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Alienware ships 'most powerful' 15in laptop to Brits

Extreme 'Penryn', GeForce 8800 GTX on board

Alienware's first gaming laptop designed from the ground up by the company itself, the Area 51 m15x, is now on sale to British gamers.

The 15.4in machine ticks all the right technology boxes: 45nm 'Penryn' Intel Core 2 Extreme processor and Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTX graphics, up to 4GB of 667MHz DDR 2 memory and the ability to swap out the multi-format DVD writer for a second battery.

Alienware Area 51 m15x

Alienware's m15x: World's most powerful 15in notebook?

Alienware was keen to point out that the m15x is a truly mobile gaming machine. Whereas 17in gaming laptops are typically bought as a more portable alternative to a desktop, the company claimed the 15in machine not only delivers top-spec gaming performance but is a machine that can be used on the move.

The machine incorporates what Alienware calls BinaryGFX - a system to allow the machine to flip between the chipset's integrated graphics engine and the 8800 GTX. Alas, it's not automatic, the company admitted, but it comes close: Windows Vista's put to sleep, the GPUs are switched, then the OS is awoken once more.

Alienware Area 51 m15x

Well lit, boy racers

What all this does for the battery life, Alienware didn't say. We look forward to testing the machine to find out.

The m15x also sports Alienware's customary boy-racer friendly lighting, which divides the chassis lights - keyboard, alien logo, soft-touch control panel etc - into seven zones, all of which can be assigned a colour independently of the others.

The laptop comes with an HDMI port, in addition to Gigabit Ethernet, a seven-in-one card reader, ExpressCard 54 slot, three USB ports and a four-pin Firewire 400 connector.

Available now, the m15x is priced according to its buyer-selected configuration. The most basic set-up costs £948.

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