|ALIENWARE AREA 51 M|
Alienware are a company that
are synonymous with quality systems aimed at the gamer who wants the
best system money can buy. As well as the excellent desktops that
Alienware produce they also make a several high performance laptop
models which come equipped with components that most desktop users
would love, Pentium 4 processor up to 3.2Ghz, DDR3200 ram, ATI Mobility
Radeon 9600 pro graphics. Alienware also provide a real enthusiast
feature which allows the laptops graphics card to be upgraded. Sounds
too good to be true really! Todays review will compare the Alienware
system against a Pentium 4/9600XT based system to see just how good
the Alienware is.
The first thing that sticks out from the specifications is the casing, the Alienware Area51-m comes in Magnesium alloy, no bendy/flimsy plastic here. Not only does this metal case protect the inside more efficiently it also adds an excellent feel of quality to the whole machine. From the internals we have a “real” Pentium 4 processor, not the Pentium-m model that you would expect in any other laptop. As per most other P4 desktop chip the Alienware processor uses an 800mhz fsb and supports hyperthreading. The graphics card is 9600 pro based and so fully supports Direct X 9. Comparing the rest of the specifications we can see that there is not much difference to any desktop system.
A few words on the system…
As you will see from the pictures
below, this system is stunning. The 15.4inch LCD screen is exceptionally
clear, so much so that it impressed my wife enough to make her happy
enough to watch a movie on it.
Looking at the system as a whole it is rather large, however this also allows the keys to be sightly larger than most laptops, just giving that slightly nicer feel rather than cramped.
On the top of the screen you have the unique power status indicator, the aliens eyes. Depending on charging or running from battery the aliens eyes change colour, red, blue green etc. The following shot was taken with the power fully charged. You can also see the rubber grips which add a stylish look as well as making the machine easy to pick up.
From a connectivity point of view the alienware is very well kitted out:
Above: VGA, Parallel, power, nic, modem.
Above: Video-out, Dvd/CDRW
Above: Infared port, SD memory card slot, PCMCIA slot.
Above: Microphone, Spdif out, Firewire, 3x usb 2.0
Above: You can see from the base of the system that the magnesium alloy continues throughout. You can also see the panels which can be removed to replace/upgrade the graphics card and memory.