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Dell Dates & Details First Truly Portable Gaming Laptop

Gordon Kelly

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Dell Dates & Details First Truly Portable Gaming Laptop

We got our hands-on the dinky 11.6in Alienware M11x at CES last month, but Dell kept the vast majority of specifications a closely guarded secret. Not anymore!

Today sees the monstrous PC maker spill the beans and highlights include:

  • Processor: Up to Intel Core2 Duo SU7300 (1.3GHz, 800 MHz, 3 MB)

  • Graphics: 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA GeForce® GT 335M

  • Memory: Up to 8GB DDR3 1066MHz

  • Hard Drive: Up to 500GB 7200RPM or 256GB Solid State Drive

  • Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)

  • Connection: 802.11 b/g/n & Optional Internal WWAN

  • Ports: HDMI / Displayport / three USB / Media Card Reader / FireWire

  • Battery Life: Up to 8.5 Hours of Battery Life (don't bet on that while gaming though)

  • Performance: Dell claims over 6,100 3DMark 06 Score
A rather impressive list. On top of this we find out the M11x weighs in at just 1.68Kg making it possibly the first truly portable gaming machine and prices start from £749 including VAT and delivery - but expect that to rise exponentially if you go to town on the upgrades.

“The extraordinary performance of the Alienware M11x redefines, in a big way, the capabilities of small form factor laptops,” said Arthur Lewis, general manager, Dell Gaming Group. “By combining this level of graphics performance, with over-clockable CPUs in a truly mobile product – all for less than £749 - Dell once again demonstrates its commitment to making superior technology accessible to all.”

"Accessible to all" might be going a bit far, considering that you can push the M11x north of £2k if you spec it up, but he has a point. On the flipside, I would question whether anyone really needs a desktop style gaming experience every minute of the day - then again it is on sale immediately so at least we now have the option...

Links:

Alienware M11x Product Page

Dell History of the M11x Development

Xiphias

February 2, 2010, 8:57 pm

SU7300? Are they joking? I guess strategy and RPG gamers need not apply.

Luan Bach

February 2, 2010, 9:00 pm

That's not even close to the $799 the US expected to pay is it ? Money grabbing t***ers.

DrDark

February 2, 2010, 9:03 pm

The weight and price are impressive, although I suppose it is quite a small screen.


The battery life claim almost had me ROFLing though.


It reminded me of something entirely unrelated which claims to have 10hours battery life *cough*...

Ala Miah

February 2, 2010, 9:33 pm

Gaming on an 11.6in, really?

Chris

February 2, 2010, 9:34 pm

Surely anyone willing to play games on a tiny 11.6 inch screen is going to be a 'casual' gamer, but what casual gamer would pay a premium for a gaming laptop? Seems like a bit of a niche, perhaps...

Stelph

February 2, 2010, 9:59 pm

Does seem to be quite a niche, as Chris points out anyone looking for an 11 inch screen to play games on is probably a casual gamer, which is something id class myself as (I like to play some last generation games and games from steam on my PC), hence why I got myself a HP mini 311. Ok, its only a atom Ion Netbook, but it can cope with Aliens V Predator, Medievel 2 and several other games and at £250 - £300 its less than half the price.

Xiphias

February 2, 2010, 10:02 pm

@Chris: Not really, while an expansive outdoor action game might not look it's best it should be perfectly fine for playing strategy, RPG and other genres where it's not intended to be immersive 3d - those not bottlenecked by the slow processor anyway.

Xiphias

February 2, 2010, 10:12 pm

Looking at it a bit further, at least they've included internal mobile broadband so you can play those games with more enthusiastic DRM that require online authentication.

Ed

February 2, 2010, 10:26 pm

Possibly niche but certainly fits my needs perfectly.

DrDark

February 2, 2010, 10:47 pm

I'd say as a relatively small machine, it does a lot and fits the "portable" category quite nicely. Spot of Bioshock 2 on a flight anyone? (You may have to book the seat next to you to be able to use the other table as a mouse pad, but still...)





Also, @Stelph: Med2 runs on netbooks?! They either patched it a lot since I last saw it or I have new found respect for what the Ion can do ;).

rav

February 2, 2010, 11:06 pm

Is there really a need to label the OS as "Genuine Windows 7"? As opposed to what? Dell Bootleg Edition

ilovethemonkeyhead

February 2, 2010, 11:29 pm

i noticed the uk base specs are marginally higher than the us one - larger base hard drive, bundled bluetooth and confirmed wireless.





will be buying the silver version - 11 inches is perfect for something that can probably play anything i can throw at it (fallout 3 mostly...)

Chris

February 2, 2010, 11:33 pm

I suppose for £749 it's more capable than many similarly priced small machines - *IF* it's £749 :).

