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Alienware

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Alienware is an American computer hardware company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Dell, Inc.[1] It mainly assembles third party components into desktops and laptops with custom enclosures for high-performance gaming. These products also support graphically intense applications such as video editing, simulation, and audio editing. Alienware also offers for sale rebadged computer peripherals, such as headsets, computer mice, monitors and keyboards. Their hardware has distinctive "sci-fi" styling, typically including decorative lighting. Alienware was founded in 1996 by Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila. Alienware's corporate headquarters is located in The Hammocks, unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, near Miami.[2][3]

History Edit

Established in 1996 by Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila, Alienware assembles high end performance desktops, notebooks, and workstations. According to employees, the Alienware name was chosen because of the founders' fondness for the hit television series The X-Files, hence the theme to their products, with names such as Area-51, Hangar18, M15x, and Aurora.[4]

Alienware was originally established to tap a niche in the high performance gaming market, which back then was not on the radar of the major PC manufacturers such as Dell. Since high-end hardware was not widely distributed, the company's founders formed an "Original Equipment Manufacturer" (OEM) which sold personal computers with the highest performing hardware and settings according to benchmarks . The company products are also differentiated by their science-fiction based designs.

Acquisition and current statusEdit

Starting 2002, Dell considered buying Alienware, but did not take any action until March 22, 2006, when it agreed to purchase the company.[5] The new subsidiary maintained its autonomy in terms of design and marketing. However, Alienware's access to Dell's supply chain, purchasing power, and economies of scale would lower its operating costs.[6]

Initially, Dell maintained its competing XPS line of gaming PCs, often selling computers with the same specifications. The XPS line may have hurt Alienware's market share within its high-end market segment. Due to corporate restructuring in the spring of 2008, the XPS brand was scaled down. Product development of gaming PCs was consolidated with Dell's gaming division, with Alienware becoming Dell's premier gaming brand.[7] On June 2, 2009, the M17x was introduced as the First Alienware/Dell branded system. Alienware now represents the premium performance space in Dell’s consumer family of products.[8] This launch also expands Alienware’s global reach from six to 45 countries.

On March 25, 2009, Alienware stated that it was considering closing its manufacturing bases in Athlone]], County Westmeath, Ireland, and in Miami, Florida.[9]

Current lineupEdit

  • M11x R3: An 11" laptop that contains a 2nd generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, 11-inch display, and up to 2GB NVIDIA video memory. The video chip is soldered onto the motherboard making it not upgradeable. Emphasizes portability with relatively small frame and low weight (4.5 lbs.), especially when compared to other performance/gaming laptops.
  • M14x: A 14" laptop that is fully-equipped with 2nd generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, 1600MHz DDR3 memory, up to 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GT555M graphics memory, and wireless HD audio/video streaming. The graphics chip is soldered onto the motherboard making it not upgradeable.
  • M17x R3: A 17 inch laptop with i7 Sandy Bridge, configurable with AMD HD 6990 or HD 6870, or nVidia GTX 560M. Replaced the M17x R2 and R1 but no longer supports dual graphics to give the M18x the top performaing Alienware laptop. Noted as one of the first laptops with HDMI in. Screen is 3D-capable.
  • M18x: An 18" laptop that features Extreme Edition Intel Core i7 processors, 18.4” Wide Full HD 1920 x 1080 W-LED display, up to 32GB of high performance memory, and optional dual graphics cards/hard drives. It is currently the top performing laptop of the current Alienware lineup taking the place of the M17x R2 and is also noted as one of the first laptops with HDMI in.
  • Area-51: A gaming desktop with support for NVIDIA SLI/ATI CrossFire graphics technologies which enable the use of multiple graphics processing units, active venting, and several other features.
  • Area-51 ALX: The ALX (high-performance) counterpart to the Area-51 features multiple memory enhancements, among other upgrades, typical of the ALX line.
  • Aurora: The Aurora, Alienware's most popular desktop, comes with factory-overclocked processors with Turbo Boost 2.0 technology, liquid cooling, CrossFire/SLI support, and other items.
  • Aurora ALX: As with the Area-51 ALX, this version of the Aurora features memory enhancements, as well as adding active venting to the case to work alongside the Aurora's liquid cooling.

Discontinued productsEdit

  • M15x: A 15.6" laptop. Discontinued in favor of M14x and scaled down M17x R3.

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ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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