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Laptop fashion

Laptops are now being marketed in a myriad of colours instead of the usual stark and utilitarian blacks and/or grays.

tech reviews Updated: Sep 25, 2007 15:23 IST

Black, grey or silver: laptop buyers have generally had to accept one of those three options. But colourful times lie ahead. The latest models from laptop makers now feature casings in blue, green, pink and yellow. After all, having increasingly impinged on the domain of the desktop PC, the laptop has now become a lifestyle accessory.

"A wide selection of colours has long been a staple of USB sticks and MP3 players. We've reached a point when laptops are increasingly subjected to individualized demands," says Roland Stehl from the Frankfurt-based Society for Entertainment and Communications Electronics (gfu). This is partially because laptops are no longer considered purely business-related machines. More and more people can now afford the devices.

"That means at the same time that more and more customers want an individual design." And it means that it is now worth it for companies to play with colour.

"Computer technology has gained more and more of a foothold in the living room, which means that people also want items with appealing design," explains Gabriele Doerries from the CeBIT team at the Deutsche Messe in Hanover.

"The computer used to be put under the desk. Good looks weren't so important," Roland Stehle adds. "But if I'm bringing a computer to a LAN party or moving with my laptop from party to party acting as DJ, then design naturally has to play a part."

"As with cellular phones, I now try to make a fashion statement with every computer," says Ralf Wiegmann, managing director at the Industrie Forums Design (IF) in Hanover. Until now, colour had not made much of a breakthrough on the laptop market. Apple was the first to push a colour trend through its trademark white, Doerries says.

"It's now a matter of differentiating the products and meeting the desire for individuality and selection-trends that will only increase in the coming years."

Dell is now offering colour kits to spruce up its laptops, for example. "It's a kind of click-on plastic shell," says Dell spokesperson Markus Schuetz. Eight colours will be available for the new Inspiron series - traditional options such as white, black and silver followed by blue, red, brown, yellow and pink.

Different colours are intended to reflect the different lifestyles of their respective buyers, says marketing director Oliver Kaltner from Sony Europe in Berlin. Whether extroverted, classical or fashion-conscious, daring souls will now have more choices for the VAIO series, including pink, red and royal blue.

US-based Alienware also finds customers are increasingly interested in distinguishing themselves from the masses, which is why it has been offering its 17 inch models in green and blue for more than two years now.

"It's more hip, youthful and stylish," says Christian Wolff, a company spokesperson.

Interestingly, one of the original trendsetters has backed away from the trend. Apple, which once offered blue, green and orange, has banned those colours from its collection again. The MacBook and MacBook Pro are currently available in white, black, and silver.