DELL HAS LAUNCHED a rather odd but quite impressive gaming laptop packed into a form generally associated with a netbook.
Coming under the Alienware brand, the M11x was showcased at CES, but is now available to the roving masses. It packs in an Intel ultra low voltage Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor running at 1.3GHz, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory at 1066MHz, a Geforce GT 335M graphics card with 1GB of dedicated GDDR3 memory and your choice of a 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive or a 256GB SSD.
As you might expect, the M11x runs 64-bit Window 7 Ultimate edition and packs in all the usual connectivity options in including 802.11n WiFi, HDMI, three USB ports, card reader and firewire as well as Displayport and an optional 3G modem available. All of this is stuffed into a chassis with an 11-inch screen and weighing in at around two kilograms.
Dell reckons that its 'mini beast' clocks up a respectable 3DMark 06 score of 6,100, although how it would fare under the much more current 3DMark Vantage will have to remain to be seen once we get one into our lab. It also boasts eight and half hours of battery life, but we only imagine that's not going to be the case when you're taking down Onyxia or headshotting noobs.
Reminiscent of Robin Williams' character of the genie in Disney's Aladdin who decries the plight of the genie by saying, "PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS! ... Itty-bitty living space," we're not quite sure who the M11x is trying to appeal to as the concept of playing some of the latest high-def games on such a small screen can't be all that attractive.
With the price tag starting at £749, whether or not the M11x will be a success remains to be seen, but regardless it's certainly an impressive feat of engineering. µ