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Gionee Elife S5.5 Full In Depth Review + Unboxing [Video]

Gionee Elife S5.5 Quick Specs

Display Size: 5 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touch screen with 1920 x 1080 HD resolution

Processor: 1.7 GHz Octa Core MediaTek Mt6592

RAM: 2 Gb

Software Version: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) OS

Camera: 13 MP AF camera.

Secondary Camera: 5 MP front-facing camera FF [Fixed Focus]

Internal Storage: 16 GB with approx 11 Gb available to user

External Storage: No

Battery: 2300 mAh battery Lithium Ion

Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS, 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio

Others: OTG Support – Yes, Dual SIM – No, LED Indicator – Yes

Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity

Box Contents

Handset with non removable battery, In ear headphones of good quality, Micro USB to USB data + charging cable, USB Charger 1 AMP output, user manuals, SAR Value Document, 4 Screen guards – 2 for front and 2 for rear, OTG Cable and leather flip cover (good quality).

Build Quality, Design and Form Factor Camera Performance

13 MP rear camera has auto focus and can record HD videos at both 720p and 1080p as well. The photo quality from rear camera is decent in low light and day light photos were good if not great. Everything seems much better at least on the phone, thanks to super AMOLED display. Front camera is 5 MP fixed focus can take good selfie in proper light conditions and can also be used to do a good video chat with any third party apps like skype or cellular video call over 3G is also possible on this phone. Take a look over some camera samples below.

Camera Samples

Gionee S5.5 Camera Video Sample

Display, Memory and Battery Backup

It has got a colorful Super AMOLED display which does a great job in terms of the color reproduction and viewing angles are the best compared to any other phone in the same price segment. Display is quite readable in sunlight as well. In built memory of S5.5 is 16Gb out of which approx 11 Gb is available to the user. There is no SD card slot on this device which does limit the storage space, but it supports OTG feature and OTG cable comes inside the package. How much battery backup you will get from this phone will depend on kind of usage you have. If you play games a lot and watch videos then it will not give you one day of backup, it will last for 6-8 hours in that case but with moderate usage it can give you around one day of battery backup with full charge.

Software, Benchmarks and Gaming

It runs AMIGO User Interface on top of android which provide good amount of customization, features and good looking icons but does take away app drawer as it show all apps on the home screen. Its responsive user interface but not that smooth in transitions as stock android could have been on this S5.5 with the current hardware configuration. It might lag at times in animations and home screen transitions on heavy apps usage, amount of RAM you get on first boot is around 600 MB which is not much but makes the device responsive on the UI front. It can play almost all the graphic intensive games without any major graphic lag but the major issue arises when you play HD games it heats up and temperature can go up to 50 degrees which will result in battery drain. Too much heat can make it uncomfortable to hold in hands, but still you can get rid of feeling the heat if you use the flip cover which comes in the package.

Quadrant Standard Edition: 12944

Antutu Benchmark: 22194

Nenamark2:  56.5 fps

Multi Touch:  5 point

Gionee S5.5 Gaming Review [Video]

Sound, Video and Navigation

The sound from the loudspeaker is quite loud and clear but the placement of the loudspeaker at the rear back at the bottom can get blocked with hand at times or when you place the device on a flat surface while watching a video. It can play HD videos at 720p and 1080p and we played two videos at 720p and 1080p both of the videos got played in the default video player without any audio and video sync issues. It can be used for GPS navigation with google maps, we tried locking the GPS it get locked in 2 minutes inside indoors and outdoors it took less than a minute to fix the GPS coordinates.

Gionee S5.5 Photo Gallery What We Liked

Great Built Quality

Thinnest Phone

Premium Looks

Decent Camera

Great Performance

What We Did Not Liked

Average battery life

Heating Up

Conclusion and Price

Gionee S5.5 is right now available for approx Rs. 23,000 but you can buy it even at a better price as if now as well. It comes with Octa Core Processor, Premium Looks, Amazing Build Quality and does stand out from other regular simple old style phones in terms of looks and built quality. One thing which we do not like about this phone is that heating part which makes it heat up and it feels slightly more because of glass at the back and this heating affects the battery backup of the device, but still for more moderate usage it will give you around one day of backup.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Octa Core Review, Benchmarks, Gaming, Camera And Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S4 Quick Specs

Box Contents

The S4 box is made up of recycled paper which is a nice move from samsung – the box has Handset, 2600 mAh battery, screen protector preinstalled on the display, nice build quality in ear headphones, extra ear caps, MicroUSB to USB 2.0 cable and a 2 AMP charger.

