Blu-ray laptop for under $1000: Sony Vaio NW160J

Although it's expensive for a 15-inch multimedia laptop, the Blu-ray and game-playing capabilities of the Vaio NW160J make it a worthy portable entertainment system.

Where Blu-ray meets wood grain: the Vaio NW160J Sarah Tew/CNET

Is Blu-ray the future of laptops? If Sony had its way, that would certainly be the case. And if all Blu-ray-playing laptops were as well-executed as Sony's Vaio NW160J, that wouldn't be the most daunting consideration. Sony has been packaging its Vaio laptops as design-centric, relatively expensive multimedia machines with a Blu-ray-playing focus for a while now, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the company's new line of slightly higher than midrange laptops, the NW series, culminates with a 15.4-inch Blu-ray version.

This model, the NW160J, comes in at $929. There are even more affordable NW Vaios with Blu-ray drives inside, but the NW160J also comes with above-average, gaming-capable ATI graphics along with its midrange Core 2 Duo processor, making it more expensive than slightly less graphically robust competitors. However, if you're looking for a well-designed Vaio with Blu-ray, a very good screen, and an excellent-feeling keyboard and touch pad--without moving up to a massive 17-inch desktop replacement--you've come to the right place.

Does Blu-ray matter to you, or is it superfluous to your laptop-purchasing considerations? Let us know below.

Read the rest of our review.

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