Can a netbook really be targeted to women? Samsung thinks so.

Can a netbook really be targeted to women? Samsung thinks so.

Summary: When Samsung launched its N230 netbook a couple of days ago, you may have assumed it was just the latest attempt to one-up the competition in a product category that's no longer the hottest. After all, its larger battery option promised a whopping 13.

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When Samsung launched its N230 netbook a couple of days ago, you may have assumed it was just the latest attempt to one-up the competition in a product category that's no longer the hottest. After all, its larger battery option promised a whopping 13.5 hours of juice per charge.

What you didn't know was that Samsung believes that N230 will appeal particularly to women, especially younger ones. According to a post on the Wall Street Journal's Digits blog:

“Our main target audience will be young ladies in their twenties or even early thirties,” says Yeon-hee Park, a Samsung spokeswoman. “Given its super-light and tiny features, ladies may find it handy to carry this around in their bags.”

Of course, there are plenty of netbooks with "super-light and tiny features" -- Asus seems to release a few each week -- so why is the N230 any different? It does have a "premium black finish," but there have been pink netbooks released (including by Samsung itself) that would seem to appeal to women more blatantly.

It does beg the question: Can a netbook be successfully targeted to women? If so, what would make it more attractive to them than to men? In general, attempts to market computers to women over the years have been heavy handed (a pink desktop = She PC), and may have missed a big point: Maybe most women don't care to have computers pitched to them as a fashion accessory. Maybe they just want them to work and look decently attractive -- like men view them.

In any event, there's something with "super-light and tiny features" that's even lighter than a netbook, and will probably be carried around a lot more by young women than the N230. It's called an iPad.

Topics: Mobility, CXO, Hardware, Samsung, IT Employment

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9 comments
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  • Younger women will need the

    iPad Maxi.

    Sorry. Could not resist.
    davebarnes
    • RE: Can a netbook really be targeted to women? Samsung thinks so.

      @davebarnes

      lol what about heavy days...
      df2dot@...
  • Ask HP

    If you really want to know, ask HP about the gorgeous HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam special Edition netbook/notebook that was introduced in September of 2008 during the height of the netbook craze.
    twirth5
  • RE: Can a netbook really be targeted to women? Samsung thinks so.

    The one and only iPad owner I know is definitely something of a fashionista. Thirtyish, always immaculately groomed and dressed.

    A small backpack with her iPad has become her bag of choice.
    CodeCurmudgeon
  • Gee, stinks that women are different, doesn't it?

    Paint it yellow and put a pink bow on it.
    It worked for Ms Pacman.

    I suspect, however, that the differences in lifestyle, physique and tastes generally found between the sexes will tend to lean women toward tablets, while men stick with netbooks... generally speaking.

    Me, I want an Alienware MX11. 4 lbs, 3.5-6.5 hours battery life. Which do you think women generally would prefer? The Samsung, or the Alienware?
    hiraghm@...
  • RE: Can a netbook really be targeted to women? Samsung thinks so.

    How do you *target* a netbook for a specific demographic that is based on physical characteristics like young 20-30 something females?
    I have a Dell Mini-9 (onyx) and use it daily! My wife has a Dell Mini-9 (pink) and takes that thing everywhere! Small? - check! Light? - check! Long battery life? (5+ hours) check! What's not to like! My mom liked our netbooks so much, I got her a Dell mini-10, in purple! She loves that thing and according to my dad, doesn't go anywhere without it! And what makes this all so great is that the most expensive netbook I purchased in this bunch is the Dell Mini-10 for $230! My Mini-9s were $199 each. iPad? Why? too expensive! There is no reason to pay over $300 for *ANY* netbook! My Mini-9s run Ubuntu 8.04, have 2GB ram, 4GB SSD plus an additional 8GB SD card. They have WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G (if you pop in a SIM) and a built in camera! The Mini-10 has that but instead of Ubuntu, it runs Windows 7 home, and instead of an SSD drive, it uses a 230GB hard drive. What's not to like?
    How did I get these so cheap? Dell's excellent refurb site! Plus, a percent off code! There's no reason to pay more!
    tech_ed@...
  • RE: Can a netbook really be targeted to women? Samsung thinks so.

    thanks zdnet for finally canning the Spam. Steve Jobs magic seems to be still working his charm on women. It's definitely magic. My 1 1/2 year old Asus EEE has more power and has all the features I'd want in an iPad. But somehow I really want and iPad. Keep your eyes on the shiny object, your eyelids are getting heavy. When you awake you won't remember a thing. You will go to the nearest Apple Store and buy an iPad.
    mark16_15@...
  • RE: Can a netbook really be targeted to women? Samsung thinks so.

    On average a woman has smaller hands - so they wouldn't be bothered so much by a small keyboard?

    But that would apply to any netbook...
    thomasrutter
  • RE: Can a netbook really be targeted to women? Samsung thinks so.

    Wait and see?.....but its more realistic to understand that making the netbook a womens thing will kill other users interest and sales could drop.

    Maybe it would be better to make it look like a fashion icon like mac and call it chickbooks
    The Management consultant