Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th May 2012 18:16 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Speaking of HP, the company replied to a question if they copied Apple for their latest ultrabook, the Envy Spectre XT. "There are similarities in a way, not due to Apple but due to the way technologies developed. Apple may like to think that they own silver, but they don't. In no way did HP try to mimic Apple. In life there are a lot of similarities." It's an ultrabook, a category of laptops defined by Intel. Coincidentally, Intel also developed the internals of the MacBook Air. These products are looking relatively similar because their internals have been designed by the same damn company. Get over it.
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v You're right
by bowkota on Wed 9th May 2012 19:00 UTC
RE: You're right
by AWdrius on Wed 9th May 2012 19:56 UTC in reply to "You're right"
AWdrius Member since:
2006-07-18

I know I am half-blind and probably fashion-ignorant or whatever, but it always amazes me that people expect from something that is like 1 nanometer thickness (thinness is probably a better word) to somehow magically have a radically different look. Probably having it five corners would work...

It's like complaining that every standard A4 size paper manufacturer "copies" other manufacturers.

Edited 2012-05-09 19:57 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: You're right
by JAlexoid on Wed 9th May 2012 20:00 UTC in reply to "You're right"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Actually both just copied the original - "mother nature".

A) Making an aluminium alloy for a different colour is energy consuming and very expensive.
B) Keyboard colour is dictated by human eye workings.(As well as the bezel) Colour on black* works, anything else just distracts.
C) Use of aluminium for production is no surprise, since the price of aluminium dropped in 2008/2009, to the point that I was contemplating of making a mould of my motherboard and ordering one giant aluminium heatsink to fit the internals of my PC perfectly.


*- Black isn't physically a colour.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: You're right
by zima on Wed 9th May 2012 20:36 UTC in reply to "RE: You're right"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Generally, a ~unibody metal frame is a quite sensible approach, if the goal is to have something sturdy and thin (which goes back again to "the way technologies developed" and how making such frames became feasible for consumer toys)

Blacks, greys - they are also safer choices thanks to more universal appeal; and they last better.

But maybe some people think the grayish-silvery look of mosr metal surfaces is due to painting them over like that...


In other news: mostly only aviation buffs can quickly differentiate between a typical Airbus and Boeing - shock, horror!

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: You're right
by JAlexoid on Sun 13th May 2012 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: You're right"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

In other news: mostly only aviation buffs can quickly differentiate between a typical Airbus and Boeing - shock, horror!


What do you mean? Everyone should be able to know an Airbus by the form of the winglets alone!!!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: You're right
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 9th May 2012 20:56 UTC in reply to "RE: You're right"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The fact of the matter is, though, that other PC makers still have a little while to go to fully match Apple's laptop quality. The ZenBook is just as good as the Air, save for a slightly worse keyboard and touchpad.

The next generation will likely have caught up - a scary prospect for the Apple of 2008, but considering 70% of their revenue comes from iOS now, I don't think they care all too much.

Reply Score: 2

RE: You're right
by Moredhas on Wed 9th May 2012 20:29 UTC in reply to "You're right"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

You're absolutely right. Apple should sue any ultrabook maker who doesn't make the exterior of their ultrabook out of orange and purple striped coarse grained sandpaper.

Reply Score: 6

theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

It's plain as day that Apple was being innovative with the MacBook Air and that HP is imitating aspects of that design.

But let's not forget that there were MP3 players before the iPod and smart phones before the iPhone. Apple copied what was good about those designs, implementing some learned lessons along the way. For that matter, MacOS is based on copying from what Xerox Parc did.

This happens all the time. Java imitated many aspects of AS400, while C# improves on Java, fixing many of the drawbacks. This is the advancement of technology. And now, companies like HP are pulling their heads out and realizing that some attention to appearance might be a good idea, given that Apple is whomping them.

Of course, the first company to truly compete with Apple will have to duplicate their R&D methodology, which is to design ten products for every one they market. And HP executives just don't want to risk the expenditure, which is stupid, but that's how most of the industry is. So they've decided to imitate a proven design after another company took all the risk.

