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.
It's an argument some have been making for years (or rebutting), but the oft-reported "Death of PC Games" really does seem closer than ever.… Read more