Though it hasn’t officially been announced by Dell, the update to the M18X line, the R2, looks set for a early Q4 release this year and features some really out-of-this-world hardware inside. Blogger Dell-Lab revealed the specs yesterday, and cites sources from within Dell’s own hardware labs that the specs are real options for the beast.

The notebook ships standard with a 18.4″ LED-backlit LCD monitor capable of 1080p visuals, 2MB webcam, colour-configurable backlit keyboard and comes in your choice of red or black. Hardware-wise the options start from Intel’s Ivy Bridge-based Core i7 3610QM featuring four cores at 2.3Ghz all the way to the i7 3820QM at 2.7Ghz.

Storage options start from a 500GB hard drive and top out at 512Gb for a Micron C400 SSD. The previous M18X had a spare slot for a second drive and you could RAID two 512GB drives if you have deep enough pockets. Memory starts at 4GB and will go up to 8GB which is great news for power users who keep lots of Chrome tabs open. Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate are available for the default OS.

Finally the graphics muscle is provided by both AMD and Nvidia  in various configurations. On the Nvidia side the GT660M will be offered, as well as two GTX675s in SLI. AMD-wise, the Radeon HD7970M doubles up in Crossfire for extreme gaming performance in a portable powerhouse.

Sadly no mention is made of USB 3.0 support or any inclusion of a Thunderbolt port. Dell’s M18X-R2 should go on sale after Intel’s official launch of Ivy Bridge, but rumors only start at an early Q4 release this year. Interestingly, though, the notebook does come with the option for Intel’s Wireless HD card, which is used for streaming content wirelessly to a WiHD-capable TV.

The price? Expect it to be very expensive.  As with most Alienware products, I could easily use the money to fix my car, much less buy a gaming laptop.

Source: Dell-Lab

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