Alienware M17x-2857DSB 17-Inch Laptop (Black) Reviews
Terrible laptop August 23, 2010
I purchased this laptop a year and three months ago. Both the video card and the motherboard failed one month after the waranty expired. I sent it in to Dell and for about $600 they replaced the failed components. Just over 30 days after this, the video card failed again. Interestingly, this was just after the 30 day waranty on their maintenance expired! Further, Dell no longer supports the computer and referred me to Z-Tronics to own the video card replaced. Z-Tronics just told me that they don't have the video card and have no idea when they will get them again. So, now I have a $2k+ brick.
My advice? Don't by an Alienware. Dell is supporting these computers very poorly.
Fantastic Gaming Laptop, Quality Built August 13, 2010
I be skeptical about this laptop until I got my hands on this beautiful computer system. It's got the power I was seeking for high-end gaming without breaking the bank. I did extensive research on laptop gaming systems for more than a month before I found the right system for me at the right price. Alienware M17x-2857DSB 17-Inch Laptop (Black) So abundant other systems like the Qosmio line had reliability issues. Others like the Vaio didn't have enough video power to handle games at more than medium video settings. This Alienware M17x has the feature, reliability and horsepower needed for the latest games with high video quality settings.
No, it doesn't have the newer Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, but it IS a Quad Core Q9000! The rest of the components list is a dream come true...DUAL nVidia GTX 260m graphics cards (1 GB memory per) with SLI enabled, slot loading DVD burner, bluetooth, wifi n, 4gb of DDR3 1333 ram... all the intrinsic worth I needed for a serious gaming rig. Sound quality is much better than average. I'll probably still end up using a headset while gaming. It's also built like a tank with a full aluminum case. Customizable lighting system is pretty cool too. I could've done without all the extra lights, but the backlit keyboard is awesome and be a "must have" on my list.
Alienware is definitely worth the extra money if you can afford it, and if you're looking for a quality built computer and a reliable portable gaming system. As for the price, Amazon is selling it for a fantastic savings! I built the exact same computer on the Alienware site using the exact same components, and it came out over $350 more expensive than it did from Amazon! You won't be disappointed...I haven't been!
Faulty hardware. December 12, 2010
First let me say I did not buy this laptop from Amazon. I bought it directly from Alienware and I'm writing this review to warn something like possible problems with it. I bought my m17x on July 24, for the first two months it was fine until one day it just wouldn't load for some reason, the screen was just black. I have to call them up (since it's under warranty) and they sent a Dell technician out (he was professional and nothing negative about him). Then it started freezing and wouldn't come out of sleep mode. Dell had to send a technician again; they replace the video card and the LCD panel. Now, it's making this high-pitched beeping/buzzing crack that has given me headaches. I have sent the computer back to them to fix this problem, had the hard drive and motherboard replaced, but it's still making this awful annoying noise. The next step will be a system exchange. That means they present me a used computer that they couldn't fix before, it's a shame that I paid for a brand new computer, got a faulty one and now I am going to get another broken one. This laptop is a poorly designed, faulty laptop, do not buy.
Alienware... not all it's cracked up to be. March 8, 2010
First sour let me say my 1 star approval rating is based on my 1st Alienware system.
The first night I got my Alienware M17x I had to call technical support because the Cyberlink Power DVD 8 software produced a series of horizontal lines across the middle of the screen. I be on the phone with tech support from 8:00pm-12:00 midnight the first night. Alienware Technical Support was very helpful and got this problem resolved but the bottom line; I was on the phone all dark. The next day I went to a friends house to watch a couple of videos and before we finished watching them, all of my desk top icons had changed to a generic Windows format and be inoperable. This issue took over 8 hours on the phone with technical support to resolve. These system/software problems continued to persist and "evolve", as quoted by tech support, for almost two weeks. After two weeks of nothing but problems I had spent a total of about 40 hours on the phone with technical support. The last morning of ownership of this system I spent 13 hours on the phone with Alienware technical support and customer service. One time that day after being on hold for almost an hour Alienware customer service hung up on me.
After all these problems, and I've only mentioned a small portion of them, I finally got smart and contacted Amazon's five star customer service. Amazon gave me the option of a compensation or replacement! I opted for a replacement because I believe this is atypical of what Alienware produces. I wanted to give them another chance.
