The changing face of laptops

If you’re getting a little sick of your boring stock black laptop – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – we’ve got good news: so are some of the manufacturers of those computers.

While notebooks have been out in various colours for a while now, the actual look has never really changed. It’s still been a white, yellow, black, silver, blue or red laptop that you’re carrying around with you.

Enter companies like HP and Dell who are sick of it. So sick that they’re teaming up with people to get stuff done.

As part of New York’s 2010 Fashion Week, HP has launched the Mini 210 Vivienne Tam edition, a netbook that’s being branded as the next “must-have” fashion accessory.

The next "must have" fashion accessory is a computer.
The next “must have” fashion accessory is a computer.

The netbook takes the 10.1-inch HP Mini 210 netbook and coats it in gold with a print of Tam’s “Butterfly Lovers” design on the lid. The laptop is quite striking and very unique.

“As a fashion designer I have always found inspiration in bringing contrasting worlds together,” said designer Vivienne Tam. “I use computers in every aspect of my life so it seemed natural to marry fashion and technology. Together with HP, we have created this movement of fashionable tech accessories with the second-edition digital clutch.”

It’s not the first time that HP has tried its hand at making a laptop look a little bit different.

Last year, HP gave award-winning designer Tord Boontje the keys to a new technology called “HP Imprint 3D”. This new technology creates a layered effect over the surface of the laptop.

HP Tord Boontje
HP Tord Boontje’s Mini 110 laptop.

As a professor at the College of Art in London, Boontje aimed to make a design that showed environmental responsibility. Here on the Mini 110 Tord (as it’s called), the design uses an a 3D layered pattern with flowers and plants weaving paths around animals.

But if bright metallic gold, butterflies, and silver flora aren’t your cup of tea, Dell is taking a different approach.

With the belief that great designers can be found in today’s youth, Dell recently completed their Dell Studio Design competition which invited the Australian public to create their own designs for laptop lids. The idea was based around what you would want on your laptop, a send off to the lifeless laptops we see everywhere we go.

One hundred designs made it into Dell’s top list with the winner being picked as Robyn Gough from Hodgson Vale, Queensland. Her design was “Not your ordinary coaster” and was voted the best of the entrants by judges Stephanie Watson from the Australian International Design Awards and Dr. Dougal Philips from the Biennale of Sydney.

Dell Design Studio Competition winner Robyn Gough with her winning entry "Not your ordinary coaster".
Dell Design Studio Competition winner Robyn Gough with her winning entry “Not your ordinary coaster”.

Sadly, her coffee stained lid won’t be used on any other laptop but her own, but Dell has been expanding their designs for a while and now includes over 20 different Dell Studio designs outside of the traditional matte black that has been gracing computers for years.