Bentley Motors launches $19,800 'Ego' laptop

Hold onto your wallet! Carmaker ships laptops to match your car's color patterns

Get out your checkbook … or maybe take out a second mortgage.

Bentley Motors Ltd., manufacturer of the cars used by James Bond, announced plans this week to release a "luxury" laptop computer. Coming in at a whopping $19,800, only 250 of the systems, dubbed the Ego for Bentley, will be sold.

Running Microsoft Vista software, the laptop has a 64-bit processor and a 160GB hard drive. And the notebook is encircled with a white gold frame engraved with the limited edition number.

Looking more like an expensive handbag than a laptop when it's closed, the outside of the machine is trimmed with "Bentley leather" and styled with Bentley cross-over hand stitching.

The Ego laptop, of course, can be ordered to look like your Bentley automobile. According to the company, the color options of the lacquered inside matches the car's most popular exterior paint colors.

Bentley also notes that the laptop has an ergonomic, integrated handle designed to "remove the need for an unattractive bag or case."

"It perhaps isn't the value leader in the notebook market -- maybe $1,500 worth of technology, plus another $1,000 for the case, coupled with meager support, all for only $19,000," said Dan Olds, an analyst at the Gabriel Consulting Group Inc. "All this thing brings to the table is a cool handle, a durable outer case and some assignable keys. This thing is ostentatious enough to give Paris Hilton pause … Their brand name of "Ego" really sums everything up perfectly."

Bentley Motors teamed up with Ego Lifestyle BV on the ultra-high-end laptop project. Ego Lifestyle designs and sells high-end consumer electronics.

The Bentley laptop comes as organizations like One Laptop Per Child work to bring $100 laptops to the worldwide masses. Inc. has agreed to sell the OLPC organization's low-cost XO notebook computer in November.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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