A knock-off too far? HP's new Spectre One is almost slavish in copying of iMac | webOS Nation
 
 

A knock-off too far? HP's new Spectre One is almost slavish in copying of iMac 32

by Derek Kessler Mon, 10 Sep 2012 8:32 pm EDT

A knock-off too far? HP's new Spectre One is almost slavish in copying of iMac

HP's been the number one manufacturer of personal computers since they acquired Compaq in 2002. Despite their numbers-based dominance, HP's recognized the threat to their business posed by Apple and the iPad. Having recognized that threat, HP's been working to update their business to respond to Apple - that threat posed by Apple's iPad and other mobile computing devices was exactly why HP spent $1.2 billion to purchase Palm and webOS in 2010 (even if that didn't go quite as planned).

While Samsung's been duking it out int court with Apple over the former's copying of the latter's designs, specifically with respect to the iPhone and iOS, HP's been busy aping the design of Apple's laptops. Just look at HP's Envy laptops, with their machined aluminum bodies and glass-covered display panels. At a glance it can be difficult to differentiate between one of HP's Envy laptops and Apple's MacBook Pro line. One can argue that computers were 'headed in that direction' all they want, but it doesn't change the face that before Apple began achieving success in personal computing (success, in that Mac unit sales have continued to grow while the overall personal computer market experiences a decline - in part thanks to the iPad), this sort of design duplication didn't happen on this wide of a scale.

This morning HP announced the new Spectre One, a new 24-inch all-in-one Windows 8 computer. The Spectre One makes the Envy line's copying of Apple design features seem like a warm-up exercise; the Spectre One is almost a spitting image of Apple's iMac desktop computers, even down to the included wireless keyboard and trackpad. The Spectre One does have a handful of differences from the iMac, such as ports located in the aluminum base, a removable panel on the back, and NFC compatibility, so long as you're using HP's apps on your Android phone. Plus, you know, Windows 8.

HP's been eyeing Apple's products for some time, with the design of the TouchPad being heavily-influenced by the original iPad. HP's webOS tablet mimicked the dimensions, weight, battery life, screen size and resolution, and even the button layout of the iPad. Seemingly unable to predict the direction that Apple would take with future iPads (it always seemed like it'd be rather obvious to us: faster, thinner, longer-lasting, etc), HP chose to use the first generation iPad as the benchmark for the TouchPad. We've only heard bits and pieces about where HP planned to go with the TouchPad line, but word has it the TouchPad 2, well into development when HP pulled the plug on webOS, took further inspiration from Apple, including a higher resolution screen and a thinner and lighter metal body.

HP may be drawing too much design inspiration from the likes of Apple, but are they going to face the same sort of legal action from Apple as Samsung has? It's hard to say, but as we said at the start, HP views Apple as a threat to their business - Apple doesn't seem to be all that fazed by HP.

Source: The Verge

Category:

32 Comments

OK, I'm no fan of Apple, and the only two computers I have owned that DIED are my HP laptop and my iMac, but I have to say that HP has OBVIOUSLY copied Apple.

Here we go again with the whole Apple created the lightbulb nonsense. Listen people, just because it looks like a Mac doesn't mean shit! Apple didn't invent the color silver or the uni body computer. How can all these sheep actually care if the design of a computer likes similar to another? When Dodge first came out with their curved front design for their RAM, Ford and Chevy copied their design. Big freaking deal! The external design of a product isn't an innovation IMO. Some may say different and I hope the patent system gets this right in the near future.

That keyboard looks a little like the blue tooth one that was made for the Touchpad.

Quite a bit, aside from switching from black to aluminum to match Apple.

I suppose when kitchen appliance makers make a stainless steel version they were copying the first company to come out with that option?

It just makes sense to make the keyboard match the rest of the computer.

Well, yes, they were copying. And why not? It caught on.

This is different, though, as it's not just the aluminum that is copied.

It does indeed. The first thing that caught my eye. I hope they will sell it separate from the computer because I want that keyboard/mousepad set but not the system.

I'm all for companies stealing from Apple's industrial design~ provided they go back more than half a decade to do so. Their designs of yesteryear were bright and warm; thick, well curved plastics and colored metals.

Apple's latest designs are sharp metal with black accents. Much too cold and technical in my opinion (and not very inspired either). Companies have successfully implemented Apple's previous designs into a modern product: the Lumia 8/900 are good examples.

