Weight and Heat
The Alienware Aurora m9700 is not a light laptop, but then again I’ve never seen a 17′ laptop that been particularly easy to carry (maybe the Asus W2J is an exception, but it still weighs 8 lbs.). With the battery and the laptop body, the m9700 weighs in at a healthy 9.3 lbs making it the second heaviest laptop we’ve reviewed here. But considering it has an extra HDD and GPU, the weight is forgivable.
The power adapter is worth singling out because it weighs a hefty 2.3 lbs and is very large (roughly 7′ x 3’x 2′) so it won’t be very easy to bring around. Considering the battery life on the m9700 is 1.5 hours (we examine this more shortly in the article), you will need this adapter wherever you go. Obviously the m9700 is not a general purpose laptop you expect to carry around with you every day unless you invest in a decent bag, laptop backpack, or even a rolling case.
With two GPUs inside and two hard drives, you expect the Aurora m9700 to be a scorching thigh toaster, but amazingly it does amazingly well at keeping cool even under a heavy graphics and CPU load.
All the top touch surfaces of the laptop are cool to the touch throughout my testing which makes the m9700 the most comfortable I’ve worked with so far. I wonder if Alienware purposely designed their laptops to have little heat leakage to the surface? I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought of heat issues well in advance.
The base of the laptop is a bit warmer, but still slightly cooler than the Dell XPS M1710. I wouldn’t recommend using this on your lap anyway since the m9700 is heavy and you don’t want to block the intake fans.