Alienware M11x "gaming netbook" gains new Core i5, i7 processor options, Nvidia Optimus switchable graphics

Summary:As paradoxical as it might seem, the Alienware M11x concept was to place a gaming laptop into a netbook form factor. Dell likes to boast that the M11x is the "world’s most powerful 11-inch gaming laptop," but of course it's pretty much competing against itself for the title.

As paradoxical as it might seem, the Alienware M11x concept was to place a gaming laptop into a netbook form factor. Dell likes to boast that the M11x is the "world’s most powerful 11-inch gaming laptop," but of course it's pretty much competing against itself for the title.

The original system did offer a much better graphics card than any netbook or other 11-inch laptop in the form of the Nvidia GeForce GT 335M, but its processor options weren't as impressive: The $799 config comes with an Intel Pentium SU4100, though you can upgrade to an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 for an extra $100. Certainly nothing to brag about.

Today Alienware can puff out its LED-covered chest a little with the announcement that its bringing Intel's new Core i5 and i7 CPUs to the party as well. (For a healthy upcharge of course.) Now for $949,  you can get a Core i5-520UM, or for $150 more, you can get a Core i7-640UM. Either gives you TurboBoost when you need more horsepower, and the integrated Intel HD Graphics Media Accelerator makes it possible to tap into Nvidia's Optimus switchable graphics solution. When you're playing games or doing other graphics-heavy tasks, the M11x can lean on the GeForce GT 335M card, while it can rely on the integrated graphics for other apps, allowing it to conserve battery life.

The M11x definitely packs the most power of any laptop in its 4.4-pound weight class, and doesn't require you to totally break the bank to purchase one. It's still an odd bird, however, though one that's now more appealing to those looking for the latest mobile technology. Are you more likely to buy one now? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Mobility

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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