Introducing the MacBook HP

From HP:

HP today introduced its first business Ultrabook™, which features a thin and light design, strong security options and a responsive solid state hard drive for the ultimate mobile experience. The HP Folio13 also delivers up to 9 hours of battery life, the highest performance available among Ultrabook devices currently on the market. ... Measuring less than 18 millimeters thin and using an ultraslim 13.3-inch diagonal HD BrightView display, the HP Folio13 weighs just 3.3 pounds. It combines the cool industrial design found on consumer products with the security and usability business users demand. Powered by the latest Intel® Core™ processors, the HP Folio13 also includes Intel Rapid Start Technology, which helps save time by getting users systems up and running fast.

Come on, PC manufacturers. I can't quite believe just how much of a knockoff this is. I didn't give Sony enough credit: at least it always does its own thing.

Compare this clone to something beautiful and unique that HP released a couple of years ago:

I'm not praising Apple here. I prefer how the HP Voodoo Envy looks. HP bought Voodoo to make exactly this sort of computer, but it's just not interested in refining its own designs enough for them to be competitive. Instead, it's reduced itself to the most superficial imitation, in the evident belief that this is the only hope it has to grab some share of the $1000 lightweight laptop market.


    1. Strange, my Macbook seems to right click just fine, both with a physical click or a two-finger tap.

      As for the Macbook-ripoff laptop designs, I don’t mind it so much except that it is generally only on the surface. I have yet to try out a non-Apple laptop that actually does two-finger scrolling as well as a Macbook. 

      1. Or does two-finger scrolling as well as my iBook did 7 or 8 years ago.  The iBook was funny because to differentiate it from the Powerbook line, rather than scrimp on the hardware and put a crappy touchpad in, they put the same nice one that the PowerBooks had and disabled the scrolling in hardware.  Fortunately, this was reversible.

    2. Hey I see some divisions on that touchpad for the two buttons Mac’s don’t have those…

      In case you’re not kidding (it’s really hard to tell in this thread)

      That was the basically the OLD 2007 MacBook.   The newer Macbooks are more advanced and the entire trackpad is a physical button and on top of that use superior touch gestures for everything else.  Pretty much blows this shit away, that’s for sure.

      Here’s the OLD MacBook from almost 5 years ago…  goood going HP, you’re only half a decade behind Apple now…

  1. Frame still looks like plastic with a metallic trim/finish. I haven’t seen anyone replicate the unibody aluminum design Apple introduced a few years ago – sad, as that design makes for some of the most tank-like sturdy laptops I’ve seen outside of a ToughBook.

      1. Good, because the looks aren’t anywhere near as important as how sturdy the design makes the computer – and it’s also much less likely to get you into hot water, if the Samsung lawsuit is any guide. I’ve watched plastic MacBooks fall apart, but the unibody designs are nigh indestructible.

        1. Yeah, the plastic MacBooks had serious issues for some, I think that’s why Apple abandoned them.  Laptops that last need to be made of metal, end of story.

      2. ASUS for an example, did well with their UX Series notebooks.

        If you mean by “did well” they made a cheap ripoff that has far less hardware/software features and is getting pretty horrible reviews compared to the MacBook Air, then yes.

        ASUS needs to step it up quite a bit beyond what the UX is so far.

        Comparison (this was even before the horrid reviews came out which show even less value)

    1. yup  was hit by a bus, gaving my mac book a nice 5mm bow. opened it up and it hadn’t even crashed – suck it up hp

  2. I don’t understand why PC manufacturers shouldn’t knock-off working designs of other folks.  If it’s good engineering, it’s good engineering and it should be copied to the greatest extent that the law allows.  If it’s bad engineering it should be ignored, of course, but I doubt that the argument you’re making is that Apple has a crappy design that people shouldn’t be taking notes and trying to replicate (and improve, once they figure out how to replicate it of course – though if you’re expecting a bottom-feeder like the New HP to improve anything they touch these days, you’re going to have a long wait ahead of you).

