Good news for people shopping for a small, powerful gaming laptop: the tiny hybrid Alienware M11x has gotten a whole lot better overnight. New Core i5, i7, and Nvidia Optimus upgrades look like they could bring the M11x closer to par with the more fully fledged Alienware M15x laptop.
When we reviewed the M11x earlier this year, we found its combination of low-voltage Core 2 Duo processor, Netbook-like size, and switchable gaming-ready graphics to be pretty compelling for its price. New Core i5 and i7 processors should only sweeten the deal, providing that the battery life remains good. The addition of Nvidia Optimus automatic graphics switching makes a lot of sense here, as the M11x's chief appeal was its capability to switch between a longer-battery portable notebook and a higher-performance machine.
The M11x starts at $799 for a Core 2 Duo configuration, or $949 for the Core i5 version, with an optional Core i7 starting at $1,099. According to Dell's preorder site, new models will ship July 2.