Quick Hands on Review [Video]

Build Quality, Design and Form Factor Display, Memory and Battery Backup

The display on the phone is  5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi which is really one of the crisp and clear display we have seen, you will not notice any issues on the display as far as viewing angles are concerned, the outdoor visibility of the display is good if not the best which we have seen. The in built memory is 16Gb but only half of that around 8 Gb is available and out of which after preinstalled data and apps around 6 Gb you get for storing pictures, videos and other data like apps, but you also have memory card slot to expand the storage and you cannot install apps on SD card but move some apps from phone memory to SD card. The battery backup is quite good for one day moderate usage, the talktime you get it around 4-5 hours on the device with moderate usage which is quite good.

Software, Benchmarks and Gaming

The software UI running on top of android on this phone is Nature UX UI which is the latest version of Touch Wiz UI which is quite ok and good to use but you can see the phone runs faster on stock UI however you can’t do that unless you root the phone.

Benchmark Scores for Canvas 3D

Quadrant Standard Edition: 13077

Antutu Benchmark: 28030

Nenamark2:  59.8 fps

Multi Touch:  10 point

Benchmarks and Gaming Review [Video]

13 MP AF Rear and 2MP Front Camera

Camera Samples

Sound, Video and Navigation

The quality of sound from the loudspeaker is pretty loud and through the earphones it quite clear with good bass levels. It can play HD videos at both 720p and 1080p without any lag and it can also be used for navigation the device, but the device may become little hot while using it for navigation.

Unboxing and Full Review [Video]

Samsung Galaxy S4 Photo Gallery

Samsung Galaxy S4 Full In Depth Review [Video]

Conclusion and Price

Samsung Galaxy S4 is no doubt of the best smartphone available as if now with the some unique features like Air View, Air Gesture, Smart Scroll, Smart Pause and Smart Stay which may not be available in other smartphones. It has a plastic feel but on the other hand it does give nice durability over time as compared to the cheap android phones out there, performance and gaming is as good as it can be on this phone. It comes for an MRP of Rs. 41,500 INR but you can get it at a lesser price and in case you have a problem with the price you can buy it with EMI on 0% interest as well.

Gionee A1 Real Life Usage Review

The Gionee A1 comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Speaking of the specs, the handset packs in a MediaTek Helio P10 chipset clubbed with 4 GB of Ram and 64 GB of onboard storage.

Gionee A1 Specifications Gionee A1 Coverage Physical Overview

The Gionee A1 is a handsome looking device with excellent build quality. The design language is nothing new. The Gionee A1’s metal back with plastic borders on the top and bottom is pretty standard among the midrange smartphones. Coming to the dimensions, the 154.5 x 76.5 x 8.5 mm mobile fits quite decently in hand.

Now, let’s have a detailed look at the exterior of the Gionee A1.

At the front, the 2.5D curved 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display steals the show. Above it lies the in-call earpiece with the sensors and the front camera on either side.

Moving down, we come across the fingerprint enabled home button and the capacitive menu and back keys.

The right side of the phone houses the power button and the volume rockers.

At the left, there is the hybrid SIM card tray.

The 3.5 mm headphone jack remains at the top.

Coming to the bottom, we can see the Type-C USB port along with the loudspeaker and primary microphone.

The back of the Gionee A1 is basically clean apart from the main camera, dual LED flash and Gionee branding.


Coming to the performance of the device, the Gionee A1 does a good job. The device comes with an octa core processor. It comes with 4 x 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 and 4 x 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53. The Gionee A1 comes with Mali-T860MP2 GPU and it handles graphics very well.

App Launch Speed

The app launch speed on the Gionee A1 is snappy.

