Alienware M17x vs XPS 17

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Alienware M17x vs XPS 17

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    I’m looking at purchasing either a XPS 17 or Alienware M17x .  I’ve been able to basically able to configure each the same and close in price.   I’m wondering about items you can’t see or know by specs like the following:

     

    Heating issues

    Bad designs

    Durability of case

    Keyboard feel.

     

    Item that you could tell if you could see one in a store and play with or the experience others have had.  Any insight or opinions would be appreciated

  • Assuming you are referring to the new M17x R3 with 3D, I did exactly the same exercise recently and was shocked how close the price was when the 2 had the same configuration!

    Part of me said "go for the XPS because it has JBL speakers and will sound much better" but then the R3's speakers are good anyway even if they aren't as good as JBL's. The R3 has this new system that allows you to project whatever is on your screen to an HD television screen via wireless which is dynamite if you play 3D games. Aesthetically, and this is of course a personal point of view, the R3's chassis and design are way ahead of the XPS, as is the gorgeous finish of the casing. Dell's XPS range used to be their flagships but since they bought out Alienware it would be counterproductive to make the XPS compete with their top of the range products so they toned down the look.

    The XPS has a backlit keyboard however, it's nothing compared to the M17x's. That may or may not be of interest to you.
    Both sport USB 3.0 sockets as well as USB 2.0.

    The final thing to consider IMHO, is the second hand value and resaleability. The name Alienware is a strong selling point. People really want to own an Alienware and will pay more than they would for a used XPS. Top end machines lose a lot of money when they are used. That applies to Alienware also but not as much as it does to an XPS.

    If it were me, I would go Alienware (I did anyway). You just need to decide what's most important to you.
    If you do go for the XPS 1702 I'm sure you will be very happy with it and you will likely save between $300 to $500.

  • Before I buy a new laptop, I at least compare with what's available

    from Sager. Alienware and Sager computers were almost identical for

    many years.

    Alienware went on to develop their unique chassis while Sager remains

    pretty ordinary. Sager however, usually leads the way offering the

    latest laptop hardware which sort of makes them a pricing benchmark.

    Area 51 M15x   d.o.p. 04/25/08

    GM965 chipset

    Core2 Extreme X9000

    GeForce 8800M GTX

  • According to your signature you went for an Alienware so what was it that convinced you not to buy Sager in the end?
    Personally, I had never heard of Sager until now. Maybe they only sell in the US? Whatever, the guarantee aspect is also important so that's worth considering too.

    I never mentioned the quality of the keyboard and other components. I can't speak for the XPS 1702 because I have not even seen one yet. I believe Dell are only starting to ship it now. As for the M17x, mine is an R2. The keyboard is ok although it does have very slight flex between the number pad and the enter key but it's so slight it's not really worth mentioning. The R3's keyboard has been improved from what I understand in that the keys have been rubberized.

    The screen used on both is the same (1200 x 1080 HD) however, the Alienware's cover is likely to be far more robust than the XPS which, as usual, will be plastic. That said, I have never had a problem with any Dell casing so I see no reason to worry about the XPS's.

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    I’m looking at just the M17x R3 (no 3D) with these three main configuration items:

    • Processor:  Intel® Core™ i7 2630QM 2.0GHz (2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache)
    • Video:  1.5GB GDDR5 Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M
    • Display: 17.3-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 60Hz WLED

     

    What case did you get.  I heard that Alienware went from a aluminum to sometime of composite.  Does the screen feel sturdy?  A backlit keyboard is of interest because that is the reason why I’m moving up from an XPS M1530.

     

    I own several Dell systems 8600 and M1530 laptops, and a XPS 720 desktop; so I try to stay in the Dell family.  I do look at other brands, but have always come back to Dell.

     

    What was your deciding factor to get the Alienware?

