The first thing which is immediately noticeable about the M15x is how sturdy the machine is. There are other laptops out there which use the same material in their construction but they are often flimsy and can damage easily. The M15x uses a much thicker chassis and should withstand some very rough treatment when on the move. The good build quality continues when we open the lid and find a bright and crisp screen which has a visually appealing design thanks to the edge to edge finish.
Those people who open the underside of the machine will also find a well arranged and tidy design with each of the component separated from the others. Airflow has also been taken into consideration with the fan and vent placement pretty much perfected.
Connectivity is also a highlight on the M15x, 3 USB’s along with eSATA and Firewire should be enough for most people but there is one aspect we would change. The inclusion of DisplayPort is good to see as it is future proof but in the short term users may have appreciated HDMI more as it makes connecting the system to a HDTV much easier. A task which may well be important due to how well the system performs with HD content.
With regards to performance, the results we achieved on this system and specifically those related to memory or CPU were exceptional for a mobile system. The use of Intel’s Core i7 and PM55 platform has huge benefits over the older Core 2 range. Gaming performance was also decent with the GTX 260M allowing us to play the latest games at resolutions ranging from 1280x720 to 1920x1080. The fact that the system is able to support PhysX is also a real bonus with excellent benefits in games such as Batman Arkham Asylum.
As noted earlier in the review our system contained a 500 GB SATA drive and it performed as we would expect. Considering the rest of the system specifications we would very much recommend that anyone purchasing the M15x opts for the SSD option when configuring the system for an extra boost in performance and responsiveness.
Having the best mobile platform running on the fastest type of hard drive will make a stunning all round system which will be the envy of friends and colleagues.
EDIT 15/10/09: Check out coverage of the Alienware 15x in an esports setting on our sister site Cadred.org.