Multitasking and RAM Management Benchmark Scores


The Gionee A1 boasts a 16 MP front camera and 13 MP rear camera. This makes it a hot choice for selfie enthusiasts. Both the rear and the front shooter produce exceptional images. The photos come out to be sufficiently sharp and have perfect colour tone and white balance. Needless to say, we are quite amazed by the imaging capability of Gionee’s latest smartphone.

Camera Gallery Daylight HDR Artificial Light Low Light Front Looks and Design Ergonomics

The Gionee A1 comes with a metal back and plastic on the top and bottom. The device measures 154.5 x 76.5 x 8.3 mm and weighs in at 182 grams. The device gives a good feel when you hold it.

Display Clarity, Colors and Viewing Angles

Outdoor Visibility (Full Brightness) Sound Quality

The A1 comes with dual speakers. They are placed at the bottom of the device. The speakers on the device gives a decent sound output and you will not miss any calls.

Call Quality

In our testing, we found that the call quality of the A1 is decent. The microphone and the speaker works properly.

Gaming Performance

We played Modern Combat 4 on the A1. The gaming experience was lag free. We did not face any issues or frame drops in the game. The battery drop was also minimal and there were no heating issues.


Vivo V5 Plus Detailed Camera Review And Photo Samples

The highlight of the Vivo V5 Plus are its cameras. We took the phone for a spin over the last few days to see how it performs in real world. Let’s take a look at the camera performance of this selfie-focused smartphone from Vivo.

Vivo V5 Plus Coverage Vivo V5 Plus Camera Hardware

Model Vivo V5 Plus

Rear Camera 16 Megapixel

Front Camera 20 + 8 Megapixel

Sensor Type (Rear Camera) BSI CMOS

Sensor Type (Front Camera) CMOS

Aperture Size (Rear Camera) f/2.0

Aperture Size (Front Camera) f/2.0

Flash Type (Rear) Single LED

Flash Type (Front) Moonlight LED

Auto Focus (Rear) Yes

Auto Focus (front) No

Lens Type (Rear) –

Lens Type (Front) Sony IMX376

fHD Video Recording (Rear) Yes, @ 30fps

fHD Video Recording (Front) Yes, @ 30fps

Vivo V5 Plus Camera UI

On the left, the V5 Plus comes with a few toggles – Flash, HDR, Bokeh. It also has the Settings button on the left. On the right, you will find the Shutter, Gallery and Front Camera buttons. Just above the Shutter button, you will find different modes – Panorama, Face Beauty, Photo and Video. Above these modes, you get another sub-menu allowing you to quickly alter different settings like Buffing, Skin Tone, Whitening etc.

Vivo V5 Plus Front Camera Samples

We decided to do a more thorough testing of the V5 Plus’ dual front cameras. Below are some samples in Artificial light, Natural light and Low light. We also put to test the Face Beauty and Bokeh modes.

Artificial Light Natural Light

The V5 Plus performed really well in natural lighting conditions. Given that it performed well enough in artificial light, its daylight performance comes as no surprise.

Low Light

Most front cameras struggle visibly in low lighting conditions. However, these testing conditions were not really difficult for the V5 Plus, as evident from the results below.

Bokeh Face Beauty

Face Beauty mode hides flaws in the image. You can set it to 0 using the slider in the camera app. We noticed that setting it to medium level gives us the best results.

Vivo V5 Plus Rear Camera Samples

The V5 Plus comes with a 16 MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture. The rear camera is assisted by an LED flash and comes with Phase Detection Autofocus. Below are some samples in Artificial light, Natural light and Low light.

HDR Sample

Panorama Sample

Low Light Sample

Artificial Light

Coming to the rear camera, the V5 Plus comes with a 16 MP f/2.0 CMOS camera. The rear camera comes with a single LED flash and Phase Detection Autofocus. In our testing, we found the rear camera to focus quite fast. Overall, the image quality is satisfactory.

Natural Light

The rear camera on the V5 Plus fared very well in natural lighting conditions. Focusing and image processing speeds were good. Colour reproduction is also very accurate. Overall, the V5 Plus’s performance in this regard was very good.