    1. I don’t understand why PC manufacturers shouldn’t knock-off working designs of other folks.

      Would it not be better for everyone involved if they tried to move the industry forward instead? They’re billion dollar companies – copying something that works well is a path that they can take, but surely it is not a path that they should take?

    2. If it’s good engineering, it’s good engineering and it should be copied to the greatest extent that the law allows.

      and, mocked to the greatest extent that the blatant similarities allow. This is not some homage to Apple, this is a COBY WLAKMAN. 

      1. I’m all for mocking new HP for anything they do, but honestly – without a little Apple on it it’s not even close to being a “CONY WLAKMAN” type rip-off.  Everyone knows an Apple product and everyone knows that your HP is not an Apple.

        Rob’s update makes it a bit more clear that he honestly does think that HP can do better and that was his real complaint.  My response was based on the fact that I don’t think that HP really can do better – they used to be a great company, and now they’re a shitty one thanks to one management fuck-over after another.  If I can’t expect them to actually innovate, then I’d at least hope that they can recognize a good design when they see one and figure out what works from it. 

    3. I agree with you, but it seems that there are a lot more companies trying to replicate the fashion than the actual engineering.

      1. I agree with you, but it seems that there are a lot more companies trying to replicate the fashion than the actual engineering.

        Very much this.

        Anyone else get the frustrated feeling that the rest of the industry is copying all the wrong things from Apple? They are giving us options with look-alike finishes. I’d rather have a higher-quality trackpad in the middle of the laptop where I can use it comfortably (it is off-center in the 17″ version) and a new computer that doesn’t come bloated with crapware.

        And I don’t think the world really needs dozens of models. On HP’s site alone I counted 54 different laptop models, and that’s before the configuration options. Is HP really serving 54 different laptop markets?

        No wonder Apple is picking up market share. I’m a tech geek and I think I would drive myself mad trying to parse the differences between the dozens of models that each manufacturer sells, let alone keep track of which are on sale and where and for how much at any given time. I suspect there is no choice I could make that I wouldn’t regret a month later.

          1. That assertion about touchpads may or may not be true, but nothing is as good as the Thinkpad nipple.  (Yes, even in the Lenovo incarnations.)
            But that doesn’t really work on chiclet keyboards, which may be why it appears to have disappeared…

          2. but nothing is as good as the Thinkpad nipple. 

            That may have been true a couple of years ago, but until they invent a multitouch track-stick the future belongs to pads.

    4. I don’t understand why PC manufacturers shouldn’t knock-off working designs of other folks.

      Because they typically knock them off in such laughably poor ways that it makes them look like cargo cults.  They gave engineering the top 5 bullet points from someone else’s winning product and gave it to engineering, along with a 3 week development schedule. If you don’t have a basic understanding of what makes a successful product successful you can’t make a rip-off. You can only waste your time.

    5. Let’s do it the apples (pun? no pun.) and oranges way then:

      “Blue is great color, I don’t understand why we shouldn’t all dress in blue.”
      On to the next stupidity:

      “Being a doctor is a very important position – it saves lives, why shouldn’t we all be doctors?”

      Do you honestly think there is only one kind of design language? Wouldn’t the better idea to try to make people think “Oh, that’s an HP laptop. Looks nice.”, rather than “Oh, silvery. Is it one of Apple’s laptops, perhaps?”

      It’s like there is suddenly some design rule that “laptops have to be silver, with black highlights all of a sudden” – is that the follow up to “only so much you can do with a small slab with a screen in it” when the iPhone look-a-likes dropped in (before you all rage I’m not talking Samsung here). Nokia sure as hell didn’t find the iPhone the only look in town, neither did Palm (r.i.p.) and many other manufacturers. HTC even made one in “Apple signature colors”, if you wish to call them that, that had its own, distinct design language that I certainly wouldn’t take for an iPhone.

      So, which scenario do you think would be the most beneficial to HP (assuming that the person in question would want a laptop and didn’t mind it being a HP)? The one where a potential buyer recognizes the HP computer and likes it enough to possibly buy one, or the one where Apple comes to mind?

