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The Alienware m11x lets you bring your gaming with you anywhere you go without breaking your back. At less than 5 pounds this compact gaming laptop provides an unprecedented portability with unexpected gaming performance. A lighted keyboard with adjustable colors makes the laptop a pleasure to use in low light conditions. Almost as small as most netbooks the m11x packs enough punch to have you playing Modern Warfare 2 and Crysis with very respectable frame rates, but also light enough to carry with you all day without fatigue.
When you’re done gaming you can switch the graphics from discrete to integrated and get as much as 6 hours of battery life from this gaming powerhouse. In addition because of the Alienware name you know the laptop is going to be solid as a rock with sturdy build quality. The ultimate hybrid in gaming laptops, the m11x is the perfect choice for the on the go college student or traveling professional who loves gaming.
With graphics powered by Nvidia’s GeForce GT 335M 1GB and GeForce GT 540M (in the newer 2011 models) the m11x doesn’t fail to impress. Average frame rates in Modern Warfare 2 were reported to be around 34, although dropping as low as 24 with anti-aliasing on 2x. Left 4 Dead 2 struggled a little more when loaded down with swarms of zombies flooding the screen, but still quite very playable and respectable with moderate settings. Processor intensive games like Shattered Horizon will struggle when paired with the Core 2 Duo processor options but an upgrade to the i5 or the i7 should alleviate those problems.
Offering great affordability for a gaming laptop the Pentium U5400 edition of the m11x is only 4.5 lbs and gives great performance in those graphics card hungry games. Essentially a stripped down version of the previous generation Core i3/i5 series of CPUs, the Arrandale core based U5400 is a step up from the previous Core 2 Duo ULV. Games with complex physics engines or processor centric programming will probably struggle a little more with this option, but most mainstream games will be quite playable and enjoyable. Unlike the previous entry-level Core 2 Duo M11x base spec of 2GB of RAM the Pentium version is benefitted by an upgrade to 4GB for better multitasking and squeezing the last bit of performance out of latest games.
This model adds a lot of upgrades that I would recommend for the Pentium U5400 edition as well as the i5 processor which should add a fair bit of responsiveness in most games. In the latest Alienware m11x version, you'll receive a beefier GeForce GT 540M in the i5-2537M version, a clear step up from the GT 530M or the GT 535M (more shader core, more memory bandwidth), making it a much faster gaming GPU. You get the option of more space, as 320GB can be a little limiting these days with games getting bigger and bigger so the 500GB on the available model is a nice upgrade. Frequently only $250 more with a coupon this model is the sweet spot in the lineup.
With this top of the line m11x you get another 1GB of video RAM in the 540M for those more demanding games as well as an upgrade to the i7 so you can now officially have the most powerful commercial 11 inch laptop on the market. The upgrade also throws in a 500GB hard drive and 6GB or *GB of RAM. If you wanted to go all out upgrading to the SSD hard drive will give you great load speeds in-game as well as fast boot-up times that can really improve your gaming experience.
The Alienware m11x offers some very powerful features in a surprisingly compact package. Anything this small that can play Crysis and Modern Warfare 2 is impressive by itself. Solid build construction and nice extras like the variable zone lighting, backlit keyboard, and built in webcam make this a truly versatile laptop. The ability to switch between integrated graphics and discrete is great if you’re on the go, and HDMI output lets you use a bigger screen when you’re not. Overall the m11x is a great value laptop for someone who can’t afford a dedicated gaming machine.
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