It’s been a couple of years coming, but now Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) can truly claim that it makes computers built-to-order for just a single person. The company’s Web configuration tools have so much variety in them now that Dell can virtually guarantee no one will have the exact same computer that you buy.

Thursday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company launched a couple of new customizable models in the Studio XPS line of powerful laptops.

I know. Most companies here have a cannonade of new products. But Dell is just counting on these two laptops — the Dell Studio XPS 16 and Dell Studio XPS 13 — for now. They are on sale online starting at $1,199. The marketing description is fancy; they have "genuine leather and anodized aluminum accents on top of a high-gloss Obsidian Black finish." That sounds sexy.

These are the latest in a series of products designed by Dell’s 120 industrial designers where the differentiation is in the design. Dell’s new system allows customers to join in the design by configuring the art on the covers of their laptops to be exactly the way they want them to be.

In early December, the company started making computers with exterior designs that were customized for just a single person. This “lot size of one” lets people order the design they want and then Dell will manufacture that box. In the past, such customization wasn’t possible. But advances in case customization and various factory processes now make it possible. Adding colors is just $25 extra, while adding a piece of art is $75. It took about two years to get this right, said Ed Boyd, vice president of design at Dell (pictured).

This new made-to-order system reminds you of that old Burger King motto, “Have it your way.” In the past, such claims were spurious. But now the technology has arrived that lets Dell produce a truly one-of-a-kind computer for each customer, said Boyd.

Every personal computer has gotten religious about industrial design. Apple paved the way with its sleek and cool computers, prompting others to follow. It often turns out that design makes the difference as to whether a company can charge $500 or $2,000 for a machine.

Boyd says Dell got serious about industrial design a couple of years ago. It started creating a series of designs that served different people, such as gamers or college students. At the end of July Dell launched a computer designed to look like a bamboo box. This fall, Dell launched its Studio laptops and desktops that can have customized cases.

A year ago, Dell launched a special edition World of Warcraft gamer’s computer. Then it contracted artists such as Guillaume Wolf to build unique designs specifically for Dell’s Studio line of computers. Now consumers can configure the way the art will look on their own unique computers. Using a slider bar, for instance, a customer can determine just how outlandish or subtle they want a particular piece of art to be on the cover of a laptop. In this case, consumers aren’t using their own art. They’re choosing from a bunch of art pieces and artists selected by Dell.