      Look at furniture. We probably have hundreds of ‘Sjuan’ knock-offs (as in the chair by Arne Jacobssen – is it ‘seven’ in English?) 

      People sure do buy them (I have to confess that I would, for economic reasons if nothing else), but there is no one pretending that the knock-offs are somehow unique. They are a cheaper alternative to the original that looks good enough, that’s why we buy them.

      Also, it turns out that chairs can take many shapes and colors and still be liked and actually usable! This includes progress in engineering and manufacturing of said chairs. Who would have thought, eh?

      Why on earth should electronics be oblivious to this? Especially since those kind of products, for better or worse, are taking a center stage in our lives nowadays.

      tl;dr Bollocks.

    1.   If I were to put either laptop 10-15 feet away from you and hid the logo.  would you be able to tell which was which?  yeah… that’s what knock-off means.

  3. Out of all the ‘ultrabooks’, this is one of the only ones to not steal the wedge shape of the macbook air.  so there’s that.

    I actually like the look of this non-wedge one better than the ones that did steal that design (the asus one for example).

  4. I don’t understand why PC manufacturers shouldn’t knock-off working designs of other folks.

    Exactly.  I was looking at laptops a bit ago, and I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t just copy the Air.  I mean, it’s right there (and it’s been there for a while now) and it’s obviously way better.  It’s embarrassingly better (though we’re starting to see some decent PC options over the last few months).  If you want to make something good, start with a MacBook Air and then change the stuff you don’t like; don’t start with your nasty budget PC laptop and try to make it smaller.

    Would it not be better for everyone involved if they tried to move the industry forward instead?

    Of course.  Also, why does Hollywood make bad movies that tank at the box office.  It’s dumb, right? 

    Most innovation builds on success of others.  HP cribbing some design stuff is a perfectly reasonable place to start, even if their goal is something very distinctive.

  5. Holy cow, that’s bad copy. “It combines the cool industrial design found on consumer products with the security and usability business users demand.”  Really?  

  6. Since Apple hasn’t bothered to update the Macbook line in a while, I’m grateful that HP has picked up the ball and started to run with it. Hackintosh compatible?

    1. Since Apple hasn’t bothered to update the Macbook line in a while,

      They just updated MacBook Pros literally 3 weeks ago..

      There are no longer MacBooks (-Pro) except for educational purchases, so don’t expect any updates for those anymore.

      The MacBook Air is the superior replacement for the MacBooks and that was updated only 3 months ago.

      I will concede that the Air costs more than the discontinued MacBooks by 300 dollars though and that stinks for those on a tight budget.  But, then again, if you are on a tight budget you should probably just buy a used MacBook Pro anyway and just make sure it still has Applecare on it.

      1. Noble effort on your part, but the !fanbois are not even trying anymore. The wind’s gone out of them since we lost Steve. 

        1. Noble effort on your part, but the !fanbois are not even trying anymore. The wind’s gone out of them since we lost Steve.

          I don’t give a shit.  As long as Ive is alive and most of the amazing engineers at Apple stay there for a while, I’m set.  ^_^

          Steve was brilliant and helped steer the company in the right direction when it needed it, but he took credit for a lot of stuff that others within the company produced. While I’m saddened by almost anyone’s passing and I respect aspects of Steve’s career and vision, I’m just as happy using the best laptops now and in the future as I was before his death.

          If someone makes a better product, I’m switching to it and I’d do that whether Steve was dead or out yelling at someone in an Apple HQ elevator.

          It’s business for me. The Apple logo is coincidental.

          1. I’m largely the same way, my point was more about the lame efforts of the anti-apple crowd since Steve passed.

  7. I’m assuming that Rob is using sarcasm to troll again but, just in case…

    Keyboard, monitor, touch pad, hinges in the middle… Oh yeah, that’s a unique Apple form factor all right.

