Monday, March 21, 2011

Alienware M11x R3

The 11.6-inch MacBook Air is the most perfect laptop I’ve ever owned, but that thin, miraculous wedge of glass and aluminum isn’t for everyone. As a writer, it’s the notebook I’ve always dreamed of, the laptop analog to the iPad… but as a gamer, it’s woefully under-specced. I forgive the MacBook Air for this, of course: as long as you aren’t running anything graphically intensive, the Air feels so fast thanks to its SSD that the idea of specs itself seem meaningless.

What if you’re a gamer who wants massive performance in the smallest footprint, though? Enter Alienware with their third foray into the ultraportable market, and if the specs rumored by Dell-Lab is anything to go on, we’re looking at a beast of a machine crammed into a form factor the size of a couple of MacBook Air’s pressed together.

The alleged specs include an 11.6-inch LCD (1366×768, LED-backlit), up to 8GB DDR3 RAM, up to 750GB storage or 256GB SSD, WWAN 3G/LTE/WiMAX 4G, and shipping in either red or black soft touch material. The proposed CPUs are Intel Core i5-2537M, Core i7-2617M and the Core i7-2657M.

Sandy Bridge CPUs! LTE/WiMax 4G options! Up to 8GB of RAM! All in under a foot’s worth of real-estate. In fact, the only thing not listed is the GPU, which we would assume — being an Alienware machine and all — would be similarly beefy to the rest of the specs. It should surpass the Nvidia 335M (1GB) used on the M11x and M11x R2, but the post coyly says there is not even confirmation of a discrete GPU yet. We’re betting Alienware sticks with discrete graphics, otherwise it takes the chance of massively disappointing consider number of M11x fans out there.

With the M11x currently at $599 (and about ready to be phased out) and the M11x R2 at $799, we should see the M11x R3 starting for under $1000 with the same (if not better) battery life. Rumor has it that these will be shipping some time in April.

Read more at Dell-Lab