IBM seeks pot of gold in rainbow ThinkPads

Targets female market

IBM is to move away from its trademark black and offer ThinkPad notebook PCs in a variety of hues later this year.

It's motivation: to seek out a broader audience for its machines. In short, it's chasing female buyers. According to Hank Horng, IBM Taiwan's head of personal systems, the all-black ThinkPads traditionally sell to male businesspeople.

We can offer anecdotal evidence to back up Hank's hunch that women are put off by the ThinkPad's austere adornment. This reporter's partner, recently in the market for a new notebook, asked what might be a good purchase. IBM ThinkPads have a reasonable reputation, we suggested. "I'm not having one of those black things," came the reply. "Everyone will think I'm an accountant."

In the end she settled for a silver Sony Vaio with a very nice screen indeed.

IBM's solution is a range of other colours, to be launched with new machines coming in Q4, said Horng, according to a DigiTimes report. He didn't say which colours IBM will offer, but now that Apple has ditched its multi-colour computer cases, Big Blue has plenty of choices.

That said, Canada's Voodoo PC, which specialises on offering brightly hued notebooks to the gaming community might well take umbrage if IBM trots out similarly shaded systems- from 'autobahn white' to 'Monaco yellow'. Alienware likewise offers a range of unusual colours, such as the bilious 'cyborg green' and 'conspiracy blue'. ®