While the Alienware X51 has been slated by Valve as a currently available Steambox, consumers still have to get rid of that pesky Windows to install the Linux-driven platform. As we've seen with the Razer Edge, a Windows 8-powered gaming system just doesn't work well for living rooms because it still needs an interface that's not a game controller. Fortunately, that barrier is slowly evaporating as the Dell-owned commodity is now providing Ubuntu as an OS option for the X51, paving the way for easier Steambox modification in the future.
It'll come with Linux-friendly drivers from NVIDIA right out of the box, and you can of course install Steam for Linux on it from the get-go. As a reminder, the X51 is available in Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 models, and can be upgraded to 8GB of RAM with 1TB of storage, with either a NVIDIA GeForce GT645 or a GTX 660 card. Features include HDMI 1.4, eight USB ports (six are 2.0 while two are 3.0), digital 7.1 surround sound, on-board WiFi and gigabit Ethernet. Pricing for the base Ubuntu model is $599, which is about $100 less than its Windows counterpart.