This is the Alienware M17x, which according to Alienware's extensive legal department is the "fastest laptop in the universe". Yup, you read that correctly -- it's not just the fastest in the country, the continent, or even the world -- it's the fastest anywhere in this plane of existence.

Alienware recently popped round to Crave Towers with an early prototype, which has left us impressed. The M17x's arm-busting 5kg chassis is finished in sturdy aluminium, which makes a change from the plastic used on the standard M17. It's not daubed in garish colours, either -- matte black is the order of the day -- although if you want a few random reds and greens, the M17x still packs AlienFX technology, which lets you change the colour of the backlit keyboard and mouse.

It'll use an Intel QX9300 quad-core CPU and a maximum of two Nvidia GTX 280M graphics cards, which promise to eclipse the performance offered by the previous 'world's fastest laptop', the Asus W90. Memory takes the form of either 4GB, 6GB or a whopping 8GB of DDR3 1,366MHz memory, while up to 1TB of storage is available from twin 500GB hard drives.

The M17x will have a 17-inch screen running at 1,920x1,200 pixels, which Alienware likes to call 1200p. Slot-loading DVD or Blu-ray drives are an option, and you'll be able to pipe videos to a telly over HDMI or DisplayPort.

It's a pretty stunning machine, we think you'll agree. It'll be available to order from Tuesday 2 June for £1,700. We'll have a review sample shortly, but take a look at the pictures in our gallery to whet your appetite.

Update: The story has been updated with pricing

The slot-loading Blu-ray drive is very welcome. It certainly beats the clunky tray-loading drives you get in most laptops.
Four discrete audio jacks are available on the side, so surround sound is easy-peasy. We'd have preferred these jacks round the back though, to avoid wires trailing everywhere.
Speakers are mounted in the front edge, as are blue LEDs, to make the sound even funkier. Or something.
The AlienFX feature lets you customise the colour of the mouse trackpad surround and keyboard backlight.
The left side packs D-Sub, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, USB and eSATA outputs.
The M17x looks rather like a stealth fighter. Also, note the absense of the traditional Alienware Skullcap 'ribs'. We like.
The obligatory set of multimedia shortcut buttons. The most important of these is the overclocking button on the far right, which takes the QX9300 CPU to an overclock setting of bin+3.
The underside is littered in vents to help the M17x breathe. Note the odd alien-style writing and the customisable plaque in the centre.
The plaque can be customised to say whatever you want -- rather like iPods.
The M17x may weigh 5kg, but its power supply unit is surprisingly small.
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