Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Price tag: $3599
For self-respecting millionaires who want to waste obscene sums on a notebook PC, it can be a frustrating world. Sure, you can spend $350,000 for the Ego Diamond edition, seemingly a clone of the old iBook toilet-seat notebook gussied up with white gold and platinum plates that are inset with diamonds in the shape of a tulip. Of course, those diamonds also spell a word, and the word is “Sucker!”
If you want to spend big bucks and get something more than floral bling out of the deal, the situation is tougher. The new Lenovo ThinkPad W700 retails for just shy of six grand, and it packs an impressive array of features: a 17-inch screen, 4GB of RAM, a Blu-ray drive, and even a built-in Wacom pen tablet. But this laptop hardly screams elegance. In fact, it looks like an ordinary ThinkPad that’s been force-fed Laptop Growth Hormone and then had every conceivable component jammed into its cruelly distended matte-black skin.
The Envy 133, from HP's Voodoo division, has the disadvantage of setting you back a paltry 3600 bucks, fully loaded. But it is a beautifully designed machine with lots of high-end components, including a 64GB solid-state drive. And you can blow $600--the price of two of those déclassé netbooks--on nothing more substantive than a Morrocan Blue paint job. Now that’s pointless extravagance!
Price tag: ?
The point of having vast coffers o’ cash, as any filthy-rich person will tell you, is to pay your way out of the mundane hassles that afflict the hoi polloi: traffic jams, military service, child rearing, flossing. Regrettably, aeronautics expert Paul Moller can’t help with flossing, but traffic jams he’s got covered.
Since 1962, Moller, a professor at the University of California, Davis, has been experimenting with fixed-wing planes that can take off and land vertically--the perfect profile for the fabled flying car. The latest incarnation, the M400 Skycar, can carry four passengers as fast as 375 mph while cruising along at 13,200 feet. As the Moller site says: “No traffic, no red lights, no speeding tickets.” Also, one hopes, no midair collisions, no terrifying plummets to a fiery death.
The site calls the M400 “personally affordable,” but it doesn’t quote a price. We all know what that means: If you have to ask, you can't afford it. But you don't have to ask, do you?
Price tag: $2000
Extravagant cell phones slathered in diamonds and rubies are one of the surefire technological tools for separating fools from their money. Exhibit A is Le Million from GoldVish Communications: $1.45 million and ugly, ugly, ugly!
The $2000 you spend on a Motorola Aura may seem like chump change in comparison, but with the Aura, you actually get something useful for your dough. For one thing, there’s the 16-million-color, 300-dpi circular display. And Motorola seems to have lavished attention on the mechanism for opening and closing the Aura: “Custom-engineered rotating mechanism has 130 precision ball bearings that drive the assisted-opening blade--like opening the door on a high-end luxury car.” The rotation mechanism has a Swiss-made main bearing and carbide-coated gears, too. Oh yes, and once you’ve lovingly rotated the Aura open, you can use it to place and receive wireless phone calls!
Price tag: $10,866 (fully loaded)
You know what your mom told you about not using the blow dryer in the bathtub? Well, she was right: You really shouldn’t do that. But Hardcore has found a way to violate the whole no-electrical-devices-in-liquid law without causing immediate death to anything other than a lesser person’s wallet.
The guts of the Hardcore Reactor Extreme are immersed in liquid coolant. Hardcore says that the coolant--which is circulated through the system at 2.5 gallons per minute--absorbs heat ten times more efficiently than air does. That means two things: For ten grand you'll get a system that's as fast as anything we’ve ever tested. And after you finish an evening of awesome gaming, your personal pastry chef can fry up some tasty, homemade donuts in the Reactor Extreme’s coolant.