Hey, this is what Burger King does. McDonalds spends a ton on figuring out the best locations to put their restaurants. … And then Burger King builds one across the street. This is the original reason why intellectual property law was developed -- to protect true innovators from being ripped off. (It's too bad that IP law has been so terribly perverted by the megacorps (Apple included) that own our equally perverted government.)

Reply Score: 8

HP aren't stealing.
by sergio on Wed 9th May 2012 20:37 UTC in reply to "Talent borrows, genius steals --Oscar Wilde"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

HP aren't stealing, They don't have the talent to do so. HP are doing a copy, a really bad copy.

If you copy without adding anything new you are borrowing, you are not adding value. You are destroying value. That's what HP do and It's a shame.

When you steal, you make the product your own and create from that. You add your vision, your ideas: you add value. That's what Microsoft did with Windows for example or what Apple did with iPhone.

They've stolen good ideas from here and there and created something new. That's a really good thing. What HP do is not.

Reply Score: 2

bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

It's plain as day that Apple was being innovative with the MacBook Air and that HP is imitating aspects of that design.

But let's not forget that there were MP3 players before the iPod and smart phones before the iPhone. Apple copied what was good about those designs, implementing some learned lessons along the way. For that matter, MacOS is based on copying from what Xerox Parc did.

Well said.
As I mentioned, what they're doing makes sense. You take cues from (or you if you're that desperate you blatantly copy) your competitors.
What bothers me is people with an agenda, like Thom here, advocating that the reason for these similarities are inevitable since A FRACTION of their internals is designed by Intel. Then again it's to be expected considering his favouritism on other tech matters.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What bothers me is people with an agenda, like Thom here, advocating that the reason for these similarities are inevitable since A FRACTION of their internals is designed by Intel.


A fraction? In what world do you live? The ENTIRE board, processor, graphics chip, and cooling solution were designed by Intel - which defines a HUGE portion of the outer shell of the device. The stick hard drive, meanwhile, was developed by Toshiba or Hitachi (I forgot). Board/chip-wise, nothing came from Apple. Zero. Nada.

Then again it's to be expected considering his favouritism on other tech matters.


If no arguments > proceed to ridiculous claims.

Reply Score: 3

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

A fraction? In what world do you live? The ENTIRE board, processor, graphics chip, and cooling solution were designed by Intel - which defines a HUGE portion of the outer shell of the device. The stick hard drive, meanwhile, was developed by Toshiba or Hitachi (I forgot). Board/chip-wise, nothing came from Apple. Zero. Nada.


... you keep saying this while ignoring the fact that what you are talking about is the 4th iteration of the Macbook Air. Yes, the current generation devices generally follow Intel's ultrabook spec - but the orginal 2008 design and the two follow-on updates PREDATE Intel's ultrabook spec. And outside of a few very small cosmetic details, externally the different generations are nearly identical.

Intel provided a custom CPU/packaging for earlier Airs - but they did not design the PCB. Hell, the 2nd and 3rd generation devices didnt even have Intel GPUs OR chipsets - they were Nvidia. Are you claiming that Intel designed a solution for Apple with an Nvidia chipset???

I personally don't give two sh*ts who created what when - I just don't understand why you seem to be on a crusade to discredit Apple in one of the few cases they actually did come up with a good idea (original or not - it was more or less the blueprint for the future ultrabook spec).

Granted it was with LOTS of help from Intel - not everyone can get a custom CPU from Intel. But I would bet money that the CPU was built at the request of Apple...

Edited 2012-05-09 21:14 UTC

Reply Score: 5

theosib Member since:
2006-03-02

Ah, so what actually happened was that Intel stole, while HP shamelessly borrowed.

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I never contested that Apple didn't play an important role. All I said was that the current ultrabooks designs are dictated by Intel's specs, and Intel ALSO made the spec for the original Air (and current Airs) which started the ultrabook trend. Therefore, the claim that ultrabook makers are copying Apple is ridiculous. Of course these machines are going to look the same; they are the exact same hardware in the the same minute space!

