Dell is now offering the Alienware M11x with a choice of a Core 2 Duo, Core i5, or Core i7 processor. When the company started selling the laptop a few months ago, it was one of the cheapest, lightest, and smallest gaming laptops you could buy, weighing just 4.5 pounds and starting at $799. Sure, that makes it a heavy, pricey beast by netbook standards, but for a laptop with 1GB of dedicated video memory and the ability to play modern video games at high frame rates, it wasn’t bad.
Now Dell has upped the stakes by offering two new configurations. You still get the same NVIDIA GeForce GT 335M graphics with the new models. But instead of an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 CULV processor, you can choose an Intel Core i5-520UM or Intel core i7-640UM processor. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the starting price for the Alienware M11x with a Core i-series processor is $949. And at the same time, Dell seems to have upped the price for the Core 2 Duo model to $899 without adding any new features.
It’s also worth pointing out that if you grab the Core 2 Duo model, you’ll have to manually switch between discrete and integrated graphics, while the new Core i-series models support NVIDIA Optimus technology for automatically shifting between graphics cards depending on what you’re doing with the computer.
Update: Dell either had a change of heart or fixed an error on its web site. Ether way, the Core 2 Duo model is now available for $799 once more.