Dell in color -- sort of

Dell Computer Corp. has taken a small step down the industrial design path set out by Apple Computer Inc.

Dell Computer Corp. has taken a small step down the industrial design path set out by Apple Computer Inc.'s iMac and iBook products.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker Wednesday said customers can pick the color of its latest consumer and small-business notebook PC, the Inspiron 3700.

But customers won't exactly have a Crayola universe available to them. The new model, which replaces Dell's (Nasdaq:DELL) flat-black Inspiron 3500, will come in two colors: Tahoe Blue or Storm Grey. Dell will add two more colors in the first quarter of next year, company officials said.

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The Inspiron 3700 also is shy about showing off its colors. Only when opened can one see the color on its palm rest and bezel, which holds the notebook screen. The outside is dark grey.

The new notebook starts at $1,899.

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