Alienware didn't do itself any favors by hyping up
what wound up being a decidedly ho hum offering in the M17
, but the open-minded critics over at CNET
were able to sit the machine down for a tick and give it a workout. Reviewers tested a $1,999 configuration (it starts at $1,399) with twin ATI Radeon HD 3870 GPUs and a Core 2 Duo P8400, and overall, performance was "decent" for the price. Gaming scores were more than adequate and basic computing tasks were handled with ease, but a few niggles were still present. For instance, the smallish touch pad was blasted, and the inability to stay alive for over 1.5 hours during a video playback test was a real (albeit expected) downer. The biggest criticism, however, had nothing to do with performance; rather, critics lambasted the rig's old school design, and honestly, we find ourselves in complete agreement. Hit the read link for the full writeup.