The “unprofessional” laptop debate

Pink Sony VAIO

A few weeks ago I wrote a post asking my readers what they thought about the relationship between computer color and the level of professionalism you portray. The post, Professionalism and Computer Color, got quite a few comments with some great insight. I decided it would be wise to wrap up this debate with a recap of some of the comments, and some final thoughts.

From the beginning, I thought that actions spoke louder than the color of your laptop cover, but I’ve heard of others thinking the practice of “prettying” up your computer was viewed as unprofessional- so I sought further opinion. After looking at the array of comments, there seemed to be a pretty good mix of those who thought fun laptops were unprofessional, and those who did not think the two variables were related.

MacBook Keyboard Skins

All in all, it seems like the majority of commenters believe that there are more important things that will determine your professional level, and that laptop color is not a huge determining factor. However, the color of your laptop does say something about you! So if you choose a color, choose a color that suits you.

I’d also like to point out an alternative to the solid colored laptop- keyboard skinds! Change keyboard color depending on your mood! You can check them out for MacBooks here or for the MacBook Air here. You can also check out the colored Notebook Sleeves, or carrying cases for your laptop!

Also- this post inspired Bill Sodeman, a fellow blogger to write a follow-up post talking more about how colorful your laptop should be. Be sure to check it out!

Unusual Laptop Color = Portraying unProfessionalism

Pinny Cohen Says:

white or black…nothing in between.

Jerry G Says:

First, it depends on your industry. Even then, you’re better off with more conservative colors. It’s not about who you are, it’s about who your customer wants you to be. The color of your computer should be a non-issue, so don’t make it into one with a computer that screams who-knows-what to your clients.

sciencebase Says:

In the same way that the original Windows XP color scheme makes your PC look like a Fisher-Price toy, having a fluffy pink laptop with orange spots would be perceived as not quite a professional machine.

Danny Lucas Says:

In the past, being flamboyant in the laptop game was likely done with the choice of carrying case color. New options to trumpet and bump it arise with VAIO. Caution is in order. The business world is pretty staid. You may have more moxie, but when you take your laptop on business calls, YOU represent your business, not you….

Color your hair; leave your VAIO alone.

Professionalism and Laptop Color are Not Correlated

Richard Callaby Says:

I think that “professionalism” is how one conducts business from day to day. It is not the color of their laptop or even their hair. We as a culture are way to focused on the external as ways to determine the inner person. I know I have been judged based upon my appearance many times, sometimes good and other times not so good. Either way i did not feel that it was right for a “professional” to do this ….

So no I do not think that the color of the laptop you are carrying around is a very important factor in determining professionalism ….

Miguel Wickert Says:

Okay, I have a black HP, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with the notebook displayed above. I guess if also depends on your company or co-workers? Personally, choose whatever color you like! Lastly, it’s not the color of your notebook that matters but the creditability and quality of both your production and word.

Wingnut Says:

I suppose it really matters about the business you’re in… My laptop is white but clients rarely, if ever, see that… I go to business meetings in jeans and a tee shirt…If you’re good at what you do you can pretty much do whatever you want )

Kyle James Says:

It’s a laptop… why does it matter? I’d be more worried about an unprofessional background image or a cluttered desktop on the computer than the color of a laptop. As business becomes more and more personal and all about building relationships wouldn’t this help people better understand YOU?

Fumi Says:

Love sees no color. Go for it!

Vivienne Quek Says:

If we want to stand tall like an elegant crane amongst the chuckling chicken, we have to been seen and heard above the din. Folks in the creative industry probably can get away with pink lappy with orange pokka dots. )

Mixed Emotions

Erie BlogWatch Says:

It seems to me that a lot would depend on what line of work you are in. For example, a distinctive splash of color on a laptop case could be a desirable attribute in your (e.g., Erica’s) area of endeavor which is creative & marketing & image oriented and by its very nature embraces a certain amount of irreverence.

On the other hand, if you worked in a job which required projecting a more staid serious image to clients and among associates… then —like clothing— basic grey or black suit with a white shirt is probably the safest way to go.

Truth be told, in most cases I’m not sure it really matters one way or another so live it up ! Life is short.

Sierra Says:

Depends and depends… If your work environment has some strict unwritten rules and you you want progress in that environment, you have to follow those laws and get the dark-blue laptop with you, leaving the Hello Kitty-branded at home. (or just be yourself and quit.)

Cody McKibben Says:

I think if you’re in any sort of creative field like myself, in web design, it can’t hurt. For creatives like designers, developers, artists, freelancers, etc., custom skins and engraving are becoming the norm …

If you’re going into investment banking, you might want to stick to black or grey… )

Btb Sales Training Says:

Ideally you could have two laptops lol, one for either type of client.

Thanks for everyone’s comments!

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4 thoughts on “The “unprofessional” laptop debate

  1. Why wouldn’t you want to turn your companies laptop into a walking billboard? It has an immediate impact on the meeting your in. By customizing this unit you have a conversation piece as well as an anti theft element attached. Nobody wants to steal a laptop with your companies name on it let alone your name on it.

    If nothing else they look very cool.

    Steve Saigh
    VP of Sales Laptop Design USA

  2. @ Steve- I love your comment because it’s completely opposite of the idea I had with these types of posts- is the color of your laptop unprofessional? You bring up an extra point saying that by branding your company’s computers you can get free advertising, make an impressive impression, and help eliminate theft! Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. I saw this link today for laptop bags as part of a project in Tanzania.
    The bags are made with quality by local natives.
    Sales, help the impoverished to eat and get an education.

    On the buyer’s end of it, you not only provide for a worthy and noble cause, you get an extremely functional laptop bag, and you become a walking billboard for concern for others.

    That statement will tell any place you visit, or any person you encounter enroute to a visit, precisely what your character has to say about the globe and ALL of our needs.

    Check it out:
    http://www.dailycandy.com/washington_dc/article/39389/Tribe+Called+Best

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