That's the question asked by AOL's Consumer Advisor, Regina Lewis, who thinks there are three distinct tech personalities she sees among women. She visited the Saturday Early Show to explain the differences between them.
First, says Lewis, there's the woman she calls Ms. Doubtwire, someone who dabbles in using e-mail and the Internet, but isn't quite a convert. "Tech is not really her thing … But keep in mind, women are the family memory keepers, so you can bet Ms. Doubtwire is at least warming up to digital photography," says Lewis.
According to Lewis, "Women actually buy more digital cameras than men do. That's why you see so many new sleek pocket-size cameras coming out. They're very easy to use right out of the box, and that's important if you're Ms. Doubtwire - you don't want to spend all day reading the manual or calling tech support."
For the Ms. Doubtwires out there, she recommends Kodak's Easy Share M Series cameras (www.kodak.com), which retail for around $149. Besides the fact that they come in a rainbow of colors, they're sleek and simple. They have a "huge 3-inch LCD screen helps to frame shots and you can edit your pictures right on the camera - brighten, crop, resize and more with the touch of a button."
Lewis says there's a category of women who rely on gadgets to mesh their work and home lives - or, in some cases, keep them separate.
She calls them Pragmatechs. "Pragmatechs are more career-focused," says Lewis. "They're more tech-savvy and the key for this group of users is function. How will the device make their life better, easier, more productive? One thing tech companies are finding out: if you're going to appeal to this crowd, you have to do more than make a product in pink or candy apple red. A fashionable and FUNCTIONAL laptop fits the bill for a 'Pragamatech.'"
One item that would interest a Pragmatech is a Sony Vaio CR laptop (prices start at $1140, www.sonystyle.com). "Sony is one of the leaders in designing computers that appeal to female buyers. They are right in the strike zone for Pragmatechs," says Lewis. "They are very sleek and slim, lightweight and portable. Pragamatechs are not the 'desktop' computer crowd. They're going to be traveling with their computer, so they don't want to be lugging around anything too bulky."
But the size belies what's under the hood - a powerful processor and a 200 GB hard drive is standard, as is built-in wireless networking. And they also come in some pretty colors.
Everyone knows someone who waited on line last summer outside the Apple store the day the iPhones were introduced. While not many of them were women, there is a class - Lewis refers to them as "Techs In The City" - of woman who has multiples of everything and the latest, cutting-edge electronic toy in her pocket.
"They're the tech trendsetters; the ones who always seem to be trading in their cell phone or gadget for the latest greatest device that just came out," explains Lewis. "The 'cute' or 'cool' factor plays a very big role. Tech gadgets are as much something that they wear as something that they use."
Techs in the City are big into text messaging and social-networking, says Lewis, which is why it is vital that they have the fastest, lightest hand-held devices. Some of them are waiting impatiently for the Nov. 7 release of T-Mobile's Sidekick Slide (starts at $199 w/2 year contract, sidekick.com).
"Sidekicks by T-Mobile are the line of devices you often see photographed in the hands of celebrities. They are aimed at 18-to-34-year-olds who are avid text-messagers," says Lewis. "The Sidekick Slide comes loaded with a custom-designed MySpace application and is smaller and lighter than other Sidekicks, in part because of the fact that the keyboard slides out, rather than swivels."
Devoted BlackBerry users will be excited to learn that there are two new models that will look nicer in their hand: the Curve model now comes in gold and the BlackBerry Pearl is in Sunset Red. And retailers like Target even sell accessories so that Techs in the City can bling out their gear.
ROCKETFISH BLUETOOTH HEADEST, Available exclusively at Best Buy, three colored face plates (red, blue and black) offer style and customization ($59.99, www.bestbuy.com)
PHILIPS-SWAROVSKI ACTIVE CRYSTALS HEADPHONES (2 included) - for MP3 players, etc.,($99 - $149, www.active-crystals.com)