Alienware Releases The X51, A $699 Small Form Factor PC That Looks Like A Gaming Console

The Alienware line just got a little brother, its Mac Mini if you will. The X51 is the gaming company’s smallest form factor desktop to date. But, since it’s an Alienware, it still packs plenty of gaming horsepower and customizable options.

Prices start out at $699 for the Core i3/Nvidia GT 545 but prices can quickly rise once different options are selected. For $1149 (sans a monitor) gamers can buy a system powered by a Core i7, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 550. A 1TB hard drive, HDMI 1.4, WiFi, USB 3.0, a slot-loading DVD burner and digital 7.1 are standard options while a Blu-ray drive is available for a little more.

The X51 signals an interesting departure from the standard Alienware. The Dell brand has long unabashedly sold massive gaming beasts. The bigger the better. But the X51 shows that gamers are looking to smaller form factors. The Mini-ITX system isn’t as small as a Mac Mini, but is rather the size of a traditional desktop. This new system can be oriented vertically or sit on its side allowing it to go on a desk or fit in an entertainment system — that is, of course, if you want a glowing desktop under your HDTV.

Look for the X51 to start shipping next week.