Students tired of the blank real estate on the covers of their laptops can look forward to a new contest that encourages them to use their imaginations to create something unique to fill that space.
Mobile computing provider Averatec, Inc., has launched a contest to give students the chance to win one of 10 laptops they are giving away — with a catch.
Averatec’s “It’s About Me” contest is open to anyone who has an original design idea for a custom laptop cover, better known as a “skin.” The contest started on Aug. 21 and will end Oct. 21 with multiple winners.
The contest will award the five designers who receive the most votes online for their work an Averatec 7100 Series 17” notebook, which is the company’s newest model and a savings of $1,000. Five additional designers selected at random will also win a laptop.
After seeing a rise in the popularity of iPod skins, Darek Connole, media relations analyst of Hilary Kaye Associates, Inc., said they thought of taking the same idea and applying it to laptops.
“The idea for the contest came from the trend we’re seeing with people wanting to personalize their equipment,” he said.
Although anyone can enter the competition, Connole said students are being targeted because of their passion and creativity. Such Web sites as and are running advertisements for the contest.
Heather Downs, a senior in journalism and electronic media, said she likes the trend because it promotes individuality.
“It makes your stuff more personal and it fits your personality better,” Downs said.
Laurie Nalezny, communications strategist for Averatec, said the company is trying to encourage everyone to design their own skin, giving them a unique design for their laptop that reflects who they are.
“It’s offering them the opportunity to design something that represents them and their personality,” she said. “We just want everyone to have a chance to create their vision. It’s great for people who aren’t designers but still have a creative vision.”
Downs said she thought the contest was a great idea because everyone has a chance to win.
“Even if you don’t create a design, you can still be picked to win, so I don’t see why people wouldn’t want to get involved,” she said.
Ideas for designs can be found at, and according to Nalezny, anyone who registers at the site can vote for their favorite design — with incentives.
Everyone who registers to vote will have the chance to win a prize.
Contestants entered in the contest will have the opportunity to purchase their masterpieces through Averatec will also be giving away 10 of its Voya 350 GPS handheld navigation systems to encourage people to vote. The winners will be chosen randomly.
To get more information about the contest and to enter for a chance for a free laptop, students can visit