If you subscribe to the 'Core i7
or bust' philosophy, you no longer have to rule out Sony's
Vaio Z series laptops. Intel's Core i7 620M processor (2.66GHz) is now an upgrade option, which adds $150 to the price of the standard configuration that comes with a Core i5 540M chip (2.35GHz).
That's not a terrible way to spend $150, and if you place your order by July 3rd, you can help offset the cost with a free display upgrade. Between now and then, Sony will upgrade the 13.1-inch display from 1600x900 to 1920x1080 at no charge, saving you $100. So if you were planning on shelling out for the Full HD display anyway, that Core i7 upgrade is a lot easier swallow.
Other baseline specs include two 128GB SSDs configured in a RAID 0 array, 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory, DVD burner, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. With the Core i7 chip, pricing starts at $2,070.