Design and Build
There are a couple of status indicator lights in the front.
There is no Express card slot but it shouldn't matter much since we hardly use this type of card anyway.
The palm rest area has ample of space for the biggest hands. The chiclet keyboard is a nice touch but they weren't as comfortable as I expected them to be. The problem lies in the registering of the key strokes which at times doesn't work with a light press. As far as gaming laptops go, the Alienware has the best keyboard we've come across till date. The keys are backlit with different intensities to choose from, but a lot of the light leaks from gaps between the keys and the surface, especially if you lean back and type. This isn't a major issue though, just that it would have been better if just the keys were illuminated. The trackpad is nice and large with two chunky mouse buttons.
The audio is taken care of by THX certified speakers that are quite loud and will easily fill a small room. The three shortcut buttons on the top allow you to toggle the backlighting, activate Turbo mode, which dynamically overclock the CPU and graphics card, and finally a button to toggle between the 3DVision mode. The matt finish full HD screen produces very good colors with more than enough brightness. This is important since once you wear the 3D glasses, the screen dims a bit, so the extra brightness does help.
Next let's have a look at what this puppy is capable of.