Both the iMac and this iMac ripoff are ugly and not worthy of my desk space or dollars.

As a fan of more organic shapes in design - like the Pres and many of the BlackBerries - I tend to agree: in particular, the iPhone seems to appeal to a demographic that got stuck in Germany in the 20s and 30s, and most "designer" mice are uncomfortable to use. The iPhone shape isn't ugly; it is characterless. But if you are going to make products by milling out aluminum blanks, it is always cheaper to use a plain slab as the base because it involves less metal cutting and scrap. Plastics and magnesium alloy can be injection molded to almost any shape, very efficiently, and they can be made just as strong, in fact stronger if you don't mind using carbon fiber and Kevlar - which are now used to make small sailboats as well as aircraft, and are gradually replacing aluminum.

The problem with an all-in-one computer is that whatever you do there is going to be a big rectangular slab stuck up there somewhere; how do you minimise the visual impact?

The iMacs worked when the maximum size of LCDs was such that the computer needed to be bigger than the LCD, and so big curving bezels were OK. But once the LCD could be as big as the rest of the computer, a big bezel just became wasted space.

Basically all-in-ones are going to end up, at least in the US market, as a black slab, a white slab or a metallic slab because these are all neutral colors, and anything brighter is going to risk leaving large numbers of unpopular colors unsold. A lot like the commonest options in the car market, in fact.

I just set up an Imac, (begrudgingly), for a customer of mine. He was talked into it actually. HP's is like a real ripoff copy of it. Maybe Apple will layoff samsung for a bit.
I just installed a Dell 27" all in one pc for the same customer a month later for half what he paid for the mac. (well he does have money) But his mac is going to collect dust because he really likes the Windows environment better.

Reminds me more of the Vizio then the iMac. Either way the iMac is a great design and it's worthy of imitation. HP computers, and i've had three are hideously ugly. So ugly that it convinced me to build my own. And their laptops suck in so many ways that i've all but decided to go macbook air.

I thought this as well. It looks a lot more like Vizio's marketing images. I looked up Apple's website and I didn't see the keyboard laid out with a trackpad like this and Vizio.

i think it's the keyboard that's screaming vizio to me. Interestingly the keyboards and trackpads of vizio have been panned in the reviews and it's a major reason i settled on, after like 13 years, going back to apple. The base kinda looks iMac-ish. But the whole package made me thing Vizio. That said, Vizios scream iMac so by extension...

Side note i personally thing HP should have long ago hired someone with some style cause most of their hardware seems made by people that think dockers are stylish. Aside maybe the envy stuff. They are long overdue for making a few more attractive devices.

Apple won't be fazed by HP copying their designs. The last time they did that (with tablets) they pulled the plug themselves. Let's see when they stop producing this model.

Please, please, Derek Kessler, don't commit illiteracies like "on the wide of a scale" above! The expression is "on a wide scale". A scale does not have a wide! The correct expression uses "scale" as in the size of something, and "wide" because...well, because the scale is wide.

I suspect this is all part of Microsoft's spelling and grammar checker which leads to illiteracy like "breaks" for car brakes. Does the Microsoft grammar checker have an "of a" bug?

Attention to this will reduce my blood pressure.

As an engineer, I cry a little inside when I hear about the awesomeness of machined Aluminum cases. I just wish bean-counters didn't run companies so that they would actually spend the money to be different, rather than copy what works (or in this case what doesn't work but Apple has hell of a marketing team).

I must have missed all that iMac marketing.

Not necessarily iMac marketing, but Apple markets how it uses CNC mills to machine its cases for Macbooks, etc. Which is not only completely inefficient, but wasteful as well as reducing the strength of the cases by creating stress risers (I doubt their QC teams checks that the supplier is using the correct end radius on their end mills). The same look can easily be done by stamping the case out of an aluminum sheet and spot welding a frame that houses the screw bosses but then they can't use cool terms like milling, machining or unibody. It would also needlessly keep costs down, which God forbid Apple lowers its own prices.

Good post.

bean counters are a necissity for businesses. even charities have them so as not to waste what they get. but the reality of business is most companies have operating money because they have investors. Without them there's no business. So if they do what you want they simply may not have a business as investors will yank their money out.

