Though it relies heavily on its accessories, the Sony VAIO A series successfully delivers TV, DVR, stereo, DVD player, and high-performance PC in one big laptop.

Brian Nadel
Sony VAIO A Series
While the VAIO VGN-A690 comes in only one high-end configuration, the Sony VAIO A series is available with a range of components. To start, the family's processors include a budget 1.4GHz Celeron as well as 1.6GHz to 2.1GHz Pentium M CPUs. All have a 533MHz bus and can hold up to 2GB of 400MHz memory chips. Hard drives are available in capacities ranging from 40GB to 100GB, all spinning at an above-average 5,400rpm. For those looking to save a few bucks, the WUXGA screen can be substituted for a WXGA display, but all A-series notebooks come with ATI's Mobility Radeon X600 graphics engine with 128MB of its own memory. It would be a shame not to get the double-layer DVD burner, but you can order an A-series machine with a DVD-ROM, a CD-RW, or a single-layer DVD+-RW drive, and thereÂ’s the choice between the Intel 2200BG and 2915 ABG Wi-Fi radios. Bluetooth is an option with this line. With so many available components, there are thousands of potential combinations, and price tags range from $1,500 to about $3,000.