updated 07:20 pm EDT, Tue April 19, 2011
Alienware talks tablets and Thunderbolt at event
Alienware during the same event that brought the M14x and M18x opened the prospects of a branded tablet. During a question and answer session, division GM Frank Azor was careful not to commit to a design but was considering "all form factors" for the future. Parent company Dell already has the Streak and Streak 7 on the market, but Alienware has so far been limited to PCs.
The executive pointed to slightly more concrete action on adopting Thunderbolt. Alienware was "looking at it," Azor said, after a call to match Apple in supporting the fast 10Gbps port. He cautioned that it was "very early" in the standard. Mini DisplayPort was already onboard some new machines, but not many Alienware users were using them so far.
Intel has said that Apple effectively had a head start through its collaboration and had access to development software that might not be available for most other companies until the start of 2012. Thunderbolt isn't strictly an exclusive but needs an official Intel controller and true software support. No PC builder besides Alienware has expressed interest, but few have had any choice.