  8. f’gods sake, could you freaking Mac addicts stop acting like everything was invented in Cupertino? It’s a marketplace of ideas, and the only difference is that when Apple brings out a product that’s new to Apple, they put on a song and dance to convince the rubes that nothing of this sort has ever before graced the surface of the earth. Some people who really should know better apparently swallow this malarkey, and give Apple the credit for inventions that weren’t truly innovative – and then accuse others of copying those inventions. HP had a (mediocre, oddly moused) 2.5 pound laptop in the mid nineteen-nineties. And now you’re giving them stick because their new one has a chicklet keyboard and is grey? Get a grip!

    1. I’m not an Apple fanatic in the least, and my first thought was “Yeah, that looks a hell of a lot like  a MacBook”, so maybe this isn’t quite the matter of knee-jerk fanaticism that you think it is. At least… not from the source you think it is.

      1. Almost all modern laptops look very, very similar. I have a very nice Toshiba, and if it were grey instead of black and the touchpad weren’t off-center, it would be hard to tell from this one, at least from the front with the display open (from the side you’d see a bulge for the removable battery that raises the back off the desk). Honestly, other than the color I can’t see what’s supposed to be so incredibly derivative about this computer, or at least what’s derivative of Apple as opposed to derivative of every other laptop on the market.

    2. f’gods sake, could you freaking Mac addicts stop acting like everything was invented in Cupertino?

      Everything was invented there and it eats you up inside.  I’m sitting here at a Starbucks with a bunch of other people with Macs and we are all laughing at you and your sad jealously because as we all know Apple invented everything.

      HP had a… mediocre…

      Then who cares?  Hahahahaha… whoops, I spilled some coffee on my MacBook Pro while chortling at you.  But it doesn’t matter because my Mac product runs off of Starbucks coffee and it even makes it go ridiculously faster than your PC.

      [cow cheers all the other mac “addicts” at the starbucks who think apple invented everything]

  9. Chiclet keyboards ARE NOT BETTER. Goddamn, I can’t wait for this stupid fucking fad to die already. Sadly, slavishly copying apple’s worst design decisions will sell more laptops, because those god-awful keyboards *look* better.

    But the worst of it is that this machine comes with the cheap and horrible 1366×768 display that’s become standard on cheap shitty laptops everywhere. When will laptop manufacturers finally clue in to the fact that that’s not a usable resolution anymore? The logic goes that consumers don’t know what resolution is, and they don’t buy laptops based on it… but it’s not quite true. I’ve had comments from people on how great my Dell XPS 15z is with the 1920×1080 screen… likewise, people seem to understand that mac displays just look better, even if they don’t know the underlying reason.

    The whole point of the ultrabook was to convince generic PC manufacturers to stop making horrible ABS-plastic abortions in a race to the bottom, while one company cleans up the high end. Intel was even willing to subsidize the development of these machines so that Apple wouldn’t end up being their only consumer of high-end mobile CPUs.

    Intel shouldn’t have allowed anything bearing the ultrabook name to come with anything less than a 1600×900 display.

    1. Your Dell XPS isn’t a 13″ model. The above HP is. Furthermore the current 13″ MacBook Pro only supports 1280×800. The 13.3″ MacBook Air is only slightly higher at 1440×900. Still short of your 1600×900 you believe is necessary to claim something is a Ultrabook.

      Its not until you buy a 17″ MacBook pro that any Mac laptop breaks the 1900×900 barrier. Hardly still in the Ultrabook category.

      Perhaps the slightest bit of research would benefit your angry rants in future.

    2. slavishly copying apple’s worst design decisions

      I’m using the latest MacBook Pro keyboard right now and it’s the best, most accurate and comfortable to use keyboard on any laptop I’ve ever used.  And, I’ve got an HP and Dell sitting here next to me right now by the way.

      Have you actually USED the Mac keyboards for an extended amount of time or do you just not like how they look or something?

      Whoops… I’ll be right back… one of the keys popped out of the Dell laptop again. Funny how that has NEVER happened on my Mac laptop… ever….

