Gizmo geek: Million dollar babies
From diamond-studded Luvaglio that costs $1 million to gold-plated MacBook Pro worth $30,000 and 13.3-inch HPSpectre, here are laptops that can break the bank
In case you’ve been moaning about the fact that that high-end laptop you covet is going to top the six-figure mark, here’s some gossip to put things in perspective. Last year at the Cannes Film Festival, HP sold two of their custom-configured and designed laptops for a combined price of approximately Rs 40,00,000 ($60,000) — yes, we got the zeroes right, and yes, you could buy a house in that amount depending on where you lived, or perhaps a luxury car.
When the HP Spectre was announced in the first half of 2016, it was billed as the world’s thinnest laptop, and featured polished copper accents, an edge-to-edge 13.3-inch Corning Gorilla Glass screen, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system. However, that was hardly enough for the luxury edition, which were eventually sold at Cannes to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The jazzed up versions were crafted by designers Jess Hannah and Tord Boontje, resulting in two very different pieces.
Hannah, a designer of fine jewellery based in Los Angeles, opted for a more minimalistic look, with an 18-karat gold plating, plus a diamond-encrusted logo and power button. Boontje, an artist and industrial product designer based in London, went the other way, that is, full bling with a swirling ornate design, complete with diamonds, Swarovski crystals and gold-plated highlights on midnight blue background.
While the luxury pieces were custom-created for the auction, the ‘regular’ version of this notebook is available for mere mortals. It is no budget piece either. This 13.3-inch beauty could actually be the world’s thinnest laptop, measuring just 1.04 cm, thinner than the iPad Pro. It has polished metallic trims and features unique piston-driven, ‘cabinet-style’ hidden hinges. It gives you two colour options — dark ash silver and pike silver, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it a sight for sore eyes. A top-end model of the Spectre 13.3 could lighten your wallet by close to $2,000.
In case you thought $60,000 for a pair of spiced up luxury laptops is quite excessive, let us remind you of the million-dollar Luvaglio, that went on sale in 2013. (How many pieces were actually sold? Well, that’s a different question.) This ultra-luxury laptop was actually a pretty standard machine, with a 17-inch anti-glare screen, a 128 GB solid-state drive, built-in Blu-Ray player, a dual-purpose power button with security features.
But what made it special was not the configuration, but the customisation — from gold trim to diamonds and other precious stones in the keyboard or laptop body, it could all be yours for the asking. Provided, of course, you had the wherewithal to cough up the $1 million for it. So exclusive was this one-of-a-kind piece of computing extravagance that word has it you had to be specially invited by the director of this London-based luxury brand to have one.
Now, let’s not even get started on the gold-plated MacBook Pro, which strides that iffy line that separates the ultra-luxury from the ultra-tacky. On the bright side, it could be yours for only $30,000...
Columnist: 
Payal Dhar
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