See All Laptops

Alienware M17x

*Est. $1,500 and up
Reviewed
April 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Alienware M17x

Pros
  • Top-of-the-line performance
  • Numerous upgrade options
  • Excellent ergonomics
Cons
  • Runs hot
  • Very short battery life
Where to Buy
 

Bottom Line

The Alienware brand has long been considered the cream of the crop when it comes to portable gaming. That holds true with the fourth revision of the M17x, which packs the latest and greatest processors and graphics cards along with a competitive price point. Most reviewers again name it the best gaming laptop you can buy right now.

Performance

Powers through anything you throw at it. The base model of the M17x packs a third-generation Intel Core i7-3630QM processor, 6 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M GPU. That alone can handle virtually all computing tasks effortlessly, but step up to the $2,600 configuration examined by most reviewers -- which upgrades practically every aspect of the machine, most notably the GPU, to the Nvidia GTX 680M -- and you can play even the most demanding games at totally smooth frame rates, including "Battlefield 3" at Ultra settings. However, with great power comes poor portability; like most gaming laptops, the M17x is plagued by a short battery life.

Ergonomics

A beast to lug around, but comfortable when stationary. At nearly 12 pounds including the adapter, you won't want to move the Alienware M17x around too often. Critics say the touchpad and keyboard are full-sized and top-notch, but the keyboard and fan areas can become hot to the touch during extended gaming or watching HD videos. The M17x includes more ports than most notebooks, with HDMI-in and -out, four USB 3.0 ports and much more.

Design

It's a looker. As far as gaming laptops go, critics say the M17x's case is attractive, complete with a fully customizable backlit keyboard. By default, the laptop comes with a 1,600-by-900-pixel LCD screen that reviewers say is perfectly fine, but most recommend upgrading to the true 1,080p display for the best high-resolution results. Audio also gets high marks for its clarity and volume.

Support & reliability

Build quality could be better. Dell backs its Alienware laptops with a one-year warranty but fails to win a Readers' Choice award at PCMag.com, which considers reliability. Last year PCMag.com noted a slightly above-average defect rate for Alienware computers, which is fairly common with high-end gaming notebooks. Laptop Magazine has a bad experience with Dell's phone support, but Alienware has a different phone number for support and staffers don't test that one. Historically, Alienware has offered good tech support.

Value

A good value for a gaming laptop. Few notebooks offer this much pixel-pushing gaming oomph for this low of a price, say several reviewers.

Where To Buy
Dell Slim 150-Watt AC Adapter Charger with Power Cord for Dell Alienware M15x / Alienware M17x / Alienware M14x

 (13 reviews)
5 New from $38.99

In Stock.

 

Our Sources

1. PCMag.com

Review Credibility: Excellent The Alienware M17x R4 wins an Editors' Choice award and gets 4.5 out of 5 stars at PCMag.com. "It's ostentatious, audacious, over the top, and strangely enough, more affordable than rivals," Santo Domingo writes.

Review: Alienware M17x R4, Joel Santo Domingo, June 21, 2012

2. HotHardware.com

Review Credibility: Excellent The Alienware M17x also wins an Editor's Choice award from HotHardware.com at the end of an exhaustive, multi-page review. "In the end, the Alienware M17x is a phenomenal gaming rig that outstrips most of the stiffest competition at a relatively reasonable price," says Colaner.

Review: Alienware M17x R4 (2012), Ivy Bridge and Kepler Refresh, Seth Colaner, July 3, 2012

3. Laptop Magazine

Review Credibility: Excellent Make it three Editors' Choice nods in a row. "Gamers and those with heavy-duty multimedia needs will be hard-pressed to find a better notebook than the Alienware M17x," Smith reports.

Review: Alienware M17x R4 (2012) Reviewq, Sherri L. Smith, June 25, 2012

4. Computer Shopper

Review Credibility: Excellent It's another Editors' Choice award and 4.5 stars out of 5 for the Alienware M17x at ComputerShopper.com. "There's no denying its bulk and heft, but if you're in the market for a high-end gaming laptop, Alienware's latest M17x pleases on performance and build quality," Safford says.

