January 19th, 2012
A year and a half ago, there was increasing talk of set-top gaming rigs — small but powerful desktops that could pull double duty in the living room. You know, Mac Minis with better specs, open architecture, and a lot more games.
Alienware's Bryan de Zayas acknowledged their appeal at the time. "Obviously we can't go into details surrounding potential future product," he said, "But I can assure you that Alienware is constantly asking ourselves if this is the right time to pursue new form factors."
The time is now, it seems. This week, the company announced the Alienware X51. Starting at $699, the compact rig is 12 inches tall, 13 inches deep, and less than 4 inches thick — a nice fit for lean-back PC gaming in the living room or Blu-ray watching on your HDTV (via HDMI).
At the same time, it's capable and expandable enough to power your gaming monitor, thanks to Intel Core i processors, Nvidia graphics, and 8 gigs of ram. Of course, if it's more power you seek from a traditional desktop, there's also the new balls-to-the-wall Aurora, but I digress.
Obviously, I'm not the most objective critic in this case. But I really like the X51's versatility and value. For some it could suffice as a starter gaming machine. For others, it could be a great secondary or even tertiary device.
That said, what do you think of the new X51?
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