Dell cedes gaming spotlight to Alienware; introduces M17X laptop

Gamers: say your goodbyes to Dell's XPS line. It's going away, for good.

Gamers: say your goodbyes to Dell's XPS line. It's going away, for good.

Well, not exactly -- but the computer manufacturer is shifting the rest of the gaming community toward its Alienware arm (the hardcore gamers already switched) and plans to move its popular XPS line away from the segment, reports PC World.

The move makes sense. Until now, Dell's XPS line was a bulked-up (in terms of hardware) series of laptops that began as a gaming lineup and operated as a solution for anyone who needed a bit more oomph -- but not cutting-edge oomph -- in their machine.

Here at ZDNet, we've recommended Dell XPS laptops for a number of uses, from daily computing to student laptops and more.

On the other side of the fence, Alienware has operated as the extreme, bleeding-edge gaming solution. Extreme performance, extreme hardware, extreme style and an extreme price-tag to match. But Dell's new strategy aims to bring Alienware to (more of) the masses, rather than just an (if I may) extreme minority.

The company's new "All Powerful" campaign intends to expand Alienware's reach from six countries to 35, PC World reports, and the first system to herald in the new era is the new Alienware M17X laptop.

The 17-in. laptop, which will carry a starting price tag of $1,799 -- a big chunk of change, but hardly anything for a 17-in. gaming laptop -- will sport an anodized aluminum case and the following specs:

  • 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX260M GPU (upgradable to dual 1GB nVidia GeForce GTX 280M GPUs)
  • Nvidia GeForce 9400M G1 GPU with HybridPower tech (on-board lower-horsepower graphics alternative; activates when plugged into AC power)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz P8600 CPU (upgradable to a Core 2 Extreme Quad Core CPU)
  • 4GB RAM (up to 8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM)
  • 250GB 7200 rpm HDD (upgradable to one 1TB 7200 rpm or 512MB SSD [Raid 1 or Raid 0])
  • Slot-loading DVD-RW drive (upgradable to dual-layer Blu-ray)
  • Nine-cell battery
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Built-in speakers
  • Number pad
  • Optional 1920x1200 resolution edge-to-edge LCD display
  • Ports: Four-pin FireWire, four USB, one eSATA/USB combo, one ExpressCard Slot, an eight-in-one Media Card reader, DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA video-out, audio-out jacks for 6.1 surround sound
  • Dimensions: 15.98 x 12.65 x 2.11 in.
  • Weight: 11.68 lbs.
  • Three preset configurations: $1,899 "For the Wallet," $,2649 "For the Win" and $3,819 "Ultimate Gamer"