While the M18x's factory-overclocked 4GHz processor and HDMI-input sorely tempted us, we were rather more taken with the Alienware M14x's svelte frame, which should prove quite tempting for those who dig its more petite profile. While it doesn't have the anodized aluminum shell of its big brother the M18x, its red matte plastic exterior has a high-quality feel to it, though we spotted an unsightly seam along the right edge of the prototype unit. It's also unfortunately got a super-glossy screen, but the Klipsch speakers impressed -- much more than a simple gimmick, they're plenty powerful for a 14-inch notebook and sounded fairly crisp. We briefly played Call of Duty: Black Ops on the M14x, and found the keys to have plenty of travel and provided a satisfying click with each press as we wandered Cuban streets, and the touchpad was quite responsive as well (though we didn't have a chance to test its multitouch capabilities). It's heavier than other laptops with similar screen real-estate, but it's still an totally totable PC -- and the heft is a welcome tradeoff in exchange for the added horsepower under the hood as compared to its Jenny Craig competition.
Alienware M14x, M18x and M11x R3 hands-onSee all photos
Sean Hollister contributed to this report.