Or companies can run like how car companies once did. Instead of thinking how wasteful it is to have a car with multiple transmission options, they'd realize that they would create a better product by allowing the options instead of eliminating it. Similarly, it's cheaper to just copy a design instead of starting from scratch, but why would anyone then buy anything but the original if the competition doesn't offer much of a difference? Bean counters don't understand these concepts. Although yes, you need them, however, instead of being able to compromise with them, companies now only listen to them. Things are so bad that manual shift is in danger of extinction, as it is no longer available even in pick-ups now. For HP, instead of creating a product that's better than the iPad, they decided to match it, besides the OS. Whereas people who use trucks for their intended purpose are now SOL, HP was SOL when surprisingly Apple released an iPad with better hardware. Why then would anyone chance a device with an OS they are not familiar with and weaker hardware? Similarly those in charge are at fault for only on insisting on following and saving money as opposed to innovating or giving the consumer a chance to save money. As you can see, I REALLY hate bean counters.

There are many ways to design an AIO. HP has been doing it for almost as long as there has been an iMac. The challenge is finding unique ways to design a successful AIO. There seems to be only one way to do that. There is only one way to design a successful AIO, notebook, tablet and phone. What Apple has patented is success.

Nope, sorry, I know I wear glasses, but they don't look alike, apart fromt he colour! The base is angular on the HP, not a curved foot like the iMac, the display doesn't have that big 'bottom' bezle like the iMac, you know where the apple logo goes, instead it is pretty uniform and BLACK. Also the iMac uses a touch sensative mouse, not a trackpad - the HP doesn't have the mouse, it uses a pad like a laptop (only bigger) - maybe it can be used as a graphics tablet? Th location of ports & switches is different, and of course, as stated, the OS is not the same!

It should be noted, that inside an iMac are Intel CPU's, and branded memory, just like a million other PC's, despite the price, the comparisons are usually about the OS, as this is the real feature that differentiates!

Nope, don't see much in the way of similarities - good on em I say, Sony next I think!

Post deleted.

Don't copy!!! Innovate. All in one computers are poo in my opinion anyways. Give me a big old beefy gaming PC.

if someone wants a ferrari they buy it, if soemone wants a knockoff bag of nails that looks like a ferrari, they buy it.

looks arent everything, there also whats inside.

That kinda was my point. All in one PC are over priced garbage in my opinion. You could get a tower PC with same specs and a better monitor for the same price or less usually. Or as most of us have a decent/good monitor already spend the same amount and get more just because its not a all in one.

The insanity continues.... 95% of the guts and most of the assembly of all PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones are all from a handful of manufacturers scattered around the western Pacific. It is a joke.... but a very expensive, unfunny joke.... what patent lawyers are doing these days! Only the Dell is still manufactured in the US, but even then, the chips are from overseas.

Yes... we did a lot of the R&D and designed much of them, but we sold off the rights to manufacture and merrily watch as competing companies "pretend" that the shape of this or the texture of that or the way some ephemeral icon "bounces" on the screen is "theirs" to have and to hold till obsolescence (or license) do us part.

There has got to be a more intelligent way to "own" intellectual property!

Meanwhile, we're wasting the lives of 25,000 teachers and 400,000 students in Chicago by locking them into an education system that expects teachers to act like tape recorders stuck on play while their students act like tape recorders stuck on record. ...and we pay them a fortune to waste their time and the student's time on activities that could easily be performed by the smart phones they carry so they can gossip "when not working".

Aaaaagh! Is there NO common sense in this world any more!

...and the true purpose of the Palm patents is finally revealed.

Yeah, great. Just another AIO that looks like a Fruitbox. I know that it's just me, but this design bores the crap out of me.

No matter where you look, you just go "Oh, there's an Apple Product... No, wait, it's not. It's some other company's rip-off.."

You want to know why I bought my first Palm Pre? Besides the OS it was its look. Unique. Innovative. No rip-off.

This is not about Companies and the lack of innovation on the designer front. It's more about what is in the customers heads. If the majority of the people buys stuff because it looks like Apple and they don't buy the "original" instead, they do it for a reason. The same reason brings some hundred of young girls in my hometown to the conclusion that they are better off if they look like Paris Hilton.

Man, I am so bored...

some people are missing the point....

windows users that like the iMac " look" will be buying this system

I would buy an iphone if I could run open webOS on it too!