Dell launches Alienware M15x gaming laptop

Dell's ownership of Alienware is starting to take hold, with the company starting to roll out laptops and desktops that take advantage of the multinational's bulk-buying power and economies of scale.

As a result, there's more component options crammed in the new M15x laptop, and Area 51 and Aurora desktops than you can shake a stick at. As they're gaming-focused machines, and gaming is one of the most demanding tasks you can do on a PC, the low-end isn't too bad either.

The M15x is a 15-inch version of the already-available M17x. It has the Intel Core i7 920XM processor, an optional 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M, upto 500GB of storage, upto 8GB of RAM and the option of a slot-loading Blu-ray writer. It has Firewire, Ethernet, 3 USB ports, an eSATA port, a card reader, and a pair of stereo speakers.

The Aurora desktop comes in two variants, a standard edition and an ALX version. Both have an overclocked Intel Core i7 processor, the option of dual 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5870s in CrossFireX, upto 24GB of DDR3 RAM and either 8TB of SATA storage, or 1TB of SSD action. It comes with the option of a Bigfoot killerNIC network card.

The ALX version adds a venting system for instantly getting heat out of your case with flaps along the top, liquid cooling and another nice touch - the inside of the case lights up when you take the side off. The company calls this "theater lighting".

The Area 51 is the top of the range - the flagship desktop offered by the company. It also comes in standard and ALX variants and has a factory-overclocked quad core Intel Core i7 running at 3.86GHz, the option of dual 1.8GB GeForce GTX 295s in SLI, upto 12GB of DDR3 RAM and the ability to stick 6 hard drives in - totalling 12TB of regular hard disk or 1.5TB of SSD.

The ALX version upgrades to carbon fibre case sides, anodised aluminium surfaces, the theater lighting for the case, and the active venting system for dissipating heat. It has liquid cooling, and comes packed with a whopping 1.1kW power supply.

There's no pricing information yet for any of these models, but they'll vary dramatically based on what components you select for the internals. We wouldn't be surprised if these run up to more than £5000 at the top end. They all ship with Windows Vista and a free upgrade to Windows 7, and are available to buy now. Shipping begins in the second week of October.

UPDATE: Pricing has been announced. The M15x starts at £1200, the Aurora starts at £1100, and the Area-51 will set you back at least £1700. THe former two are available now, whereas the the latter will be available "in the coming weeks".