Dell introduces an 11.6 inch gaming laptop today that a number of sites have started referring to as an Alienware-branded netbook. It’s not. It’s a thin and light machine with a low power processor, high performance graphics, and a price tag of “under $1000.”

I’m willing to stretch the definition of netbook to include laptops that have 11 or 12 inch screens. Because to me, the whole point of netbooks is that they’re portable and cheap. Three years ago, you couldn’t find a laptop with an 11.6″ display for under $500. Now you can find quite a few. But while $1000 is certainly a great price for a gaming laptop, it’s not exactly cheap. I think the last time I spent $1000 on any computer was in 1994.

Anyway, if you’re still interested, the Alienware M11x packs a low power Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, NVIDIA 335M graphics with 1GB of dedicated video memory, and an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display. It can play Call of Duty 4 in 720p at 30fps.

The notebook weighs about 4 pounds, which is pretty heavy for an ultraportable. It gets about 6.5 hours of battery life under normal usage, but only about 2 hours if you’re doing hardcore gaming.

More details at Gizmodo.

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17 replies on “Dell introduces Alienware M11x 11.6 inch laptop: not a netbook”

  1. I am severely annoyed that they did not make this laptop 13.3″ and put a Core i5-520UM in it.

    In my opinion, 13.3″ is the perfect form factor for laptops. Portable, but not so small it strains the eyes. Big enough to put decent components inside.

    If they can shoehorn a GT 335M in this without crippling heat issues, they can put the same graphics card in a 13.3″ notebook. Add a beefy 8-cell battery and a Core i5-520UM processor and you’d have the makings of one awesome portable gaming rig (that’s actually portable).

  2. I’ll admit it – I’m absolutely drooling over this. At 4 lbs, it’s not too heavy considering the trade-offs you don’t have to make in performance.

    I think they read my mind.

  3. So are this and the just announced HP TM2 the only >=12″ non-Atom portables with dedicated graphics?

    1. No…the HD3200 is everywhere and paired with AMD processors such as Turions and Neos with screens 12″ or smaller. It’s a notch under the ION but still isn’t bad for older games.

      1. I’m trying to replace my aging Dell e1505 w/ the original Core Duo @ 1.83ghz. I’m for looking something that offers good performance. I’ve used atom based machines and they are not up to task. I often will do encoding of audio and video. I also would like to get into some PC gaming. It’s my understanding that the neo is fairly underpowered, and more in the Atom class than in the ULV C2D.

        Is the Turion more competitive with the ULV C2D? How is it with battery life?

        1. The Neo MV-40 is considered much snappier than the Atom but you’re right, it’s closer to the Atom than it is to the CULV C2D. To be fair the CULV is a dual core and the MV 40 is a single core. The AMD Neo x2 L335 and L625 are dual cores and are very close to CULVS in performance but lose a lot in battery. Also in general AMDs run hotter. But for these trade offs you get the HD3200 graphics card, very much worth it for some people.

          Unfortunately the L335/L625s are not abundant in the market. Try the MSI Wind u230.

  4. Looks like a ul30vt with a better graphics card. Sorry Dell, Asus beat you to it.

    1. The better graphics card makes a difference, so they didn’t really beat them too it :).

    1. Relatively speaking, yes it is slow. However, the proof is in the pudding. Atom+ION is the best bang for the buck. I think this Dell computer proves that you can’t, at this moment, have your cake and eat it too. There is no reason the Atom can’t be faster, other than Intel owes it to their sugar daddies not to make the Atom too fast. Having said all this, the speed of the Atom is irrelevant. If it can play relatively new FPS games or RTS games, then I’ll take the cheap, light, and longer battery life netbook over this Dell. ION basically minimizes the impact of the slow Atom processor speed.

      1. You obviously don’t have an ion or an n10j. Sure, you can overclock it, but you’re still not able to get decent frame rates in anything other than l4d. It won’t play Dragon Age or Mass Effect, which are both basically turn based games – the atom is severely underpowered. All the ION does (really) is enable very light 2006 games and bluray / x264 playback.

      2. ION works fine for GPU limited games, but fails miserably at CPU limited games. I sort of agree with Intel; the 9400M is silly overpowered compared to the Atom N270.

        I don’t agree with Intel though, because I think they should have paired their CULV line with the ION chipset. A ~$50 12.1″ CULV with a Celeron Dual-Core SU2300 and nvidia ION/9400M would be, well, pretty damn awesome. I’d buy one, that’s for damn sure.

  5. I like to see this progress toward gaming ultra portables. Looks like this one missed the mark on a couple of points. Heavy and expensive. That said, hopefully more companies will realize there is a market for an 11 or 12 inch computer that can do gaming. If anything, the specs and notes on this computer makes me realize just how formidable the ION netbooks really are. Maybe not COD 4, but a game from 2008 or early 2009 suits me just fine. Unfortunately this computer is the sacrificial lamb. Try to mess with the ION + Atom punch and look what happens.

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