Despite Intel's new Ivy Bridge mobile chips coming very soon, Alienware has stuck to its Sandy Bridge guns with its announcement of the 2012 refresh for its gaming laptops. While the usual suspects get the requisite upgrades, one notebook no longer seems to fit into the company's plans.
Alienware rolled the dice with its M11x portable system, which attempted to bring gaming power to a 11-inch laptop. Gamers typically prefer a beefier notebook with a bigger screen and more powerful graphics cards, but the M11x earned good reviews despite its tiny form factor. Nonetheless, Alienware's parent company Dell told The Verge that the laptop no longer fits into its lineup, as its customers prefer full-sized keyboards and built-in optical drives, neither of which the M11x possesses.
Those customers will be able to buy new M14x, M17x, and M18x machines with Nvidia GeForce 600 graphics, complete with PCI Express 3.0 support for additional bandwidth, a minimum of 6GB of 1600MHz dual-channel RAM, and, according to Engadget, Sandy Bridge Core i7 processors, not the improved -- though still unavailable -- Ivy Bridge ones. Audio will also improve thanks to integrated Creative Sound Blaster Recon3Di High-Definition hardware, and there are numerous additional storage options.
For the moment, you can still purchase the M11x on the Alienware website, though given Dell's comments, enough people weren't interested in it in the first place to keep the company motivated to update its specs.