HP CEO wants more innovative PCs while still aping Apple

The Spectre One is an upcoming AIO PC from HP ...

HP CEO Meg Whitman believes, at least in public statements, that the PC company that she is currently leading needs to stand out from the crowd in terms of the designs of its products. In a new interview, she claims that she wants HP products to have a distinct look.

The chat in the Wall Street Journal says that when Whitman first started as HP's leader a year ago, she was given a HP laptop for company work. In Whitman's terms, the notebook was "a brick" in terms of its design. She added, "I don’t think we kept up on innovation. The whole market has moved to something that is more beautiful.”

The article adds that HP has added two more PC design centers and almost doubled the number of its PC designers to 60 team members in the past year. Whitman clearly feels that Apple has lead the way in terms of creating PC designs that are popular with the public. She states, "Apple taught us that design really matters." Even though she says that it will take a few years for HP to make a PC that is recognized as made by the company by the general public, Whitman says, "I think we've made a lot of progress."

.... that looks a lot like the iMac from Apple.

While Whitman may say these kinds of statements in interviews, the truth is that the company has a long way to go in terms of offering truly innovative PC designs. Witness the recent announcement of the Windows 8-based Spectre One all-in-one PC, which still looks quite a bit like Apple's current version of the iMac.

Source: Wall Street Journal | Images via HP and Apple

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I wish they would refresh the Athens PC. That looks Baller.

The worse iMac copy is the Vizio AIO. So far that the keyboard mouse and trackpad copy the device. They copy the device so much they got rid of buttons from the trackpad and made them the feet. Just like apples design.

Sad part is most of the time windows / pc users complain about apples buttonless mouse / buttonless trackpad but Vizio is straight up copying it and people are reporting in reviews how my h they like the trackpad lmao.

Atleast when Logitech created a trackpad they kept the buttons and still kept if alittle different.

JHBrown said,
If you can't beat em, join em!!!!!!

12M pc per quarter vs 2.5Mpc's per quarter. Who really need to join who? Apel has sold about 130M Mac as a whole in 28 years, while HP who came into thePC market years after Aple, has sold 5x's as many inless time. Who needs to join who?

JHBrown said,
If you can't beat em, join em!!!!!!

Oh and Mac ru Windows now and use the same x86 hardware Steve Jobs rave as being bad compared to the Motorola 68k Mac and the PPC Mac. Then went crawling back to Intel after both platforms failed even when PPC was pushed by 3 big names a=in IBM, Apple and i forgot the other.

Who's joining who? nd Apple alsotakes the x86 hardware and jacks it up 20% to 40% because their market penetration is stupidly low at only 5% worldwide.

Who joining who? Apple wish they could sell 12M pc's per quarter.

.... that looks a lot like the iMac from Apple.

So... a silver coloured stand with a screen on top = copying apple now? I guess Apple invented silver or something.

Tell me, how else do you design a stand? From my memory, pretty much all monitor stands look similar to that. L shaped with the base projecting forward towards the user. Or are we just not allowed to make them in silver any more?

TCLN Ryster said,
Tell me, how else do you design a stand? From my memory, pretty much all monitor stands look similar to that. L shaped with the base projecting forward towards the user. Or are we just not allowed to make them in silver any more?

HP's monitors used to look quite different. But then they started copying Apple's silver plus black color scheme and mimicking the stand design.

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc...t-Panel-Monitor_190x170.jpg
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/d...ent/c00603940/c00603941.jpg
http://img.tomshardware.com/us...lcd_monitors/hp_f2105_1.jpg
http://ak.buy.com/PI/0/500/218071629.jpg

Here's the HP Athens prototype:
http://www.infendo.com/wp-cont...ds/2010/07/HP-Athens-PC.jpg

So basically you saying there are no other ways than similar to Apple's is just talking nonsense.

.Neo said,

HP's monitors used to look quite different. But then they started copying Apple's silver plus black color scheme and mimicking the stand design.

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc...t-Panel-Monitor_190x170.jpg
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/d...ent/c00603940/c00603941.jpg
http://img.tomshardware.com/us...lcd_monitors/hp_f2105_1.jpg
http://ak.buy.com/PI/0/500/218071629.jpg

Here's the HP Athens prototype:
http://www.infendo.com/wp-cont...ds/2010/07/HP-Athens-PC.jpg

So basically you saying there are no other ways than similar to Apple's is just talking nonsense.

