These Alienware M18x r2 laptops don't come cheap. With list prices reaching into the 2000s of dollars, they're nothing like your run-of-the-mill bargain basement $300 Facebook machine.
But for your money, you do get a pretty beastly gaming rig.
All Alienware M18x r2 laptops come standard with a full 1080p display and a 3rd gen Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor, although which one you get depends on how much more than base you're willing to pay. At time of writing (January 31, 2013), they still ship with Windows 7, and they actually don't give you the option to upgrade pre-shipping to Windows 8. However, that makes sense, given Windows 7's support for popular games is more extensive and error-free than Windows 8. (Besides, Metro's clean, tablet-esque interface works great for say, accessing a Netflix app, but less optimally when trying to go in and edit a game's config file or actually manipulate data on a lower level.)
The 18.4-inch monster display and nearly 12 pounds of weight mean this probably won't replace your extraportable. For reference, that's a gallon and a half of milk. But in terms of comparative portability, you're getting desktop processing and graphics firepower without the form factor of a computer tower. Even with a modular gaming case with handle, you'll still need a monitor. These M18x r2s have everything you need in one badass-looking package. If someone with a MacBook Air gives you grief, tell them to try and run Skyrim on max settings, then gently crush their tiny MBA's extruded aluminum body with your 12 pound beast.
Minimum shipped specs include a 500GB HDD, 6GB RAM, and a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX card of some sort - starting at the 660M. You can go all the way up to 512GB with SSDs in RAID 0 configuration, 1.5TB RAID 0 with HDDs, or 1TB HDDs in RAID 1 with a caching SSD. Max configurable RAM goes all the way up to 32GB (yes, you read that correctly), and you can even get DUAL GeForce GTX 680Ms in SLI.
How beast you go is only limited by your passion and budget.
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