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Alienware M17x R3 Laptop Review (Core i7 2630QM / 256GB SSD)

Rating: 9.0.

Alienware are an iconic system builder. For years they have been building radical, futuristically styled machines which have featured in many high profile TV shows and movies. Several years ago Dell took over the brand, incorporating them as their high end, customised system builds.

Today we are looking at the new, upcoming Alienware M17x Revision 3 which fits firmly into the ‘desktop replacement’ category. With the latest Sandybridge technology included, this system looks on paper to deliver class leading levels of performance.

A few weeks ago, Dell asked us if we wanted to review the 120hz 3D version, or the 2D version. Noticing that the system incorporated a GTX460M, we felt the 3D version might be a little underpowered graphically, so we opted for a high end build of the 2D unit.

System specifications:

Alienware M17xR3 : Base Stealth Black
Processor : Intel Core i7 Processor 2630QM (2.00Ghz, 6MB, 4C)
Display : 17.3in WideFHD (1920 x 1080) WLED LCD
Camera : Integrated 3.0 Mega Pixel HD Camera
Resource DVD : Alienware M17xR3
Ship Accessory : English Docs
Memory : 4096MB (2×2048) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
Hard Drive : 256GB Dell Mobility Solid State Drive
Optical Drive : 8X DVD+/-RW Drive including software
Power Supply : Alienware 240W AC Adapter
Power Cord : UK 250V
Battery : Primary 9-cell 93W/HR LI-ION
Graphics : 1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M w/ Optimus Technology
Bluetooth : European Dell Wireless 375 Bluetooth Card
Wireless : European Dell Wireless 1501 wireless-N

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  • Tim

    Well thats damn nice. its also the price of my car mind you :p

  • kOrn

    Looks a lot nicer than the earlier versions. Although I loved that 11 inch version, that was sexy. these aren’t for me, too bulky to carry about.

  • Jed

    Brilliant. Not sure id ever pay that for a laptop, but certainly made for nice reading.

  • Tech Head

    Gotta love twitter alerts. need my daily review fix 😉

    Very impressed with this unit, but the 15 inch one might make more physical sense. im all for desktop replacements, but it doesnt work for me. insane performance, thats without question.

  • Thomas

    Id love one of these, see them on tv shows a lot (as well as apple machine obviously).

    Id be tempted to look at one, once they get the mobos replaced. When will that be? march?

  • Fhaslek

    Wow even this machine is affected by the bloody intel mess. will it ever end. its like the end of the world, i tell ya !

  • Tri Color

    Its good, but they need a stronger GFX for such a high end machine.

  • Eric

    My mate has a alienware, he uses it alot, but his keyboard fell apart over 3 years. hopefully they fixed that.

  • Colin

    I read a lot of horror stories about these previous versions, google them ! I love the looks, but its hard to review long term strenght. some of these companies should let the reviewers hold onto them for months, so they can do follow ups. but they wont do that.

  • Mark

    The lighting is awesome, that sold me before anything else :p

  • Jallow

    Its nice, and its fast, but why dont they make a ferrari one ? like the cars. I know acer did it, but dell would make them nicer.

  • Garth

    Great laptop. I have the first revision and I agree, it wasn’t built to really last a long time, but ive looked after mine and its been great.

  • Bobby

    Pricing the components and the system isnt bad, including the overhead for the lighting and custom chassis etc. the SSD alone takes up a big portion of the price. but well worth it as the HD tests show.

  • Joseph

    Id love a 17 inch laptop, but Id need one for college and I dont fancy hauling this around. shall look at their 15 inch models, once the sandybridge fiasco is sorted.

  • Paul

    I always loved their case designs and these look stunning, my professor has one in college and all the kids think he is cool for owning it (he is a 65 year old guy who can really use it too!)

  • Manny

    I was going to order one, then realised at the last part of the review that this uses one of the troubled sandybridge motherboard. so will have to wait. Any ideas on the time frame for the fix? march? april?

  • GDD

    Yes, the laptop is terrific, but that is one seriously awesome review guys! Boot time; acoustics; SSD; screen quality! Wow! Best I’ve read! Keep it up! (and rustle up a Eurocom equivalent!)

  • chris

    I’m prefered to call it M17X 2G rather than M17 R3 because: i) new redesign, and, ii) new ports (USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4)

  • John

    I bought the m17x r3 before it was removed. One feature that was listed on the Alienware site was the wireless HD. I have not been able to figure out how this feature works. I looked for a WirelessHD icon or WiDi icon but did not find it on my system. I did find it on the resource CD. When I tried to run it there was an error stating it could not find the wireless Display card. I looked in the BIOS and found an entry under wireless that read DMC Sibeam. Have you tested this feature? If so what is missing?

  • hi

    Its back on sale now! ordered mine yesterday 🙂 nice and complete review!

  • Byah

    You forgot to do a section on the audio quality………

    For such an expensive laptop, headphone/speaker performance is important to prospective buyers.

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