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Alienware's revamped 17-inch megagaming rig finally takes flight

The long-awaited 17-inch Area-51 m17x is finally up and available to order on Alienware's Web site.

Alienware

Way back in November of 2007, Alienware told us about its rebooted gaming laptop series: the 15-inch Area-51 m15x and the 17-inch Area-51 m17x. We first got our hands on the 15-inch version a month later in December, and it officially went on sale in February of this year, but in all that time we never heard another peep about the 17-inch model--a design that's the mainstay of any gaming laptop lineup (the only 17-inch choice was the older m9750 model).

We're pleased to say the long-awaited 17-inch Area-51 m17x is finally up and available to order on Alienware's Web site, starting at $2,199 and easily topping the $5,000 mark if you totally trick it out. Noteworthy highlights include:

  • NVIDIA SLI technology with dual NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTX graphics cards to produce an unrivaled mobile DirectX 10 gaming experience.
  • Intel's 45nm Core 2 Extreme X9000 mobile processors supporting maximum speed and responsiveness during intense battle sequences in users' favorite games, crisp 3D rendering, flawless music encoding, and other high-intensity tasks.
  • Up to 1TB of hard-drive capacity configured in a RAID 0 array for storing massive entertainment collections, plus support for solid-state drives and hybrid hard drives.
  • Smart Bay technology that allows users to swap out their optical drive for an additional 500GB hard drive, bringing the notebook's storage capacity to 1.5TB.
  • The Alienware Command Center control panel, home to exclusive programs such as the AlienFX® customizable lighting feature and the AlienFusion power management system.


    The Area-51 m17x's design is nearly identical to the 15-inch version, although with a black finish instead of silver. At the time, we said of the m15x: "The system is somewhat clumsy looking...and very fingerprint-prone. It's dorm-room chic, at best--we'd expect a laptop with the fastest components available to look a little more sophisticated."

    But there was no arguing about the high-end components inside, or that this was an extremely powerful gaming laptop: "The combination of the 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme X9000 CPU and Nvidia GeForce 8800 GPU is a real winner, and the m15x is, overall, the fastest laptop we've ever tested."