While it is considered dated by current modern standards, the Alienware M11X R3 is a unique specimen among the plethora of gaming machines in existence today. Released in 2011, the M11x R3 is a by-product of when ultraportable netbooks were still a thing and had a significant presence on the electronics market. Netbooks are still in existence, but they have been supplanted from the gaming arena and geared towards supporting mainly office-oriented While larger gaming laptop, and desktop computers pack extras such as additional hard drive specs, more powerful graphics cards, and extra expandability for internals, the M11x has just enough power to run a few AAA titles at its current specs.
Alienware does not produce the M11x anymore since it follows the philosophy of “bigger is better” alongside the rest of its OEM peers and belong. The laptop features two headlights in the front that light up red/blue (which you can change at any time via the Alienware customization program). The LED light-up feature for the keyboard is a neat gimmick if you like playing in the dark.
The M11x as a portable gaming notebook sported some pretty decent specs for a machine of its size. Weighing 5 lbs, the machine sports the iconic Alienware logo behind the LED screen, and a rugged frame that supports the electronics built into it that would serve as the baseline for future M models. Its LED display has a glossy look that supports up to 1366×752 screen resolution. It has a 500GB/750GB hard drive that can be swapped with an SSD for faster operating system performance as well as computer performance. There is no optical drive included with the netbook, which was a tradeoff as part of the machine’s design process. The M11x is capable of supporting up to three USB 2.0 connections to it, which is useful if you have a gaming mouse and a controller.
Gaming-wise, it is powerful for a machine its size with its hybrid Nvidia GeForce 335 GTM/Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics card. We were able to run some titles such as WarCraft III and Command & Conquer 3 on high settings, as well as StarCraft II on medium settings. Also, we did some graphics playtests on a few Valve-exclusive titles and found that Counter-Strike: Source, Left4Dead and Left4Dead 2 at high resolution. When separated from AC power, the M11x can run for approximately five to six hours if there aren’t resource-intensive programs running in the background. Playing online was a relatively smooth experience through the netbook’ wifi, with little lag in-between matches.
Technical Specs and Rating
Here’s a quick rundown on the specs of the machine:
– Windows 7 Home Edition (can be upgraded to Windows 10)
– 11.6” diagonal screen that supports a 1366×768 maximum resolution
– Intel 1.3 GHz Duo-core processor
– 500-750GB 5400 or 7200 RPM hard drive
– Nvidia GeForce 335 GTM/Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics card
– 8GB RAM
– 3 USB 2.0 ports
– 1 HDMI port to connect to a TV or external monitor
– 1 DVI port
– Built-in wifi that supports 802.11g
– 1 Ethernet port
– One headphone jack and one microphone jack
– SD card and Memory Stick Duo reader
– An excellent portable gaming laptop with standard retail value at between $800-$1200 at the time of its production run. Currently sold at half the price through online retailers such as eBay.
– Plays many titles between medium to high resolution depending on how graphics-intensive they are.
– Nice LED features built into the keyboard as well as the frame of the computer.
– Has no optical drive to load DVDs and Blu Ray discs. You will need to buy an external DVD/Blu Ray drive.
– The graphics card has its limits and less powerful compared to more modern graphics cards. Also, the M11x has no Thunderbolt port to connect an external graphics card enclosure as the Razer Blade Stealth does, which might be off-putting for prospective buyers.
The M11x is an excellent portable gaming machine that was a by-product of its time. While supplanted by other portable gaming laptops such as the Razer Blade Stealth or the ASUS ROG series, there’s no denying that the M11x delivered in terms of value. If you’re looking to get a gaming computer that’s cheaper than what is on the market, go for the Alienware M11x. It’s more than powerful enough to service your gaming needs. Visit https://gamingrig.com for more computer gaming products and accessories.