Alienware is a PC maker best known to gamers for their custom-built, high performance machines. The company,
recently acquired by Dell, has a well-deserved reputation for having a take-no-prisoners approach to hardware manufacturing. Now they’re showing off a new PC design that seems inspired by Apple’s iMac — the
Area 51 5400, which will ship this summer for less than $2,000.
Based on Intel’s Viiv platform, the Area 510 5400 features an Intel Core Duo microprocessor, just like what’s used in the iMac. It also includes 802.11a, b and g wireless networking and supports Bluetooth, so the only cable you need to plug in is a power cord. The keyboard is wireless with a built-in touchpad. It snaps into place under the screen when not in use.
While the Intel iMac features ATI Radeon X1600 graphics inside, Alienware opted instead for Nvidia’s GeForce Go 6600 graphics processor, equipped with 128MB RAM.
Parroting the iMac, the Area 51 5400 features a built-in web camera and microphone that lets users do Voice over IP (VoIP) and video chats with others. Unlike the iMac, Alienware offers optional TV tuner support, with High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) output. It also has an ExpressCard slot — the same expansion slot featured on the MacBook Pro.
The Area 51 5400 is a sort of semi-portable system, since it can optionally run off a battery for two hours, and sports a handle.
Of course, the biggest difference is what runs on the computer. While the poor Area 51 5400 is limited to Windows XP, the Intel iMac runs Mac OS X. And thanks to Apple’s Boot Camp software, the iMac can run Windows XP too.
Alienware is using this week’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles to show off other hardware too, including massive
PC World contributed content used in this article.