Mission impossible? Finding a really expensive laptop
Sony Vaio Z128GX
Offering a nice change of pace from $300 Netbooks and $600 mainstream laptops, our review unit of Sony's revamped Vaio Z costs an impressive $3,339. Of course, our tricked-out review unit includes a very expensive 512GB solid-state hard drive, which could easily fetch $1,500 or more on its own. For a still-pricey $1,919, you can get a configuration with a smaller 128GB SSD, or you can add even more-expensive options, including a 1,920x1,080-pixel display or a Blu-ray player, driving the price as far up as $4,700.
We've got a new review unit of this high-end 17-inch laptop on hand, but sadly, our version, despite the Core i7 CPU, 7200RPM hard drive, and gamer-friendly GPU, that only works out to around $1,399. That said, it is possible to trade up to a faster Core i7-840QM, a 128GB SSD hard drive, and other high-end features and crank the price up to $2,499.
The MacBook line of laptops pretty much owns the high-end of the market. It's the only laptop brand that doesn't play in the budget (or even midrange) market at all. But while a few years ago $2,000 high-end desktop replacements were easy to find, this is now one of the few examples left. The base model 17-inch MacBook Pro runs $2,299, while updating the processor and RAM, and adding a 512GB SSD drive can get you up to a delicious $4,199 (but $1,300 of that is the SSD).
This ultrathin executive laptop was the talk of the town during its March 2010 release, as one would expect given its 10mm thickness and unique Y-shaped hinge. The system originally cost $1,999, just shy of that $2,000 mark, but it seems to be currently unavailable on Dell's Web site. We did find it in the outlet section of Best Buy's Web site, for $100 off the original retail price. Interestingly, the original Adamo model, from last year, is still available for $999, half its launch price.
One of the only other pricey laptops in our upcoming reviews queue is this 15-inch Toshiba, which builds in compatibility with Nvidia's 3D Vision technology, and includes one set of glasses and the 3D Vision emitter. That, along with the high-end Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GeForce 350M GPU all add up to a respectable $1,600.