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

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.

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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

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8 comments
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  • RE: Alienware M11x

    yeah i would definitely get one, light and powerful notebooks are desirable imo, its like a bulky 80s cell phone vs the current smart phones, which would you choose? anyways i wish i had a job and enough money to buy it, pretty awesome design!
    cheadara_sok@...
  • RE: Alienware M11x

    I am hopefully getting one for college. The battery life, weight, size, and power are all very desirable to me. Having a stronger processor able to utilize the Nvidia Optimus is a big deal for me because I dont want to have to manually switch between GPU's.
    hugey010
  • RE: Alienware M11x

    =( Apparently someone reported+got removed my previous (and attempted this one I believe) post for spamming, I am not a spammer! Probably the same jerks who post Ads here. Anyways what I said was that (in summary) that it really depends on your tastes. For the casual gamer College Student this is perfect, but for the guy like me who wants a desktop replacement and would rather NOT play on a midget-screen, it's a nightmare. But still, it'll probably generate a new wave of these "gaming netbooks." Impressive deal for the overpriced Alienware.<br><br>@cheadara: Well, it's not really like 80's vs. smart phone because in this case the big laptops have better specs, but are large in weight and low in battery life (which is a real turnoff for some). There's always 2 sides of things. At least that's what I think you're referring to; if you're just saying normal netbooks compared to m11x then I kind of agree, but not everyone wants graphics; and you pay a bit more for the graphics and the Alienware brand.
    windrunner023
  • RE: Alienware M11x

    I have the original with the SU7300 upgrade. It gives me 7 hours battery life when I want it and allows me to game when I want. One thing that never gets talked about is this. It has an HDMI port. I plug it into my 1080p HDTV and forget the desktop. A high DPI wireless keyboard and mouse and it games flawlessly at 1920x1600. Want to watch Hulu? No problem. Want to watch anything else? No problem. The CPU and Nvidia GPU have no problem keeping up. This is not my primary system, but it could be. For the $1100 I paid it more than blows away the Dell 65xx latitudes I buy for the company (same price point) and not just in video performance. It is cheaper (but heavier) than the 4000 series we buy for our road warriors, gives better battery life and performance. Is it worth it, hell yes!
    Mark Bryant
  • RE: Alienware M11x

    I have one with the standard SU4100 CPU. My job keeps me on the road for about 20 days a month, so portability and battery life (7 or 8 hours) are very important for me. And if I'm in a hotel and want to geek out on the latest game, it fits the bill perfectly. I don't feel undergunned with this CPU, and there isn't much of a performance difference upgrading to the SU7300, so I didn't opt for it.
    I wonder if the new i5/i7's will decrease the battery life on this little gem?
    klingsor@...
  • Alienware OVERALL Problems!

    I don't trust Alienware - any neither should anyone else! I have an Area-51 m15x, and it has SUCKED since DAY ONE! Its been completely Unstable with a Plethora of problems! Even the casing was NOT Engineered correctly - as the back of the top of the laptop Chipped off on BOTH sides over where the Hinges are!!! Obviously too much pressure on that area - and casing of cheap plastic could not hold up. I sent it back - they replaced it - and now its breaking again on one side (Left Rear) - and sure to break again on Right side as well. I will never EVER buy an Alienware Again! And thier Tech support has always sucked - with clueless people on the phone.
    L8r,
    Kurt
    CaptKurt01
  • RE: Alienware M11x

    Just placed my order for my i7 M11x today. Let you know what I think in a month when I get it.
    seiserling@...
  • RE: Alienware M11x

    Yes ... I am getting one to be delivered tomorrow. It will have the i7 processor / 8 GB Ram / bluetooth / Win 7 Ultimate. Love the backlit keyboard. Wish it had a gigabit Lan. I have a 7 yr old Alienware laptop that is still working fine. I have upgraded the hard drive many times and upgrading the videocard and memory is easy. Changing the battery is easy too which is a feature I wish the M11X had. It is done easily enough once you remove the cover but on my old maching you just pressed a release button and the battery slid out. I love Alienware as they make their products customer upgradeable. I have had other laptops such as HP and Asus which are the opposite .. they do not want the customer to upgrade parts hoping people will buy new units when an upgrade is wanted. The M11X is upgradeable and so when I receive it I will be installing a 1 TB hard drive / antiglare screen protector / keyboard protector and a Gigabit Lan when I can acquire one. I am sure I will love this unit as I have been wishing for a 11.5-12.5 inch laptop with top of the line features for some time for use when I travel as I travel a fair bit.
    wacker10