macbook Pros really set up the concept of this category. Asus has made some good efforts w thier culvs. Sonys Zs and even Lenovo has a Z series coming soon that might hit the mark. Hoping to have my cake and eat it too. Love to hear about other laptops that are 11 - 14", close to 4 pounds and have enough graphics power (and screen quality too match....which always seems to be the rub) that you can game, work or whatever. Personally, id like it to have backlit keys too. Maybe this alienware is finally what im looking for. Wish it was just a tad bigger. Reply
  • Lerianis - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    We have had 'light' laptops with gaming class performance for awhile. It all depends on your definition of 'light'. My Gateway P-7811FX computer is 'light enough' for me to take it nearly everywhere I wish to go, including to West Virginia. Reply
  • n0nsense - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    It is almost there.
    But few thing that mus be fixed before i can buy one.
    It should be thinner. VIAO Z is the fine example of what size and weight Laptop should be.
    It should have higher resolution display. Again VIAO Z is an example with minimum 1600x900 for 13".
    As VIAO Z it also should have place for 2 HDD/SSD.
    It should have some NVIDIA DX11 GPU (no offense, but ATI is useless under Linux and I use it for all but some games.)
    If they fix all these flaws and make it convertible tablet with multi-touch screen within 3 (ok, 4) pounds, i'll be very ready to pay 2000$ or something like that.
  • Nomgle - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I'm not quite sure why you think any of those things are coming to the 11.6" $900 class ?

    If you've got a $2000 budget, then buy the VAIO Z !
  • Shmutt - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    Dell just delivered my order last week! Been enjoying it ever since. ^_^

    The Core-i7 version does not Nvidia Optimus as there is no Inel integrated gfx. So I opted to get the core-i5, since it will have slightly better batt life while not gaming.
  • xxtypersxx - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    Its not the same core i7 you're thinking of, this does has integrated graphics. Its similar to how GPU providers give much weaker mobile products the same name as their flagship desktop parts.

    To everyone asking for a higher resolution display, you have to keep the gaming focus of this machine in mind. If it came with a 1600X900 lcd, the 335m would suddenly be much less potent at the machine's native resolution. I would personally rather have the goodies turned up at native lcd res than to have a low fidelity high res gaming experience or have to deal with LCD interpolation.
  • PortendingEnnui - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    I love mine so far
    I have been unable to find any way to support Optimus in Linux however, which is a nuisance
    I plan to upgrade to an SSD eventually (Q3 releases?), but decided to save the cash for now and stick with the 250gb HDD
    Currently tribooting w/ Win7ult/Ubuntu/Backtrack
  • Kravz - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    Using Dell EPP and various discounts I was able to get an R2 with the I-7 640um (which does support Optimus), 160Gb HDD (will be swapping with Momentus XT), and 4Gb of ram for around $1000.

    My windows performance index is:
    Processor - 5.7
    Memory - 5.7
    Graphics (Aero): 3.5 (probably using intel gfx)
    Graphics (3D): 6.2 (using stock drivers)
    Primary HDD: 5.3

    I have yet to overclock it yet. The Soft-Touch Stealth Black has a nice feel to it and the computer overall feels sturdy. I'm not going to comment on the hinges for at least a month or two though. Overall I'm very happy with my buy. It has ran all of the games I have thrown at it well.
  • Computer Bottleneck - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the preview.

    Can someone explain how the Turbo mode on the i7-640um works?

    How many cores for that 2.26 Ghz frequency? For how long?

    Thanks. I couldn't really glean the information looking at the Intel spec sheet--->
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, July 04, 2010 - link

    In my testing, it looks like single-threaded tasks will run at anywhere from 1.86GHz to 2.26GHz, with 2.00GHz and 2.13GHz steps in between. Further details:

    Cinebench 1CPU usually is at 1.86GHz with periodic blips at 2.26GHz (nothing in between). Cinebench xCPU also stayed at 1.86GHz, though, which is much better than the old CULV M11x (even when overclocked).

    Peacekeeper (a single-threaded task) was generally at 2.0/2.13GHz, but it fluctuated from 1.86GHz to 2.26GHz.

    x264 encoding was more stressful in terms of limiting Turbo Modes, with the multiplier ranging from 11x (1.33GHz) to 16x (2.00GHz) for the first pass and 11X (1.33GHz) up to 14x (1.86GHz) for the second pass. Average seemed to be around 1.86GHz for pass one and 1.73GHz on pass two, but both fluctuated quite a bit. It's not clear if current draw is the limiting factor or heat, but in general you'll get at least the equivalent of a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo. That's fast enough to feed the GT 335M quite well.
  • Computer Bottleneck - Sunday, July 04, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the information. It is interesting you mentioned current draw vs heat.

