An initial look at the Alienware Aurora m9700 notebook. A full review is forthcoming.
The shipping box was disappointing --- where is the Alienware logo.
Ah there it is! This box has a carrying handle on it which came in handy the first time I had to carry home the notebook and all the pieces with me.
The thin box inside the box even has the logo on it. I feel better now - this is an Alienware.
I wonder what's in here.
Perhaps a better question would have been, what's not in here.
The Aurora m9700 comes with the Windows Media Center so there is a remote control. There are connecting wires for a fax/modem, TV, Audio, and Bluetooth Audio.
There is also a very large power brick for AC power.
I'm a big fan of Alienware style. The Aurora m9700 is definitely a head-turner.
Some other perks were included in the box: a T-shirt, mouse pad, and a Reviewer's Guide.
I have one of the mouse pads --- it is a very good surface for game mousing.
Lots of connections in the rear: S-video in and out, audio in, coaxial, Modem connection, DVI and VGA out, and a lone USB port.
On the right side we have standard headphone and microphone jacks along with a volume control. There are also jacks for surround sound speaker systems and another USB port. The red light is the optical port.
The front is where the DVD/CD burner combo drive is located. The drive can burn DVDs at 8X.
The left side is packed with connections and slots. The Ethernet port is here, two USB connections, Firewire, and two memory card slots.
I wanted to show you how black the LCD screen looks, but it was so black it actually reflected the camera like a mirror. An interesting effect.
You'll have to trust me --- the screen is pitch black.
The keyboard is full size and even has a number pad --- a feature I find very useful. At first glance the keyboard seems to be a little too far towards the back, but it is not as bad as first thought it would be.
There is room for two hard drives as you can see from this bottoms up view. There is also a subwoofer up in the left corner.
Even after it's turned on, the screen is mysteriously black. Alien technology I suppose.
The screen after initial start up. The blissfully wonderful feeling of no desktop clutter.
A quick look at the installed software. What no AOL, no MSN, no Earthlink, no Microsoft Works, no Norton anti-virus. You mean I can just start using my new notebook --- what an absolutely alien idea.
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By Mark Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.