Laptop-car tie-ins are nothing new: We’ve seen sports car brand like Lamborghini and Ferrari do it. Why not the ultra-rarefied luxury Bentley? Ego has been trying to market luxury laptops for years—their signature shape—like a dainty handbag—is recognizable to fashion-conscious tech enthusiasts. Each leather-wrapped laptop (the same leather from the interiors of Bentley cars) is hand-stitched and hand-built, and trimmed with chrome. The handle of the purse-computer looks like the door handle on a Bentley. The “under the hood” component, however, may give you pause: Windows Vista, 160 GB HD, and an unidentified “64 bit processor.”
The Leica brand of German SLR cameras has always been high end, but now it offers retro-stylish panache rather than just good engineering. Earlier this year the Safari camera launched: it is decked out in olive green and comes with a Billingham camera case with embossed leather strap.
The new M8 White Edition was announced in April and, aside from being shellacked in white, is wrapped in Nappa cowhide. Only 275 of these will be made, and no price has been formally announced. If you have to ask…
Both digital cameras feature a 10.3 megapixel CCD sensor, a 2.5-inch display, and come with a silver anodized finished M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH lens (though other Leica lenses may be used).
If we’re talking luxury phones, it follows that high-end watchmakers might enter the arena. A cell phone, after all, has replaced the wristwatch for many people. Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer introduced the Meridiist phone last year in various types of leather (including alligator). Now comes news of the Diamant, which, naturally, is encrusted with diamonds. The original Meridiist sold for about $5,000-$8,000, and the diamond version will likely sell for between $10,000 and $30,000. That range represents the various diamond models—from 208 to 1,232 diamonds. All versions come with stainless steel keys, a sapphire crystal screen display and ship in a wooden jewelry box. What specs can be found in the phone itself? A 2 megapixel camera, Mp3 player, and seven hours talk time. This is no smart phone. But if you have this much money, maybe you don’t need it to be.
Only eight of these phones will be made by Gresso. Eight special “ladies” with cash can purchase this red phone, which runs Windows Mobile 6.0 on a small sapphire crystal display. A similar phone with gold instead of diamonds will see a run of 15 units.
Sony’s CS series isn’t especially top-of-the-line, but this Vaio does come with a luxury element: the option to include faux crocodile skin in red, brown, or pink. At nearly six pounds, this 14-inch laptop isn’t a rarefied object like the Dell Adamo or MacBook Air. Though it can be configured to include a Blu-ray drive and up to 400GB or hard drive space, the computer maxes out at $1,800 when all the options are checked. The addition of fake animal skin only increases the price by $30.
Probably the most well-known of the haute-phone makers, Vertu is a subsidiary of Nokia. The company has partnered with Ferrari on phones, but its latest effort is simpler. Only 100 units of the Ascent Ti Damascus Steel will be manufactured, using a steel-forging technique that presses patterns into the metal. The phone features 3G data, a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, and 4GB of internal memory. You’ll have to contact the company directly for pricing info.
The 350 PRL from Mobiado is one of the only luxury phones with a full QWERTY keyboard. Built from “aircraft aluminum,” and black nickel-plated, the phone also features the requisite sapphire crystal display as well as ruby and mother of pearl (the phone comes in white, black, gold and pink). With Wi-Fi, 3.2 megapixel camera, video capability, Web browser, e-mail functionality, GPS, Bluetooth, USB, and quad-band connectivity, this one ranks as an actual smartphone.
GoldVish Revolution ($485,000)
We think the GoldVish Revolution is more of a concept device than an actual mobile phone, since no information has been released about the phone’s technical innards. It is a hybrid phone and luxury time piece in one. It was shown at the Baselworld watch conference by Swiss company GoldVish (the company actually makes an older, even more expensive phone called Le Million priced at $1.2 million). Since the Revolution only has 29 carats of diamonds, as well as pink and white gold, it only costs about $485,000. Only nine will be made by jeweler-designer Frederic Jouvenot.