CES: Dell goes high-end with the new Alienware M17x R3 gaming laptop

For CES 2011, Alienware has a new version of its 17-inch M17x laptop, called the M17x R3.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
Vote for this product to win the People's Voice Award.

LAS VEGAS--If there's one name everyone knows for high-end gaming PCs, it's Alienware. The Dell sub-brand offers the latest components, imaginative designs, and often prices to match.

For CES 2011, Alienware has a new version of its 17-inch M17x laptop. It's called the M17x R3 (we assume it's the third revision of the M17x), and it has several GPU options, such as the 1.5GB GDDR5 Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M, the 1GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6870M, and the 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6970M.

Besides HDMI-out, it also supports HDMI-in, which means you can hook up a gaming console or other HDMI device and use the M17x's display, which is a feature we wish more laptops had. You also get USB 3.0, optional 3D support, and support for up to 32GB of RAM (although that seems a bit excessive).

Price and availability details are not yet known, but we're hoping Dell will reveal more at its press event during CES.

Update: Here is the official spec list, as posted on our live blog of the Dell press conference.

  • Features the next-generation i5 and i7 quad-core Sandy Bridge processors
  • Intel P67 Express chipset
  • HDMI-in capability (great for connecting a Blu-ray player, Xbox 360, or PS3)
  • Wireless HD capability means uncompressed true HD
  • Graphics option: 1.5GB Nvidia GTX 460M
  • Graphics option: ATI 1GB HD6870M 2GB 6970M
  • Wide FHD WLED 120Hz display (1,920x1,080-pixel resolution)
  • Pricing and availability: starts at $1,499 available on January 10, 2011 (that date will vary by region)