The truth behind the million dollar laptop

23 Apr 2007

The company that claims to be selling a jewel-encrusted million dollar laptop is operating from a small, terraced office.

It's the 'world's first hand-crafted One Million Dollar Laptop' according to the press release - but PC Pro's investigations have uncovered that

the company behind the diamond-encrusted embodiment of luxury is operating from a small, terraced office in West London.

The Luvaglio million dollar laptop has been the talk of the tech websites ever since it was first announced last month. The jewel-laden, self-cleaning, state-of-the-art laptop has met with both intrigue and scepticism. Then, last week, the company sent out a press release that was full of gushing rhetoric, but remarkably short on detail.

So PC Pro decided to track down the company's CEO, Rohan Sinclair Luvaglio. The company doesn't publish any telephone numbers on its website and describes its office as 'by appointment only', but we managed to get hold of Mr Luvaglio's mobile phone number.

He claimed the laptop was a finished product and that 'we're making it ourselves', although he declined to reveal any details about the company's past experience of making PCs, let alone models worth more than £500,000. A Companies House check reveals the firm was incorporated as recently as March last year.

Luvaglio claimed the laptops would be produced in London and that production facilities 'are in the process of being done [sic].' Nevertheless, 'we're already taking orders now,' Luvaglio claimed. Once again, he wouldn't confirm how many orders had been placed.

When pushed for further details on the company's background, Mr Luvaglio deflected our questions to the company's 'press department', providing an email address that has twice failed to reply to our requests for more information over the past few weeks. Mr Luvaglio said 'they are exceptionally busy at the moment,' then added: 'There's not much information you're going to get out of me or them at this stage, because we are limiting what we're saying at this time.'

Visiting HQ

Given Mr Luvalgio's reluctance to discuss the business, we decided to pay the company's offices a visit. Located just off the Fulham Road, with its fashion boutiques and sports car showrooms, the firm is certainly in the right location for a product targeted at the exceedingly wealthy. However, the company's offices are so tiny and understated that we walked past them at first.

The office is a converted terraced town house, with not so much as a name on the intercom buzzer to suggest that Luvaglio operates from there. A peek through the window revealed a spartan, modern office with no hint of the luxury laptop on view. And though the lights were on, there was nobody at home when we came calling - without appointment - on Friday afternoon.

The luxury laptop

So what do we know of the laptop itself? The press release claims the device 'combines intelligent gadgetry with state of the art technology; such as solid state storage, Blu-Ray, built-in USB memory stick and MP3 player.' All well and good, but unremarkable for a £2,000 laptop, let alone a million dollar model.

The unique features arrive in the form of 'integrated screen cleaning' and 'functional jewellery' - which appears to consist of a diamond-encrusted power button. A video, which has since been removed from YouTube, showed the laptop automatically sliding out of its wooden box. Whether that warrants the price tag is, of course, the million dollar question.

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