How Dell and Asus are changing high-end notebook gaming

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How Dell and Asus are changing high-end notebook gaming

Never before have gamers been able to upgrade the core hardware on a gaming laptop. But Dell’s new Alienware Area-51m changes that. Meanwhile Asus wants you to think of its new gaming notebook as a portable PC.

Gaming laptops are generally expensive and often heavy beasts. In addition to this, they can rarely be upgraded. But this all changed at the recent CES tech fair in Las Vegas, when Dell presented its new Alienware Area-51m.

The 4.5kg device with its 17in screen allows customers to change its processor, memory (RAM), SSDs and graphics card. This can be done by opening the back of the laptop.

The question that remains is how many options will be on offer for a new graphics card – the company says it is hoping to collaborate with chip manufacturers on this. Alienware is paired with Nvidia’s 2060, 2070 and 2080 RTX – but customers can’t upgrade on their own, and will have to pay extra.

The Area-51m is set to go on sale in the first quarter of the year, and will cost at least US$2,500 (RM10,302) for the cheapest model. If you want to have any extras like more RAM (anything up to a massive 64GB is possible), two SSDs or a 144Hz dislay, that will push the price up dramatically.

Competitor Asus also presented a new model in its Republic of Games line with a design that it says allows for better air circulation to keep the computer cool.

The 17.3in Mothership with an Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card looks a lot like one of Microsoft’s Surface devices, as the screen and the keyboard can be flipped to create a stand for the device. The Mothership also has a few interesting design elements, such as speakers pointing towards the user.

The 17.3-inch Mothership with an Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card looks a lot like one of Microsoft's Surface devices, as the screen and the keyboard can be flipped to create a stand for the device. The Mothership also has a few interesting design elements, such as speakers pointing towards the user. Photo: Andrea Warnecke/dpa

The Asus Mothership’s screen and the keyboard can be flipped to create a stand for the device. — dpa
Asus is not really marketing this as a notebook, but more as a portable desktop computer. The Mothership will also be released sometime in the first quarter of the year, but there’s no pricing information yet.

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