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Alienware M14x - Build and Connectivity

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


The M14x doesn't just look like an (elegant) brick, it's built like one too. Build quality is up there with the best: all the panels are so solid as to barely flex no matter how hard you press, the screen and hinge are solid as a rock, and everything is precisely fitted and finished.

Alienware M14x 9

Of course, that solidity combined with the high-end components and a large capacity battery comes at a price, as this is one of the heaviest 14in laptops around. However, along with its premium look, feel and build, its presentation is great, with a nice felt carrying pouch provided to protect it from scuffs and scratches while out and about.

Connectivity is, quite simply, the best we've come across on a laptop this size. Along the left we have not only the usual VGA and HDMI 1.4 video outputs, but they're joined by a mini DisplayPort output too, so hooking up to the highest-resolution 30in monitors without adapters shouldn't be a problem. Audio likewise covers every base, with three 3.5mm jacks allowing for analogue surround sound systems to be connected, or allowing a setup where you have optical audio going out to a digital system while still allowing you to plug in analogue headphones and a microphone.

Alienware M14x 7

Here you'll also find a sleep-and-charge USB 2.0 port (unfortunately it's not an eSATA combo port), followed by a memory card reader and what we can only assume is a SIM-slot, though there's no 3G option listed on the site. Wireless duties are handled by the usual Bluetooth and Wi-Fi N combo, though both are optional modules that cost extra. You can also upgrade to Killer Wi-Fi N for an extra £30.

Alienware M14x 8

Around the right are two USB 3.0 ports, which are kept black rather than the usual blue (we approve), and a Gigabit Ethernet port. There's a great-looking slot-loading DVD writer, though unfortunately you can't upgrade this to a Blu-ray drive. Admittedly PC games aren't available on Blu-ray yet but few people are likely to buy this as a secondary machine, so it would have been nice to at least have the option for movies.


August 13, 2011, 2:28 am

I don't understand how TR can reccommend this laptop or any alienware/dell laptop for that matter, 8 out of 10 people on forums i've visited complain about alienware.
I hear horror stories of the laptop running so hot that it's internals melt or partially melt, besides that also hear about how horrible the customer service is.
Ofcourse what i read about alienware/dell is not a fact but still when i read so many people warn potential buyers to avoid alienware/dell laptops, then i think there is perhaps some truth in what they are saying.


August 16, 2011, 8:51 pm

I'll agree that there is the occational inevitable "lemon" coming out of any manufacturer, a lot of the things you will read regarding "Alienware Sux" are written by folks who know very little about computers and fancy themselves gurus. I am an owner of an M15x, and it handles everything and anything I throw at it without even blinking. It's the strongest laptop I have ever owned, and there is literally nothing else out there like it.

Looks like that still holds true, since the m14x refresh seems to have gone down some as far as available hardware. I got mine just before they discontinued the line and put the 5850 in it - it's truly a gaming beast that goes with you anywhere.

Looking at the designs of other laptops such as the RoG line from Asus and some Sager notebooks - none of them have the flash and the warranty options, and they all cost just the same. You want to talk about horrible customer experiences, go check out Newegg reviews and look at some of the horror stories from people trying to get service out of Asus for their RoG line.

I had one issue with my m15x, and it wasn't even really an issue per se. I reloaded windows (because I like a fresh copy), and the CD didn't come with the software to watch BluRay movies. I called up customer service, gave the tech my info, he logged into my laptop and verified the hardware, and in 10 minutes a digital copy of the software was uploaded to it and I was back to playing with my new machine.

In short, you have to consider the source when reading things on forums, especially the ones that have little to no moderation. Any 12 year old with an opinion can voice it, and it doesn't even have to be objective.

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