I am curious what is the highest/largest amount of RAM available in a laptop. Yes I ask this question because the intent is to have multiple virtual machines running at once. I understand there are other key factors such as brand, cpu and i/o throughput, but I am curious with current technology what is available.
I would imagine 32GB, as that is what most desktop systems are limited too. But more realistically it would be 16GB most likely.
Though for your purposes, I wouldn't get a laptop. You really need a desktop for that kind of work.
If portability is a concern, you could build yourself a fairly strong ITX system that would be easy enough to move around.
Depends on Dimm slots and OS. For instance windows 7 ultimate x64 can support 192gb of ram and if you had 20 dimm slots on your MB you could test the limits of that OS. Considering most laptops use 2-4 dimms figure 4x8=32gb to be the normal limits
Generally, a laptop comes with two memory slots. This means 8GB per slot. Heavier performance laptops, such as Alienware 17/18 or ASUS ROG G750 have four memory slots, giving them 32GB of memory. Netbooks generally have one slot. Do some research, generally the detailed specs of any system on the manufacturer's site will include how many memory slots there are.