Low Light Camera Verdict

The Vivo V5 Plus’s main attraction is its cameras. The front cameras, especially, perform really well. Thanks to the dual front camera setup and the front facing flash, you will not have to worry about grainy, dark selfies anymore. The rear camera is decent as well. Considering that most other phones do not come with such a good front camera experience, the V5 Plus has little to no competition in this regard.

Huawei P30 Pro Camera Review: The Best Camera Phone Of 2023?

Huawei P30 Pro, the Chinese phone maker’s newest flagship, has made its much-awaited India debut today at a hefty price of Rs 71,990. It is a powerful smartphone which stacks up well against the myriad of flagships already available in the market. However, being a Huawei P-series smartphone means there’s a primary focus on one aspect and that’s the photography experience. The company always pulls an innovative camera feature from its hat each time and the P30 Pro is no different.

Huawei P30 Pro Camera Specs

Before we dive into my experience with the Huawei P30 Pro’s cameras, let’s take a quick look at the camera specs and features.

The smartphone comes laden with a quad-camera module on the rear, which is a step up from its previous flagships – the P20 Pro or Mate 20 Pro. The camera setup still sports a primary 40MP sensor, but it has been upgraded with the inclusion of RYYB Bayer color filter array to capture 40% more light and bump the maximum ISO rating to 409600. It’s now termed as a SuperSpectrum sensor.

The second sensor on board is a 20MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide angle sensor with over 120-degrees field-of-vision, which is becoming a staple in devices launching these days. And finally, we have the most valuable addition to the lot, an 8MP (f/3.4) periscope/telephoto camera that can capture photos at 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid SuperZoom, and a mind-boggling 50x digital zoom as well.

Finally, there’s a time-of-flight (TOF) sensor on the right of the triple camera setup, below the flash and temperature sensors. This will allow the smartphone to capture more depth information, enhancing the portrait and night shots, plus helping in AR applications in the future. You can read more about the quad-camera module right here, but let’s talk about the camera app in brief.

The native camera app baked into the Huawei P30 Pro is feature-laden and complex. Yes, the camera app is quite intricate and you’ll probably need some time to discover and get used to all the extra features, such as slow-mo, light painting, silky water, super macro, and the Aperture mode. The app is snappy, the shutter speed is great, and there’s a Pro mode on board as well, so camera enthusiasts can be merry!

Note: The camera samples captured with Huawei P30 Pro need to be embraced in all their glory, so we have attached links to full-resolution photos for each category. You’ll be able to check out the details in each picture and form an opinion of your own as well.

Huawei P30 Pro: Daylight Samples




Ultra Wide Angle Samples

The Huawei P30 Pro also includes an ultra wide-angle rear camera, as you might already have read in the specifications above. It has a field-of-view of more than 120-degrees & that can help you capture some breath-taking shots, especially that of a skyline, sunrise, marketplace, or whatever you can possibly imagine.

The samples from both the smartphones can be shared on social media – with the color reproduction of the Galaxy S10 pictures being slightly saturated as compared to the P30 Pro, which produces more detailed shots and you can even read addresses on billboards using samples from the same. Check out the full-res images on Google Drive and don’t forget to zoom in.

Huawei P30 Pro: Zoom in Close!

“If you want to go to the moon; I’ll take you there, baby zoom” sings DNCE frontman Joe Jonas and it’s probably the most ideal way to describe the insane zooming capabilities of the Huawei P30 Pro. This is the first-ever smartphone to carry a periscope camera setup and it brings in tow amazing, never-seen-before zoom capabilities.

The telephoto camera itself has 5x optical zoom capability baked in, which is better than the 3x optical zoom on the P20 Pro, but the prism module inside allows it to capture 10x hybrid zoom pictures. Then there’s the 50x that open more possibilities for smartphone photography, making you want to pull out your phone and check how far you can see – which has been the case with me over the past week.

Here you can see a building with an autumn tree in the first picture, let’s zoom and you would see two birds perched on a branch in the second picture. The third photo focuses upon the bird perched on the top, and you can check out the fourth 50z picture yourself. Get ready to be amazed though!




