Alienware M11x getting Sandy Bridge in early April

By on March 22, 2011, 5:10 PM
Dell is supposedly preparing to update its pint-sized gaming laptop sometime early next month. If the reports hold up, the Alienware M11x R3 will arrive with Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, quicker RAM and more storage. Processor options will include the Core i5-2537M (1.4GHz base with up to 2.3GHz speeds via Turbo Boost 2.0), i7-2617M (1.5GHz to 2.6GHz) and i7-2657M (1.6GHz to 2.7GHz).

System memory will include 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB options but it will operate at 1333MHz DDR3 instead of 800MHz. Mechanical storage will still start at 250GB but the maximum capacity will be increased from 640GB to 750GB. Samsung's 256GB P810 SSD will be offered on the side. The third revision is also expected to receive options for 3G, LTE or WiMax mobile broadband connectivity.


A few key specifications are still unknown, namely the graphics processor. Being a gaming machine, the chosen GPU could make or break the M11x's appeal. There is some concern that Dell will opt for Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics core instead of providing a discrete solution. The current system ships with a 1GB GeForce GT 335M, a mid-grade chip capable of running demanding tiles, if only on low settings.

It's also unclear whether the refresh will bring USB 3.0 as the existing model only comes with USB 2.0. The system will come in red, black and "SoftTouch" options, but we assume Dell hasn't made any drastic cosmetic changes. Pricing is unknown, but last year's Core i5-520UM model currently starts at $999 and we've always gotten the impression that Dell wants to keep the M11x reasonably affordable.




User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

"3G LTE"

i thought the the next generation technolgies only includes 4G LTE and $G WIMAX...

is there a 3G LTE or is this a typo?

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Simply forgot a comma. Thanks.

PaulWuzHere PaulWuzHere said:

Having the R1 C2D model, I'm a true believe in Dell being able to pump out a decent little gaming laptop. Two of my friends are proud owners as well! (one R1 and an R2)

Impressive little machine. I'm positive Dell/Alienware will include a decrete GPU as the intel IGP is garbage. The little 335m is a decent chip but has never been a super performer but considering the thermal envelope of the system (Max 65-watt AC Adapter) It was the best they could throw in there without some ridiculous cooling system and adding weight making it just another run of the mill gaming cinder block.

Guest said:

Yes, but are the hinges on the M11x still broken?

http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m11x/493140-m11x-h
nge-screen-touching-keyboard-discussion-r1-r2.html

If they are, great, count me in for one of these.

If they're not, well, I suppose I don't expect much from Dell in the first place.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"Impressive little machine. I'm positive Dell/Alienware will include a decrete GPU as the intel IGP is garbage".

It used be to be garbage, but not any more, I fully expect Integrated solutions to wipe out entry level discrete market (which is already happening) and in near future lower mid-stream market. But to be honest, none of the entry level discrete graphics are good enough for playing modern games with 'reasonable graphic settings'.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ok but as discrete GT 335M was, it was not entry level. I won't think neither believe an alienware as small as it is will have integrated graphics... that would kill it.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

My friend has one of these R2 with the 335GT and is quite happily ran Battlefield Bad company 2 at medium to high settings on the screen. It was fairly impressive considering its size!

realista69 said:

Yes, the hinges have been identified and have been replaced on the newer systems they are making. No word if they are fixing the older ones for people stuck with them.

Leeky Leeky said:

Yes, the hinges have been identified and have been replaced on the newer systems they are making. No word if they are fixing the older ones for people stuck with them.

Hinges are fairly cheap for those that are stuck with the cost of replacing them though.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Archean said:

"Impressive little machine. I'm positive Dell/Alienware will include a decrete GPU as the intel IGP is garbage".

It used be to be garbage, but not any more

It may be greatly improved, but the Geforce 335m that is currently in the m11x is about twice as fast as the Sandy Bridge IGP solution. It wouldn't make sense to take such a huge leap back for a gaming computer.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm holding out on my next laptop purchase (and I need one badly) to see if they come up with a good AMD Fusion & discrete AMD GPU combination for a gaming-capable laptop. If they can put together a clean (and well-scaling) Hybrid CrossfireX configuration to utilize the extra graphics horsepower of the APU in conjunction with the discrete mobile GPU, it could be worth a serious look. If nothing else, would be very interesting to see the system benchmark deathmatches between Intel+GPU and AMD+GPU configurations.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

I'm liking the updates coming out of Alienware this year. Adding new sizes and sandy bridge refreshes? win.

I agree though that the GT335 is about as low as you can get and still use the title "gaming laptop". They won't be able to just toss in some IGP solution and call it a day - at least not without a ton of backlash from the folks who buy these computers for... well.. gaming.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Rick

My comment was aimed at the likes of 9200/9300M, 310/320M etc. Ivy bridge + (whatever comparable) AMD offering will pretty much take care of this segment for good IMO.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Archean said:

@Rick

My comment was aimed at the likes of 9200/9300M, 310/320M etc. Ivy bridge + (whatever comparable) AMD offering will pretty much take care of this segment for good IMO.

believe what you said will be the truth in the coming couple of years, but I used your quote to throw in my two cents in context to the M11x. Didn't mean to pick on you there, if it seemed like it.

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