Erm, silver/black has been a standard for electronic design for a long time now, it's not like apple invented it. If that is the only similarity other than the fact that it has to look somewhat similar due to being an AIO, then that's a pretty tenuous argument in favour of it being a copy...

The HP AIO adds functionality to the base, the screen looks thinner and there isn't a huge chunky bezel at the bottom. The things which looks similar shape of the stand, that is really the only thing which could be changed to make it look different, but that would probably remove functionality.

I would say that you are the one talking nonsense and the Athens prototype looks ugly.

Minimoose said,
Erm, silver/black has been a standard for electronic design for a long time now, it's not like apple invented it.

Apple pretty much introduced the aluminum design with black rim around the screen and consistently applied it to their entire Mac line. Then comes HP suddenly doing the exact same thing when their previous product line used to look very different. Gimme break.

TCLN Ryster pretty much claimed there is no other way to design a stand other than Apple's L-shape. That's nonsense, as demonstrated above.

.Neo said,

HP's monitors used to look quite different. But then they started copying Apple's silver plus black color scheme and mimicking the stand design.

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc...t-Panel-Monitor_190x170.jpg
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/d...ent/c00603940/c00603941.jpg
http://img.tomshardware.com/us...lcd_monitors/hp_f2105_1.jpg
http://ak.buy.com/PI/0/500/218071629.jpg

Here's the HP Athens prototype:
http://www.infendo.com/wp-cont...ds/2010/07/HP-Athens-PC.jpg

So basically you saying there are no other ways than similar to Apple's is just talking nonsense.

What? Huh? Whatever you're smoking can I have some? First off computers are electronics, and Apple certainly wasnt the first to use silver/black. HP computers looking nothing like the iMac of old o new. Form Factor dicatates lots of similarities. However you seems to have seen silver/blck and says well they just copied Apple.

I am sure they considered Apple on some front, but it certainly doesn't look copied. HP took the next step. What they did copy is the minimalistic approach Aple has its all its products. Making them look clean and simple and not cluttered. No more no less.

Let me be very framk with you. HP has been the biggest seller of pc's for over 2 decades. They sell over 12M of them per quarter on average compared to Apple who sells about 2.5M per quarter. So who really has a problem here? Looks are everything.

What good is having the coolest looking PC, but yet it isn't very flexible, notvery compatible and cost to much for Enterprise adoption. The problem with the Appel fans is they are so stuck on looks. Windows PC's in many cases are certainly not as pretty as APple's offerings in general. But that hasnt stopped them from selling 220M per year or more...

I am glad HP is trying to do somethign about their style. Dell has also tried to improve as well. However the Dell XPS has always been a contender against the Macbook. It is just as slick, just as clean and just as asthetically pleasing as the Mac and you get 100% compatibility thanks to Windows, which the Mac doesn't have when running OS X.. Also based on configuratiosn of the HP Envy and the Dell XPS, both have the Macbook beat by a mile as far as what you get under the hood vs what you actually pay.

Example, when Iwas in the market for a 17" laptop, I surely was eyeing the 17" Macbook. But with a starting price of $2499, iit wasn't wprth it. For $2100 I got a better sceren that supported full HD, double the RAM from 4Gb to 8GB, I got double the storage with dual 750GB HDD's and not just one, ports I could actually use and I was able to add an extended warranty for 3 years which was almost half what Apple charges for AppleCare and my coverage included damage protection free for 1 year.

There is more to Windows PC's than the look Bro. The other PC makers actually give you more value for your dollar. When you configure most options and compare them, before the price saving, many configuration will cost more than Apple's offerings. But after applied discounts you save a huge $20 - 40% on average for similar or better specs. Again it isnt just looks.

Price is the biggest issue with businesses. If you have to buy 10,000 PC's for your business, you certainly can't be spending $1700 or more on each one. Also think of the extra cost they have to spend to install Windows on the Mac to make it 100% enterprise compatible. All that cost prevent adoption in such a large scale. Again looks arent the issue.