Just a little more detail about the excellent Amazon Customer Service.... I contacted them 4 March 2010. This was a Thursday, and it was mid afternoon. By Friday, 5 March 2010, they had a unsullied Alienware system on it's way to me via Federal Express. By Saturday, 6 March 2010, before 12:00 noon I had received my new Alienware M17x. The Amazon customer service represenative I spoke with, 4 March 2010, even seemed genuinely concerned that I get some sleep after I explained to her I have been up 13 hours on the phone with Alienware tech and customer service. Amazon even gave me a refund for the return shipping after I called them and gave them the return tracking number. This was something that was totally unexpected. I checked near my credit card company online and the refund has already posted as of, 8 March 2010. Outstanding job Amazon!
I've had my second new Alienware M17x system, Amazon shipped to me, for two days and I've done everything I could to check it for faults. So far this system seems to be totally problem free. I'll come back in two weeks or so and if it's still problem free I expect I'll rerate it four or five stars.
Alienware/Dell Customer service could learn something for Amazon.
If you want to buy something from a company who will stand behind the products they sell Amazon is the best choice. I think they're better than Wal-Mart. Thank you so much Amazon. Your up there with the stars. You're stellar!!!
Sincerely, Paul Orand
Great, but not perfect. August 23, 2010
Without going into all the details here's the bones for my laptop.
- Very fast, effortlessly a decent desktop replacement.
- Graphics cards work well when they work.
- Keyboard is very nice, perfect feel for gaming.
- Not very stable.
- Windows 7 does not support SLi setups! So be careful choosing this one, I learnt that the hard route.
- Heavy. 'Nuff said.
The main thing here is that Windows 7 does not support SLi, so I would go for the single GFX card option if you're after a gaming machine. It will do gaming no problem, but it is not stable at all. Sometimes it'll crash after 1 hour, sometimes not at all. No way to predict.
Otherwise, I'm happy beside it.
Worth every penny you pay November 8, 2010
I bought one of these a couple of months ago and let me tell you its awesome, I took several weeks searching the web, reading reviews and taking a look at some other laptops in Best buy and other stores and I finally chose this one, here are some of the reasons why I bought it:
- Core2 Quad processor, even though its not the Extreme version, the Q9000 works really great under Windows 7 while encoding several video files, whatching a HD movie profile with the HDMI cable in the LCD TV.
Even though this is no i7 processor, I personally prefer a fully 2.0Ghz core (it has 4 cores) than a 1.7Ghz with "turbo mode" to 2.3Ghz. The only advantage of i7 cores are the 8 threads and only if you multitask a lot (having 30 or more programs unseal at the same time)
- The Ram, it says 4Gb 1066Mhz but it comes with 1333Mhz !!, so its a plus!!, no, its no error or luck, thats how this machine was setup.
- The 2nd hdd bay, if you plan on adding a second hard drive then you might hear on the pattern you have to "buy" or get from Dell the "caddy" a small bracket that has to be placed in the HDD before it can be attached to the laptop. IT COMES WITH THE CADDY!!, so no worries!
- It comes with Windows 7 home premium from stock, with win7 install DVD and the Windows 7 Alienware respawn2 partition in the harddrive, you wont enjoy to upgrade from vista.
- No bloatware, it doesnt come with a lot of software installed, only the mcafee antivirus 30day free but no hassle to remove, after that your machine is clean and ready to be setup the way you want.
- Cooling system, wonder how much a Dual GPU with core Quad can heat after 2 hours of gaming?... powerfully if you plan on using your computer for gaming then this is the choice, 3 huge fans and big openings in the sides and back, plus aluminium chasis, this computer wont get hot even after playing Starcraft 2 in ultra settings for over 5 hours.
- 3 GPUs, yes no 2 but 3, well its a Dual 260 GTX in SLI of 1Gb PER card, plus the integrated 9400m, which solitary works if you switch to stealth mode (low power consuption). In stealth, you will only have the integrated graphics enabled but you can get up to 3 hours of internet surfing with low bright, portability was never something strong on a desktop replacement 11.9 lb computer.
- Upgrade. Yes this laptop can be upgraded, you can upgrade the graphics cards to Dual nVidia 280m GTX or Dual 4870 in Crossfire from ATI (the best available for this model). You can set a max of 8Gb 1333Mhz of ram, dual HDD of 500Gb in Raid (1 or 0), dual SSD Hard drives up to 256Gb per drive, replace the slot-load DVD burner with a Blu-ray reader/burner
- The baby grand lights, using the computer at night or somewhere dark is no longer a problem (and looks so cool)
And last but not least, you will get the most professional support service you will get, Amazon customer service, try your machine, if you are one of those few unlucky users who got an unresponsive machine, procure a replacement right away!, yes a very small percentage of these R1 machines have issues but tell me a product that doesnt?, try one of this for a week and you will love it!.
