Feeds
70%
alienware_m5500_tn

Alienware Area 51 m5500 notebook

Upgraded before it even shipped...

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A neat feature is that you can disable the graphics chipset and use the integrated Intel graphics capabilities. It’s not the only notebook in the world to offer this feature, but it means you can get slightly better battery life when you don’t need the extra graphics performance. However, the review unit wasn’t set up correctly, so switching to the integrated graphics mode resulted in no drivers being loaded. This isn’t up to Alienware’s normally high standard, but I’m sure it was only a minor oversight.

The general build-quality was good, which is something you’d expect from an Alienware product, especially at the price you’re paying. Although I’m not that keen on the rubber inlays in the lid - it just adds weight without appearing to have any functionality - some buyers like the look. The unit's battery life was quite disappointing, considering that you won’t get more than one and a half hours' worth of DVD watching and not quite two hours' general Windows usage.

Alienware_m5500_rear

There’s a wide range of connectivity options, with built in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi – the updated models also supports 802.11a – three USB 2.0 ports, a four-pin FireWire port, a Memory Stick/SD/MMC card reader, and a PC Card slot – which has been upgraded to an Express Card 54 slot in the newer models. A D-sub is also available for attaching the Area 51 m5500 to a projector or an external display, and there is also S-video out. The on-board sound system offers up to 5.1-channel via S/PDIF or the three analogue outputs, although there are only stereo speakers built in.

They keyboard is quite comfortable to type on and the touchpad is responsive. There’s a separate section of the touchpad that works like the scroll wheel on a mouse if you move your finger up and down it.

Overall, the Alienware Area 51 m5500 is a rather strange beast, it has a super-high resolution display, but not enough graphics power to run 3D games at its native resolution. There are plenty of configuration options available to cater for a wide range of wallet sizes, but the question is if Alienware will skip the Core Duo version and go straight for the Core 2 Duo upgrade. Considering how fast Intel has been releasing new products this year, there’s no wonder the laptop manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up.

Verdict

Alienware’s decision to upgrade the reviewed model with a new processor platform means the new Area 51 m5500 should be even better. An Alienware isn’t for everyone, but the m5500 shows that you don’t have to be a hardcore gamer to own one. ®

Application security programs and practises

70%
alienware_m5500_tn

Alienware Area 51 m5500 notebook

A solid performer for the more casual gamer. The upgraded model should be even better...
Price: From £899 inc. VAT RRP

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.