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."