Its a hallmark moment for the Alienware family with the arrival of their new baby.
One of the interesting things on the M11x is the switchable graphics mode between the Intel Integrated and the discreet NVIDIA GPU. This is done through software on your taskbar where you can select either mode. Surprisingly, Dell chose not to use NVIDIA’s Optimus technology which changes between the GPUs intelligently depending on the task at hand instead of you manually doing so. With the NVIDIA GPU selected and benchmarks running, we noticed the unit getting a bit on the hotter side and the fan kicking in producing audible but not necessarily to disturbing levels of noise.
Lets take a look at the benchmarks posted by the M11x. For comparison, we’ve selected the Acer Ferrari which doesn’t necessarily have a discrete GPU like the M11x as well as the HP dv6 that we looked at recently which is a bit and heavy notebook but features a decent CPU and GPU to compare the M11x against.
||CPU (PCMark Vantage)
||Graphics (3D Mark 2006)
|Acer Ferrari One
As you can see from the tests, the M11x certainly outpaces the Ferrari One by a shot but is a bit on the shy side compared to a decently equipped Core 2 Duo notebook with a dedicated mainstream GPU. Separately, we ran some games on the M11x and while anything not extremely demanding such as World of Warcraft and Left 4 Dead played ok, we don’t think the little one is capable of running Crysis or Shattered Horizon at playable speeds. 3Dmark 2006 posted a score of 5458 points as seen above which is just a bit shy of the 6000 mark Alienware advertises. If you’re more of a movies buff, we had no issues playing Hi-Def 720p movies with either the Intel or NVIDIA GPU but 1080p suffered from a lot of stuttering with either of these GPUs.
Battery life on the M11x depends on weather you’re using the Intel GPU or the NVIDIA GPU. With the Intel GPU, I was getting over six hours of usage on a charge which is pretty awesome but with the NVIDIA GPU switched on, I got about three hours which is decent as well. In short, the M11x will allow you to use it for extended periods when needed for work yet allow gaming for a decent while.
Available locally for AED 4,499 (US$1,200), the M11x is priced reasonably for a gaming notebook. Whether gaming on an 11″ screen works for you or not is something you need to decide. Personally, I would love to see a M13x that is slightly thinner than the M11x and with a bigger keyboard.