Retro Fun: Alienware Area-51m Gaming Laptop, 2003

Only a computer can be called ‘retro’ when you talk about a gadget less than 10 years old. It’s interesting and highly entertaining nonetheless to get some perspective on how fast the tech industry moves forward. At least as long as you don’t stop and think about how much your shiny new hardware will be worth in a couple of years.

The jewel on the left is Alienware’s Area-51m laptop, as it looked about 7 years ago. For a mere $2,659 you could be the proud owner of this state of the art portable gaming system with a Pentium 4 processor, 512MB RAM, built-in floppy drive, 40GB hard drive, and last but not least an ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 GPU (3DMark 03 score around 1,000). Here are some memorable quotes:

Intel® Pentium® Processor

Each and every Area-51m system comes complete with an Intel® Pentium® Desktop Processor. Never before has a full fledged desktop processor been available in a mobile unit!

Unsurpassed Video Performance What good is mobile gaming with a sub par video chipset? You won’t find that here! Each Area-51m system comes equipped with the absolute most advanced graphics chipset available!

To be fair, this was the Ultimate Mobile Gaming Machine, as Alienware called it. The 15-inch display had an impressive 1600×1200 resolution and if, for some reason, you didn’t want the Cyborg Green chassis, you could opt for an upgrade to Conspiracy Blue, Majestic Blue or Space Black at no extra charge.

PC World called it the “Coolest PC you can carry in one hand.” CNET determined that “Alienware packs plenty of features into the compact case.” PC Gamer UK considered it “A wealth of gaming goodness.” All true in 2003.

Pulled from the web archive.


Site founder and gaming hardware enthusiast.

1 Comment
  1. Pretty funny. Of course the latest laptops will look the same in about 10 years…

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