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Alienware Area-51 m17x Gaming Desktop Replacement Laptop

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Alienware Area-51 m17x

Alienware Area-51 m17x


The Bottom Line

Alienware's Area-51 m17x is a very hefty machine that is really designed with the sole purpose of being a high performance gaming system. It has a vareity of features and options that make it well suited as a portable media platform, but the high cost of the system makes the system a bit harder to justify.


  • Strong 3D Graphics Thanks to Dual Graphics Cards
  • High Resolution Display Capable of Full High Definition
  • Hot Swappable SmartBay


  • Larger and Heavier Than Standard Desktop Replacement
  • Fairly Expensive


  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory with 1GB of Turbo Cache Memory
  • 160GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer DVD Burner
  • 17" WUXGA (1920x1200) Wide LCD with 2.0MP Webcam
  • Dual NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT Graphics in SLI with 512MB Memory
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless and Bluetooth 2.0
  • Four USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, HDMI, ExpressCard/54, 7-in-1 Card Reader
  • 16.1" x 11.5" x 2.1" @ 10.5 lbs.
  • Vista Home Premium,

Guide Review - Alienware Area-51 m17x Gaming Desktop Replacement Laptop

7/10/08 - Alienware Area-51 m17x is really a system that caters to the PC gamers. This 17-inch notebook is equipped with a very high resolution 1920x1200 17-inch display panel that is great for PC gaming or HD video but hard to read for general purpose computing. This resolution isn't a problem with gaming though because of the two GeForce 8700M graphics cores in an SLI setup. While not the fastest option out there, it certainly performs much better than the average gaming notebook.

In terms of the general system performance, it is good but limited a bit by an older Core 2 Duo T7500 processor. The newer T8000 and T9000 series offer more for those looking at video editing but at extra cost over the preconfigured system. The two gigabytes of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory is standard but could use a bit more for smoother performance. An extra one gigabyte of flash memory is installed to be used with Vista's ReadyBoost caching feature.

The standard storage setup has a single 160GB 7200rpm hard drive along with a DVD burner. Options for higher capacity drives or a second drive with RAID for extra performance or security. The SmartBay used to house the optical drive can also be removed to add in an addition drive for extra storage. The standard optical drive is a DVD burner but Bluray is optional.

Gamers will also like the ability to somewhat personalize their system with a custom engraved nameplate that is installed on the system. Users can also adjust the colored lighting of the AlienFX system lighting.

The big problem with the Area m17x though is its size. The system is substantially bigger than traditional 17-inch notebooks. Users essentially sacrifice this portability for performance. It also costs well above suitable gaming laptops.

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