Worth every penny, if you have that many pennies February 15, 2010
Well i was really leary about buying an alienware mostly because of the price and less expensive laptops you could get for a less significant price with the same or higher specs. Well here's the reason this is so worth it, and much better. First off all parts on the inside are intel genuine parts, Nvidia genuine parts and the whole laptop is build from the ground up next to super top notch components. Lots of computers such as Acers, Gateway, HP, and even Sony use other companies to manufacture there motherboards graphic cards, screens etc etc. This thing is an absolute sherman tank, and just looks and feel down right indestructible. When i pulled it out of the box (which looked like is cost about 100$ itself i was like wow impressive). It was wrapped in a velvet black Alienware sleeve which was pretty unique, upon opening it i couldn't believe the weight(could be a con for some people), and later i realized this thing has METAL components, on the sides, bottom and the back of the screen. How often do you see that, never? So yes this thing is well worth the money. Now onto the specs. What it doesnt tell you(i'm writing just about the Best Buy model) is that this unit is equipted with two yes two GPU's. One is the main Nvidia GTX 260, the other an Nvidia 9400, so basically the more powerful GPU feeds off the lesser one to give you extra graphical and gaming ability, and yes it shows, big time. The resolution may not be full 1080p(its 1440x900) but who really care? Check on Xbox and Ps3 and you'll find there are very very few games that even run at full 1080p resolution, even upscaled the games look noting like on this thing. I've played Bioshock, Red Faction Guerilla, Resident Evil 5, and Crysis so far all without a hitch, even Crysis you can play at very dignified setting with a playable frame rate. The glossy screen really brings out the details and vibrant colors especially with antialiasing, even though its not the brightest in the world, its great. The slot loading DVD-RW is great, loads very quickly, and runs quietly. Don't be fooled by all the hype of the unmarked I series intel chipsets, the i7 did not make that much of an impression on me, this thing has the Quad 2 Core running at 2.0 ghz, and the system rating for calculations per second are 6.9. The i7 in most of the other gaming machines is about 7.0 or 7.2, whoopi do, who really cares?? Also the overall look of this machine is a moment ago beautiful, the keys are atomatically set to blue, but you can change them to about any color you want using the Alienware Utility Console.
The battery can get up to 3 hours if you turn down the screen and don't really game TO heavy, so thats emphatically a plus. I got fed up with Asus because of allll kinds of wireless issues, blue screens of death, disc read errors, squashed unresponsive keys, and just some overall major screwups next to the machines themselves. So yes i payed the extra money figuring this would be better and it way surpassed my expectations, being that it blows the more modern but fading Asus G60 and G72 series laptops out of the water. The speakers in the front also glow the same color as the keys or a different collection if you want, which is really something. On another note i opened the box with the power adapter and its a flat box type shaped, not the usual box Xbox 360 type adapter you usually get with gaming machines. I will add another 2 gigs(to get 6) just to add it, but heck it doesnt even involve it, this thing is still a multitasking beast. I think anything over 6 gigs is really uneeded sine most games require no more than 3 gigs anyways, and that would be a shock. So as i've praised this is the first REAL gaming laptop i've ever owned, all the rest were ok but nothing compared to this thing. When they say its made for heavy duty gaming and multitasking they weren't kid. This beast will surely stand the test of time, and is also upgradable for any GPU out there, but i don't think i'll ever need anything more. If you have the cash don't waste your time with Asus, Cyperpower, or even Toshiba Qosmio, even it the specs are better this article is specifically designed for heavy use. The sound quality is the loudest i've ever heard, and also has a subwoofer. The only one thing that is a slight small issue is when your playing games the fan is realllly loud, but i really could precision less considering i know it will never overheat, umm thats what the fans and cooling system are for. I've had other laptops where the fan didn't even run, not good. So enough going on and on, if you have the cash or credit simply get it, its not just for gamers its for anyone that ones a really awesome looking and performing laptop to last for many years. One last funny thing is you get an Alienware black hat, and a manual bound contained by leather that looks like a bible, and also an Alienware alienhead sticker for, well wherever you wanna stick it. HA.
Only two things, no blu ray, which i could care less since i have it on my PS3, and i wish in these unit they would put a 16x or 18x DVD burner, instead of just 8x.
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