San Francisco (CA) - If you are driving a Lexus instead of a Toyota, or perhaps a Bentley instead of a Mercedes, a Dutch company may just have what you need to replace a dull notebook. The company, known for selling the world's most expensive jewelry notebooks, is bringing its least expensive "Tulip Ego" to the U.S.
Least Expensive, of course, is a relative term for Ego's computers. Being more a lifestyle accessory than a true computing device, the Tulip will be offered in only one version for $5000 at Barney's in New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago and Dallas next week. The shape of the device is slightly reminiscent of first iBook notebook computer: When folded together, the Tulip looks more like a hand bag than a notebook.
However, instead of cheap plastic, Tulip owners can dress up the curvy shape of the device with interchangeable "skins" that come in a variety of pricey designer fabrics, colors and finishes.
Don't expect a powerful workhorse when buying the Tulip, as the system relies on a single-core AMD Turion processor. However, the 5.7-pound package also offers a 12.1" WXGA (1280x800) widescreen, ATI's Radeon Xpress 200M chipset, Bluetooth 2.0 and 801.11 abg Wi-Fi, as well as a front-loading DVD/CD burner. The DVD player can play movies without turning the notebook on. And, there is a customized USB-stick cap that comes with the laptop.
The Tulip Ego originally debuted at the Fashion week in Milan and, according to the company, has been a "resounding success." While the price of the computer can inflate quickly by adding new skins, it is the cheapest notebook the company currently offers in Europe. There are also limited edition Platinum and Diamond versions that have been designed by Laurent de Beer with diamond inlays (250 for the Platinum and 358/4.98 ct for the Diamond) as well as the "Otazu Ego Diamond:" The flagship of the series has been designed by Rodrigo Otazu with a total of 470 flawless diamonds that are reflected in tulip, heart and Otazu logos as well as a customized phrase. The Otazu currently sells for $350,000.
There are currently no plans to bring the Platinum, Diamond and Otazu to the U.S.