Posted on August 28, 2018
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.
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.
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.
The PHINTAGE Collection currently holds a Higschreen Colani BlueNote.
|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.
|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)|
|Network Support||optional (via PCMCIA add-in cards)|
|Video Output||1 VGA|
|Other||1 RS232, 1 Parallel Port, 1 PS/2, 1 Dock Connection, 1 built-in Trackball|
|Restoration Parts needed||
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.