The Alienware X51 has been officially announced, with the gaming brand offering up a desktop with a small form-factor that is aiming to tempt in the groups between casual gamers and hardcore.

The X51 brings a decent set of specs and the always-enviable Alienware design but packs it into a form-factor that is only marginally bigger than an Xbox.

"I don't personally believe you can offer a system that offers a better gaming performance within that form-factor or even that there is anything close, " Eoin Leyden, Alienware's senior product consultant told TechRadar.

Range

As you would expect the Alienware X51 comes in a range of specs with the lowest priced version at £699 bringing an 3.3 GHz Intel Core i3-2120, Nvidia Geforce GT545 graphics, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB harddrive.

At the other end of the spectrum is the £999 version with 8 Gigs of RAM, Intel Core i7-2600 and Nvidia Geforce GTX 555 graphics. That will give you up to 77 frames per second from Battlefield 3, according to Dell-owned Alienware.

The smaller form factor is aimed at the mass market, and it has been designed to stand horizontally or vertically - so you could sit it next to your TV without it looking too out of place.

It's certainly an unexpected move from a company that has previously specialised in massive high-end rigs - but can it take advantage of the recent renaissance in PC gaming?