Dell in colour - sort of

New notebook takes a timid step towards iMac land, but not on the outside.

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

The PC maker Wednesday said customers can pick the colour 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 flat-black Inspiron 3500, will come in two colours: Tahoe Blue or Storm Grey. Dell will add two more colours in the first quarter of next year, company officials said.

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

The new notebook starts at $1899 (£1177)