Quarreling over looks is just dumb, becuse looks sre subjective and a person se ony what the want to see. Anyone here, Idont care who it is ven the writer are al gullible. The Spectre doesn't look anythign like that Imac. What it does borrow is the clean, minimalistic design approach that Aple borrow from several industries liek automakers and airplane designers. Last I chcked APple doesn't own those approaches, they copied them.

.Neo said,

Apple pretty much introduced the aluminum design with black rim around the screen and consistently applied it to their entire Mac line. Then comes HP suddenly doing the exact same thing when their previous product line used to look very different. Gimme break.

TCLN Ryster pretty much claimed there is no other way to design a stand other than Apple's L-shape. That's nonsense, as demonstrated above.

o you're saying that HP is suppose to just keep their bulky monotor designs forver and not try to use a more minimalisticapproach to hardware? Aple doesn't own the minimalistic approach, they copied it from the auto and airline industry. Where do you think they got the aluminum unibody design from? It came from the airline industry.

Idont undersand you alls fanboi logic. You think when Apple does somethign they automatically own it and if someone else uses it they are copying? Apple copied it first. A copy means itlooks liek something else. There is nothignin the definition that gives any credence to who has it first or last. A copy is a copy.

"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em", right? Watch out, HP. We all know what happened when Samsung tried to "innovate"...

bjoswald said,
"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em", right? Watch out, HP. We all know what happened when Samsung tried to "innovate"...
always stick with the facts

Ezekiel Carsella said,
that looks nothing like the iMAC. are you crazy????? it does not have that big underchin or thick profile.

THANK YOU! Finally someone decides to look at it more closely before judging at the sight of a screen plus a stand.

It looks like what HP LCD monitor designs have always been in the last 5-7 years and the base actually looks like it was taken from the Ultrabook concept. In fact, no one has ever come so close in joining the looks of a mobile and a desktop device into one.

Not sure what you want. It is going to look like a screen propped up by a stand. It is nice that they're at least trying to put some functionality into the stand (ports and stuff).

Maybe they should go with octagonal displays? Or perhaps submerged in a fish tank to add that extra bit of artistic flair?

Here is a thought, use Apple as a means to make your designs better. As a designer I can't stand when companies stop their designs at mimicking Apples designs. Apple is well know for thinking outside the box, or even taking old ideas and making them better. For me I went to school and hope to get a design job to make new and better designs, not get paid to design a copy. HPs current trend is copy whats working nothing more, thats pretty sub par. Just look at the above pics, how did they improve on Apples designs one bit? New designs and solid materials, raise the bar above Apple

wv@gt said,
Here is a thought, use Apple as a means to make your designs better. As a designer I can't stand when companies stop their designs at mimicking Apples designs. Apple is well know for thinking outside the box, or even taking old ideas and making them better. For me I went to school and hope to get a design job to make new and better designs, not get paid to design a copy. HPs current trend is copy whats working nothing more, thats pretty sub par. Just look at the above pics, how did they improve on Apples designs one bit? New designs and solid materials, raise the bar above Apple

a refreshing comment for a change. i'd like companies to take some inspiration from dieter rams' ethos. i can understand compromising on material to reduce the cost, but stale design really disappoints me.

wv@gt said,
Just look at the above pics, how did they improve on Apples designs one bit? New designs and solid materials, raise the bar above Apple

Whether they improved on Apple is subjective, but surely you can't claim that HP is copying Apple from the pictures?

wv@gt said,
Apple is well know for thinking outside the box, or even taking old ideas and making them better.

Ahh, that explains the iPhone 5 then. :-|

wv@gt said,
Here is a thought, use Apple as a means to make your designs better. As a designer I can't stand when companies stop their designs at mimicking Apples designs. Apple is well know for thinking outside the box, or even taking old ideas and making them better. For me I went to school and hope to get a design job to make new and better designs, not get paid to design a copy. HPs current trend is copy whats working nothing more, thats pretty sub par. Just look at the above pics, how did they improve on Apples designs one bit? New designs and solid materials, raise the bar above Apple

There are just a couple points I think deserve to be raised here, for the sake of awareness, not argument:

1) They do improve on Apple's design, in this case, somewhat. It's thinner and more streamlined (and you can't call that trivial if you cheer for Apple, who makes it their business touting thinness as a differentiating factor between even their own product families). The HP also takes advantage of the form factor by adding functionality to the monitor base (note the ports). Seeing an opportunity to add functionality where formerly there was none counts for something.

