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Night Kings (a quick look at the Alienware M15x)

Recently, fashion has gone to the reviews of thin, light, ultra portable laptops. Apple does not allow to relax, excites the minds of many habrazhiteli, but I was always drawn to hotter pieces of iron.
Today I would like to review one of the representatives of the friendly game family, and to be precise, the choice fell on a very well-known company Alienware and their device with the name M15x.
Initially, after reading all sorts of horror stories like the “walking” keyboard, incredible blue screens, vile technical support and other things, I hesitated a lot, but still decided ... What came of it?
(Warning - traffic and curved formatting under the cut!)

Immediately I ask you not to kick much, after all, the first attempt at writing a review may be too emotional and biased, and the action itself took place almost in the field. Upon request, I can supplement the information, good, I don’t upload everything even now, it simply did not allow publication.
And one more thing - here and there moments are shown that were not described by words, just as there are words that are not reflected by a picture, we will consider this a question-and-answer game. Let's start, perhaps.

It does not make sense to describe the process of ordering and delivery, except that it is worth noting that this handsome man was walking from a distance and with a solid schedule ahead.
A black box came in, weighing just over six kilograms, with dimensions - 80cm x 60cm x 30cm, pasted over with all sorts of extra postage bills (at least 5 countries crossed, however).
As for many of the favorite unpacking process - unboxing can be found on Youtube, just a small memory:
Just an incredible feeling when removing a composite box with Alienware logos (pull on the provided handle), exactly the same size as the first. Having placed a new design on any surface, we see ... Yes, we don’t see a damn thing, the box is neatly made up of as many as 3 parts, which are connected only in the places where those plastic handles are located. Fortunately, we are already shod, we know that it is only to pull the special tongue on the handle-lock, as it flies “at the expense of times” and frees the structure from the shackles. Everything, further I don’t remember, the upper part of the composite box frantically breaks down, the entire contents are pulled out:


Examination of the patient

So, we coped with the first emotions, get our unit out of the bag, let's take a little look around?

All the rest of the car bolus cleared of something that resembles ports. It is a pity, of course, that there are only three USB, and those 2.0, but I knew what I was going on.
On the rear side there are two ventilation grilles, on the front side, also on the edges, two speakers of good quality. Here we are awaited by surprise - according to the manual, the infrared sensor is located exactly in the center between the speakers! Well, we haven’t managed to test it yet, but we will believe the company ...
The cover of the M15x is made of an alloy with simply indescribable tactile properties, a plastic insert is located closer to the mount, and the already familiar alien head is silvered on it. It is worth noting that the prints are difficult to leave (the fingers should really not be particularly clean), and it is not easy to get rid of them - if it seemed to my eyes that there was no impression - when photographing with a flash, it may suddenly appear.

The bottom is also metallic, unremarkable, except for all the same ventilation holes, reinforced by grooves (we think that they contribute to the exchange of air with a not very good surface), a couple of stickers, and dies with an engraving and a unique number. Well, no, the grooves didn’t bother me much, but while I was working with a 9-cell battery, the far side of the device was raised all the time, which is much more cooling-friendly.

The time has come for new emotions, this miracle is necessary and open ... I will not take it up to describe it, perhaps, I will just demonstrate it below.
We are met by a terribly pleasant plastic, velvety to the touch, and when turned on, it rushes into the gorgeous 15.6-inch FullHD (1920 by 1080 pixels) LED screen. Needless to say that some software is already installed? Winda, corporate command center, and Steam patiently wait for pressing the power key, decorated in the form of an alien head.
Only then, it is possible to consider the surrounding space. It only remains to notice that the touch panel is responsive enough (if you don’t try to beat it at a crazy speed), and above the screen there are 2 microphones, a camera, and the Camera activity indicator, which plays the role of lighting very well during the night. All this charm is covered with plastic so that there are no annoying gaps, which are often used by dust as a permanent habitat on my old laptop. Yes, the touchpad didn’t disappoint, not much, you just won’t use it for a long time, the decision to make the surface so embossed is a bit incomprehensible, however, it doesn’t cause strong criticism - the quality draws on the quad, but the way it is installed is beyond praise not looking to determine where the finger is. It is very pleasant to use the keyboard (despite shouts and numerous complaints it does not swing anywhere), the key layout is convenient for me personally, but judge for yourself:

Look under the hood? My hands are already itching:
The Intel® i7 940XM processor is a quad-core company flagship with a frequency from 2.13GHz to 3.33GHz, made using 45nm technology, which carries a whole string of different technologies. On board, there are two comfortable 4Gb DDR3 memory cards, while the video is represented by a fairly recent AMD Mobility HD 5850 card with 1Gb GDDR5 memory and support for DirectX® 11.

