Asus Introduces a Line of Scented Notebooks

It's becoming increasingly difficult for manufacturers to find new and unique ways to differentiate their products from that of their competitors. With price margins razor thin and many of a system's core components coming from the same suppliers, products in the same categories from different manufacturers tend to offer the same functionality, at the same price, and the products often even look similar to each other. But they might not all smell the same.

When we first heard about the new line of scented notebooks from Asus, we were certain that it had to be a hoax. Wrong! Our B.S. detectors were faulty this time around--it turns out that the Asus F6 scented notebooks are, in fact, the real deal. Here is a snippet from the actual Asus press release:

"Enjoy a breath of fresh air in the world of personal laptops and celebrate individuality with the ASUS F6 scented notebooks. The compact and stylish F6 engages the eyes with attractive motifs and for the first time, our sense of smell with infused scents. Available in four captivating designs, these special edition notebooks not only look good, but are also expressions of the user's taste and character!"

 Credit: Asus
The four designs and matching scents of the F6 series include Floral Blossom, Musky Black, Morning Dew, and Aqua Ocean. (Click on the image on the left to see what the notebook designs look like and to read Asus's descriptions of each design.)

The only model in the F6 line that Asus has announced so far is the F6V. The F6V uses a compact design and includes a fingerprint security scanner. (Please: no "smell my finger" jokes!) The unit measures 12.28 x 9.13 x 1.26 - 1.39 inches and uses a 13.3-inch WXGA LCD. The F6V is based on the Intel PM45 Express chipset and comes with Core 2 Duo Mobile Processor T9400, P8600, or P8400 CPUs. The notebook will accept 667MHz or 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory up to 4GB, while the graphics engine is powered by the ATI Mobility Radeon HD3470 with 256MB of dedicated DDR2 memory. Wireless networking is powered by an Intel WiFi Link 5100AGN chip. Hard disk storage is SATA based, with options ranging from 120GB, up to 320GB. The OS powering the F6V will be one of four versions of Windows Vista.

These specs offer a fairly wide range of options, and as such, represent a wide range in price, depending on the exact configuration. Asus has not announced when the F6 will start shipping or pricing details yet. It is also unknown at this point if adding a fragrance to a notebook actually results in any significant manufacturing-cost premiums, or if non-scented versions of the F6 will be available.

We have a call into Asus to try to get some more details on the F6 scented notebook, and will update this post when we get more information. For instance, we're trying to decipher who the core market is for a scented notebook. As Asus is a global supplier, we highly suspect that the F6 scented notebook is not meant for the U.S. market. And where can we expect to see a fragrant notebook in action? Florist shops? Garbage collection depots? Bathrooms?

Asus states that "the lifespan of fragrance depends on actual usage." We wonder if Asus will offer a fragrance recharge service for notebooks who's fragrance has faded over time? We're rather uncertain if the market is ripe for a scented notebook, and this makes us ask the question, would a notebook by any other name smell as sweet?