2) There's a big difference between design and form factor. Using the same form factor as an iMac isn't necessarily copying design.

3) Colors are not design. Arguing about petty details like the balance of black and silver is the sort of argument that earns eye rolls. Nobody takes it seriously, since it's exactly like saying releasing the same product spray painted green would somehow make it functionally more innovative.

Frankly, by simply adding ports to the base, you could argue they raised the design bar above Apple. Had Apple released a new iteration of the iMac with a more functional monitor base, it would've been touted as a key differentiator. Heck, as things go with Apple, they could pass that off as the ONLY design change for a whole generation of iMacs.

Joshie said,

There are just a couple points I think deserve to be raised here, for the sake of awareness, not argument:

1) They do improve on Apple's design, in this case, somewhat. It's thinner and more streamlined (and you can't call that trivial if you cheer for Apple, who makes it their business touting thinness as a differentiating factor between even their own product families). The HP also takes advantage of the form factor by adding functionality to the monitor base (note the ports). Seeing an opportunity to add functionality where formerly there was none counts for something.

2) There's a big difference between design and form factor. Using the same form factor as an iMac isn't necessarily copying design.

3) Colors are not design. Arguing about petty details like the balance of black and silver is the sort of argument that earns eye rolls. Nobody takes it seriously, since it's exactly like saying releasing the same product spray painted green would somehow make it functionally more innovative.

Frankly, by simply adding ports to the base, you could argue they raised the design bar above Apple. Had Apple released a new iteration of the iMac with a more functional monitor base, it would've been touted as a key differentiator. Heck, as things go with Apple, they could pass that off as the ONLY design change for a whole generation of iMacs.

Very well said.

Joshie said,

1) They do improve on Apple's design, in this case, somewhat. It's thinner and more streamlined (and you can't call that trivial if you cheer for Apple, who makes it their business touting thinness as a differentiating factor between even their own product families). The HP also takes advantage of the form factor by adding functionality to the monitor base (note the ports). Seeing an opportunity to add functionality where formerly there was none counts for something.

Adding ports to the base is not a completely thought out design. Right now on my desk is a 27" iMac that is installed on a table that has a hole for the monitor to sit. If the ports on it were there, it would be a huge pain in the ass to connect things. It's nice that they at least tried but still not an impressive feature at all.

The bottomline is that in the recent years HP has simply copied Apple all the way down to the color (yes, you can do black and silver in a way that isn't exactly like Apple - HP just doesn't). Even the keyboard and trackpad are very Apple-like.

My beef with most PC manufacturers is that they simply cram the latest hardware into the same crap chassis, with the same subpar trackpads, obsolete VGA ports and whatnot. If they released less models each year and concentrated on making them better, they'd be easily able to grab some of that Apple pie.

LaXu said,

Adding ports to the base is not a completely thought out design. Right now on my desk is a 27" iMac that is installed on a table that has a hole for the monitor to sit. If the ports on it were there, it would be a huge pain in the ass to connect things. It's nice that they at least tried but still not an impressive feature at all.

The bottomline is that in the recent years HP has simply copied Apple all the way down to the color (yes, you can do black and silver in a way that isn't exactly like Apple - HP just doesn't). Even the keyboard and trackpad are very Apple-like.

My beef with most PC manufacturers is that they simply cram the latest hardware into the same crap chassis, with the same subpar trackpads, obsolete VGA ports and whatnot. If they released less models each year and concentrated on making them better, they'd be easily able to grab some of that Apple pie.

Thank you for the follow up, and I agree as well. There are a lot on here that will say that the above pics look nothing like the iMacs, well thats partly true. Sure its not a 1:1 copy, but you can tell the inspiration was from the iMacs. Like I said, I think more PC manufacturers should use Apple as a starting basis. Obviously they are doing something right design wise. Use more Dieter Rams also. However I still think HP fell short, the above once stopped at a point where they are just slightly different looking than Apples iMac just enough to grab some attention. To the poster below that says Its a screen on a stand, as as designer that just where it starts. I'll bet HPs designers came up with 100's of sketches of all in one solutions. For once I guess I just want to see a PC manufacturer nail a design down that really sticks, something that Apple would be envious of. I would like HP to stop going to cheap route just so they can launch something new every 3-4 months