There’s a common denominator in all these pictures and you will notice it in the camera samples we attach below as well. The 50x zoom picture isn’t the sharpest and detail, of course, is lacking as compared to other zoom samples. This is because the subjects for your 50x zoom pictures are quite far away and even though there’s dual OIS onboard, you’ll still need to keep your hand really stable or use a tripod to get the best result.

I mean, you can see the colors of the bird’s feathers in the photo above and it’s perched really far away, so what more do you need. Here are some more 5x, 10x, and 50x zoom samples to show off this mind-boggling feature of the Huawei P30 Pro:







Though the 50x digital zoom feature is simply astonishing and can help you catch a glimpse of things that may not be visible to the naked eye from that distance, it falters in low light. There’s a ton of noise in the 50x low-light pictures and even though you’ll make out what’s shown in the frame, it won’t truly be usable for sharing on social media or with peers. Here’s an example:




Huawei P30 Pro: Night-time Magic

I bet you have already seen the magic of the 40MP SuperSpectrum sensor in low-light situations on Twitter and a number of publications are drooling over the samples. Well, there’s no point hiding the fact that I’ve been doing the same since I got my hands on Huawei’s latest flagship and you can find some samples to prove the same:




The one thing you would’ve easily noticed in these low-light photos is that all of them are brightly lit. They don’t exactly look the same as the scene that my eyes might have percieved, thanks to the increased intake of light, but it makes the pictures look stunning. And if you think details are lost in the process and the pictures would be soft, well, take a closer peek as that isn’t the case.

I mean, the enhanced state of low-light photography does give more users a longing for similar features in their smartphone but one important question still remains – what if I want to capture my surroundings in its true form instead of having my smartphone’s AI blow up the saturation and light?

Huawei P30 Pro vs Google Pixel 3 XL

In the samples that follow, I am going to show you how the P30 Pro’s cameras perform against the Pixel 3 XL and its impressive Night Sight technology in low-light and totally dark scenarios. Talking about the latter first, well, the photos captured using the default mode on Pixel 3 are an almost accurate representation of what our eyes see.

The Night Sight, however, gathers light and gives you a brighter picture that makes the subject pronounced but with a lot of noise and the details being soft. The color profile is decent, but take a look at the Huawei P30 Pro samples to find these shortcomings to be fixed.




The P30 Pro captures low-light photos with a ton of detail and a color profile that’s slightly cooler than the Pixel via the default ‘Auto’ mode. You don’t need to jump into Night mode to get some amazing results, which you can zoom in and view the intricacies of a subject – be it a figure or architectural marvel. You can check some of our camera samples right here:







As you can see in the pictures attached below, the Huawei P30 Pro hands-down beats the Pixel 3 in auto mode captures. On the other hand, the Night Sight pictures (in the middle) capture a lot more light and the colors look saturated but there’s much noise and details seems to be soft as compared to the P30 Pro. The P30 Pro offers a more accurate shot in low-light conditions in auto-mode – that too with better color reproduction and an ample amount of detail.










What I Call Galaxy (not the S10)

I know the aforementioned comparison already has you captivated, but wait till you see what I’ve been calling the ‘Galaxy’ images. Huawei CEO Richard Yu, at the P30 Pro Paris launch event, showed off a photo of the starry night captured using the default mode on the smartphone at Namibia desert (picture above) and I couldn’t control my excitement.

I feel that the samples, which you can view in full-resolution on Google Drive right here, turned out pretty decent and show off another facet of the low-light capabilities of the device. You can check out some more “Galaxy” camera samples right here:




Night Mode – Do You Even Need it?

We have already got a taste of P30 Pro’s camera prowess in low-light, as well as totally dark scenarios. The smartphone is able to let in more light and capture great photos at night from the default “Auto” mode. The results are comparable to or sometimes better than the ‘Night Sight’ on Pixel 3. I mean, you don’t even need to switch modes on your device to capture such pictures and it takes merely a couple of seconds.

