"Chic" was the word on Intel's lips this week as it showed off a new line of concept laptop PCs that the company believes brings the luxurious personal touch to mobile computing.
Acting some years after Apple made the iMac and the iPod into fashion icons, Intel has decreed that the laptop PC does not have to be "confined to a world of monotone greys and blacks".
Now, touchable laptop PCs are poised to break into the fashion spotlight, Intel claimed . The company has teamed up with Toray Ultrasuede, self-styled "leaders in technology and fashion", to come up with a selection of suede-covered laptops.
They feature "ultra micro-fibre, Ultrasuede fabric" fitted directly into the casing of Intel Centrino-based laptops. However, there are no plans to release them to the public, at least at the time of writing.
Intel has done its research on the vexed question of fabrics and PCs and said that 73 percent of adult computer users, in the US at least, want to buy technology products that reflect their personal style and that of those computer users who admit to glancing at someone else’s laptop PC, 76 percent are checking out its style or design.
Forty percent of US adult computer users think their current laptop is generic, boring, dull, sterile or lacklustre, and 60 percent would like to be able to "customise their laptop with options such as colour, patterns and fabric," Intel claimed.
"Intel’s technology innovation, coupled with the plush luxury of Ultrasuede fabric, offers a marriage of form and function with unlimited potential for fashionable personal expression," according to Jodi Geniesse, consumer mobile education manager at Intel.
But Intel will face some competition if it ever tries to target the high-end laptop market. For example, the Acer Ferrari already offers on Italian styling and Ferrari Formula One chic.