Hands-on with Alienware's Area-51 m15x and m17x laptops

These two were no secret, but Alienware hosted a press event this morning to finally confirm its Area-51 m15x and m17x laptops. While Alienware design is still a bit of a love it or hate it affair, it's clear that some thought has gone into these two, and there's finally an option to get replace the standard Alienware ribbing on the lid for smooth one. The m17x is obviously the primary powerhouse here, configurable with dual NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTX graphics cards, a Blu-ray burner, Core 2 Extreme processor, dual hard drives and a 1080p 17-inch LCD. Special Alienware touches include LEDs galore -- the keyboard, sides and lid all can be lit up in your choice of color, selected by software. Alienware is also tossing in a hot-swappable drive bay for swapping in a third hard drive or extra optical drive. The m15x is of course is doing its darnedest to pack this kind of gaming power into a 15-inch form factor, but the surprising thing is that it nearly does. The laptop runs a single 8800M GTX card, includes a hot swap bay to boost storage or add an extra battery, and includes all those lighting doohickies of its big brother. We're pretty impressed with the size and form factors, and while we can't quite get into Alienware's design taste, it's certainly a step in the right direction.