The first screenshots above show the software installed on the M11x before it leaves the factory. It is a good build with very few extras, ensuring the system is bloat free. Items of note are Flash and Java being pre-installed. Also installed on the M11x is Steam, Valve’s online game distribution service. This will no doubt be the user’s primary source of games as it allows them to run software without a disc. For anything that’s not available on Steam companies such as EA offer their own online distribution service.
In the second screenshot above we have the system rating for Windows 7 64-bit (the default OS choice on M11x).
Also bundled with the M11x is Alienware’s Command Centre. This software application handles a number of features with the first being system lighting. Through the FX screen within Command Centre we can select a number of colours for each area of the machine and it even goes as far as to allow various themes.
In the Fusion screen we are able to configure the power saving and performance aspects of the machine. Essentially this is a better presented version of the Windows power profiles but it is good to have everything in one place.
The next aspect of the Command Centre on our build was the Touch function. In this section of the software we can configure options such as touchpad sensitivity and scroll setup.
The final screen within Alienware’s Command Centre is Sense. This uses the built in camera for facial recognition. It can be set to automatically log on a user when their face is recognised, to switch users or to provide continuous security. When using the final option any time the camera does not see the users face the machine locks and once the operator returns it automatically unlocks.
Alienware use a Phoenix BIOS for the original M11x and on the newer model it is InsydeH20 based. This version offers all of the standard functionality such as choosing boot order and enabling/disabling components such as wireless. There is also an overclocking option on the Advance screen. Through this we can increase the CPU speed my moving the bus from 133 to 166MHz in 2MHz steps.
Also worth mentioning is that BIOS updates on the M11x are performed in Windows, we run the flash file, it backs up and flashes the BIOS and is a simple process with very little user interaction which is ideal for novices.