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Laptops get jazzy

At a time when Indian PC makers are trying to tap the entry level brands with sub-15K, global laptop brands are focusing on women and young buyers with fashionably designed, expensive notebooks, reports Ruchi Hajela.
Hindustan Times | By Ruchi Hajela
UPDATED ON MAR 15, 2008 12:22 AM IST

First it was a machine, now it is a cool thingie.

At a time when Indian manufacturers are trying to tap the entry level brands with sub-15K, global brands are focusing on women and the young buyers with fashionably designed and obviously not-so-affordably-priced notebooks.

Bulky laptops with black and shiny steel casings are passé; slim (and preferably light) laptops with casings that are well designed are increasingly getting more popular. And yes, there is a colour element.

Take for instance Lenovo’s latest laptops one of which is ultra portable, weighs one kilogram (36 grams lighter than the iconic MacBook Air) and is available in red.. Or another laptop that sports features like console-like gaming keys and two hard disk drives, clearly targeted at a gaming enthusiast. India where youths, according to market researcher IDC, will drive growth.

“There are two ways to create more excitement around a product, one is by lowering down the prices and the other is by jazzing up the product,” says Vinnie Mehta, Executive Director, Manufacturer’s Association for Information Technology.

“As far as the product specs and features are concerned, we believe female customers now want the same things as men when it comes to their electronics but they are obviously more fashion-conscious than the average male customer and to the manufacturers today, this becomes one of the reasons to design fashion-conscious products,” said Sachin Thapar, Division Head, IT, Sony India. Sony had introduced colour variations of its ultra portable Vaio range in India last year.

Hewlett Packard recently introduced new variants of its fashionable ‘Imprint’ designs. Imprint is the company’s collection of colourful and stylish notebook casings. The ‘limited edition’ tag on these notebooks signals that it is not for everyone.

Domestic computer maker Zenith offers custom made gold-plated laptops on order. These are largely for the export market to countries like Saudi Arabia. “Laptops with colourful casings have been around but a luxury buyer wants something more exclusive,” Devita Saraf, Executive Director, Zenith Computers Limited said. There is an increasing demand for sleek and light laptops, she added.

Not to forget that Apple’s ultra thin MacBook Air that redefines slimness is expected to hit Indian shores anytime at an estimated price of Rs 96,000.

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