A Sneak Peek at Alienware Area 51-m's Insides

The Alienware Area 51-m is one of the most anticipated gaming notebooks of the year with powerful desktop specs and the ability to upgrade. It's arrived in our lab, and we're taking our first look at its insides.

The first review came courtesy of our sister site, Laptop Mag. It praised its looks, performance and upgradeability but found it hard to recommend its high price tag ($2,549). We'll take our own look at it soon enough and see if we agree, as well as run additional tests.

Before we start testing, though, we popped off the bottom of the chassis to get a look at the internals. We'll get a better look at its upgradeability later (you have to remove the cooling solution to get the the graphics cards, for instance), but it should give you a taste of what's inside this thing.

After loosening six Phillips head screws, you can see all four SODIMM slots, the SSD (underneath a heat spreader), two sizable fans, the hard drive and a 90 W hour battery. We'll need to do more digging to see just how upgradeable this laptop really is.

In addition to the Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 we've already reviewed, we have some other gaming laptops with Nvidia's RTX graphics on the bench, so we'll have more to bring you soon.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon @FreedmanAE.mastodon.social.

  • zackbacher
    I can see huge issue with the price point. 2500 gets you a 60hz monitor thats a problem
  • Ryrynz
    "In terms of performance, the Core i9-9900K and Core i9-9900KF should perform equally at 95W. Both are equipped with eight cores, 16 threads and 16MB of L3 cache."

    Why should they perform equally when there's no iGPU accounting for some of the TDP? Wouldn't the processor be slightly faster in some situations? It all depends on how they've configured it..

    Let the benchmarks tell the tale.. You really shouldn't be guessing.
  • shrapnel_indie
    I'm not 100% sure of equal performance between the 9900k and 9900kf either. Every time I see the specs, it looks as if the memory controller on the kf is capable of 2933 while the 9900k is stuck at 2666.... we've seen Ryzen leverage such a difference so I don't see why Intel wouldn't try to do the same.

    Regardless, I want to see real-world power usage when heavily used for games... gaming has always been the bane for laptop power consumption and heat.
  • Dantte
    Dell's pricing on the m15 is a joke! The difference between a RTX2070 and 2080 is $850...

    So $600 for the 2070 and ad ADDITIONAL $850 for the 2080.. is Dell suggesting that the 2080 max-q is almost $1500? Youre kiding, right?
  • charleyed
    "the SSD (underneath a heat spreader, two sizable fans, the hard drive and a 90 W hour battery)." I think you got your closing parenthesis in the wrong place. Should be "the SSD (underneath a heat spreader), two sizable fans, the hard drive and a 90 W hour battery)."
  • charleyed
    Ooops, I added one too many parentheses.