    3. I wasn’t paying attention and accidentally bought an otherwise great-spec laptop with that hideous resolution to replace my aging, but very high res laptop.

      I’m still mad – at myself, and at Dell for perpetrating this. 768 has not been an acceptable vertical resolution for the last 10 years. Big deal, it’s 300 wider than 1024×768. That sucked then and it sucks now.

  10. Plastic MacBooks are pieces of shit. I used to buy them by the pallet as an IT guy and I despised their rickety, yellowing white frames so much that I didn’t join the tech blogger mac laptop revolution until like 2007.

    The unibody stuff is an engineering and design marvel.

    1. You just hurt my computers feelings…thanks a lot Rob.

      ‘it’s all right my jaundiced little trooper, I still love you…’

    1. I don’t have a laptop at the moment and that Lenovo X1 would be the next if only it was 11″, like the MBA. Cory’s got the 12.5″ X220 and even that feels a bit too big for me after having an 11″ Air.

      1. You are kidding right? Anything from the T series up is more rugged than the unibody MBP, with better keyboard and an (arguably) better touchpad, also more easily repairable, more configurations possible, and the support can be pretty good (yeah, you do have to pay for the better warranty to get it though :( )

        1. I was a fan of ThinkPad…until I actually got to use it.

          From the article: “I’m not praising Apple here.”

          Well, I am, for making pretty much the best laptop out there.

    2. ThinkPads used to be the shit for mobile.  Many years ago, that’s what Steve Jobs used even while working at Apple back in the day if I remember correctly.

      This current ThinkPad iteration with a “carbon-fibre rollcage” still won’t stack up to the durability and sturdiness of a unibody metal Mac laptop.  They should just give in and copy Apple.

  11. Concerned someone might mistake your macbook for an HP or that someone might infiltrate your douche circle at the starbucks with something that could be mistaken for a macbook?

      1. Holy Personalised Insert, Rob – you take care! Them DoucheCircle folks play hard-ass. You could get flushed.

      1. Please explain your comparison, because you have me in stitches and I’m afraid I might not recover.

  12. douche circle omg nearly hurt myself laughing the images that went through my head it’s all just wrong sorry folks i shouldna spoken up but had to share especially at starbucks (that’s a chain right maybe MB users might go there i dunno but not MBA MBP bunch oh no that’d be outrageous) and what’s HP who’re they new on the market or what huh huh huh?

  13. Everyone is missing the real story here, which is rob’s unrequited love for the Voodoo Envy.

    It’s ok, Rob, I feel it too.  Wanted that laptop more than any I had ever seen before.

    As I recall the internals ended up being like all previous voodoo PCs,which is to say overpriced and a little bit crap.  :(

  14. I fail to see how being an imitation in this particular instance is a bad thing.
    Unless you enjoy paying $2500 for a $1000 computer with a glowing fruit on the front, I guess.

    1. I guess you better check your pricing.  Very few MacBooks cost anywhere near $2500.  They are also higher quality and use a modern OS instead of slapping Microsoft’s latest mediocrity on the cheapest hardware they could buy this week.

      1. It was just a generalization, but if I must.
        And those are *starting* prices, mind you. I could run up a price tag up to and over $4000 if I wanted to, and still get a PC (of approximately equivalent capability) for a third of that cost.
        “Higher Quality” is arguable too now that they use the same processors as Windows based systems now, as I’m told. The OS, sure, if you prefer that. If it’s worth that much more, then more power to you.
        I’m really not here to start a fanboy fight, I don’t have time for it. But what I also don’t have is an abundance of disposable income…I’m the 99% here.

  15. It’s not like this is all that different from the original line up of HP Envy laptops.

    But yeah, the HP Voodoo laptop. Look how well that one sold. It didn’t even have an ethernet port- there was one built into the power brick, but I think it then converted to wifi.

    Okay, the older HP Envy didn’t do that well either except for a slightly nicer display. It too didn’t have ethernet, but it did come with a USB-ethernet adapter.

    But until HP starts putting the trackpad centered on the home keys, it’s at most a halfhearted attempt to copy.