Stelph

February 3, 2010, 1:29 am

@dr dark yep, really well actually, was quite surprised! Pleased tho as it's my favourite of the total war games (couldn't get into empire) If you search YouTube for the hp mini 311 there's quite a few videos of games working on an ion netbook

xenos

February 3, 2010, 3:05 am

Needs more Gigahertz!

gingerbreadman85

February 3, 2010, 3:31 am

1.3Ghz Core 2 ULV? Hardly what i'd call a "Gaming Laptop". I must say, i do take this quote with a MASSIVE grain of salt:





"For gaming, photo editing, and HD video encoding enthusiasts, the optional Intel® Core&#84822 Duo SU7300 processor has plenty of power for running demanding applications in the background while working on other tasks."





Sounds like they are adverting an i7 975, not a ULV laptop chip!





I eagerly await a review showing whether this is a Achilles Heel or a cunning component choice to optimise battery life.

Tariq Pugh

February 3, 2010, 4:20 am

Just specced one up for £1,077 with extended warranty, the better CPU, 4gb, and 500gb hdd. Suits me to a tee. Sure, the screen is small, but when i'm at home i tend to play games thru my flat-screen anyway. When i'm out and about i'd want to watch films and maybe play older games.





Sure it's not the sleekest of things, but it looks pretty distinctive and i'd expect it's well built (and i really can't afford a Vaio Z-series, which is only actually pretty lappy imo). Looking forward to the review





ps. Does any one know if this transmits audio over hdmi? Cheers

DrDark

February 3, 2010, 4:41 am

@Stelph: Wow, I even found a video of it running UT3! Colour me impressed. I think this comments thread should turn into "HP Mini 311 VS iPad" :-D.


Also, Med2's your fave eh?


Check it: http://img69.yfrog.com/i/shiel...


Neat? ;)


*cough*Faces have been obscured to protect the guilty...

Vivid

February 3, 2010, 2:58 pm

Isn't it a little bit odd having a machine aimed at gamers when it has no optical media drive. That's fine if you want to play Steam games but most games want to see the disc in a drive before they'll start up. Perhaps Alienware/Dell want us to operate virtual drives and get our game ISO's from Newsgroups? Dell in piracy advocation shocker?

Stelph

February 3, 2010, 3:41 pm

@DrDark, not tried UT3 but I have been surprised how well games work on it, I would have though the Atom CPU would have been pummled into submission by CPU intensive games like Arma and Total War but it works fine for me, am very pleased! Would be interested to see TrustedReviews do a review. Hahaha I love the picture! Maybe not such a good look with a shirt and tie :-)





@Vivid my HPmini also has the same issue of no DVD drive, but I get around that using cracked exe's from gamecopyworld (hopefully I can mention that site?), I believe it is legit as it basically means that disk checking is disabled. Almost all games nowerdays install everything to your HDD and just need the disk inserted to check it, but its quite an annoying requirement ontop of other DRM security that software developers put on games (plus it wears out the disk :-) ) so I always disable it.

Vivid

February 3, 2010, 4:07 pm

@Stelph - I have no problem with people using these approaches to get around a pain in the arse restriction of a game they own, but using pirated games is wrong kids. M'kay?





A mate of mine has pointed out the lack of 3G support or space for a PCI card on the laptop as well. That seems to be even more of an oversight as this machine is rapidly turning into a mess of dongles and peripherals to make it functional.

ilovethemonkeyhead

February 3, 2010, 5:08 pm

i stopped using disc based media once my baby sister could crawl. her mouth is where i found most of my discs, and why, oh why must i submit to an archaic system where a game's disc MUST be in the computer to be allowed to play? owners of the old plastic macbook hear me out, but whenever i so much as tap the body with a disc inside i hear a worrying grinding noise...





steam for me, please. plus they have nice sales.

Stelph

February 3, 2010, 5:34 pm

@Vivid, I agree! All of my games are ones that I have bought legitimatly, I just use GameCopyWorld to make running my games a lot easier on the go :-)

DrDark

February 3, 2010, 6:01 pm

@Vivid - Quote "this machine is rapidly turning into a mess of dongles and peripherals to make it functional."


Tsk, must everything be about the iPad?

Xiphias

February 3, 2010, 8:57 pm

@Vivid: Most new games do have an option to buy them with internet authentication these days (GamersGate, Impulse, Direct2Drive, EA Store, Steam etc. etc.) and it does have a 3G modem (the specs list integrated WWAN) but given the slow processor it seems intended for games you've already got rather than games you've yet to buy so it is rather a big limitation, especially since a lot of usual laptop gamers specifically buy versions with a disk check.

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