Alienware M11x R3 ultraportable gaming laptop

Alienware M11x R3 review: One of the most attractive little laptops on the market, and it has fast graphics performance

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Alienware M11x R3
  • Alienware M11x R3
  • Alienware M11x R3
  • Alienware M11x R3
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Small yet powerful
  • Great build quality
  • Customisable light schemes

Cons

  • Feels cramped
  • Fan gets loud
  • Slightly heavy for its size

Bottom Line

The M11x R3 is a little gaming laptop that you'll love. It looks good, it feels good and it performs very well. The only downside is that it's a little cramped due to its size.

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Performance

Playing games on the M11x R3's screen can be a bit of a nightmare if you are in a well-lit area. Its panel is glossy and it's susceptible to reflections from room lights and natural sources. It's definitely a screen that is better off being used in a dark environment. The native resolution is 1366x768 and it's a vibrant screen overall.

At this native resolution, many games will play smoothly. Games such as Portal 2, WoW and StarCraft2 will run without any issues; likewise racing and sports games will run fine (Drift2, for example, clocked between 45 and 60 frames per second in our tests). First person shooters might require a slightly lower resolution and lower graphics detail to play smoothly. The laptop's score of 8457 in 3DMark06 shows that it does have a fair bit of 3D processing power and this is on par with other laptops that have an NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M graphics adapter installed, such as the Toshiba Satellite P750.

The M11x R3 isn't just for gaming though, you can use it for practically any task and it will be reasonably quick. Office and school work will be handled with ease, and more taxing tasks such as design work, video editing, compressing and transcoding can be undertaken. In our Blender 3D rendering test, the M11x R3 recorded a time of 52sec, while in our iTunes MP3 encoding test it recorded 1min. The Core i7-2617M is the baby of Intel's Second Generation Core i7 CPU series; it's an ultra-low voltage model that runs at 1.5GHz and it has two cores plus Hyper-Threading. Our performance results are quick considering the slow frequency. This was also shown in our DVD-to-Xvid transcoding test, where it took only 1hr to complete this task.

Battery life

You can't easily remove or replace the battery in the M11x R3 as it's sealed in the chassis. It's an 8-cell battery and with the help of NVIDIA's Optimus technology, which switches to the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics automatically, it lasted 2hr 43min in our rundown test. In this test we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video. It's a not a great time for an 11.6in notebook, but it's a respectable time considering the beefy specifications within the chassis.

If you want to see how much battery life is left in the laptop without first switching it on, you can use the indicator on the bottom panel.

Conclusion

The Alienware M11x R3 is the best ultraportable gaming notebook that you will find on the Australian market. It's a little heavy for its 11.6in size, but this is because it houses a beefy configuration and has a sturdy build quality. We love the way it looks, we love the way it feels, we love its performance. Basically, this laptop gets a whole lotta love from us and we think that any gamer who wants a highly mobile and attractive notebook should check it out.

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