(Pocket-lint) - Alienware has entered the compact desktop market with the Alienware X51. Just a fraction bigger than an Xbox 360, the new hardware packs a top end Nvidia graphics card and more than enough processor grunt to run the latest games.
Conventional small desktop units, usually designed for the living room or as a cheap family PC, usually use laptop components or lack any gaming capabilities. Alienware has used its gaming expertise to fit an easily upgradeable hardware setup into an extremely small box.
Featuring a more discreet approach to Alienware's usual over the top hardware, the X51 is more suited to those who want something stylish they can lay out in the living room, but that the kids can game on if need be. Unlike Alienware's top end desktop hardware it is also priced in differently, being a much more affordable piece of kit at around £750. This makes the PC around £150 more than regular compact desktops but the X51 can run games like Battlefield 3 smoothly at 1080p.
An Alienware spokesperson explained to Pocket-lint that "people into gaming are being restricted by the form factor of some hardware". The theory is that those who enjoy a game from time to time will like the way the X51 can sit inconspicuously in their setup. Like the PlayStation 3, the PC is also dual-orientation, being able to stand either vertically or horizontally.
Inside the X51 is a choice of Sandy Bridge processors, starting out at an i3 and going up to a i7 2600. There is either a Nvidia GeForce GT 545 or more expensive GTX 555 to manage graphics and up to 8GB of RAM. Connectivity-wise, expect built in HDMI 1.4, 4x USB 2.0 slots, 2x USB 3.0, Ethernet and a full set of speaker connectors. Alienware has also thrown in its AlienFX lighting, allowing you to re-enact a small disco in your living room.
We will have more on the X51 when we get a play with it. From the pics alone we are excited, the base model is averaging 30fps on Battlefield 3 at high settings, quite an achievement for such a small piece of kit.
See below for a few more pics of the X51 including one of it next to the Aurora, which should give you a better idea of its size.
Like the look of the X51? Let us know in the comments below ...