Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bentley's Blingin New Notebooks

Over at gadget lab is a report that Bentley will be producing notebook computers, called the Bentley Ego, for the very reasonable price tag of about $20,000.
More info about the systems is at Laptop World here.
Here's the thing I don't understand about the whole super expensive laptop market. Computers are perishable goods, they're only really good for a few years. Bentley automobiles are durable goods. I'd keep a few Bentleys in my imaginary fleet of exotic cars for at least five years. Seriously though, an automobile that is built to the specifications of a Bentley or Rolls Royce is something that the lucky few who can afford them keep for decades. They're built to last. The characteristics that define what makes a superlative automobile don't change much. Yeah, mileage is more important now to many people than it was a few years back. The other characteristics like comfort, safety, and style stay with a car forever.
A computer usually can't last more than about three years before they struggle to run the latest software. A three year old laptop would falter if one were to try to run Vista.
Does it matter how well a laptop is built? It really needs to last a few years before something much much better in the ways that count comes along. What do you do with a $20,000 laptop when it hits functional obsolescence?
Computers aren't like cars. Sure today's computers will continue to work for years to come, but software is continually evolving and demanding more of the computers that run them. Intel giveth and Microsoft taketh away.
Isn't that what makes software so interesting though? New things are constantly coming out. Software is more demanding because affordable computers are continuously being made available. It seems awfully foolish to drop more money than many people make in a year on something that won't work well in a few years.
I don't know what the target market is for this type of product. People with more money than sense I guess.

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