Miami (FL) – Alienware has begun offering flash-based mass storage devices for some of its notebooks. Customers can now purchase 32 GB solid state disk drives (SSDs) in a single or dual device configuration. Prices for SSD notebooks start at about $1500.Starting today, the company is offering its Area-51 m5550 model on the low-end, the mid-level Aurora m9700 and the higher-end Area-51 m9750 with the option of 32 GB flash drives.
The cheapest SSD drive is a m5550, which comes with a 32 GB SSD (a $500 option over a standard 80 GB hard disk) a 128 ATI Radeon x1400 graphic chip, a Core 2 Duo T5500 processor, 1 GB memory and a 15.4” screen. Both the m9700 and m9750 can be equipped either in a single SSD configuration (a $500 option), a dual-device 2 x 32 GB SSD configuration (+ $1000) or a 32 GB SSD + 200 GB HDD (+ $800) version.
The AMD Turion-based m9700 is substantially cheaper than the Core 2 Duo-based m9750: An AMD SSD notebook starts at about $2400 and can top $4100 when fully equipped. The m9750 SSD system starts at about $2800 and climbs above $6100 when decked out with more memory and a Blu-ray drive. The m5550 starts at about $1500 with a 32 GB SSD.
When ordered today, Alienware’s website indicated that the m5550 would ship around July 31, while the m9700 and m9750 are indicated to be shipped between August 2 and 16.