That does not negate the fact that it was Apple that started the trend - I never contested as such, that's entirely between your own two ears.

The MacBook Air is fcuking awesome - the best laptop you can currently buy if you don't really care about Windows vs. OS X. I don't think I've ever said anything other than that Apple makes the best laptops, so where your crazy, and quite honestly, utterly paranoid notion comes from that I'm trying to discredit Apple, I honestly don't know.

Reply Score: 1

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I never contested that Apple didn't play an important role. All I said was that the current ultrabooks designs are dictated by Intel's specs, and Intel ALSO made the spec for the original Air (and current Airs) which started the ultrabook trend.


[Bolding Mine]... Please provide any evidence at all that what I bolded in your comment is true... Intel made a custom CPU package for Apple in 2008 - that does not constitute a "spec".

Therefore, the claim that ultrabook makers are copying Apple is ridiculous. Of course these machines are going to look the same; they are the exact same hardware in the the same minute space!


...yet somehow Apple was able to go through 4 generations of hardware (switch from rotational to SSD, switch from chipset-integrated GPU to external GPU then to CPU integrated GPU, switch between chipsets and GPU vendors, entirely different CPU generation, etc) while retaining what externally is almost exactly the same design.

I'm sorry, but the insides don't dictate the outsides - at all. in any way. The computer industry is absolutely filled with evidence to the contrary.

That doesn't mean I care whether or not HP copied Apple's design. I don't. I just get the impression from the way you write about this that you think the first Air was released in 2011 and the ones that came before it somehow never existed... Yes, the current generation device is more or less based on the ultrabook spec - but that spec was more or less modeled on the previous generation Airs. Maybe not literally but at least in the sense that Apple's success with that product prompted Intel to try and capitalize on it.

The only point Im trying to make is that the similarity between HP's device and The Air is exactly the same whether or not you are talking about the current Air or the one from 5 years ago. Since that one has no relationship at all with the ultrabook spec... I don't understand the premise of your argument.

Edited 2012-05-09 21:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

[Bolding Mine]... Please provide any evidence at all that what I bolded in your comment is true... Intel made a custom CPU package for Apple in 2008 - that does not constitute a "spec".


There's a link in the item. Did you read it?

...yet somehow Apple was able to go through 4 generations of hardware (switch from rotational to SSD, switch from chipset-integrated GPU to external GPU then to CPU integrated GPU, switch between chipsets and GPU vendors, entirely different CPU generation, etc) while retaining what externally is almost exactly the same design.


...meanwhile skipping processors, chipsets, and GPUs that did NOT fit inside the case.

Maybe not literally but at least in the sense that Apple's success with that product prompted Intel to try and capitalize on it.


It went like this:

Apple and Intel entered into a close partnership when Apple switched to Intel, and Apple would get first-mover advantage to new Intel chips if they wanted to.

Apple then asked Intel: please design and build a processor, chipset, and GPU that can fit inside a small and thin laptop. Intel said okay - but after a certain period of exclusivity, we do want to sell this design to others, else it's simply not worth our while.

And so they did. Hence, current ultrabooks look like MacBook Airs. This isn't rocket science.

Reply Score: 0

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

"[Bolding Mine]... Please provide any evidence at all that what I bolded in your comment is true... Intel made a custom CPU package for Apple in 2008 - that does not constitute a "spec".


There's a link in the item. Did you read it?

"

Yes I read it... And I see no evidence from the linked article that Intel did anything but provide Apple with alternate packaging of existing designs, and it was existing CPU/chipset designs - there was nothing at all new about them outside of the packaging being physically smaller.

How does that constitute the end result being a "designed by Intel" product???? You do understand that CPUs are routinely available in difference packages don't you? Yes, they gave them a physically smaller CPU and chipset - so what? That isn't designing a product... The article even quotes Intel as saying it was packaging originally designed for a different CPU line. Sounds like Intel more or less just filling an order to me, at best giving Apple some new tech in advance of others.

