Electronics and Fashion Merge as vendors begin to address the women's market
By Mike Hanlon
January 7, 2005
LAS VEGAS January 8, 2005 As computers become ubiquitous in society over the coming decade we will see many changes as new markets are addressed. The male-female digital divide has long since disappeared - two thirds of all home computer purchases in the United States are now made by women. The female market has different feature priorities when purchasing electronics, demanding aesthetics, durability and functionality and one of the most encouraging things we saw at CES was the product of a partnership between digital lifestyle product manufacturer X2, and mobile lifestyle carry case manufacturer Mobile Edge. The two have formed a strategic partnership to create an ensemble of computer electronics with coordinating, high-fashion carrying cases designed especially for women. The first products resulting from this collaboration will be a colour-coordinated pastel line of notebook PCs and digital devices with matching chic, tech-smart carrying cases.
Interestingly, women make the purchasing decisions on two thirds (66%) of U.S. home computer purchases (according to the Public Affairs Group's recent report, Wow! Facts 2004: U.S. Multicultural and Global Markets) and 57 percent of all U.S. consumer electronics purchases (Consumer Electronics Association research), so it's not surprising that X2 and Mobile Edge have rushed to address the market's needs.
"Women are an important customer of computers and electronics today yet very few companies directly address their needs head on. X2 and Mobile Edge are focused on producing quality products to meet women's needs for form, function and fashion in their computer and electronics choices," said Rex Wong, President of X2.
"Women have been an overlooked market segment when it comes to computer-related products. Traditional carrying case offerings are either functional and not very fashionable or designer bags with no computer-related features," said G. David Cartwright, President and CEO of Mobile Edge
The first products of X2's new line will be the StyleBook 2000 and the Mega View 566W Portable Multimedia .
The StyleBook 2000
The first notebook in the series is the StyleBook 2000, a sub-4 pound notebook that sports a 12.1" Widescreen LCD Display. The StyleBook is designed to be stylish, powerful, compact and portable and comes in an array of colours including Pink, Pastel Green, Pastel Blue, Piano White, Metallic Black and Silver with matching coordinated laptop bags that come in a choice of Microfiber, Faux Croc, Leather and Suede material to suit every women's fancy.
The bags look nothing like traditional notebook bags and virtually hide the fact that there is even a notebook in it, yet, each bag has a built-in protective compartment to store the StyleBook. Despite its stylish looks, these bags are also very functional with lots of pockets and can also be used as a purse so you don't need to carry around two bags. The StyleBook 2000 includes Intel's latest Pentium M or Celeron M low-power mobile processor, up to 2GB of DDR memory, up to a 100GB hard drive, 10/100 Fast Ethernet and a DVD/CD-RW CD Recordable Combo or DVD+/-RW Recordable optical drive, all in a compact, easy to carry package. The notebook also includes X2's InstantPlay technology allowing the user to play DVD movies, MP3 music and view photos without booting into Windows, saving time and extending battery life. The SyleBook is also a functional road warrior with 802.11b+g Wi-Fi wireless networking built in.
It comes with a built-in 4-in-1 SD memory reader and IEEE 1394 Firewire for easy connectivity and transfer of data from any digital device. The StyleBook 2000 also has a Type II PCMCIA slot for easy expansion and USB 2.0. Unlike other notebooks its size, the StyleBook 2000 also features a full-size keyboard that is surprisingly easy to type on. The MEGA View 566 8-in-1 Portable Multimedia Player
The X2 MEGA View 561 is an 8-in-1 device with a video player, personal video recorder, photo viewer, MP3/media player, SD/MMC memory card reader/backup, portable storage device, FM radio and voice recorder. Starting at under US$450, it has an integrated 20GB hard drive, which provides a combination of up to 80 hours of video, 10,000 songs, 100,000 photos, 640 hours of voice recording and/or 20GB of portable PC data storage. The 3.5-inch, backlit TFT display screen offers a clear picture and includes an interactive video menu. The viewer also features MPEG-4/ DivX video playback, while the MP3/media player is also compatible with WMA audio files. The MEGA View can also view photo and graphic files in JPEG, GIF, BMP or TIFF formats.
In short, it's ABOUT TIME!