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.

About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.

 

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