...meanwhile skipping processors, chipsets, and GPUs that did NOT fit inside the case.


That was my point all along - Apple had a design they wanted to make into a product - what Intel did was deliver tech that meet Apple's requirements. And when Apple wasn't happy with Intel's first solution they went to Nvidia for the 2nd round. Does that make the 2nd gen. Air an Nvidia designed product? After all the 2nd gen Air was almost universally considered a far better product than the 1st... Do we now give Nvidia all the credit for the product?

Apple doesn't base their designs purely on what goes into them - they design for what they think they can get their partners to provide for them and then ask their partners to supply it.

Ultrabooks (as in those choosing to use Intel's spec), on the other hand, ARE designed around their internals - it is a published spec after all.

This is why I think it is intellectually dishonest to call an Air an "Intel Design" - even the current ones - because the design predates the specification... It just happens that the specification meet the design requirements in Apples case.

It went like this:

Apple and Intel entered into a close partnership when Apple switched to Intel, and Apple would get first-mover advantage to new Intel chips if they wanted to.


True so far.

Apple then asked Intel: please design and build a processor, chipset, and GPU that can fit inside a small and thin laptop. Intel said okay


still going strong...

- but after a certain period of exclusivity, we do want to sell this design to others, else it's simply not worth our while.


And then you go off into pure conjecture...

Again... Do you have ANY evidence of this??? I have never seen anything printed anywhere by anyone backing that up... Apple simply asked Intel to provide them with a CPU/chipset in packaging that allow them to reduce their PCB footprint. Where is evidence that this involved a quid pro quo? It has nothing to do with design at all. Apple saying "we want smaller shit" and Intel supplying it does not suddenly make the design of the resulting product Intel's...

And so they did. Hence, current ultrabooks look like MacBook Airs. This isn't rocket science.


I didn't say it was rocket science, I said it was bullshit.

Edited 2012-05-09 23:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

but the orginal 2008 design and the two follow-on updates PREDATE Intel's ultrabook spec


ultrabooks predate the air by many years
intel just came up with a name for them in 2011

you can take a look at the vaio x505 from 2004
and sony weren't the only ones building such laptops back then

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/reviews/ultraportables/2004/09/02/sony-vaio-...

Edited 2012-05-09 21:29 UTC

Reply Score: 4

bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

"but the orginal 2008 design and the two follow-on updates PREDATE Intel's ultrabook spec


ultrabooks predate the air by many years
intel just came up with a name for them in 2011

you can take a look at the vaio x505 from 2004
and sony weren't the only ones building such laptops back then

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/reviews/ultraportables/2004/09/02/sony-vaio-...
"

This is the point I was trying to make I was just too bored to look around for previous designs.
The Air was a new form factor and the fact that the majority of the components inside are dictated by Intel has no correlation to the overall look and design of the laptop.
It's Apple which designs the packaging and it was Apple that decided what was going to be included IN THE AIR. If you go back to its introduction there were countless articles criticising the lack of various components inside the laptop. These decisions were all made by Apple not by Intel.
The shape and the design is derived by Apple and these others vendors are merely borrowing/copying it (because it's the right thing to do).

Get over it
PS: Thom you do know what a fraction means right? 9/10 is a fraction as is 1/7.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Wed 9th May 2012 20:16 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I think what Apple is true afraid of is two almost identical peaces of hardware but with a big difference in price.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Rather than claim that thinner laptops/netbooks/etc are the result of insightful thinking, it makes much more sense to just admit they're byproducts of the technology available.

Had smaller/lighter/cheaper/faster/etc digital components been available in 80s, then many of today's innovative products would have been invented back then instead. I'll probably be accused of saying this in hindsight, but honestly now who believes Compaq's 20kg portable monstrosity of a computer from the 80s wouldn't have been redesigned for a much smaller/lighter form factor if they had access to today's technology and infrastructure. It's not like people back then couldn't conceive of such things, just look at scifi.

