Today I will share about Alienware M18x Fully Detailed ReviewBy TechNob.com The Alienware brand and PC games are synonymous, and for good reason. During the past 15 years the people at Alienware have churning out high-end gaming systems, and thankfully they continue to so. Its flagship laptop rig, the M18x ($ 4,529 direct), is packed with over-the-top components and presented in a crisp appearance chassis complete with tricked-out lighting effects and a killer 18.4-inch display.
You will pay more at the pump for this high-octane notebook and you do not get a lot of battery life, but for gamers who are looking for LAN-party dominance is an easy decision: M18x (Best Deal: $ 4,299.00 at Dell) overshadow last year’s Alienware M17x ( Best Deal: $ 1,499.00 at Dell) as our Editors’ Choice among cost-no-properties (over $ 3,000) gaming laptops.
Design and Features (Alienware M18x)
When we reviewed the M17x in June last year, we were dazzled by the laptop’s design and rubber-like matte finish. This time, Alienware design team decided to sweep the M18x in an anodized aluminum enclosure with a Space black finish that is actually more of a metallic dark gray than black. The well-known undesirable illuminated main decorates the lid, while the front part of the base two port ominous resins illuminated grid. The front end has a Corvette-like shape that allows your computer to quickly look at a standstill.
More (Alienware M18x)
With a pair of heavy-duty lid hinges, and aluminum shell M18x has a rugged look and feel best described as being built like a tank. Speaking of which, this monster weighs in at a hefty 12.9 pounds and is 2.13 inches thick. The power brick alone weighs about 3 pounds and measures 1.5 x 3.7 x 7.6 inches (HWD), so unless you plan to make it part of your exercise regimen, this laptop probably will not see much travel.
The 18.4-inch screen is a thing of beauty, with edge-to-edge glass over black bars, a 1920 by 1080 resolution, and exceptional quality color and black levels. The glossy anti-reflective coating may be reflective under certain lighting conditions, but it looks up the colors and gives nice wide viewing angle. A 3-megapixel webcam is embedded in the screen upper frame and an illuminated Alienware logo is centered on the lower frame.
All about M18x is large, including full-size keyboard. The latter has a dedicated number pad to the right and five programmable AlienTactx buttons on the left. The keys are quiet and responsive, as well as touchpad and mouse button dual assembly embedded in the rubber-like keyboard deck. A set of flush-mounted media player keys located above the keyboard. There is also an eject button for CD Blu-ray drive, a Wi-Fi on / off, and the far right, an Alienware Command Center key.
As with the M17x M18x offers numerous lighting effects, all controlled by the Command Center AlienFX benefit. Here you can set up a lighting system for the keyboard with four different zones and assign different colors for each backlit component, including the front grille, the alien head cap ornament, the touchpad on the switch, and media controls. There are 20 colors on the LED palette so you can change the lighting system to suit your mood. Command Center is also home to Alien Touch (touchpad settings) and Alien Fusion (Power Management) tool, and is where you can program AlienTactx keys.
The M18x is loaded with features. Storage is in the form of two fast (7200 rpm) 500 GB hard drives configured for RAID 0 for a total of 1TB storage capacity. Wireless-N and Bluetooth are also part of the package which is an internal 5.1 audio solution and a Klipsch speakers that you can screw up without worrying about distortion. Besides Blu-ray drive, the right side of the chassis, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI input (a rarity, also included on the M17x), an eSATA / USB combo port, a MMC/SD/MS- Pro slot and an ExpressCard reader.
Over on the left side you’ll find a couple of headphone jacks, S / PDIF and microphone line-in jack, two USB 3.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, and Mini DisplayPort inputs and one Gigabit Ethernet port. That always leaves the Alienware of bloatware and preinstalls Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), the strange tools, including AlienRespawn restoration tool and Steam.
Performance (Alienware M18x)
Performance-wise M18x is off the charts. It is powered by Intel’s Core i7-2960XM Extreme Edition processor running at 2.7 GHz but has an overclocked Turbo Boost, which maxes out at 4.0GHz rather than the stock speed of 3.7GHz. Throw in 16GB DDR3 (1600MHz) Dual Channel RAM, and a pair of SLI-enabled Nvidia GeForce GTX 580M graphics cards, each with 2 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, and you have one of the fastest notebooks ever to hit the PC Labs.
The M18x PC Mark 7 overall performance score of 3333 could not edge Asus G74SX-A2 score of 3941-the G74SX-A2 has a solid-state drive, which PCMark 7 love, but Alienware ironing HP Envy 17 (2012) with 528 points and Asus G74SX-BBK7 with 764 points.
The system was the best our handbrake and Photoshop CS5 multimedia tests with lots of 1 minute 15 seconds and 2:54, respectively. The AVADirect Clevo X7200 needed 01:38 (handbrake) and 3:34 (Photoshop), while Asus G74SX-A2 needed 1:38 and 3:58, respectively. Last year’s Alienware M17x in tons of 1:53 (Handbrake) and 3:26 (Photoshop). Results were similar in Cinebench R11.5 CPU tests, which M18x’s score of 6.52 led the field by a wide margin.
Processor power is certainly important, but for hardcore gamers, it’s about graphics speed, and here is where the M18x struts it stuff. It made a whopping 71.1 frames per second in our Crysis DX10 game test with the settings cranked up to high quality and churned out 96.5 fps on our Lost Planet 2 DX9 high quality test. By comparison M17x got 58.7 fps in Crysis and 57 fps in Lost Planet 2, while the AVADirect Clevo X7200 gave us 28.2 FPS (Crysis) and 87.6 fps (Lost Planet 2). The M18x handled our demanding Lost Planet 2 DX11 tests with aplomb, scoring 114.1 fps on medium quality (1,024 by 768) test and 64.4 fps on high quality (1920 by 1080) test.
One area where M18x not cope so well was in MobileMark 2007 battery life rundown. It lasted 1 hours 38 minutes, which is over an hour less than the Asus G74SX-A2 (2:59) and almost an hour less than the M17x (2:24). But that’s just one hour more than we got from Clevo X7200 (0:38). Given the size and weight of the M18x, there’s a good chance it will not get lost far away from an outlet anyway.
In the case of portable game, delivering the goods Alienware. The M18x offers not only world-class performance, it does so with style and excellent build quality. Sure, you have to open the vault to give this beauty, but you get your money’s worth in terms of features, screen real estate, storage, and raw horsepower. You may want to consider hiring a roadie if you should take this beast on the road, and you will not get much playing time between battery charges, but if you’re serious about gaming, Alienware M18x, the current king of the mountain and our new Editors’ Choice for gaming laptops.
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