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Company says it's unafraid of a lawsuit

It's hard to deny the similarities between the metal unibody Envy Spectre XT ultrathin from Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) and the Apple, Inc. (AAPL) MacBook Air.

The Spectre XT is the flagship model of HP's just-announced Envy ultrathin collection, whose roots trace back to acquired VoodooPC's Envy laptops, which first launched June 2008.  The VoodooPC envy was one of the first non-Apple ultrathins to hit the market, coming just months after Apple's Jan. 2008 MacBook Air launch.

The Voodoo Envy didn't look much like the MacBook Air, but it's hard to deny that HP's line has trended towards Apple's with each release since.  With the latest release the similarities were enough for HP's VP of industrial design Stacy Wolff to go on the defensive.  He told Engadget, "[The Spectre XT's looks are] not due to Apple but due to the way technologies developed.  It is not because those guys did it first.  It's just that's where the form factor is leading it."

He points to his design's rubber imbued bottom, slightly different keyboard, and brushed metal (as opposed to the MacBook Air's shiny metal) body as key differentiators.  He calls the ultrabook "Genuine HP".

Stacy Wolff
Stacy Wolff, HP [Image Source: Engadget]

The defensive commentary is a bit odd, but with Apple suing numerous companies [1][2] over alleged design violations, perhaps it's a legal-minded measure.  Mr. Wolff indicated the design received his lawyers' stamp of approval.

Source: Engadget





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