Dell Alienware M14x R2 Compal LA-8381P Schematic Circuit Diagram

Dell Alienware M14x R2 Compal LA-8381P Schematic Circuit Diagram

Dell Alienware M14x R2 Motherboard

About The Alienware M14x R2

Do you find traditional gaming laptops to be too boring? The Alienware M14x may be a good solution in such a case: Alienware strives to entice customers with modern Intel and Nvidia components packed in a distinctive casing design. Is this sufficient to justify the cost and emissions?

After Alienware discontinued the 11.6-inch M11x, the M14x is now Alienware's entry-level model in terms of both size and price. We tried the previous version of the powerful 14-inch device exactly one year ago and were taken aback. Apart from high noise levels under load, we couldn't uncover any significant flaws.
Dell Alienware M14x R2 Notebook

As a result, there are great hopes for the second revision. The brand new Ivy Bridge quad-core processors i7-3720QM and i7-3820QM are also available, in addition to the entry-level version with a Core i5-2450M. They should provide a substantial performance boost over the predecessor when combined with a GeForce GT 650M and up to 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. The manufacturer provides a variety of hard drives and SSDs for storage, some of which are hybrids or raid arrays.

The basic price of 1,149 Euro ($1430 USD) quickly rises to 1,500 Euro ($1860 USD) due to a quite bold upgrade pricing. A single 64 GB mSATA SSD, for example, costs an extra 139.99 Euro ($175 USD). Even with a typical setup, our test model cost us 1,650 Euro ($2050 USD).

We'll make comparisons to both larger and smaller machines with otherwise equivalent features because the bulk of the gaming competitors doesn't offer 14-inch variants. Two Schenker laptops, the XMG A102 and A502, will be used for this purpose, both of which have just been updated to Intel's newest Ivy Bridge architecture. Another option worth considering is the Asus G55VW, which was also recently reviewed.


Alienware's laptops have long been known for their lavish appearance. The M14x R2 is no exception, and if requested, will light up brightly and colorfully like a theme park. Twenty different colors are available in nine separate zones, four of which make up the keyboard. Color changes can also be programmed to occur on a regular basis. It is possible to disable everything save the basic keyboard lighting if one wishes things to be more muted.

We're already aware of these possibilities thanks to last year's test. Overall, there are no noticeable differences between the casing and its predecessor. This is hardly a complaint, given the quality and workmanship of this 2.9 kilogram (6.4 pounds) notebook, which is 3.8 centimeters (1.5 inches) thick, is unmatched. The case's stability is superb, and it only offers a little amount of resistance to the selected pressure. Better torsional stability of the display cover is still on our wish list, although it is a very specific criticism. The display hinges are also remarkable for their accuracy and smoothness. The heavy base unit makes it easy to open the lid with one hand.

The exterior's gummed surfaces and materials are also of high quality, and the M14x maintains its "very good" overall rating. Even if the Schenker XMG A102 and A502 notebooks, which use the Clevo barebones package, aren't poor in this regard, there is still a visible quality difference. It should be noted that this variation in quality is matched by a significant price difference.


Because the casing hasn't changed, the connections haven't changed either. Here, the similarities to the 2011 model remain. In all, there are three USB ports, two of which are speedier USB 3.0 connectors. The presence of old USB 2.0 connectors, like with other Ivy Bridge models, is unusual, given that the HM77 chipset would allow all ports to adopt the faster and more modern USB 3.0 specification.

HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and VGA are all supported, allowing nearly any external monitor to be connected. We complained about the lack of eSATA, Firewire, and ExpressCard ports last year. We'd want to qualify those remarks right now. Because the availability of these interfaces is decreasing, fewer purchasers will notice their absence.

Wireless Connection

We had the option of choosing between Intel's Centrino Wireless-N 2230 (as in our test model) or Qualcomm's Bigfoot Killer Wireless-N 1202. Both adapters are MIMO (2x2) enabled, allowing for data speeds of up to 300 MBit/s overall. Furthermore, the most recent Bluetooth version (Bluetooth 4.0) is included. Support for 802.11a for 5 GHz networks, as well as software modifications to give online gamers quicker pings to decrease latency, are among the reasons to invest an additional 20 Euro ($25 USD) for the Qualcomm adapter. The M14x does not have an inbuilt 3G or 4G radio.

The webcam on the laptop has the standard 1.3 Megapixel resolution, which results in average picture quality. This sensor's sharpness and noise might be improved. Video playback, on the other hand, sparkles with superb contrast, minimal latency, and perfect smoothness. The microphone array to the left and right of the camera is surprisingly good, and the recordings sound quite genuine and have a wide dynamic range.


Alienware offers a Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit DVD, as well as two driver and software DVDs, in addition to a few booklets. Dell deserves a pat on the back for doing something so unusual these days. We especially liked the soft cloth cover, which is ideal for transporting in a backpack or other similar container. To power, the notebook's power-hungry high-end components, a power supply with a maximum output of 150 Watts is supplied.

Many Alienware apps let users to adjust lights, back up data, and change power-saving modes. The dark, futuristic look of Alienware is matched by these apps. Customers are thankfully saved from needless toolbars and other applications that might slow down the operating system.


If you don't like the chiclet trend that most large manufacturers are using, the M14x's classic desktop keyboard design is a nice change. The basic layout eliminates the need to become familiar with the keyboard. The tiny white border around each key, as well as the previously stated backlighting, are also notable (see right picture).
Dell Alienware M14x R2 Keyboard

The 18mm (0.7 inch) keys are simple to strike consistently due to their concave surface and sloping edges. Only the most proficient typists can do as well on some chiclet keyboards as they might on a classic design. The hard and accurate pressure point, along with an exceptionally liberal depth of stroke, provides superb feedback that may be a model for many professional notebooks. Unlike our last test, we did not notice any squeaky keys, but with its mildly rattling typing sound, this keyboard is not the quietest of its class.


When used outside, the display's great brightness is beneficial, but the highly reflective plastic glass that covers the full display edge to edge prevents a higher rating. Instead of the cheap, reflective, scratch-sensitive plastic pane they currently use, Alienware could easily offer a coated, non-reflective glass display cover like Apple does. The early M14x model lacked a non-reflective option, and customers must continue to accept reflections unless they carefully find a shaded location with no background illumination.

The display boasts unusually good viewing angles for a TN panel, allowing several users to view the screen contents without distortion. The key viewing angles that indicate that the display is not a VA or IPS screen are vertical angles. Contrast begins to change at 10 degrees above or below head-on vision and becomes extremely noticeable beyond 45 degrees. This is acceptable when compared to the inexpensive panels seen on many other laptops.


In Cinebench R11.5, the test model begins our set of benchmarks with a good result of 6.85 points (64-bit). This puts the M14x a few points ahead of all other laptops tested with the identical CPU, indicating that TurboBoost is being fully utilized. We also hit new marks in the x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 with 150.05 and 37.67 fps in passes 1 and 2. With 6154 points, Cinebench R10's single-thread test (64-bit) nearly missed a new high score. Last year's winner, the Core i7-2630QM, was left in the dust.

The contrast with the smaller quad-core CPUs from the two Schenker laptops XMG A102 and A502 is particularly fascinating. While the advantage over the 35 Watt model i7-3612QM is a comfortable 20%, it drops to just over 10% when compared to the i7-3610QM. Given the not-insignificant triple-digit price differential between the 3720QM and the 3610QM, Dell should include the lower-cost variant in their configurator.

Dell Alienware M14x R2 Compal LA-8381P Schematic Circuit Diagram

Free Download Dell Alienware M14x R2 Compal LA-8381P Schematic Circuit Diagram

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