  16. this thread proves that people are more concerned about looking cool with their technology, than actually the features of the technology.

    1. this thread proves that people are more concerned about looking cool with their technology, than actually the features of the technology

      You didn’t actually read the thread did you? A significant number of the posts revolve around Macbook hardware features that they wish other laptops also included. Mostly tackpads and build quality of the case, but a few comments about batteries and ergonomics.

      I don’t think there is one post where someone is talking about how they are so happy to have found a PC that looks like a Mac. A few preemptively mocking such a person, but no actual examples to mock.

    2. this thread proves that people are more concerned about looking cool with their technology, than actually the features of the technology.

      Your post proves you didn’t really read this thread very well.

  17. Why shouldn’t they copy it? People obviously want Airbook like laptops. They probably would also like them with a proper keyboard and mouse.

    Some would likely be willing to pay for OS X as well, if Apple were willing to sell it for the hardware they want.

  18. The new envy looks even more like the MacBook which is fine with me.  My perfect PC.  A macbook that runs only Windows and doesn’t have those crappy, proprietary connectors that Apple charges you big $$ to by adapters for connecting to HDTV, etc.

  19. I am pretty disappointed by the comments I’m seeing here. This laptop looks like a Macbook because why? It’s roughly squarish, with rounded edges, a shiny screen hinged at the rear of the frame? Okay, it’s got a chiclet keyboard with tiny, useless arrow and function keys and a large, prominently mounted trackpad but that’s not exclusive to Apple either. 

    With regards to hardware differences, I think it’s important to note that Apple’s trackpad isn’t really that unique in terms of hardware. What’s important are the drivers and OS work together well. Have you used a mac trackpad in bootcamp? It’s a uniquely horrible experience and Apple even wrote the driver.

  20. By the pallet, huh? A macbook shipping box is, what, 16x12x8 or so? (eyeball and memory guesstimate here; I’ve not seen one in over a decade). Don’t know what the stacking limit is on them, but let’s say 6 (I’m being conservative here). A standard pallet is 40×48, so 72 macbooks total. Not bad for an order. Must be a pain to verify the shipment integrity, though.

  21. You know what, I think all these companies are now hiring business graduates who have read the same textbook, because I have and this is exactly what it says to do with product innovation.

    Dominant Design
    New Breakthrough
    Disruptive Design
    You’re taught in business school, that when it comes to technological innovation that if you don’t have a New Breakthrough nor a Disruptive Design, imitate the leader as best you can for the market you’re targeting.

    Those are the three categories that products can generally fall into. And it’s pretty safe to say that if something looks like a horse, sounds like a horse, and walks like a horse: it sure as hell isn’t a zebra. Anybody who is in denial about companies imitating design, especially in the personal technology market is way off the mark. Forget about Mac vs. PC for one second.

    THAT laptop has clearly been designed to follow the MacBook Pro design. Just look at the Outer Keyboard Groove and Coloration. Everybody KNOWS it’s been built to imitate.

    … I can’t believe I went to business school. Fuck this, I’m going back to study Genetics.

  22. I thought people already knew they shouldn’t buy HP because they profit from helping the Israelis imprison a nation.

    “Hewlett Packard (HP) — Hewlett Packard owns Electronic Data Systems, which is in charge of the technology monitoring checkpoints inside of Palestine. In addition, HP monitors the Israeli Navy’s entire IT operating system, which enabled last year’s attacks on the Freedom Flotilla.”

    Evil assholes with no originality.

  23. At first glance, it did remind me of an MBP. But then I looked at an MBP and realised that while it’s similar, it’s not embarrassingly so.

    Our brains automatically associate things with the thing they most look like.

  24. Apple fanboys unite. Demand that Apple invented computers and everyone is copying them. Hint: I’m being sarcastic. Get over yourselves and stop taking such a personal investment in an Apple logo.

    1.  What if out interest is financial, would it be excusable then? (in my case, it is not, i just hate fixing computers)

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