Please give credit to the technology and infrastructure engineers who made it all possible.

Edited 2012-05-09 20:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Please give credit to the technology and infrastructure engineers who made it all possible.


people often forget that the SoC-era didn't start for the pc that long ago

back in the 90' when toshiba build the librettos there wasn't even a level 2 cache integrated into the cpu, it was soldered on/pluged into the mainboard

I've made a picture of a pentium mobile module with 166MHz:
http://temp.funtech.org/PM166.jpg
it's 100x65mm and only holds cpu, cache, and one of 2 chipset-chips

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not like people back then couldn't conceive of such things, just look at scifi.

More than that: there were products, working examples of form factors quite a bit smaller/lighter than "Compaq's 20kg portable monstrosity of a computer from the 80s" and quite similar to present laptops - clearly we already had a good idea of how we want a portable computer to look like, that we want it smaller/lighter/thinner.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_Compass (the design actually made in the 70s, nice magnesium case)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZP-150
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TRS-80_Model_200_and_Vaio.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SovietComputerMC1504KlassnyT... & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba_T1100#Clones (kinda related to what's discussed - but note visible differences)

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

zima,

Ah yes, I'm too young to actually know about those, but interesting links!

Maybe some day we'll have commodity computer hardware/parts in the form of "LEGOs". They'd be tiny, self contained, and stackable. They'd be interconnected using busses that run along the physical interlocks with no external wiring.

battery back module.
SoC module.
wifi module.
display module.
push-button module.
remote-control module.
usb port module.
etc.

Other modules would serve purely physical purposes:
Hand grip module,
Flip screen module.
etc.


Ideas like this are very cool, but it really takes $/connections/engineering/fabrication resources to make it actually happen. Personally I don't have the financial means to pursue it, just paying to maintain a lower-middle class lifestyle for my family is financially distressing. When someone with the necessary resources comes along and has the same idea, they'll be the one to get credit for the idea. Eventually as moores law brings costs down to the point where I can actually afford to pursue my idea with some buddies, we (and others like us) would be the ones accused of "copying" and "theft". Life is ironic.

Edit:
[off topic]
Maybe I should just publish a list of people's ideas even though they're not feasible today to deliberately debunk patent trolling in the future by companies like apple and microsoft. The trouble is, this type of "idea registry" would eventually have the exact same scalability overhead and systematic failures as the current patent system. We shouldn't have to spend any effort defending ourselves from a broken patent system in the first place. [/gripe]

Edited 2012-05-09 23:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

miniaturisation
by fran on Wed 9th May 2012 21:09 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Well it is not Apple's fault if journos ask stupid questions at a HP press conference.
No one holds the patent on miniaturisation.

Reply Score: 2

Not that similar
by Cymro on Thu 10th May 2012 10:31 UTC
Cymro
Member since:
2005-07-07

Is it just me or does this not much resemble MacBook Air anyway?

It's almost as if they tried extra hard to make a light, metal laptop that doesn't look like an Apple and got shoed for it anyway.

There are some attractive details in the HP design actually, although I personally I don't like the way the lid closes - it looks like halves from two different laptops have been stuck together.

It's good the PC makers are focusing on size and weight - there are some pointlessly behemoth PC laptops out there - but this argument is stupid. Making laptops slimmer and lighter wasn't a leap of the imagination that started with the Air. Why don't we all drag "luggables" round with us in 2012?

Edited 2012-05-10 10:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

I'm sorry it's a blatant frekin rip-off
by siraf72 on Thu 10th May 2012 12:30 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

It looks like a crappier macbook air.

Sony used to produce very elegant Viao's that looked nothing like Apple Powerbooks. It's possible to produce something beautiful without copying Apple products. You can't seriously be suggesting that because of the chipset, the *outside* looks the same?

Copying or "borrowing" is a fact of life but frankly that laptop just looks like a lazy ripoff.

Reply Score: 1