November 30, 2005 7:09 AM PST

Intel likes a touch of suede

"Chic" was the word on Intel's lips this week as it showed off a new line of concept laptop PCs that the chipmaker believes brings a luxurious personal touch to mobile computing.

Acting some years after Apple Computer 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 grays and blacks."

Now soft-skin laptop PCs are poised to break into the fashion spotlight, Intel claimed. The company has teamed up with Toray Ultrasuede, made up of self-described "leaders in technology and fashion," to come up with a selection of suede-covered laptops.

The concept Intel Centrino-based laptops fit "ultramicrofiber Ultrasuede fabric" directly into their casing. There are no current plans to release the notebooks to the public.

Citing research, Intel said 73 percent of U.S. adult computer users want to buy technology products that reflect their personal style. Of those who admit to glancing at others' laptop PCs, 76 percent are checking out its style or design, the chipmaker said.

Forty percent of U.S. adult computer users think their current laptop is generic, boring, dull, sterile or lackluster, and 60 percent would like to be able to "customize their laptop with options such as color, patterns and fabric," Intel said.

"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 Italian styling and Ferrari Formula One chic.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

5 comments

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Complete ripoff!
Isn't it obvious the design on the right is a complete ripoff of the Nokia 7200-series? The Nokia phones were the first to include textiles/soft materials to create unique designs and patterns. On the other hand imitation is the highest form of compliment!
Posted by andrewholden (17 comments )
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Nice concept, poor implementation
With all due respect to the designer, I think this is a great idea at it's core although the designs are mostly borrowed from other contemporary prodcuts (just look at the Design Sponge blog or Better Living Through Design blog - Google them). That said, I really like the green one. But what were they thinking - micsosuede? Someone didn't think through the usage model. It will tear, get dirty and generally not look very good in pretty short order considering all the "abuse" laptops take. Persononally I'd rather see a high tech plastic solution that will wear well and stand up to "abuse" better than fabric will. Intel makes good reliable products, but they have lots to learn about industrial design.
Posted by anonymous_coward (4 comments )
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I couldn't agree more ...
You bring up some great points. No matter how careful one might be with a laptop integrating a fabric like this, the exterior will started looking horrible.
Posted by ghhouston (3 comments )
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A little colour cant hurt...
but asides from that and some designs with colour... well the rest is just not well thought out
Posted by volterwd (466 comments )
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Nothing wrong with the hardware...
...but it still runs Windows.
Posted by sanjef (31 comments )
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