Dell Alienware M11x R2 Review

This is a guest post by Robyn from RobynsOnlineWorld for our Back To School Connection campaign.

Parents and teens really have different things in mind when we are looking at laptops and netbooks. Parents would like to think that their teen is using this tool for working hard on those fantastic essays, sensational PowerPoint presentations, and scheduling their schoolwork. We aren’t foolish of course, we know they have some music and maybe check into Facebook once a day or so. Ummm, yeah, NOT! While we would love that to be true, most of the time the educational aspect of the computer comes after their social, media, and gaming needs. Taylor is a great example of that kind of teenager for sure!

Recently the folks at Dell sent this Alienware M11x R2 netbook for Taylor to test out. I have to say that when Taylor heard it was on the way he about fell over, he was thrilled that he was going to have a chance to take this for a test drive. What really stood out for me is that this is a gaming netbook – that means yes he can actually game on it plus I know that he can actually use it for school work as well. It is the best of both worlds I think at a reasonable price. You used to only be able to get this with a laptop, but now you can pack it all into a netbook even. Amazing!

Just seeing the outer box impressed Taylor. In case marketers didn’t already know this (I think they do – at least at Alienware), packaging earns big bonus points with teenagers. The cooler the better. Taylor saves, and displays, lots of packaging from different tech and gaming items.

His first words when taking out of the box were about the weight. While it is on the heavy side for a netbook (4.8lbs), compared to a gaming laptop it is much lighter (the M17x weighs 7.9lbs). Taylor was impressed that it has a large hi RPM fan built in to the unit. This helps keep it from overheating, especially during gaming.

Taylor was able to quickly connect the Alienware M11x R2 with his desktop monitor for dual display and just as easily disconnect when he was ready to head out with friends, to the library, school, Panera Bread Co, a LAN party, etc. with the netbook.

As a parent, I really do feel this is a fantastic way to go for gaming teens. They start at $799 which is a decent price for me for something that will be able to let him do his school work and gaming all in one without carrying around an oversized laptop, but allowing him to be portable unlike a desktop.

Here is Taylor’s review of the Alienware M11x R2:

The Alienware M11x is not your ordinary netbook. This netbook is a pure bread gaming machine. I was able to play Crysis with the standard EA config and CVar setups on medium/lo. It ripped through it like nobody’s business. Generally I averaged 23 FPS, on rare occasions it would drop down around 15 FPS in some areas for just a second or two and then go right back up, but still completely playable. It also handles older games such as ValvEs Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, or even Tripwire Interactive Killing Floor near maxed out without AA or MSAA.

Here are the test machine specs:

  • Core 2 Duo comes at 1.3 GHz that is easily made 1.73 GHz with a single option specific to the Alienware’s Phoenix BIOS
  • Nvidia 335M video card, which has amazing clocks or you can switch it to a Intel 4500MHD video chipset for increased battery life.
    The clocks on the Video card are:
    -550 core clock
    -1100 shader clock
    -800 Memory clock
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 451 GB (formatted) hard drive
  • Windows 7 Home Premium

A few more awesome things about this machine is the fact that EVERYTHING lights up. Keyboard speakers, logo below the glass covered screen and the Alien on the back lights up a off white color. The down fall to this is that the alien on the back of the screen cannot be color swapped in AlienFX. While this may not be a big deal to some, it appears powder pink to me and I don’t want a powder pink alien on the back of my laptop. Also, this machine has a HUGE fan in the bottom for maximum air flow across the CPU. It can also get fairly loud for being a single fan netbook. While looking around the internet, quite a few places say the fan can reach 43.4 dB under load, a voice of your friend at 3 feet is 70 dB, do the math.

Another point I realized I should include is the fact that this machine is also very good for school. With its large hard drive you have more than enough room for word docx’s, power points, and Excel spreadsheets, while still having room for pictures of the stupid stuff your friends do, music, videos, and movies, oh and games too! One downside to using it for school is that it is very tempting to game while you should be gaming – whoops – I mean doing school work!

Overall, I would give the Alienware M11x R2 an 8 on a scale of 1-10. I would love to see an Alienware styled external Blu-ray Drive to use with any Alienware machine. Thanks Dell for letting me test drive this sweet netbook!

Robyn’s Disclosure: Dell provided us this netbook to test drive for this review. The opinions are totally that of Taylor and myself.  Transparency is everything!

The following two tabs change content below.

Connie Roberts

Professional Blogger
Living in the Tampa Bay area, I'm lucky enough to see beautiful sunsets almost every day. Although life can be difficult at times, focusing on the positive and being with my family is what gets me through.

Latest posts by Connie Roberts (see all)

Want to remember what's going on here? Get more Brain Foggles in your feed reader or in your inbox.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, and links to any products or services from this blog. This site may contain affiliate marketing links, which means I may receive a commission on sales of those products or services that we write about. The editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. I always provide you with my own thoughts, concerns, and recommendations about the subject matter on this blog. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


  1. It’s sad some people think packaging is a bonus, or means anything for that matter. I wouldn’t mind a functional soft cushioned, but ugly as hell box that contains a fantastic item. I guess I’m in the minority.

  2. Secondly. If you’re specs is a Core 2 Duo 1.3GHz, then it is NOT an R2, and in fact an R1, older model release back in Feb. This blog just became rubbish for me. Goodbye.

  3. You should stick to house cleaning leave all the hight tech stuff to the expert. The review is for Alienware M11x R1.
    old news

  4. This is often a excellent website. I have been back many times during the last few days and wish to sign up for your rss feed using Google but cannot ascertain the right way to do it exactly. Would you know of any sort of instructions?

  5. An frequently unnoticed channel for syndicating articles or blog posts is to place them in Rss or atom feeds. This one technique on it’s own may supply you with a lot of referral traffic to your articles every single day.

  6. Hi I love your comment and it is so informational and I am definetly going to save it. I Have to say the Indepth analysis this article has is trully remarkable.No one goes that extra mile these days? Bravo! Just one more suggestion you shouldget a Translator Application for your Worldwide Readers !!