Stop, the question “Is this all?” Is expected here, I hope it sounded in the reader’s head, no, of course, Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi card and hard (I was careful, instead of SSD I chose simpler) there are, how all this is packed, I advise you to watch a video on this topic , otherwise my enthusiasm will take a lot of space.

What does not kill - makes you stronger

What are we all around and running around, let's more likely go into battle!
Here, unfortunately, is boring, Metro 2003 does not slow down for any distortions with settings at the maximum resolution of 1080p, and even when FullHD video is turned on in parallel. Smoothness brings to irritation (meaning not low speed, but stock, above minimum 24 frames per second) with which the picture emerges ... It seems that the M15x is mocking - like a spit, it was not possible to force the image to twitch at least a little. I'm lying. Yes, I saw the braking after switching the settings from minimum to maximum, but it lasted for 2-3 seconds twitching, which I did not consider it necessary to take into account as a disadvantage.
As for the daily load - a considerable number of applications, background music, other, other, as many as 100+ processes support the processor in a half-core state - half of the cores are parked, the remaining sluggishly move, creating 2-8% of the load (the screenshot after uptime is more than a day).

1080p video doesn’t think that problems are possible when playing it, other way, by polling several short samples and one quite full-length film “True Lies” you can make an exact verdict: even against the background of a mess, the launched HD video will not become a real threat to the overall performance, the CPU load has slightly risen and reached a maximum of 20% (even one processor had to be removed from the parking, but we still have 3 more in stock, isn’t it?), if you turn off the sound and listen - you can see that the coolers started quietly air ... Paradise, perhaps, for the first time, when without headphones on a portable device I can really feel the volume and clarity of sound ...
On the face of the need to test more brutally, but because of the total amount of the resulting text and personal workload - all the tests on request.


Otherwise, the section can not be called, I will try to briefly outline various additional charms.

The backlight is the first thing that strikes everyone’s eyes - it is elegantly implemented, its uniformity is broken only in the region of the gap. When the first state of shock passes - it is time to demonstrate the opportunities for changing and programming the backlight that are unaccounted for by unlucky viewers. Okay, let's say, many have already heard about changing the backlight, again - the whole backlight is divided into ten zones, which can both be assigned one of the 21 standard colors, and made to blink, or transformed to other colors (it looks unforgettable, but the owner of such frequent demonstrations can and zadolbat due to both the psychedelic riot of colors, and because of the extreme slowness of the standard editor, an alternative to which is facilitated by the lightweight AuroraLightsFX), among other things, you can build whole chains of animations.

As for “programming,” I can say that it’s strange :), or simply didn’t test it on those applications ... We choose a program or its event from the list, assign appropriate actions, weirdly, and so everything is clear, so also there is a detailed video tutorial for absolutely "fools" - we put a solid credit!

Another component of the wow effect is the authorization system via the AlienSense webcam. A very capricious toy, although the sensitivity can be corrected, in general, after a couple of days of active training, it will recognize the owner in any condition, if you do not make funny faces. Rather, the presence of this tool is a plus than a minus.

There is also an alternative to the standard Power Plan Manager - AlienFusion, in which a number of settings are collected, some of which are quite difficult to achieve by standard means, not at all what chic, but on the whole liked.

The architecture of the cooling system is beyond praise, the only place where you can feel the heat under load, not counting the bottom and “exhaust” of the cooling system - a small section of metal on the front side, between the speakers, it becomes warm, no more - it's nice. At the same time, the boards keep the temperature “below room temperature”, and if the panel surface heats up, it is rather from the hands. Seriously, not for nothing that kept more than a day on a blanket!
The screen should be noted again, and even then we must not forget to mention it once more. I honestly tried to look at individual pixels, almost broke my eyes when it succeeded. Viewing angles make it possible to place ten people with uneven steps to read the text, and person 4 to view more colorful pictures. Still, starting from the 45 degrees offset from the perpendicular horizontally, colors begin to fade very slowly, but we read the text to the very end with one restriction - the user's sight. The vertical is given with great difficulty, the colors begin to fade from twenty degrees already, and after 45 it becomes difficult to read the text. Cleaning, what is most remarkable, is reduced to a lazy brushing with a soft cloth of everything that had the audacity to land on this miracle of technology - due to the completely smooth surface. (really, I want to scream with joy)

Perhaps the enthusiasm can go on forever, but you have the honor to know ...


Not everything is so smooth, there are drawbacks, here is one of them:

I hope I didn’t miss anything particularly important, although there isn’t support, although some people scold her, and I didn’t have to use it, on the bottom of the M15x there are such wonderful stickers, thanks to which you can get drivers for the already known correct configuration

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/107099/

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