Another laptop has been added to the Core i7-Windows 7 roster. Acer's Aspire AS8940G is an update to the company's desktop replacement with a massive 18.4-inch display. Like most desktop replacements, the Aspire AS8940G is barely portable, weighing in at nine pounds and measuring 17.4 by 11.8 by 1.7 inches. But that leaves room for high-end components. The Aspire AS8940G-6865 is $1,350 with a 1.60GHz Intel Core i7-720QM quad-core processor, 4GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M with 1GB, a 500GB hard drive and a Blu-ray player.
Not every PC maker pushes things as far as 18.4-inches. But there are several competitors. The HP Pavilion dv8t Quad Edition starts at $1,300 with the 1.60GHz Core i7-720QM, 3GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce GT 230M graphics with 1GB, a 250GB hard drive and a Blu-ray player.
Toshiba has two options. The Toshiba Satellite P500 is a lower-end model with both Intel- and AMD-based configurations. The Satellite P500-ST6822 is currently $721.65 with a 2.20GHz Core 2 Duo T6600, 2GB of memory, Intel integrated graphics, 320GB hard drive and DVD burner. The $749 Satellite P500D-ST5805 has an AMD Turion II M500, 4GB of memory, ATI Radeon 4100 integrated graphics, a 500GB hard drive and DVD burner. The Qosmio X505 starts at $1,450, putting it in direct competition with the Aspire AS8940G and Pavilion dv8t. This configuration (the X505-Q830) includes the Core i7-720QM, 4GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M graphics with 1GB, a 320GB hard drive and Blu-ray player.
Like the Satellite P500, Sony's AW series sticks with a dual-core processor. The VAIO VGN-AW450F/H is $1,150 with a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo P7450, 4GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics with 512MB, a 320GB hard drive and a Blu-ray player. One big drawback to the Satellite P500, Qosmio X505 and Sony AW series is the 720p display resolution (1680x945); the Aspire AS8940G and Pavilion dv8t offer full 1080p (1920x1080) displays. Dell and Lenovo top out at 17 inches (though the ThinkPad W700ds also has a slide-out 10.6-inch display).