updated 08:00 am EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
Alienware refreshes notebooks, drops 11-inch model
Alienware has refreshed its gaming notebook lineup with a range of internal upgrades, although an upgrade to Intel's next-gen Ivy Bridge processors have not been included on this occasion. The M14x, M17x and the M18x now include an mSATA slot for giving users a range of storage options, while graphics performance has also been boosted with the addition of support for PCI Express 3.0. This is said to boost throughput over the old PCI Express by 200 percent taking maximum advantage of either the NVIDIA GeForce 600 or AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs.
The M14x R2 touts NVIDIA's new GeForce GT650M graphics that can be optioned up to 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Users can also specify up to 16GB of RAM and option up a Blu-ray drive. Drive configurations include a 64GB SSD combined with a 500GB hard drive. A Creative Sound Blaster Recon3Di High-Definition sound card is also standard, as is support for the new generation of Bluetooth 4.0 devices.
The M17x R4 gets graphics upgrades to the NVIDIA GeForce GTC 660M with 2GB VRAM. Alternatively, users can also opt for an NVIDIA GTX 675M or Radeon HD 7970M. Up to 32GB of RAM is also supported, while drive configurations are numerous thanks the available dual hard drive slots and the newly included mSATA slot. Two displays options are available: a 1600x900 display is fitted standard, while users can option up a 1080p, 120Hz WLED 3D-ready display.
The M18x R2 adds the ability to support two GPU's simultaneously. Initially, users can include two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M set up with SLI, with the option in the near future to upgrade to two Radeon HD 7970M cards in CrossFire mode.
Fans of the M11x model will be disappointed to learn that the more portable version of Alienware's gaming rigs has been discontinued and will be 'phased out.' As such, it continues in its current configuration until sold out or deleted.
The new Alienware notebooks are available now with the M14x starting from $1099, the M17x from $1649 and the M18x from $1999.