As much as we love our home-built gaming rigs, it sometimes feels like huge gaming towers are on the outs — shoved aside in favor of the leanback experience you can get with a game console. What if your gaming PC comfortably fit alongside those game consoles, though? That's what it sounds like Dell's banking on with the Alienware X51, launching today starting at $699. At 13.5 inches high, 12.5 inches deep and 3.7 inches wide, it's not much bigger than an original Xbox 360, and yet the company says it can manage 30+FPS in Battlefield 3 at 1080p resolution with high detail. We don't know which particular CPUs are on tap yet, but you're looking at a dual-core Intel Core i3 processor, backed up by a Nvidia GeForce GT 545 graphics card, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, a dual-layer DVD burner, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and loads of ports to start, and upgrades include Core i5 and Core i7 processors, a GeForce GTX 555 GPU, and a slot-loading Blu-ray drive. It seems to be upgradable, but we're not sure by how much: the system comes with a 240W power supply, with a 330W option. Product links should be up later today with final details.
Update: The X51 starts with a 3.3GHz Core i3-2120, gains a 3.0GHz Core i5-2320 at the $899 mark, and ranges up to a Core i7-2600 at $1149.