PROS / The 14-inch screen makes this laptop extra portable, and its 3.5 hours of battery life is perfect for anyone who wants to game away from home.
CONS / This gaming laptop features one of the lower-tier versions of NVIDIA's GeForce graphics cards.
VERDICT / This is an Alienware product, so you can expect above average gaming. If you are looking for a bigger screen and a more powerful graphics card, consider one of our higher-ranked gaming laptops.
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The Alienware M14x gaming laptop is perfect for those of you who spend more time away from home and want a mobile gaming machine. The 14-inch screen allows for a smaller design, making this notebook easy to take with you. The graphics card is on the lower end of video cards, so you won't be able to run graphic-intensive games on the highest settings, but this card is designed to keep your battery running longer than it could with performance-heavy GPUs.
The GPU is an HD Graphics 3000 card. As we stated, this isn't in the top tier of graphic cards offered, so if you try to run games on the highest graphic settings, it will slow your system down and the card will get hot fast. Because this computer is more mobile than other gaming notebooks, the 3000 GPU uses Optimus technology to maximize battery life, which is the purpose behind Alienware choosing this mid-range graphics card. Don't be discouraged, though, because games like Battlefield 3 and Starcarft 2, and even Blu-ray movies, will look fantastic on this computer, and much better than an average laptop.
Inside this mobile gaming computer is a quad-core i7 processor. TurboBoost gives it power to run at speeds of 3.3GHz. This is more than enough processing power to run games, play movies and multitask without running into latency issues. The M14x also comes with 1.5.
The standard 14-inch screen is smaller than other gamer laptops we reviewed, but equally impressive. The display has a 1600 x 900 pixel resolution (900p) and is ideal for those of you who are away from home but still find time to get in some serious playing time. The laptop can get up to four hours of battery life, which is sufficient to get you through those hours away from an outlet.
The M14x only has three USB ports, but there is a HDMI output for connecting an external high-definition screen. It also comes with a 9-in-1 memory card reader and audio programmed for 5.1 surround sound.
The Alienware M14x gaming laptop comes with a one-year service plan, with the option to purchase an extended three-year warranty. We have never been impressed with the length of time it takes Dell representatives to get back to you. Once the warranty is expired, it can be hard to get help from Dell, so you should opt for the longer warranty. If you need an easy, quick way to contact customer service, we recommend the live-chat option.
The Alienware M14x packs solid gaming performance into a small design. The 14-inch display features 900p resolution, giving you pure, intense images. The HD Graphics 3000 graphics card is lower on the scale than those you would see in high-end gaming laptops, but you can still run 3D games on it, just not on the highest settings. If you are a serious gamer, we recommend looking at our higher-ranked gaming laptops.