Feeds
70%
Alienware Area 51 m5500

Alienware Area-51 m5500 notebook

Lacking that special Alienware 'something'?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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

The essential guide to IT transformation

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
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.