A former Alienware developer launched his own computer company this week. NVousPC sells notebooks and hopes to appeal consumers by giving them the option to design the notebook's lid:
NVous customers can configure a notebook online, then upload images that can be plastered on the lid. The panels can also be painted any color. Seriously.
Not only can you choose sea-green or purple stripes, you can get really silly with glow-in-the-dark, pearl and something Zapata calls "color shifting." NVous also lets customers work with an in-house designer to fine-tune the look. Alternatively, you can send in your current notebook for a custom paint job, too.
The actual machines are also customizable. The 14.1-inch Mercury and the 15.4-inch Ether notebooks have a minimum 1GB of RAM and an option to upgrade to an Intel Core 2 Duo T7600 processor and Windows Vista. Customers also have the choice of hard drive, Bluetooth modules, an optical drive and more. The Mercury starts at $1,099, and the Ether at $999, and the base price is $186 for custom design, and it goes up from there.
Zapata says he sees a demand among a very specific niche of PC enthusiasts: rich college kids.