Our top high-end retail laptop pick for Holiday 2009: the Sony Vaio FW560

In the "high-end" category, we looked at four off-the-shelf models that all retail for $999 and above.

In our current roundup of retail-specific laptops , we've divided our 25-plus systems into four price categories, from sub-$700 budget models to high-end ones that cost more than $1,000.

In the "high-end" category, we looked at four off-the-shelf models that all retail for $999 and above. While there's certainly a lot to like about the $2,000 HP Envy 15 (it sported the highest screen resolution and a new Core i7 processor), we thought the best bang for your buck was to be found in the Sony Vaio FW560, which has a big 500GB hard drive and Blu-ray, all for $999.

If you're looking for something even less expensive, the Sony Vaio NW270 offers no-frills Blu-ray for $699.

Note: For a roundup of retail laptops in all price ranges, check here .

Check out details of each system below:

Asus G60VX-RBBX05
The bottom line: Packed with a great graphics card and good audio, but lacking Intel's latest Core i7 chip, the Asus G60VX-RBBX05 is a very solid all-around gaming solution for less than $1,000.
Read the full review here.

Sony Vaio FW560F/T
The bottom line: With Blu-ray playback, a large screen and decent discrete graphics, the Sony Vaio FW560F/T is a very compelling sub-$1,000 multimedia notebook.
Read the full review here.

HP Pavilion dv7-3085dx
The bottom line: Equipped with a big screen and a fast Core i7 processor, the HP Pavilion dv7-3085dx is a speedy all-around Windows 7 laptop, but in this price range we expect either Blu-ray or faster gaming graphics.
Read the full review here.

HP Envy 15-1050nr
The bottom line: HP's new Envy 15 packs high-powered components into a svelte 15-inch body. The result is an upscale status symbol that still shows a few first-generation rough edges.
Read the full review here.

> Need more? Follow me at twitter.com/danackerman.
> See our Holiday laptop picks in the CNET Holiday Tech Guide.
> For our Holiday 2009 roundup of retail laptops, check here .

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.


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