The concept of the gaming laptop was, until recently, just that: a concept. Portable machines have traditionally been too slow to do much fast-paced gaming. As they’ve become more powerful so have games become more demanding, leaving them behind the curve. It’s only in the past few years that portable machines have made a jump forward, receiving the sort of proper hardware required to run modern games and run them well, largely thanks to the rise in popularity of LAN party gaming. A laptop, even a monstrously large one, is a lot easier to lug to a party than a gaming PC with a separate keyboard and monitor. Alienware is definitely at the leading edge of this market, and they had their new lineup on display at E3.
The highest end model in their line is the mALX, a massive beast with a huge 19-inch 1680 by 1050 LCD. The display is driven by a pair of NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GTX’s. You can of course customize the laptop to whatever specs you desire, and with two hard drive bays you can get yourself up to 240 gigs of storage in RAID I or II configuration, and you’ll have your choice of AMD CPUs. The system, covered in a subtle color-shifting paint, starts at a whopping $4,500, but as this is one of Alienware’s premium products, in addition to the laptop you receive their $200 Ozma 7 headphones, a leather case, and an invitation to their offices to see where your machine was built.
The mALX is as big, and about as heavy as a coffee table,
but plays games at a much higher framerate.
The color-changing paint is a nice subtle touch.
For those who can’t quite afford that cost of entry, or don’t want a laptop that’s as big as a lunch tray, there’s the m9700. It too features dual NVIDIA 7900 cards (less powerful GS models, though), AMD CPU’s, dual SATA drives in RAID, all stuffed into a still large but much more manageable shell. A little lighter on features, too, the m9700 delivers a 17-inch display and a webcam. It also starts at a much more manageable $2,000.
The m9700 is the lower end of Alienware’s two gaming laptops,
but still packs quite a bit of power.
The m9700 features Alienware’s traditional intakes styling and distinctive logo.
Finally, there are the exclusive Superman Returns-themed machines. This laptop is less about outright performance and more about style, featuring a creamy blue paintjob with a large Superman Returns-style logo applied on the back of the display where the glowing alien head can usually be found. The styling continues through to the interface, where Windows has been themed to match the paint job, featuring blue and red colors and flying S logos everywhere. Only 350 of these will be made, making them something of a collector’s item, and they’ll retail for about $1,900 when they become available on May 22.
The Superman Returns themed laptops feature lots of S-shaped logos.
The perfectly smooth paint and the nicely stylized logo make for
a very nice looking laptop