Alienware Aurora mALX 19" Gaming Notebook Review
There are many big features of the Aurora mALX. The killer combo is the 19" wide screen and the coupled GeForce Go 7900GTX cards which ensures that your mALX is capable of playing at the highest resolutions and with all the effects turned on. Unlike other Alienware systems, the configuration of the mALX is fairly restrictive: the graphics options are locked in at two GeForce Go 7900GTXs and the CPU is only available with the AMD Turion ML-44. Options are available for the hard drive, RAM, and other components.
For data security you can get the Aurora mALX configured with two SATA drives for RAID functionality (mirroring or striping), but you can also go with a single HDD and upgrade to RAID later.
Perhaps one of the most important and unique items in the box is a large backpack designed to carry this 19" behemoth. This is important because there aren't many carrying cases out there that can accommodate a computer of this size. The backpack itself is very practical with a lot of pockets and compartments to store all your peripherals and cables. The bag is also small enough to take as carry-on on a plane, which should interest all you aspiring professional gamers out there. Be warned though, the bag itself isn't very comfortable to carry, especially with 16 lbs. of computer inside.
To top it all off, the Aurora mALX comes with a pair of full cup headphones, a fUnc mouse pad, a custom name plate, a portfolio for you important documents, a hat, shirt, pen, a cloth to clean the mALX, luggage tag, and a keychain. There's a lot of stuff that comes inside the mALX box. All the stuff you see below is standard with the mALX with the exception of the Logitech G5 mouse.
The Alienware Aurora mALX comes with the standard pre-loaded software - none! The only non-OS software installed on the system are Cyberlink Power DVD, Alienware's AlienGUIse, and Alienware Dock desktop enhancements.
Installing your own OS onto the mALX can be a bit tricky if you're not careful. The first problem is the RAID feature which requires a driver diskette during Windows XP installation. There are ways around this as expert users have learned, but for a novice, this can be an annoyance. Turning off RAID isn't really an option especially when you've paid extra money for the second HDD.
If you do manage to get the OS installed, the next trick is to get all the drivers for the mALX. The package we received contains all the necessary drivers loaded on a CD, but it was missing the all too important software for the Atheros wireless controller. You can log into the Alienware support site to get these drivers.
Oddly, if you try going to the Atheros website you will not find any drivers.
A disadvantage to installing your own OS is that you will not get Alienware's AlienGUIse UI customization.