So, the question which now arises is – do you even need the Night Mode on Huawei P30 Pro? It’s a mode that’s included in the camera app (also available on P20 Pro) and takes long-exposure shots, about 7-8 seconds, during which you need to hold the smartphone really stable, to capture brightly-lit and detailed photos in low-light.




From my experience, the auto mode on the Huawei P30 Pro provides exceptionally good low-light pictures with a lot of detail, while the Night Mode bumps up the saturation and takes away some of the details in the process. The pictures captured in Night Mode are quite sharp as well and the final result tends to slightly better and shareable with peers.

Huawei P30 Pro: Selfies & Portraits

We have talked enough about the quad-rear camera module and there’s a 32MP selfie camera aboard the P30 Pro as well. I’m not really a selfie person but the pictures you get from this smartphone are pretty good, considering the high megapixel count, but the details are still slightly soft when you compare it to the Pixel 3 – as we’ve done below.






I’ll say that the color reproduction and skin tones are quite appropriate as well, with the blur around the subject in the background feeling natural and not too overpowering. The portraits captured from the rear camera are even better, with enhanced edge detection & more detail, meaning the TOF camera on board is doing its job well.




Huawei P30 Pro: Video Recording

Huawei has included a myriad of camera features in the P30 Pro and you’ve already seen how each of them perform in real-life, however, video recordings appears to be one such segment where the company has me a little unsatisfied. This over Rs 70,000 smartphone offers you recording support up to 4K (UHD) but solely at 30fps. You have to bump down the resolution to 1080p to get 60fps support, which is a huge shortcoming in my book.

One of the highlights of the P30 Pro obviously is its low-light prowess and it trickles into your video department as well. The low-light videos are pretty decent, especially for yet another hand-held moving vehicle recording, but the quality isn’t particularly good. The samples attached below has life-like color reproduction but the details are really soft for any and all subjects in the frame.

Extra Features

In addition to the traditional video shooting modes, Huawei also introduced some extra video modes with its Kirin 980-powered Mate 20 Pro flagship last year and well, they’re being carried forward with the P30 Pro. I’m really impressed with the edge detection, as well as real-time bokeh, that’s been applied during the ‘AI Background Blur’ mode video sample here:

Another great video shooting mode available on the P30 Pro is AI Color, where the device intelligently singles out a colorful object in the frame and paints everything else in monochrome shades. In the video attached below, you can see that Sharun is colorful & the Beebom office in the background is painted in black and white.

Huawei P30 Pro: Super Macro




The Super Macro mode on the P30 Pro also goes a step further from other smartphone cameras and includes up to 3x digital zoom, making it possible for you to get closer to objects. Though the 3x zoom pictures don’t have as much detail as the standard Super Macro pictures, the detail in the 3x picture is still really appreciable. See those hair on the feet of the spider or the cracks in the Ducati logo. It instantly makes a user go ‘wow’ and jaw drops to the ground when you see pictures like these.

Huawei P30 Pro Camera Review: What More Can You Ask For?

Huawei P30 Pro’s camera capabilities, especially the zooming, AI+ToF-enhanced portraits, and dual-OIS-stabilized videos are something you wouldn’t find on any other smartphone right now. It does have its minor shortcomings here and there, but the overall quality has me stumped and begs me to use the camera more often.

Alienware M14X Review: An Ultraportable Gaming Powerhouse

It may be twice as heavy as ultraportable laptops of similar size, but its gaming performance is twice as awesome.

Our review unit, priced at $1454 (as of August 20, 2012), as configured, sports a third-generation Intel Core i7-3610QM processor, 8GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, and a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics card. The M14x also features a Killer Wireless-N a/g/n Wi-Fi card with Bluetooth 4.0, a DVD-RW drive, and Alienware’s Command Center suite of software (including AlienFX, which allows you to change the lighting scheme). The M14x runs the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium.


In PCWorld’s WorldBench 7 benchmark tests, the M14x earned a very good mark of 143, meaning that the M14x was 43 percent faster than our reference model, which carries a second-generation Intel i5-2500K processor, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card.

