What does one get when they jam a full-fledge desktop gaming PC into portable laptop? The sleek-looking and beastly Alienware Area-51m, of course.
This newly minted gaming laptop makes clear that Alienware is trying something different. While its signature boxy, hardcore aesthetic is far from gone, the Area-51m represents a massive design leap from the current Alienware mold.
Gone is the typically eccentric unshapeliness of an Alienware gaming machine, replaced by smooth, streamlined lines. The offbeat and radical corners are still present, to be sure, but they're more refined than gimmicky.
The name is a reference to Alienware's very first laptop, and it's kind of interesting how, instead of waxing nostalgic, Alienware decided to break its personal boundaries on aesthetic. But design is just one thing. The Area-51m also includes something far more innovative: an upgradeable desktop CPU paired with an Nvidia RTX 20-series video card, essentially making this a laptop on steroids. Or perhaps a full gaming desktop beast in packaged as laptop.
The result is something at once unmistakably steeped in Alienware's familiar design quirks and yet unexpectedly different. It's not something that one would readily think belongs in the brand, and that's exactly the point. The laptop, though still bulkier and heavier on the eyes than most mass consumer-ready choices, doesn't look as if it's only meant for a certain niche.
Alienware Area-51m Specs
The Area 51m will be offered in dark and light colorways. The multi-colored keyboard, a design staple of Alienware machines, is unsurprisingly still there, of course. Made with customization in mind, the bottom part comes off easily, allowing users to tinker to their heart's content.
The CPU supports up to Intel's top-of-the-line ninth-generation Core i9-9900K chips, and there's a Dell Graphics Form Factor, or DGFF, GPU slot for Nvidia RTX 20-series cards, compatible up to the 2080 model. Replaceable memory and storage are a given.
As for the 17.3-inch display, buyers get a number of options. They can either opt for 60 Hz, G-Sync at 60 Hz; 144 Hz with Tobii eye tracking, 144 Hz with G-Sync; or 144 Hz with both G-Sync and Tobii eye tracking. Maximum resolution is at 1080p, unfortunately.
Ports include three USB 3.1 connections, a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port, a 2.5 Gbps ethernet port, a mini DisplayPort, and HDMI 2.0. Alienware's own Graphics Amplifier port is also here, allowing users to plug in an additional desktop GPU if needed.
Alienware Area-51m Pricing And Release Date
The machine starts at $2,549 and comes out Jan. 29. Dell says lower-priced options are coming soon, although they'll likely still cost more than other respectable options in Alienware's existing lineup.