IBM thinks therefore it colours

IBM thinks therefore it colours

Big Blue is ready for Mars Red Metallic, Andromeda Green and Lunar Gray. IBM this month will launch its ThinkPad notebook in seven bright colours, the company said last week.

Like Apple Computer's groundbreaking, fruit-coloured iMac desktop computers, IBM's i Series 1400 models will cater to the individuality in consumers.

In addition to the traditional black covers (and those listed above), the new ThinkPads will come in bold hues that include Mars Red Metallic, Terra Green Metallic, Eclipse Blue Metallic, Sirius Red, Andromeda Green and Polaris Blue. Each coloured cover will cost $30.

But according to an IBM Australia spokesperson, the new colours are not the only innovation. The two higher-priced versions of the ThinkPad include a "ThinkLight" that will illuminate the keyboard and palm rest.

IBM surveys found that consumers wanted to be able to personalise their notebooks, Bill Holthouser, IBM consumer mobile product marketing program director, said last week. "We found out that personalisation is important to consumers . . . They want to express their own personality through the product."

Such personalised products will grow in popularity as the staid world of personal computing evolves, said Robert Enderle, an analyst for Giga Information Group, a California-based industry research firm. "Apple took the lead and woke up the individual for the first time to the idea that beige is boring," he said.

The ThinkPads will also be lighter and thinner than previous models, Holthouser said.

The two higher-priced versions also include DVD (Digital Video Disc) and large 14 inch TFT (thin-film transistor) displays.

IBM Australia said local RRP pricing is $2999 including tax, with the ThinkPads available in Australia from mid October. IBM plans to push the product through its normal retail and reseller channel.

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