Alienware m15x: True Gaming Portability?

Display Characteristics

Reduced size and weight didn’t require Alienware to sacrifice panel resolution, as the 15.4” option of the m15x matches the 1920x1200 pixels of typical 17” notebook displays. Pixel count isn’t the sole definition of visual quality, though—there’s nothing more annoying than a panel that has dark sides or looks washed out. We wanted to see how the m15x configuration Alienware sent would stand up to the hefty Dell M1730 in terms of brightness uniformity and contrast.

At default brightness settings, the optional 1920x1200 pixel panel on the m15x looks fairly uniform, though not particularly bright. Let’s take a look back at the big Dell panel from the performance comparison system.

Dell’s panel is brighter at default settings, but it also shows less uniformity. However, panels can lose uniformity when brightness is increased, and both panels looked good in actual use.

Now for the contrast ratios.

The best 15.4” panel available in Alienware’s m15x has a moderate contrast ratio that neither impresses nor disappoints. Let’s look back at how Dell’s monster 17” panel performed.

The XPS M1730 had superb uniformity of contrast, and a contrast ratio that exceeds that of many desktop displays.

Buyers should expect to trade some performance for better portability, but it’s nice to see the visual quality losses are relatively small when dropping from Dell’s 17” behemoth to Alienware’s 15” mid-weight gaming machine.

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41 comments
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  • Anonymous
    portable laptops can never be gaming PC.

    what's portable?
    small laptops that can be easily put onto trail table.
    hand hold device that can be easily carried around and have at least 5 hours of battery life.

    what's a gaming PC?
    a PC that can handle all game you throw at it
    a PC that can provide constant performance, not 2/3 performance when on battery mode

    so you see, there is no such thing as gaming laptops, all you going to get is a half way house where it's neither really a laptop (in sense that it sucks at battery life and weights a ton) and isn't really a gaming PC (in a sense that it won't perform and doesn't allow easy upgrade of graphics card)

    best solution for university students is like what i've done: a beast of a gaming PC, and an iPhone for portable entertainment. (or Asus EEE, MSI Wind, etc)
    PC's go outdated very fast, so just sell the uni. PC when moving away.
    1
  • fudgeboy
    unfortunatly unlike you're situation, there is people out there who have to move around ALL the time. i have a family member in the australian defence force who has a mid-end gaming laptop. sure he cant have the settings turned up all the way but the important fact is he still has something to play games on. thats what the gaming laptop is here for. two different things - gaming laptop - gaming pc. now STFU and GTFO my internets =D (kidding)
    4
  • tim851
    Quote:
    what's portable?
    small laptops that can be easily put onto trail table.
    hand hold device that can be easily carried around and have at least 5 hours of battery life.


    Who made you king and let you decide what portable means?
    -4
  • jeb1517
    I announce wyx as King of definitions of portable.
    0
  • bobwya
    +1 jeb seconded!!

    I got out my old 15" Pro-star (Clevo) P4 heater/laptop on the train earlier this summer. The guy across from me had a 13" Mac with a newer processor, etc. Boy was I embarrassed since my laptop looked like a chunky breeze block compared to his!!

    But really if you want a gaming laptop you are going to get something similar to my old laptop more akin to a portable PC (I mean 4kg+ of heft, etc. is not for the feint of heart!!) This won't change until fuel cell technology becomes mainstream...

    Personally my next machine will be a lightweight laptop with a 15" or smaller screen. As long as it can playback 720p x264!!

    Bob
    0
  • Anonymous
    what's with these tiny pictures, I can barely see anything
    2
  • hoofhearted
    I think I'll opt for the Sager NP8660 15" model. Much more bang for your buck.
    3
  • Kaldor
    hoofheartedI think I'll opt for the Sager NP8660 15" model. Much more bang for your buck.


    I second this.
    2
  • Mach5Motorsport
    I'm waiting for Tuan to hype the Mac Airbook Gaming Laptop as superior in his next insightful article on toms.
    7
  • njalterio
    A score of around 13,400 in 3dmark06?
    What a joke. With my q6600 @ 3.0 and an HD3870 I get a little bit lower than that at around 13,000. I wonder how much more that laptop costs.

    Unless you have money to blow and/or the need to be extremely mobile just get a desktop computer. Hopefully you will build it yourself, but even buying a high end desktop would be a better deal than getting these kinds of laptops. I know too many people who think they need a laptop, and it just sits at their desk anyways.
    0
  • ereetos
    Mach5MotorsportI'm waiting for Tuan to hype the Mac Airbook Gaming Laptop as superior in his next insightful article on toms.


    LOOOOL

    hey at least he fessed up to most of the comments. It was a great (comedy wise) week for articles here on toms :)

    i know i had a good chuckle at work readin comments
    -2
  • liubros
    with Q6600 OC to 3.0, and GTX280, I got 15000+ 3DMark06 scores. feel bad for people who need to spend 4k+ for a gaming laptop
    -1
  • Mach5Motorsport
    ereetosLOOOOLhey at least he fessed up to most of the comments. It was a great (comedy wise) week for articles here on toms i know i had a good chuckle at work readin comments



    He did? Must have been lost in the sea of feedback. Any reply I saw was him attempting to rebut (in a glorious lost cause) most critical comments. I didn't see a reply by him after page 25.
    1
  • pogsnet
    PUMA design is still better with external gaming GPU. You dont need SLI during typing or browsing mode, its a waste of battery. PUMA is more practical in design.
    -2
  • ravenware
    "Looks like it’s time to give mom and dad a call..."

    Looks like a little brat needs to get a job...
    3
  • bobwya
    RAVENWARE"Looks like it’s time to give mom and dad a call..."Looks like a little brat needs to get a job...


    Or more like "Time to max out those credit cards... !! "

    Bob
    4
  • JonnyDough
    $4000 is out of my price range, and I haven't got "parents to call." Even if I did I'd feel a bit ashamed asking mom and dad for that kind of cash. I wouldn't want to be a spoiled brat or anything.
    0
  • bobwya
    JonnyDough ... I wouldn't want to be a spoiled brat or anything.


    Depends whether your mom and dad is Mr & Mrs Hilton or not I guess!! :crazy:

    Bob
    0
  • Anonymous
    totally agree with liubros here. that kind of performance is what gaming machines should get! (have my £400 right here to upgrade my 8800GTX when gtx280+ or 4870x2 comes out)

    people on the move all the time? isn't there something called a CAR?
    i go home every holiday from university, and i bring my gaming rig home every time, now i've also moved my gaming rig to summer placement (internship for Americans) all done using a car! they are great creations to move heavy objects ;)


    so for those who like idea of gaming laptop, tell me this:
    you are stuck without any way of charging for 5 hours, what do you do with the brick?

    i only carry an iPhone around when travelling. its got 4 pages of game, 10 hours of video and gameplay/wi-fi time of 6hr+, so i think i'll be happily occupied without being weighted down. and at destination (say to stay for a week) i still have internet access and enough games to last until i get back.
    -3
  • skywalker9952
    Umm hasn't this laptop been out for like 6 months now? Since when did THG review 6 month old hardware?
    0