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Alienware pursues mainstream gamers with x51 slim tower

Alienware announced a new x51 slim tower gaming desktop, with a starting price of $699. It will be available for purchase on January 18.

As promised, Alienware launched its new x51 slim tower PC tonight, at a live event in San Francisco.

Alienware's new X51 slim tower gaming desktop.
Alienware's new X51 slim tower gaming desktop. Alienware

Features in the customizable system will include Intel Core i3, i5, i7 series processors, Nvidia GT and GTX graphics cards, a slot-loading DVD or Blu-Ray drive, internal Wi-Fi, and HDMI and 7.1 digital audio output. The starting price is $699, and it will be available to purchase on January 18.

The complete list of specs below comes from the Dell Community blog post on the Alienware x51's announcement:

  • Intel Core i3 dual-core (standard) and Intel Core i5 and i7 quad-core processor options
  • Intel H61 Express Chipset Architecture
  • Mini-itx motherboard
  • NVIDIA graphics card options
  • 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GT 545 (standard)
  • 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 555
  • Configure with up to 8GB of DDR3 memory (4GB standard); 2x 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM slots
  • 7,200rpm 1TB hard drive
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Slot-Loading dual-layer DVD Burner (Standard) or optional Blu-ray Disc reader
  • Internal high-definition 7.1 performance audio with Waves MAXX audio software
  • Integrated 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet NIC and Integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Wireless LAN (standard)
  • USB 2.0 (6x); USB 3.0 (2x); microphone in; headphone/speaker out; HDMI 1.4 output; RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet; front, rear, and center speaker ports; SPDIF digital output (TOSLINK); SPDIF digital output (Coax)
  • Alienware 240 watt power supply (Standard) or optional 330 Watt power supply
  • Dual-orientation tower system dimensions: 13.5 inches tall by 3.74 inches wide by 12.52 inches deep
  • Starting weight: 12.1 pounds

This system is also fully user upgradeable, said Alienware, down to the motherboard.

The x51 introduces a few new elements to Alienware's desktop lineup. It has never before sold a slim tower desktop, and the new lean design means you don't have to find a home for a giant, full tower beast. The low price point also suggests that Alienware is finally taking advantages of some of those economies of scale afforded to it by parent company Dell.

What will be interesting to see is how well gamers receive this desktop. It could enjoy the same success as Alienware's MX14 laptop series, which brought Alienware's unique products to more mainstream customers than its high-end desktops. Also in Alienware's favor is the fact that few of its boutique PC competitors offer gaming desktops in this price range.

Alienware has told me this it has a system on the way for a review this week or early next.

Updated with new images and specs info.