Alienware announced two new laptops this morning, adding to the Area-51m line that includes the monstrousdesktop replacement. Based on the specs, the new 5700 seems quite similar to the 7700, though Alienware says it has a "lighter, easier-to-carry" design. That couldn't have been too hard to achieve: with its immense AC adapter, the 7700 weighs 15.4 pounds.
The other new model is the m5500, a 15.4-inch, wide-screen thin-and-light. Its multimedia features include Windows Media Center, an optional DVR, a 4-in-1 memory card reader, and a PowerCinema utility that lets you play CDs and DVDs without booting Windows. Sounds similar to the new Dell XPS M140, but with an Nvidia GeForce Go 6600 GPU.
The Area-51m 5500 starts at $1,049 and the 5700 starts at $1,499. Both will be available for presale this afternoon and will start shipping in late November.
Update: Alienware came by the office to show off its Area-51 m5700 today, as well as a few other new models. Having compared the m5700 to the m7700 in this blog earlier in the day, I've been asked to clarify some major differences between the two. First, Alienware says the m5700 weighs about 4 pounds less than the m7700; I haven't weighed it, but it was clearly smaller and lighter. Second, the smaller m5700 has somewhat smaller specs which include a mobile processor, an Nvidia GeForce Go 6800 GPU, and just one optical drive. The humongous m7700, on the other hand, has a desktop processor, will soon have the GeForce Go 7800 GTX GPU, and can accomodate two optical drives.