The original Eee PC 2G Surf
came in black, white, baby pink, spring green, and sky blue. When I saw that, I wondered if those colors would be for the kinds of people (okay, women) who bought Hello Kitty
electronics. Yes, it’s very cute. But should a laptop, even a tiny laptop, be “cute”? I would prefer other colors: forest green, dark blue (thank you, Acer), fire engine red, etc. Colors that are bold and interesting, yet not limiting. Yes, there are probably some guys who would carry around a sky blue netbook. They carried iBooks, right? But even some women roll their eyes at baby pink. I mean, really, this is how companies signal “feminine”? Not always (thank goodness).
Sure, Acer is bringing out a pink Aspire One
—sans pink keyboard, boo—but HP is actually doing something more interesting and noteworthy with the Vivienne Tam Mini 1000
. Also known as the Digital Clutch, this netbook is unabashedly for women who are into fashion, design, and trendiness. It stands out not just for the color, but for the cover design and the careful attention paid to all the details, including the keyboard. Will it catch on amongst the fashionista set? I asked fashion magazine editor Jeanine Edwards her opinion on the matter.
[The HP Mini 9 is] super cute! I definitely think it could be a hit, especially if other really big designers start doing it. I don’t know if women would use them as fashion statements, but I definitely think they’d want one because they’re fashionable.
The other netbook meant to appeal to the fashion-minded is the Eee PC S101 (slim is in!). I showed this to Jeanine as well, but she was less enthusiastic about it. “[It] honestly just looks like a regular laptop in different color. The Vivienne Tam is bolder and would be more likely to catch on.” Though it can be said that the Eee PC’s color scheme is meant to appeal to women without turning off guys, which isn’t a bad middle ground to take. I’m not personally into peonies, but I think the Vivienne Tam is a step in the right direction. More netbooks should come with patterns and designs—break away from traditional black and white and solid colors in general. If designers like Diane von Furstenberg or Takashi Murakami got in on designing netbooks the market could open up to more than just early adopters and well-informed tech consumers.