Highscreen Colani BlueNote

In 1993, german retailer VOBIS hired designer Luigi Colani to give their computer lineup a more appealing and distinct look. One result of these efforts was the Colani BlueNote. As VW said years later: Blue makes happy.

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Historic Overview

In order to add their own distinct tone and set their products apart from other retailers, VOBIS hired renowned designer Luigi Colani to leave his personal mark onto what otherwise would have become the usually boring computer cases of the time.

Highscreen Colani BlueNoteThe distinctiveness of the deep blue case made an impressive appearance

The Colani BlueNote was one of the results of this liason. Luigi Colani was renowned for incorporating dynamic and natural forms into his designs, giving them a more natural feeling. I think this worked quiet well with the Blue Note. With its clam shell kept in a deep blue tone color it already leaves a positive impression. This is furtherly supported by the fluid design of the rounded edges, which made it appear less technical but more human centered than many competing devices of the time.

While the design of this machine is really great, the same can’t be said about the cooling fan. This one spins up immediately when powering the device on, delivering a high pitched noise and ruining the experience a bit.

VOBIS was long known for offering  alternative operating systems besides Microsoft , at times delivering either DR DOS or PC DOS at little to no extra expenses. During the mid-nineties, just before the arrival of the upcoming next Windows version (being Windows 95, after being delayed over and over again), VOBIS even offered IBM OS/2 as the default operating system including add-on software bundles. Likewise, this particular notebook was set to run with OS/2 2.1 to match the most likely experience of the time.

Specs

The PHINTAGE Collection currently holds a Higschreen Colani BlueNote.

Vendor Vobis AG
Model Highscreen Colano BlueNote
Released Second Half of 1993
Original Streetprice Between 2799 and 5299 Deutsch Mark in 1993 depending on configuration.
This particular model: 4599 Deutsch Mark.
Weight 3.2 KG
Dimensions 28cm x 23cm x 5cm
Builtin Display Yes, 9.5″ STN Color
Builtin Battery Yes, 2.8Ah
CPU Intel 80486DX @33 MHz
RAM 8 MiB (upgraded from 4 MiB)
Storage
  • 128 MiB Flash (via PATA to CF adapter, replaced broken hard disk)
  • 3.5″ 1.44 MiB floppy drive
Network Support optional (via PCMCIA add-in cards)
USB no
Video Output 1 VGA
Other 1 RS232, 1 Parallel Port, 1 PS/2, 1 Dock Connection, 1 built-in Trackball
Operating System
  • IBM OS/2 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows 3.1
Overall Condition
  • Minor scratches and marks, overall in very good condition and fully working
  • battery worn down
Restoration Parts needed
  • Replacement battery

Gallery

Coming soon.

Downloads

Here’s an excerpt from original VOBIS Denkzettel advertisements, as retrieved from https://katzentier.de/_misc/Vobis/, documenting how the BlueNote was initially offered and how prices developped over time.

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