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CES 2019: Alienware Area 51m Announced as First Upgradable Gaming Notebook

According to Dell, apart from the memory and storage, it is possible to upgrade the CPU and the graphics processor.

Kunal Khullar | News18.com

Updated:January 9, 2019, 11:29 AM IST
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CES 2019: Alienware Area 51m Announced as First Upgradable Gaming Notebook
According to Dell, apart from the memory and storage, it is possible to upgrade the CPU and the graphics processor.
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This year’s Consumer Electronics Show has been surprisingly interesting with some simple yet innovative tech on showcase, specifically in the PC domain. Both Asus and Acer introduced a unique perspective to portable gaming, and now we have Dell showcasing an Alienware gaming notebook that is said to be upgradable.

The new Area 51m is a first of its kind laptop that is promised to come user-replaceable processor, graphics card, storage, and RAM. For starters, it features a desktop-class Intel processor so you can choose between Intel’s 8th-Gen i7-8700, or 9th Gen i7-9700K, or i9-9900K. There is a 17.3-inch display with various options including 1080p resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, G-Sync support at 60Hz, 144Hz with G-Sync support, 144Hz with Tobii eye tracking, or 144Hz with both of the features. The machine features Intel’s desktop Z390 chipset and you can put a 1TB 2.5-inch hybrid drive and up to two 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSDs.

The notebook comes in a sleek and minimalistic design with a striking oval RGB-LED light on the back, along with an RGB backlit keyboard. The bottom lid can be opened to access the various part, just like a desktop PC.

So you can basically upgrade most of the components, but there’s one problem. The notebook is being offered with a Graphics Form Factor (DGFF) GPU slot for Nvidia’s new RTX-series cards up to a GeForce RTX 2080. What this means is that the chip sits on a custom board, so technically one can only upgrade the GPU from say an RTX 2060 to a 2080. Now that is not the kind of upgradability we wanted, but it sounds like a good start.

Dell has said that while they cannot guarantee if a user can upgrade to a graphics card series that comes after the RTX, but there is a possibility if and only if it is compatible with DGFF.

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