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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.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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)
    Reply
  • tim851
    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?
    Reply
  • jeb1517
    I announce wyx as King of definitions of portable.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • what's with these tiny pictures, I can barely see anything
    Reply
  • hoofhearted
    I think I'll opt for the Sager NP8660 15" model. Much more bang for your buck.
    Reply
  • Kaldor
    hoofheartedI think I'll opt for the Sager NP8660 15" model. Much more bang for your buck.
    I second this.
    Reply
  • Mach5Motorsport
    I'm waiting for Tuan to hype the Mac Airbook Gaming Laptop as superior in his next insightful article on toms.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply