A few years ago the idea of a laptop targeted at the gaming community might have caused a few smirks. Back then with desktops in price free-fall, the idea of anyone paying a premium was something that seemed incredibly unusual.
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But the last few years have shown that if you want a quality gaming experience, then - surprise, surprise - you have to buy a machine that is dedicated to fulfilling that purpose and has the components to deliver what's required.
Alienware is a brand that is highly regarded in gaming circles and its products demonstrate its deep understanding of its market.
Open up the company's Area-51 m17x laptop and the first thing that hits you is the screen but that is closely followed with the keyboard layout design. As gamers use the keyboard for serious stretches of time, comfort is essential, and that is what the m17x provides.
Even just firing it up gives you an insight into the attention that Alienware has devoted to it, with details that will resonate with the gaming market. For example, the keys are lit. We chose green, although you get options, making it something that not only stands out in the dark but instantly attracts attention.
The m17x has already gained a thumbs-up from the gaming community. Reviews of its 17in screen -and the 15in display of its sister product - have been glowing in terms of performance and design.
What is under the hood is equally but perhaps unsurprisingly impressive. After all, the m17x needs some serious spec if it is to handle some of the most demanding games on the market.
The laptop is equipped with an Intel Core 2 Extreme processor, up to 4Gbytes of DDR2 667MHz memory, and up to 640Gbytes with RAID 0, plus an expandable Smart Bay hard-drive option. But where it really matters is with the graphics card. The Dual Nvidia GeForce 8800m GTX/Dual Nvidia 8700M GT is going to silence any hesitation users might have on that particular score.
Away from the speeds and feeds, it is the design that adds some value with not just the keyboard but little touches like glowing aliens all adding to the feel that by getting this machine you have entered a club.
Developing kit for the gaming community is all about appealing to a broad church. Gamers love technology but they also want it to be fun. And the see through cases with neon lights is all about the showing-off factor.
The m17x ticks a lot of the boxes for users who are keen not only to show that they appreciate good technology but want other people to acknowledge that as well.
This is the ultimate machine to get people looking over your shoulder.