My Alienware M11x

March 31, 2011

My job gives me a lot of really cool perks, including a laptop every year! This year, we got an Alienware M11x laptop. I was so excited to receive it, since the year before we only got a netbook and I felt like I needed a more powerful laptop. When I opened my laptop for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised by the general feel of the laptop. The outside is slightly “rubbery” feeling, which gives it a nice feel when you handle it. Also, the keys and some other parts of the laptop light up! Mine came red by default, and I figured that was the only color it displayed…nope! You can choose a variety of colors using the included AlienFX software! Mine right now is green and orange for St. Patrick’s Day (see photo!). This aspect alone is what causes people to say “wow” when they see my laptop.

The laptop’s overall performance is excellent. I do a lot of lab reports on here, which require me to have tons of Word documents/PDFs/Excels open at once. The laptop handles them easily! I also game on my M11x, and it runs games like Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Civilization V smoothly! One thing that I really think could be improved on the laptop is the keyboard. It is far too “squishy” for my tastes, and also feels ever so slightly cramped when typing. It causes me to make more mistakes than I would on my desktop’s keyboard. I also love the battery life on the M11x. I routinely get about 4 hours of battery life, which is great because I can have my laptop out in class and not have to worry about charging it halfway through!

Like I said before, my favorite feature of this laptop is probably the lighting, just for the “wow” factor. I also love that it comes with a dedicated graphics card that allows me to game. The M11x actually uses Nvidia’s Optimus technology to switch between the integrated and dedicated graphics options which helps to save battery when you don’t need the power of the dedicated graphics card. This leads me to my one other dislike about this laptop. Sometimes the screen gets “washed out” for just a few seconds, which I am assuming is due to the computer switching which graphics it uses. Luckily this goes away and I’m back to the vibrant screen I’m used to seeing.

Overall, I adore this laptop. It feels solidly constructed and performs very well regardless of what task I throw at it. It amazes people I show it to because of the lights and the  fact that it can play games! We actually had a LAN party this weekend, and one of my friends played on my laptop and it worked great for him! I love my Alienware M11x laptop!


7 Win7 Tips!

January 9, 2010

First off, sorry for being terrible at updating! I guess school plus my job really hampered my updating! I’ll try to sum up what’s been going on lately. On November 5th, we hosted our Windows 7 launch party. It was a great success! Close to 300 students came to the event and installed Windows 7 on their computers. Two people bought their desktops and we even had some…Mac users come! Here are a few pictures from the event.  

It was a great success, and I can’t give enough thanks to all of the people who made time to help with the event!

I finally got a ZuneHD! It is so amazingly thin and light! I especially love the Audiosurf Tilt game. Look for a review on it soon.

Since Winter Quarter just started, I don’t have as many huge projects at the moment. I did make a Win7 Tips video over Christmas break though. Here it is!

7 Win7 Tips

The Ultimate Steal

October 16, 2009

My latest tip: Manage your sources and create a bibliography with Microsoft Word! It’s super easy!


Windows 7 Launch Party!

September 24, 2009

Soon we’ll be hosting a Windows 7 Launch Party on Ohio State’s campus! Planning lots of demos, installs, and hopefully a gaming contest with the chance to win lots of prizes! Check back soon for more information!


Zune HD and new 4.0 software are here!

September 15, 2009

Here’s what you (hopefully) have been waiting for! I just wanted to share some of the new Zune features! I liked the old Zune software, but this new 4.0 update definitely raises the bar as far as features and performance! Here are some of the new software features:

  • Quickplay – Allows access to recently played content and gives users the ability to “pin” favorite albums or songs. Also shows the newest additions to the library. Content is easy to add or remove – just right click on the item you want to add or remove. This definitely fixes the one problem I did have with the software – there was no way to easily tag my favorite songs or to see my recent play history! The Quickplay screen has an elegant layout and is very simple to navigate.


  • Smart DJ – Creates automatic mixes of tracks centered around a specific artist, album, or song. Finally! I like Pandora and other “smart playlist” generators, so I’m excited to have this functionality in the Zune software itself. The software creates a Smart DJ mix that uses music from your collection and from Zune Marketplace. If you subscribe to Zune Pass, all of the songs in the playlist will be playable. If not, you will get the option to either sign up for a Zune Pass or to only include tracks from your personal collection. A free 14-day trial of Zune Pass is offered, so you might as well take advantage of that!
  • Mini Player Mode and Windows 7 Optimization – The software now has the option to enable mini player mode. It is also optimized for Windows 7. Playback controls are displayed when you hover over the Zune icon in the taskbar, and a jump list is displayed if you right-click on the icon.


Remember to watch the video to see the new Zune software in action!


Zune HD is almost here!

September 14, 2009

Just a few more hours until the Zune HD is officially released! I will post another detailed post reviewing the software, along with a video review, when it comes out! There are some new features that I am *very* excited about. I currently have a Zune but this new device looks so sleek that I want to get it!

I love the platinum version! Stay tuned for the review 🙂


An Introduction

September 11, 2009

Hi! I’m Sarah Parsons, the Microsoft Student Partner at Ohio State University. I’m in my 5th year here at Ohio State (thanks to changing majors), and will graduate next year with a Materials Science and Engineering degree. I’m also a technology and Microsoft lover.

The purpose of this blog is to keep you aware of the latest Microsoft events and promotions on campus. We have a lot of neat stuff in the works! I hope to update this blog along with my Facebook and Twitter pages frequently to keep you in the loop!

Also, keep your eyes peeled for some great chances to win free stuff! If you look hard enough, you might find yourself a lucky duck…(more on that later).

Don’t forget about the launch of the new Zune HD on Tuesday, September 15th! My next post will include a video review of the awesome new Zune features!