Enterprise Bling

— June 01, 2006

About twice a year I get an email from an IT director somewhere asking me about something known in the industry as executive jewelry. Although I discussed this term in this magazine a few years back, I think it's time to update my recommendations.

The concept behind executive jewelry is nothing new. In fact, it goes back to the early days of portable computers. While most people use mainstream laptops such as the IBM Thinkpad, Dell Latitude or HP Pavillion line of portables, executive jewelry laptops are ones that are more unique and, in some cases, exceptionally light and small. More importantly, they are often requested by or given to the president of a company or a senior executive who, for various reasons, wants the hottest, newest and most unique technology available. Here are the products that I suggest to those IT directors:

C-Level Candy
While the first two of the six laptops I'd recommend in this catetory scream "look at me" and might be too loud for some people's tastes, I have seen them used by some top executives in recent days. The first is the bright red Acer Ferrari 4006WLM, which sports a slick design, an AMD Turion 2.2GHz processor, a 15.4-inch TFT LCD screen and a 100GB hard drive. When you have this one, you can't help but be noticed. Its lid has the famous Ferrari stallion logo on it, and up until now it has been the most identifiable laptop on the market outside of Apple's Titanium and PowerBook series. The second is the new Asustek Lamborghini laptop, which comes in black or yellow and has the Intel Centrino DualCor processor and a 15.4-inch TFT LCD screen. This was just introduced at CES, and the yellow version screams for attention as loudly as its Ferrari counterpart. Given all of these premium car makers jumping into the laptop space, it would not surprise me to see a Porsche or Rolls Royce laptop come to market in the near future.

One last automotive-based laptop is the Itronix Hummer. For the hirsute executive that's looking for a more rugged appeal, the Hummer laptop parallels the Hummer SUV with toughness and performance. Housed in a magnesium alloy casing, it sports a shock-mounted hard drive, speedy Intel Pentium M processor, multiple wireless options and four to five hours of battery life. Oh, and the outer casing mimics the front grille of the truck for that true tough-guy look.
Another laptop I would recommend in this space is the Apple MacBook Pro, now that it can also support Windows XP through a new program Apple introduced called BootCamp. This has become my primary laptop, since it gives me the best of Apple's Mac OS X and yet still allows me to use Windows applications when I need them.

The fifth laptop, and one I highly recommend, is the Toshiba Portégé M200 series. It is extremely light yet powerful enough to do most of the heavy lifting a senior executive needs and demands. With the optional battery slice, it still weighs in under 4 pounds and gives about seven hours of battery life.

Last but not least is the Sony VAIO TX Series, which features Intel's Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage processor running at 1.2 GHz, a 13.3-inch XBrite TFT LCD screen and, while still being very thin and light, an optical drive inside. As they say, if you've got it, flaunt it. //

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