    I am still trying to learn this myself, but it appears i7-640LM is capable of 16x stock multiplier with a 22x multiplier for Turbo. However, it only uses 7 more watts than the i7-640um.

    That seems like a pretty large difference in performance between a 25 watt CPU and a 18 watt CPU. maybe heat is involved to a degree? (The Anandtech arrandale article mentioned this back in January).
  • aarondeep - Sunday, July 04, 2010 - link

    When searching for gaming laptops I have been a bit surprised that there are no offerings with available docking stations. I know I may be a minority here but these machines are designed to be desktop replacements, with the M11x being a very portable one. Not a single alienware laptop is available with an optional docking port. I know this is a business feature but it wold be nice to make these machines the ultimate desktop replacements. Reply
  • erple2 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I used to think that a Docking Station was a waste of money. And I suppose you could make the case that you save money by not having it since there's "nothing" you can do without the docking station that you can't really do without it. However, I started using one for work and home (they gave me a second docking station for home use), and I love the thing. Push it down into the docking station and instant Ethernet, secondary monitor, power, mouse all ready to go (I really like the keyboard on my Elitebook). One click, and the laptop pops off, ready to go somewhere else. I also like that I don't have to wrap up the power cable to take my laptop anywhere - it's always in my bag.

    Unfortunately, it seems you have to get a business class notebook to get, IMO, one of the best optional features that I've ever used in a laptop.

    It's enough to make me want to think about getting something like an Elitebook or Thinkpad. If only they were cheaper, or my company discount included customizeable models for each rather than fixed models...
  • frozentundra123456 - Sunday, July 04, 2010 - link

    Sorry, I know most everyone and the reviewers all seem to love this laptop. However, to me it is just too expensive for the performance and for such a small screen. An 11 inch screen might be OK for casual gaming, but for real PC games?????
    For 1199.00 you can get an Asus from Best Buy with a HD5870M and a quad core CPU and a much better screen. This machine is only slightly less expensive.
    I like the switchable graphics and long battery life, but at the price of this system, I would prefer a larger laptop. A lot of people on some of the earlier laptop reviews criticized the fact that the "gaming experience" is not that good on a laptop. Now a machine with an even smaller screen is suddenly the coolest thing going. I dont mean to offend anyone who has bought this machine, but I just dont get it.
  • bobjones32 - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    People in the real world who need to bring their computer around with them value quality battery life and portability. That's the key point you're missing.

    Do you think anyone is actually oblivious to the fact that the m11x doesn't perform as well as other behemoths of the same price? That's the point. That $1200 Asus with a 5870 is massive, a tremendous pain in the ass for people who actually need to carry it around with them (you know, the "lap" part of "laptop), and it probably has extremely shitty battery life to boot.

    The m11x will run more than twice as long on battery than that Asus will do while just browsing the web with the brightness turned all the way down.

    The only offensive thing here is your myopic view of what people want out of a portable gaming laptop. The m11x is more than capable of running every game on the planet, which is an amazing, pretty much revolutionary feat for such a small machine with such great battery life.
  • bobjones32 - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    I meant to say:

    "The m11x will run more than twice as long on battery *while playing a demanding game* than that Asus will do while just browsing the web with the brightness turned all the way down."

    Browsing the web, the m11x will easily get 3-4x the battery life of that Asus.
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    The point is not that it will run the games with great battery life and portability. I realize that, and it is an impressive technical feat. I guess I cant really say without trying it out, but I still dont understand wanting to game on an 11 inch screen. Reply
  • someone0 - Sunday, July 04, 2010 - link

    I got it, and now returning it. Prior to ordering this, I looked at the online manual and it said it's gigabit ethernet. But I got it, it doesn't. And I need gigabit, so a fair warning to whoever want the M11xR2. And BTW, Dell made a similar mistake on Vostro3300 also. The website was originally listed as 1920x1080, which just changed a few days ago to correct resolution 1366x768. I wouldn't rely on correct info from Dell right now. Reply
  • iamkyle - Sunday, July 04, 2010 - link

    "Our review sample for the original M11x came with a sliver chassis."

    There should be options! Like rda, bule, geren, ylelow, and wihte. All the colours of the rianbow!
  • iamlilysdad - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    I ordered mine almost the first day it was available. I opted for the i7 version, 4gb RAM, 250gb hard drive, and bluetooth. Mine has locked up on me at least once a day since i've had it. Have you guys noticed anything like this with your review unit? I've updated the drivers, but haven't given alienware a call yet. Just wondering if mine is an anomoly or if others have noticed this problem too. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    Yes. There's a utility called Dell Wireless Tray or some such that has a massive memory leak. I used ProcessExplorer at one point and it said it was using 500MB+, but when I killed the process I went from 3.3GB of memory used down to 800MB. I used MSConfig.exe to disable that particular service/startup item and that fixed the problems I experienced. Reply
  • iamlilysdad - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    Awesome. Well not the problem, but that u experienced it and found the fix. I will try that when i get home. Thank you very much for the information. I'm not saavy enough to figure out the problem but i do know about msconfig. Reply
  • iamlilysdad - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    Well it hasn't locked up near as much (once since I stopped the Dell service from running), but when i leave the laptop on and close the screen it will stay off when i open it again. It takes a hard reset to get it turn back on. I will have to get on the phone will Alienware to figure out the issue. It's really annoying to not be able to leave my laptop on when it's plugged in. Reply
  • Akv - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    The combination of the words Ultraportable and Gaming seem a bit odd to me.

