Feeds
70%
Alienware Area 51 m5500

Alienware Area-51 m5500 notebook

Lacking that special Alienware 'something'?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

We were keen to see how the two graphics chips compared with each other. The Intel Extreme graphics lasted for 128 minutes in the MobileMark 2005 battery life test, wheres the Nvidia last only 92 minutes, which is a fair difference. It was also longer-running than the Rock, though that machine has a faster processor.

On the DVD playback test, the Intel graphics lasted an extra 52 minutes, though even so, at 164 minutes in total you’ll only be getting to the end of the standard editions of the Lord of the Rings movies, not the extended editions.

In terms of SYSmark scores, the Alienware keeps pace with the Rock. However, it's clear from the results that this is because we tested the Rock in SYSmark and PCMark with the slower Intel graphics enabled when we should have done so with the faster Nvidia graphics chip. Had it been an apples-to-apples comparison, the Rock's faster CPU and greater memory would have pulled it ahead.

The Nvidia chip yielded healthy scores of 6288 in 3DMark 03 and a reasonable 2636 in 3Dmark 05. It's better than the Rock but a mid-range ATI Mobilty chip would beat both. The X700 in the Acer Ferrari 4000 got 6358 and our early look at ATI's Mobility X1600 produced 7206 and 83803 in 3DMark 03 and 05, respectively.

Alienware Area 51 m5500

So the Alienware is a reasonable performer. However, when you compare it to the Rock, it's not fantastic value for money. The Rock does cost over £100 more but you're getting a faster CPU, double the memory, a higher-resolution screen and a DVD burner. With the Alienware you get a glowing blue alien head and rubber grips. To really throw salt into the wound, Rock also offers a free Vodafone 3G data card.

Alienware Area 51 m5500

The Alienware doesn't feel special enough to justify the extra cost. Sure you get a cool designed lid, but it comes on a generic notebook chassis. You do get some cool custom Alienware skins for Windows that are fun, but I don't want to spend extra bucks just for that.

Verdict

A decent notebook in and of itself, but for an Alienware it's just not special enough, unfortunately making it poor value compared to other manufacturers.

Review by
TrustedReviews.com

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

70%
Alienware Area 51 m5500

Alienware Area-51 m5500 notebook

A decent notebook, but lacking that Alienware 'something special'...
Price: £1242 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.