Hello Kitty Laptop Goes on Sale in Japan

Japan's cutest cat in glittering crystal decorates NEC Corp.'s (NIPNY) new pink laptop in the Japanese electronics maker's latest effort to woo working women.

The La Vie G Hello Kitty model, available for $1,650 by Internet order only in Japan, went on sale Wednesday, and has gotten off to a good start, company spokesman Shinya Hashizume said Thursday, while declining to give numbers.

"PC users now tend to be men, but we're hoping to attract women with this product," he said.

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The laptop, developed in collaboration with Sanrio Co., the Tokyo-based company behind Hello Kitty, uses 299 Swarovski crystals to depict four hearts and the bubbly feline head wearing a pink bow and crown.

NEC is hoping to sell several hundred of the Hello Kitty laptops in the next few months, targeting the summertime when Japanese workers receive their twice-a-year bonuses, Hashizume said.

The laptop, which comes with the Windows Vista operating system, 100-gigabyte hard disk drive and 1 gigabyte of memory, is being advertised as a laptop that's "dazzling and gorgeous like a jewelry box."

Hello Kitty has been popular for years with children and young women, but the cat has begun to appear on electronic gadgets, guitars and expensive jewelry.

There's even a Hello Kitty Barbie, who wears a belt, necklace and jacket with the image of the celebrity mouthless cat.