Bentley’s Ventures into Luxury Laptops

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

The Bentley brand is associated with quality and for creating products that allow customers to travel in style. The luxury car manufacturer is now aiming to make cruising the information super highway a similarly extravagant experience for the select few who will own the new Bentley laptop computer.

Bentley’s new product, one of the most expensive on the market, debuted at the British International Motor Show in London in July and will be retailed globally in high-end stores in October – but only to the first 250 people able to splurge the £10,000 to get one of the limited edition laptops.

Featuring Windows Vista, a 64-bit processor, a 160GB hard drive and 12 direct access keys, each Bentley laptop is hand-built, and encased in leather with the same cross-over stitching detail seen on the car seats. The chrome carry handle is modelled after the trademark automobile’s door handle as well.

Bentley paired up with Ego Lifestyle, a luxury and lifestyle product designer, who specialize in creating customized computers, to produce the laptop. Though it’s not the first time high-end car brands have relied on their brand perception to launch into the electronics market, to date this type of pairing has been mostly the domain of sports car manufacturers, like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Koenigsegg.

Bentley’s newest addition to the market stands apart from the specialist designs created by the sports car manufacturers. These brands are associated with products that are sharp and fast, and promote the idea that the computers will have the same type of edge the sports cars evoke. The difference with the Bentley laptop closely reflects the differences in the brands, with Bentley emphasizing individuality and class. And while the sports car branded laptops retail at between £1,200 and £1,700, the Bentley laptop’s much higher price is a clearly distinctive point.

Bentley’s new product will appeal to luxury consumers of both the Lambda and Theta worldviews. Each PC can be moulded into a highly specialized look based on the consumer’s colour choice for the leather casing as well as the chrome interior, so there’s little chance of running into someone with the same piece and the same bespoke detailing, a plus from the Lambda perspective. On the other hand, the Bentley logo is clearly visible, and the laptop exudes the same sense of craftsmanship associated with the automobile brand, which will appeal to the Theta consumer.

With the Bentley laptop set to go on sale next month, it will be interesting to see how quickly the few available products will be snatched up. Success in this venture may see Bentley, like other luxury goods makers, continue to use its status as a trusted brand as a platform to hype existing markets.

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