HP's CEO Meg Whitman has been working hard to turn her company around, and it sounds like a renewed focus on a unique design language will be a big part of that turnaround — though it's a bit questionable as to how unique HP's new designs are. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Whitman believes the laptop market "has moved to something that is more beautiful," and that HP hasn't "kept up with the innovation" that has happened across the space in recent years. To that end, HP assigned PC executive Stacy Wolff to come up with a more unified look and feel for HP products — the results of which we're starting to see in HP products like the Envy x2 convertible tablet, the Spectre XT TouchSmart laptop, and the Spectre One Windows 8 all-in-one desktop.
While HP's new products certainly have a more consistent look and feel that is far from the "brick" of a laptop Whitman said she received on her first day at HP, it's hard to deny that HP's new look bears more than a passing resemblance to Apple's MacBook and iMac lines. Whitman even said that "Apple taught us that design really matters," and feels that HP has "made a lot of progress" with its new lineup. While the company may have an attractive line of new products that will help show off Windows 8 when it launches this fall, it's hard to look at HP's latest as anything but excessively Apple-inspired.
How does a new set of Apple knock-offs qualify as innovation?
That's especially true when companies like Acer are designing highly desirable Windows 8 ultrabooks and Lenovo continues to push a strong and unique brand identity. For now, though, it seems HP is content to walk the fine line between being inspired by something and ripping it off wholesale — and unfortunately, it feels like HP is walking more on the latter side of the line.