Alienware M11X: Big Gaming Performance in Tiny Package

This new 11.6in ultraportable runs games better than most 15in laptops.

If you want to play games on your laptop - real games, not Farmville on Facebook - you need one of those big, heavy, expensive desktop replacement laptops. Or so goes the conventional wisdom. Or, maybe you can get away with a fairly heavy and pricey 15" laptop. Well, Dell's Alienware division is throwing the rule book out with its terribly interesting M11x model.

Not many details have been released so far. The M11x isn't yet on sale, after all, and it will still be a couple of months before you can buy one. What the company reps have said so far has gamers like me terribly interested, though. Here's the rundown:

  • It has an 11.6in, 1355x768 display
  • It's packing a Core2Duo processor
  • It will feature switchable graphics, running on a low-performance integrated GPU when on the desktop to offer over 6 hours of battery life and switching to a 1GB GeForce 335M GPU when gaming for better performance (and "around 2 hours" of battery life)
  • It weighs about 4 lbs.
  • It runs Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at over 30fps at highest settings, and scores in the 6,000-7,000 range in 3DMark (Dell didn't disclose which version of 3DMark nor which settings were used).
  • It will cost "under US$1,000" fully loaded.

Sure, those specs and that kind of performance doesn't hold a candle to those 8-pound high performance 15in notebook, let alone the 17in or 18in desktop replacement models that cost two grand and weigh a tonne. But gamers have been absolutely screaming for an honestly affordable, smaller, lightweight laptop that they can actually play core 3D games on with decent performance. It looks like Alienware is stepping up to the plate.

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