The Digital Lifestyles Group is reaching out to grab a chunk of the billions of dollars that U.S. teens spend annually with a line of PCs and peripherals designed by and for the high school set.
The centerpiece product is the hip-e desktop. This is a an all-in-one designed $1,699 PC that incorporates Intel Pentium M 1.5GHz processor, 512MB of memory, 120GB hard drive, 17-inch flat-panel display, TV tuner, wireless networking, wireless keyboard, DVD player and CD burner and speakers.
The hip-e is expected out by Thanksgiving, and a notebook version dubbed the node-book will follow at a later date with a $1,799 price tag. Digital Lifestyles is now taking preorders on its Web site but has not released any other retail plans. Consumers will get their first hands-on look at the computer on Oct. 16 when the company conducts a one-day 24-city event where the system will be displayed at malls in the various cities.
The PC market newcomer said the unit was designed from the ground up with input from teens for that exact market. In response to teenager feedback, the hip-e is heavy on design — it comes with replaceable keyboard faceplates using leopard skin and pink fur — and communications ability. It has an interface called hip-e hangout that ties in all the computer’s software and hardware and one of the peripherals is the hi-e reach me. This is a cellphone and service that docks with the computer where it can charge and download ring tones and games.
Other peripherals will include a 512MB digital media player, the hip-e playme. It also docks to the PC for charging and downloading. The last device is the hip-e beatbox, a wireless speaker system that operates with both the computer and playme.
Digital Lifestyle is offering all these products in various bundles. The all-in-one node bundle that includes all the devices will carry a $1,899 suggested retail price. The playme bundle, $1,799, includes the PC, playme, beatbox and hip-e hangout. For $1,699 the beatbox bundle comes with the speakers and hangout user interface.
The peripherals can be purchased separately with the cellphone costing $129, playme $149 and the speakers $79.