In a business where the current tech is almost obsolete before it hits the store shelves, how important is it for Alienware to be able to claim supremacy with their new “Area 51” line? (What happens when they run out of cute alien-oriented product names?)

These are nice machines, but is pure horsepower the be-all and end-all? True, Alienware’s stock-in-trade is computing power, but what about thermal management, power consumption and battery life, system durability, and the other factors that help determine the true benefit of a laptop?

The most powerful 17-inch notebook ever?

The most powerful 15.4 notebook that’s ever been thought of?

It was with that kind of unbridled enthusiasm that Alienware Corp., makers of musclebound gamers’ notebook and desktop computers, rolled out its latest high-powered efforts at a New York press conference on Monday (Nov. 19).

According to Alienware, a subsidiary of PC giant Dell Corp., in addition to powerful processors and fast hard drives, the new Area-51 m17x 17-inch notebook and Area-51 m15x 15.4-inch notebook offer graphics performance far above that offered by any other current notebook.

The specifications for the sleekly designed Area-51 units seem to bear out some of his enthusiasm. Both come with Intel Corp.’s Core 2 Extreme processors, Blu-Ray optical disk burners and up to to 4 gigabytes of system memory.

We should create a new “transportable” category and recognize desktop-replacement “laptops” as an additional computing device category. Even if it these two machines are currently the bragging champions, how soon before they are knocked off their throne?

  1. NSILMike says:

    Welcome back, Smartalix!

  2. Smartalix says:


    I’ve missed you guys, too. To make a long story short I got a new job, a new apartment, and a new relationship simultaneously and it took me this long to recover. 😉

  3. James Hill says:

    You have been gone a long time. People only buy Mac laptops now.

  4. DavidtheDuke says:

    I got my laptop form These are Clevo laptops. Many resellers come in many forms. The largest in the US are probably Sager and Alienware.

  5. Stu Mulne says:

    I got a great notebook this way….

    Kid bought himself a super-hot Toshiba for gaming. It ran all kinds of hyper-powerful stuff.

    Pile of money spent, too….

    Then he decided it was time to buy Version x+1 of some game or other.

    Guess what PC-compatibles can’t be upgraded (other than some more memory) with the latest video cards, etc….

    He bought a new desktop, and I got the notebook for what he still owed….



  6. ECA says:

    I cant see this much for anything that CANT play games…
    Most TFT displays dont do games very well. They are getting better, but still blur and HATE the sun/glare/heat..

    So, why this much power to write a letter??

  7. Thomas says:

    I happen have such a notebook. In my case a Sager with a full FX-60 (Which was fast a year and 1/2 ago). Portable? Kinda. Luggable is more like it but far more useful to me than a subnotebook. After all, that’s why rolling briefcases were invented. Anyway, there is a use for such a thing. I was an independent developer. Having a machine that is the equivalent of a server and can run VS, SQL, a Virtual Server or three, all of the other various office applications that I can take to clients and then when I want, run a high level game or two is incredibly useful. Hey, if I can get a laptop with a quad-core and 8 GB of memory that is only a pound, I’ll buy it but until then, I would rather have power and speed over weight. If I spent more time on a plane or away from a power outlet, I would obviously think differently.

  8. Smartalix says:


    I wasn’t criticizing the utility of such machines, I just don’t think they should be called “laptops”.

  9. ECA says:

    Im criticizing the NEED of MS Vista to NEED so much room/power just to WORK.
    when XP required 1/2 as much and 2000 required 1/3 as much.
    If they got rid of ALL the over head, this would be 1 MEAN machine.

    Its strange that a console can output to a TV and look better then a computer does on a computer monitor, that has More power and resolution??? Hmmm.

  10. Thomas says:

    Interestingly, most such computers are no longer called “laptops”. Instead they are called “notebook” computers. I suspect that this is for liability reasons but regardless I have felt the heat off the bottom of my “notebook” and it is hot enough that I would experience some serious discomfort should I try to make it a “laptop”.

  11. clevo battery says:

    I tested this camera for a client. I didn’t have the light running for more than 15 minutes. The battery lasted approximately 6 hours before recharging. The LCD, however, had a few dead pixels – never saw this before. Tried returning for exchange and had to put up quite a fight. Anyone else seen this?


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