LAS VEGAS--A lot of the gaming news we anticipated last month came to fruition at this year's CES in Las Vegas. While we didn't get a definitive release date for Project Natal, Microsoft did announce the motion sensing technology would be available this holiday season. How much it will cost is still a mystery and there was no sign of Natal at Microsoft's CES booth.
Update: The Alienware M11x has been nominated for the Best of CES awards in the Gaming category.
LAS VEGAS--Alienware laptops are powerful, but they're not exactly known for being ultraportable or affordable. At Dell's press conference this morning, however, a chief focus was put on their new M11x laptop, which seems to be attacking both ends head-on. In a form approaching Netbook size, the 11.6-inch laptop comes packed with switchable graphics, including an Nvidia GT335M GPU as its main powerhouse, and will sell this spring for less than $1,000.
According to Dell representatives, the M11x will … Read more
Ready for a 250-watt notebook? Intel is helping its OEMs to design such extremes.
A presentation at the Intel Developer Forum last week discussed how to build notebooks around the Core i7-920XM Extreme Edition mobile processor, code-named Clarksfield XE.
It turns out that when I estimated the maximum power consumption of a 920XM-based laptop at 80 watts to 100 watts, I was way off! (A typical notebook, by the way, averages somewhere between 40 and 90 watts.)
My estimate was reasonable for the kind of typical 920XM laptop I had in mind, but Intel showed how to go so far beyond "typical" that the resulting machine could need a 250-watt power brick.
I looked around, and the biggest power adapter I could find belongs to the Dell Alienware M17x, which needs a 210-watt brick. (I trust someone will tell me if there's a bigger one out there somewhere...Just leave a comment below.)
With the Intel Developer Forum underway, one of the big stories has been Intel's official unveiling of its new high-end laptop CPU, the mobile version of the Core i7. Of course, everyone's been talking about Core i7 laptops for weeks now, so the only real surprise is which PC makers are jumping onboard right away to show off this pricey new technology. Here's a roundup of Wednesday's announcements:
Alienware announced refreshes to both the design and the technology of its high-end Area-51 and Aurora gaming desktops. A new angular look replaces the familiar rounded alien-head shape of the old models, and features such as motorized air vents and specialized hard-drive layout give Alienware some unique selling points. Alienware is also the previously unnamed OEM that purchased the first batch of AMD's Radeon HD 5800 cards, so other system vendors can blame Dell/Alienware for their short supply and delayed order shipping.
Essentially, Alienware has two systems to announce today: the full tower Area-51 and the micro-ATX-based Aurora. Each system also has a more expensive ALX edition that features liquid cooling, a wider array of case lighting, and other tweaks.
The most interesting feature of the new case that's common to the Area 51 and the Aurora is the motorized air vents that Alienware calls its Active Venting louver system. As Alienware describes it, when the temperature inside the case reaches a certain level, the fins on the top of the case will open up automatically to increase its airflow. We have a hunch Alienware doesn't mind the theatrics of this venting system, either.
Unfortunately, missing from the images Alienware gave us is an image of the Area 51's hard-drive array. Rather than inserting the drives into main cavity, Alienware has carved out a series of six flat-lying drive bays on the opposite side of the Area 51. The benefits of this design are more apparent than the venting system, in that it lets you add more internal storage than you could normally, allows for easy drive installation, and also frees up room for airflow inside the main case compartment. No other vendor that we know of offers such a design.… Read more
It's a largely new system on the inside, but Alienware isn't digging up a new name for its powerful 15-inch gaming laptop. Featuring Intel's new mobile Core i7 processor, the Alienware m15x debuted today, the first of several Core i7 laptops we expect in the near future.
According to Alienware, this new system is for "enthusiast and hardcore gamers that require a high level of mobility while still requiring an exceptional gaming experience." Which sounds like it's not exactly going to be inexpensive. It's also not going to be lightweight--this is a 15-inch … Read more
Episode 41 of the Digital City, where we discuss Apple's falling market share, Scott's love affair with the Game Boy Micro, and whether Alienware's $5K laptop means the death of gaming PCs.
Related links: >>Alienware M17x the fastest gaming laptop ever, but do we still need big PC gaming rigs? >>Apple drops to No. 5 in laptop sales--are cheaper MacBooks the answer? >>Retro Gadget: An ode to my Game Boy Micro
After a steady stream of Netbooks and entry-level laptops, it's nice to slip behind the seat of a deluxe mobile powerhouse for a change. Alienware's new M17x laptop jams pretty much any high-end component you can think of into an imposing, matte, black chassis, including an Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX9300 CPU, dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M GPUs, and 1TB of hard-drive space.
While the system starts at a reasonable $1,799, you'll need to configure something closer to our $4,849 review unit to really get the benefit of Alienware's years of experience making high-end gaming PCs.
While playing around with the M17x was a blast, and we especially enjoyed creating wacky color combinations with the customizable backlit keyboard (this new version has four separate color zones under the keyboard tray), we're left wondering if the era of the extreme gaming rig is over--replaced by a mix of 10-inch Netbooks and console games.
With E3 around the corner, gaming news is breaking left and right. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that details on Alienware's M17x gaming laptop broke a little earlier than next weekend's onslaught of pixels and polygons. And indeed, Friday morning, the full profile of Alienware's All Powerful laptop has surfaced--ahead of schedule, and ready to steal a little weekend limelight while it can.
It's big. And thick--2.11 inches thick, to be precise. At 11.6 pounds, and 15.98 inches by 12.65 inches, the M17x comes with a 2.4GHz Core … Read more
Alienware's alien-alphabet-infused teaser site for the Allpowerful laptop has been counting down steadily, now at 15 days until the static-fringed menacing alien head reveals all there is to know in the world of ultrabeefy mobile gaming rigs. Or, it's a teaser for a new Crystal Skull movie.
Nevertheless, new intel has dropped in the forums at NotebookReview.com: a mysterious image from "mingocr83" features the contours of and is claimed to be the Allpowerful itself. Subsequent image-brightened posts seem to clearly reveal something else...… Read more