    I prefer to buy a cheaper laptop, and put the remaining money in a better graphic card for my desktop.
  • Ddust - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    How about the Hinges problems? I read & saw in person those M11X hinges are really bad. After a while it start to squeak. Eventually getting louder & louder. I cant wait to see you guys. Hope they fix it for next one. Reply
  • twcom001 - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I ordered mine. Now waiting like a child on X-mas eve. I'm eager for your recommended driver choices. I'd been holding out since January based on the rumored I-5 and I-7 upgrades.
    I ordered the I7 with the 7200 drive. I'll be looking for a dedicated AW MX 11 group, a mini gamers, pimp my MX 11 theme, complete with recommended updates, gear and accessories. Turn it into a cult machine.....Well cant wait for the test results. This is the first place I've found to start finger tip testing the upgraded version, for that I'm a fan for life. Staking out the UPS man in NYC
  • Thermogenic - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I've followed this release closely, and many on the forums have had lots of problems. The two most common I've seen that are unique to the R2 are:

    1) Significantly lower battery life (8hrs for R1 vs 6hrs for R2)
    2) Optimus issues

    To a lesser degree, there seem to be heat issues as well, namely that the GPU will get overheated and go into a low power (i.e. performance killing) state to save itself.

    The Optimus issues will likely work themselves out over time, but I think if you are more interested in the battery life, the R1 is the much more attractive option. Gaming performance will be better on the R2, but it's in the 5-10% range for most games (higher for CPU bound games).
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    I haven't had any driver issues with the update... the bigger problem is the Dell Wireless Tray icon going nuts and sucking up memory! But that's easy enough to kill off and I haven't had problems testing since doing so. As for battery life, I measured 7.3 hours idle and 6.3 hours Internet. In the same tests, the original M11x managed nearly 9 hours idle and 7.1 hours Internet.

    As for performance, application performance is generally around 10-20% better, but gaming performance is largely a wash. Out of the tested games, only DiRT 2 shows a noticeable improvement (around 20%). Other titles like Empire: Total War are even a bit slower on the R2, though it's not enough to concern me. The driver differences might explain some of the changes, since I've seen plenty of games where performance dropped over time on NVIDIA drivers. Remember that the release drivers are often the best optimized, since the manufacturers are actively working on making things work. After that, mostly it seems like the reference drivers from ATI/NVIDIA focus on validation for laptops, so there are times when a valid optimization gets removed.

    Anyway, full review coming in the next day or two...
  • Thermogenic - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    Look forward to the full review. Also, if u keep one for personal use, the best after market investment I've found has been the Green Onions "screen protector" that Dell offers (available elsewhere for about $10 less). It helps immensely with the ultra glossy glare that normally makes the laptop unusable in less than ideal lighting. Reply
  • iamlilysdad - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    Any issues with the screen not coming back to life when you close the laptop and leave it sitting for an hour or two? Can't figure why mine doesn't come back on at all EVERY TIME I DO THIS. I've tried every pre configured power management setting in the Alienware control panel and it does this for all of them. I really really wanna be able to highly recommend this laptop but this little issue (the dell wireless memory leak is easily fixed) is stopping me from doing so. Reply
  • Thermogenic - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    On my R1, it's not the fastest at resuming from standby, but it does after about 5 seconds or so. You might want to give Dell a call. Reply
  • iamlilysdad - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I will have to do that for sure. I can do whatever I want and the screen will not turn back on. CTRL+ALT+DEL does nothing. Pushing a key on the keyboard does nothing. Pushing the power button does nothing. I'll give them a call on my next day off.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    Yeah, mine hasn't had any issues with standby/resume that I've noticed. Reply
  • sidewinderx2 - Wednesday, July 07, 2010 - link

    I'm thinking of upgrading my little EEE PC (1000H) to a slightly more powerful laptop that's also capable of doing a little gaming, but still having the nice battery life. I've been looking at the M11x R2 and the 4820tg (tho i'm having trouble finding all but the lowest tier of the 4820tg's here in the States...) Is there any chance that AT would do a review of the new TimelineX series? Reply

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