Alienware’s M15x is the first notebook PC from the company to sport a mobile Core i7 CPU. Of course HP’s Envy 15 is the first notebook PC from any company to feature Intel’s Core i7. Alienware claims the M15x is “the world’s most powerful 15-inch laptop”. Maybe it is, but I’m not so sure. Let’s have a look inside. You have three CPU options for the M15x:
- 1.6GHz i7 720QM with 2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache
- 1.73GHz i7 820QM with 3.06GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB Cache
- 2.0GHz i7 920XM with 3.2GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB Cache
16:9 LCD The M15x sports a 15.6-inch LCD with a 1600 x 900 resolution with a 1920 x 1080 option. Both LCDs make use of LED backlight technology. Alienware mentions an “edge-to-edge” display so I am assuming it has a cover glass design just like Apple’s MacBook Pro notebooks. I wonder if the LCDs sport a higher-than-average color gamut and better-than-average viewing angles like the ones in the new MacBook Pros. I consider 16:9 LCDs a poor choice for gamers since most games that have been out in the market are coded for a 16:10 aspect ratio with resolutions including: 2560 x 1600, 1920 x 1200, 1680 x 1050, 1280 x 800, etc.
GPU options include:
- NVIDIA GeForce GT240M with 512MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GT260M with 1GB
The Envy 15 is equipped with ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD 4830 with 1GB of DDR3 video RAM. Graphics performance should be quite good on the M15x though the Radeon HD 4830 will certainly give it some competition.
RAM configurations include: 2GB, 3GB, 4GB and 8GB DDR3, 1066MHz or 1333MHz. I am wondering why Alienware decided to limit the maximum RAM is to 8GB when HP decided to increase the limit to 16GB on its Envy 15, which is a non-gaming notebook PC.
Hard drive options are a plenty:
- 5400RPM: 250GB (Why is this option… an option?)
- 7200RPM: 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, 500GB
- SSD: 128GB, 256GB
- Slot-loading DL Blu-ray RW: BR-RW, DVD+/-RW, CD-RW
- Slot-loading DL Blu-ray Combo: BR-ROM, DVD+/-RW, CD-RW
- Slot-loading DL DVD Burner: DVD+/-RW, CD-RW
4-pin FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 (3 including 1 eSATA combo), VGA, DisplayPort, 8-in-1 Media Card Reader, ExpressCard, Audio Out (2), Audio In/Mic
DisplayPort is here to stay. Dell is onboard and so is Apple.
Wireless Connectivity: WiFi AGN
I believe Aliewnare’s M15x is the heaviest 15.6-inch notebook PC on the market today. The Envy 15 from HP is just as capable but weighs just 5.2 pounds. But the price! The M15x starts at just US$1,499. Compared to the Envy 15’s $1,799 that’s cheap.