First Impressions Of The Alienware M11x R3

Alienware launched the third generation of their ultraportible gaming rig a few weeks back and it just landed on my desk. As advertised it’s small, although not thin, notebook that screams of its Alienware pedigree. There are two glowing alien heads, loads of multicolor lights, and top of the line specs. It’s clear without even turning it on that this thing is serious about performance.

Proper reviews take time. They require living with a product and shouldn’t be based on just first impressions. However, first impressions are still worthwhile and that’s what follows regarding the M11x R3. I’m just happy the notebook arrived before my trip to E3. Portal 2 on the plane FTW!

Review Unit Specs:

  • 11.6-inch display
  • Core i5 2537M (dual core)
  • 1GB GeForce GT 540M
  • 4GB Dual Channel DDR3
  • Moble Intel GS45 Chipset
  • 500GB HDD
  • 8-cell battery
  • $999 MSRP


  • Speakers are loud and clear
  • Comes free of crapware
  • Feels very solid — it’s plastic, but a solid sort of plastic
  • Two USB 3.0 ports, one powered USB 2.0 port
  • 3740 Geekbench score (More to come in the full review)
  • Quick boot up


  • The trackpad is horrible and doesn’t support multitouch gestures. (e.g. two finger scrolling)
  • The screen’s vertical viewing angle is bad although the horizontal is fine
  • Keyboard is really cramped
  • Noisy fan

Still to test

  • Battery life
  • True gaming on the go
  • More benchmarks (and more games)

A full review is in the works, but like I stated at the beginning, a review is not made from a couple hours of use. Thankfully I have several long plane rides to and from E3 so the M11x and I have plenty of time to get to know each other over the next week. Stay tuned!