Review: Alienware M17x R4 Review and Ratings, Matt Safford, June 26, 2012

5. TheVerge.com

Review Credibility: Excellent The Alienware M17x R4 gets a score of 7.5 out of 10 , a fairly high rating from this notoriously demanding source. "I won't say the M17x R4 is worth every penny, but I will say that it's a powerful desktop replacement -- the fastest notebook we've reviewed to date -- that will likely be sailing through hardware-intensive games long after you've finally paid it off," Ralph writes.

Review: Alienware M17x R4 Review, Nate Ralph, June 22, 2012

6. Notebook Check.net

Review Credibility: Very Good A European version of the M17x R4 earns a high rating and lots of praise from Germany's NotebookCheck.net. "Alienware snatches the gaming crown once again," says Glaser, who likes the abundance of USB 3.0 ports and notes an all-around lack of negatives.

Review: Alienware M17x R4 Notebook Review, Florian Glaser, May 27, 2012

7. DigitalTrends.com

Review Credibility: Good Smith gives the Alienware M17x R4 4.5 stars out of 5 and an Editors' Choice award. He says it stands out for its "outrageous performance," quality build, and hard-core gaming look and feel.

Review: Alienware M17x R4 Review, Matt Smith, June 21, 2012

8. PC Pro

Review Credibility: Good PC Pro gives the M17x R4 a Recommended award, but has a harder time calling the laptop a "value" considering its sky-high price tag. "If you're looking for a multimedia powerhouse to take the place of a bulky desktop PC, this Alienware machine is simply out of this world," Muller writes.

Review: Alienware M17x R4 Review, Sasha Muller, May 18, 2012

9. TechRadar.com

Review Credibility: Good Britain's TechRadar.com finds a lot to like in the M17x, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Its battery life and heft are the only major negatives cited. "Despite its chunky frame and weighty anatomy, the Alienware M17x is the perfect gaming machine and also a fantastic desktop replacement, thanks to its impressive HD media features," Lamkin says.

Review: Alienware M17x 2012 Reviewq, Paul Lamkin, June 15, 2012

Laptops Runners Up:

13-inch Apple MacBook Air Est. $1,050 and up

9 picks including: Amazon.com, CNET…

Alienware 14 Est. $1,100 and up

5 picks by top review sites.

Alienware 17 Est. $1,500 and up

4 picks by top review sites.

Acer Aspire S7 Est. $1,330 and up

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DigitalTrends.com…

Asus Zenbook UX51VZ Est. $1,820 and up

2 picks including: DigitalTrends.com, Engadget.com…

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p Est. $1,050 and up

2 picks including: Laptop Magazine, PCMag.com…

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch Est. $1,300 and up

1 pick including: DigitalTrends.com, Engadget.com…

Dell XPS 12 Est. $1,000 and up

1 pick including: Engadget.com, CNET…

CyberPower FangBook Evo HX7-200 Est. $1,530 and up

1 pick including: PCMag.com, PC World…

Sony Vaio Pro 11 Est. $1,150 and up

1 pick including: Engadget.com, CNET…

image
Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,099.00 $1,048.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Acer Aspire S7-392-9890 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook (Crystal White)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,599.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
ASUS UX51Vz-DH71 15.6-Inch Laptop
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,999.00   
Average Customer Review:  
image
Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p 59388313 15.6-Inch Laptop (Dusk Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,099.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
ASUS TX300CA-DH71 13.3-Inch Detachable 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,499.00 $1,138.31   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 14-Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Black)3444CUU
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,999.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Dell XPS 12 XPSU12-5327CRBFB 12.5-Inch Convertible 2 in 1 Touchscreen Ultrabook (Carbon Fiber)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,099.99 $799.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
CyberpowerPC FANGBOOK EVO HFX7-200 17.3-Inch Laptop
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,549.99 $1,249.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Sony VAIO Pro SVP11213CXB 11.6-Inch Core i5 Touchscreen Ultrabook (Carbon Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,149.99 $898.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

Back to top