     


  • 1024x768 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

    I’m looking at just the M17x R3 (no 3D) with these three main configuration items:

    • Processor:  Intel® Core™ i7 2630QM 2.0GHz (2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache)
    • Video:  1.5GB GDDR5 Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M
    • Display: 17.3-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 60Hz WLED

     

    What case did you get.  I heard that Alienware went from a aluminum to sometime of composite.  Does the screen feel sturdy?  A backlit keyboard is of interest because that is on of the reasons why I’m moving up from an XPS M1530.

     

    I own several Dell systems 8600 and M1530 laptops, and a XPS 720 desktop; so I try to stay in the Dell family.  I do look at other brands, but have always come back to Dell.

     

    What was your deciding factor to get the Alienware?

     


  • sms1295

    What case did you get.  I heard that Alienware went from a aluminum to sometime of composite.  Does the screen feel sturdy?  A backlit keyboard is of interest because that is on of the reasons why I’m moving up from an XPS M1530.

     
    I own several Dell systems 8600 and M1530 laptops, and a XPS 720 desktop; so I try to stay in the Dell family.  I do look at other brands, but have always come back to Dell.
     
    What was your deciding factor to get the Alienware?

    The M17x R2 has the aluminium case. It's very nice but also very heavy. The R3 is quite a bit lighter due to the composite casing.
    I have had no problems with the screen but mine is the 1920 x 1200 version which is the best they have to offer. Its colours are amazing however, it is glass so attracts dust. Keep a microfiber cloth next to your machine and that won't be a problem for you. The screen itself is very sturdy and the M17's do not have the hinge problems previously inherent in the M11's.

    I have to admit that the first M17x I purchased was plagued with trouble. In 5 months I got about 8 days use out of it. While Dell support was always very pleasant, it did take 5 months before they finally caved-in and agreed to replace the machine. The new one arrived last week and so far has run perfectly. The original never ran perfectly preferring to restart without any provocation thereby losing me plenty of data. After allowing one of Dell's onsite techs to replace the motherboard (twice) the machine would never start again. Because this one runs perfectly I see no reason why it should not continue to do so and indeed, the NBR forum is loaded with very satisfied M17x R2 owners.

    Dell actually attempted to get me to accept a refund which I would have done if I could find anything comparable and that was the stumbling block. I had all kinds of suggestions thrown at me including the Asus G50, G73, and G74. NBR forum owners complained of too many problems with the G73 which put me right off it. In addition, my wife had an Asus laptop a year ago and when it required a warranty repair it was collected and we were told it would be returned to us in 7 days. It eventually came back 1 month later. The fault was still present and to add salt to an already open wound, the screen cover had been badly scratched. So, 2 year warranty they may have but IMHO it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

    The G74 is the new 3D version launched to compete with the M17x R3 and XPS 1702. It may be good but it's so darned ugly compared with the XPS and AW. Add that to the experience we had with Asus and you can perhaps appreciate why I personally would need a lot of convincing if I were ever to buy an Asus again.

    So, what was it that made me insist on sticking with the Alienware?
    Well the only other machine I could find that would offer me the performance I needed for my business was the Dell Precision M6500. As that costs 1000 euros more than the M17x Dell would not upgrade me to that. Like you, I have been a loyal Dell customer for a very long time and the reason for that was their next day onsite warranty. As a business user I cannot afford to send my machine away for repair. Dell have always looked after me well in that respect and it seems, at least here in France, that no other brand can offer the same service at a comparable price. In short, the warranty aspect played a huge part in my decision, even though to date, every visit from an onsite technician has been catastrophic because, as others have pointed out, Dell's outsourced techs have never even seen an Alienware...

    In summary, the M17x looks beautiful. Its performance is amazing! Get one that works and you will be very happy. Get a lemon and you will join the ranks of Dell customers who pull their hair out trying to get what you paid for. If the latter happens to you, keep your calm, always be polite, and they will bend over backwards to accomodate you. Admittedly, sometimes it can require plenty of patience because before they will ever admit there's anything wrong with their product they will have you reinstall Windows again, and again, and maybe even once more! :(

     

  • I posted the same question in the Laptop form have not received any responses.  Your responds have been insightful and will be helpful when I purchase a new laptop in about months.  Thank you for taking the time to respond.

     

    sms1295