Gaming laptops, you say? Who needs them when the world is moving towards smaller, low-powered machines that are designed to be versatile enough to handle everything the average consumer can throw at it? Well, tell THAT to the gaming community which strongly believes in the benefits of having a notebook powerful enough to handle most of today's games with little to no compromises on performance. And of course, you can't really talk about gaming machines without mentioning Dell's Alienware line of gamer-oriented PCs and notebooks now, can we? Join us as we put Dell's Alienware M14x gaming notebook under the knife in this review to see if it is worthy of having us 'puny mortals' accept it as our gaming overlord.

With all the spotlight being on mobile tablet devices and low-powered notebooks that boast impressive battery uptime at the cost of processing power, it may seem as if the day of reckoning for bulky, high-performance desktop replacement notebooks is at hand. After all, with today's consumers suffering from atrophy of their arm muscles and being barely able to lift a notebook that weighs more than two kilograms without unleashing a torrent of complaints and curses, the onus is on OEMs to start designing slimmer and lighter notebooks to satisfy the overgrown babies at the expense of raw performance.

However, it is good news to know that there is at least one OEM out there who still believes in the value of high-power, high-performance notebooks, in spite of their inherent bulkiness. And this is precisely what Dell's Alienware line of gaming notebooks are well known for. But the question remains; just how capable are Dell's Alienware line of notebooks when it comes to delivering on the task they are designed for? To answer that question, we have taken the M14x under the knife in this review.

As usual, an obligatory list of the M14x's hardware specifications is in order:

Dell Alienware M14x Gaming Notebook PC Specifications
 Processor  Intel Core i7 2820QM 2.3GHz (3.4GHz w/Turbo Boost, 8MB Cache)
 Chipset  Intel Sandy Bridge HM67 Chipset
 Graphics Card  3GB NVIDIA GeForce GT555M with NVIDIA Optimus switchable graphics technology
 Operating System  Windows 7 Home Premium (x64 version)
 Display  14.0 inch WLED HD+ (900p) display (1600X900)
 Memory  8GB DDR3  SDRAM (2 x 4GB SODIMM)
 Hard Disk capacity  750GB SATA hard disk
 Wireless Connectivity  Intel Advanced N WiFi Link 6250 a/g/n 2×2 MIMO Technology with WiMax
 Bluetooth wireless networking
 Battery  8-cell Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery
 Weight  Starting at 2.92kg