Alienware Area-51m - Legend Design Aesthetics, Features And Build Quality
144Hz, G-Sync And Tobii Eye-Tracking - All The Bells And Whistles
Another key feature about this display, resides behind the glossy-black window underneath it and that's the system's Tobii Eye-Tracking camera array. This infrared camera setup recognizes whether your eyeballs are within the vicinity or not and will dim the display when you're away, or wake it up when you're not. It will also wake from sleep based on the position of your eyeballs as well, though it's not Windows Hello compatible so it won't unlock the machine. The other key feature with it obviously is gameplay control, but we'll cover that in our user experience section next.
Further on the acoustics front, the Area-51m's stereo speaker setup offers excellent audio fidelity for laptop speakers, with solid bass response, good mid-range for vocals, and decent high-end reproduction. Interestingly enough, when you're positioned directly over the machine, its mids and highs are slightly muffled. However, if you back away from the machine a couple of steps or even just lean back in your chair, its slightly down-firing speakers open up nicely with good spatialization and better high-end output. Overall, you won't be disappointed with this laptop audio, for a refreshing change. So yes, movie watching is a definite checkbox win here for Alienware.
In terms of IO connectivity, the Alienware Area-51m has a decent array of options, sans an SDCard slot. From its Mini-DisplayPort 1.4 output with NVIDIA G-Sync to HDMI 2.0, Multi-Gig RJ45 wired Ethernet, multiple USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port and Alienware's own Graphics Amplifier port -- if you actually need to break out external graphics horsepower beyond what's already under the hood of this beast -- there's a reasonable assortment of port expansion to work with here. Speaking of which, have a gander...
Alienware Area-51m Ready-Made For Proper Alien Autopsy
Then, if you want to get deep inside the belly of the beast (check our teardown video on the first page here, or here on our YouTube channel), you can pull another 20+ screws and assorted wires connectors, which will get you into the CPU and GPU socket area underneath the machine's massive Alienware Cryo-Tech v2.0 heat pipe and fansink module. We would note that tearing the machine down to this level is not for the novice, but it's not overly complex either. You just need to be practiced in patiently removing screws and various connectors in orderly fashion to minimize the potential for damage. Fortunately, Alienware does a good job of providing a guided legend inscribed on the Area-51m's black, plastic sub-cover so you can easily identify each of the component areas and many of the screw locations.
In any event, our machine came configured with one the most powerful setups Dell-Alienware has to offer and we can't see needing to change or upgrade its Intel Core i9-9900K CPU or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU any time soon, but the potential is there down the road at least. How viable that future upgrade potential is all depends on how well Alienware supports the machine moving forward as new socket and interface-compatible chip architectures evolve. That said the Alienware team does seem heavily committed to its new platform. Also, we should note that if you opted for a lower-end config of either CPU or GPU, you could opt for an off-the-shelf upgrade down the road, though a GPU module upgrade would definitely have to come direct from Dell-Alienware.