These days, competing ultraportables are speedier and more powerful than ever, despite being slim and light. For example, the Acer Aspire S5, a sleek 13.3-inch Ultrabook with a Core i7-3517U processor, rolled up a WorldBench 7 score of 195. However, the Aspire S5, like all Ultrabooks, comes with a speedy solid-state drive that helps it boot faster. In other words, the Aspire S5 boots up and resumes from sleep much more quickly than the M14x does (the S5’s startup time in our tests was 12.3 seconds, versus 24.2 seconds for the M14x), but that doesn’t mean the Aspire S5 is more powerful overall.

A better way to identify the M14x’s computing strength is by assessing its gaming performance. In our Dirt 3 graphics tests, the M14x behaved like a true gaming machine, sustaining frame rates of between 82.8 frames per second (at high quality settings, and 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution) and 186.5 fps (at low quality settings, and 800-by-600-pixel resolution). The Aspire S5, in contrast, topped out at 19.1 fps and 44.5 fps, respectively, at the same settings. These numbers indicate that the M14x is a powerhouse.

The M14x also has very good battery life, considering that it’s a gaming machine at heart. In our tests the laptop managed 5 hours, 3 minutes of battery life—not far behind the Aspire S5’s 5 hours, 28 minutes.

Design: Chassis, Keyboard, and Trackpad

Though the M14x’s specs put it somewhere between an all-purpose laptop and an ultraportable laptop, it’s much larger and thicker than an average ultraportable today. The M14x is 1.5 inches thick (whereas most ultraportables are about 0.5 inch thick) and it weighs 6.5 pounds, not counting a 1.3-pound power block. By way of perspective, the 0.7-inch thick Acer Aspire S5 weighs just 3.3 pounds including the power block.

The M14x has the same retro-styling as other laptops in Dell’s latest set of Alienware models, with a soft, rubbery black lid, a sturdy chassis, and a unique grille on the front of the machine. The laptop telegraphs its gaming orientation with tons of changeable lights on the keyboard, around the trackpad, through the grille, under the power button, and on the logo beneath the screen. The default lighting color is set to blue.

The M14x packs a backlit, full-size keyboard with regular-style keys. The keys’ beveled sides and slightly indented tops make typing on them easy and comfortable. The keyboard incorporates a couple of gamer-friendly features: the S key has four raised dots for quick tactile recognition, and the arrow keys are positioned slightly apart from the rest of the keyboard.

A simple, medium-size trackpad with two discrete buttons sits directly below the keyboard. The trackpad is smooth and accurate, and the soft-touch mouse buttons are easy to press. The trackpad lacks fancy extras such as multitouch support, but true gamers will want to use an external mouse with this laptop in any event.

Screen and Speakers

The M14x sports a great-looking 14-inch glossy WLED-backlit screen with a native resolution of 1600 by 900 pixels. This bright screen offers excellent contrast, depth, and color accuracy, and is perfect for gaming. Off-axis viewing angles are okay, though you do lose some contrast as you move from side to side. The glossy screen looks great in low and dark lighting, but it can throw back some pretty severe reflections in bright light (especially sunlight).

Video looks and sounds great on the M14x. HD video plays flawlessly, with little to no artifacting or noise even in intense, action-packed scenes. Audio sounds very good through the M14x’s Klipsch 2.1 speaker system. The speakers, which are located above the keyboard, produce full, rich sound at an acceptably loud volume.

The Bottom Line

Don’t let the Alienware M14x’s benchmark specs mislead you–WorldBench 7 puts a lot of weight on small, speedy SSDs, which this laptop doesn’t have. Nevertheless, the M14x outperforms any Ultrabook we’ve seen in screen and graphic quality.

And because the M14x is built for gamers, it has a relatively user-friendly design. Ultrabooks often skimp on quality components in an effort to achieve the lightest, thinnest, and sexiest profile it can. In comparison,the M14x is heavy and bulky, but it’s also sturdy, with a keyboard and a trackpad that will stand the test of time, as well as excellent port selection. The M14x also comes at a great price for a gaming-oriented laptop, though upgrade prices are expensive: Doubling the RAM from 8GB to 16GB costs $150, and adding a Blu-ray reader costs $200.

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