Alienware is always synonymous with expense and the best hardware that money can buy. The laptops they build are flash, stylish and most importantly built with gamers in mind, building on power and graphical ability that allows the user to play any game they want. This is exactly what they offer with the Alienware M14X R2.
So what do you get with this laptop? You get the neon lighting, you get the big Alienware logo to show you bought a true Alienware machine and with this updated version of the laptop you get Intel’s new Ivy Bridge chipset and new Nvidia GeForce 650M graphics to provide pure power to your gaming and everything else you want this machine to do.
The Alienware M14X R2 is actually an upgrade from the M14X R2 and little has changed but for the Ivy Bridge chipset (which is the codename for Intel’s 3rd generation of Core processors) and the new graphics card. This provides pure power where it is needed.
What this boost in power means is that the old M14X was capable of about 2.5Ghz with an 8MB cache where the new Ivy Bridge variety can actually go up to 3.7GHz. This of course is through some overclocking of the chip itself through Intel’s own Turbo Boost 2.0 software that optimises the power that is available from the chipset. It is worth noting though that the cheaper M14X R2 varieties do use the older chipset (Sandy Bridge i5) rather than Ivy Bridge so they won’t have the same boost in power.
An extra that can be added for a small change is also the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive. This is of course a very worthy upgrade so that you can enjoy all the HD goodness that Blu-rays offer. Even though if you do not upgrade, HD playback is still available through streaming.
Coming in at 14.1-inches this is big enough for a laptop without it becoming too big to really handle. The image quality is of course excellent and it can handle anything you throw at it from HD films to the latest games. One thing noticed though is there is a bit of reflection on the screen when light sources are around which can obscure the view at times.
The M14X R2 comes with all the expected ports with a few more advanced options. The USB ports for example come in the shape of two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port. HDMI connectors allow for connection to HD screens and there are all the usual audio ports to cater for the audio needs. Bluetooth 4.0 is built in as well as an advanced WiFi that works very well with good connection at reasonable distances.
The M14X R2 is built for power and built for gaming so there is an expectation that this laptop can handle whatever it is tested with. Give it The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim or Diablo 3 with settings on full and you’ll get constant and unlagged gameplay at over 30fps which means it stands up as one of the premium spec game playing laptops available. It’s expensive but definitely worth the asking price. One thing to note though is the optimisation that has been done to the Ivy Bridge does mean it runs hotter than most other laptops so it may become uncomfortable if trying to play games with the machine on your knee for long periods. The heat is nothing to worry about though as it never gets too hot for the internal components.
This is a premium laptop at a premium price and with a battery that lasts just over 3 hours on full usage it’s not got too much life without having to recharge it. The laptop looks amazing and it runs even better but when you are looking at a price that ranges from £1,400 to £1,700 ($1099 - $1699) the power is definitely being paid. If you have the money though this is probably one of the best gaming laptops that money can buy.