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Wednesday, May 09, 2012, 09:10 am PT (12:10 pm ET)

HP exec: 'Apple may like to think they own silver, but they don't'

When asked about similarities between the design of HP's new Ultrabook and Apple's MacBook Air, an HP executive dismissed concerns that Apple could sue.

Stacy Wolff, vice president of Industrial Design at Hewlett-Packard, did admit that there are similarities between his company's new Envy Spectre XT laptop and Apple's MacBook Air. But according to Engadget, he said that's more due to the way technology has developed than Apple driving design in the industry.

"Apple may like to think they own silver, but they don't," Wolff said. "In no way did HP try to mimic Apple. In life there are a lot of similarities."

Speaking at the Global Influencer Summit in Shanghai, China, Wolff highlighted what he feels are some key differences between the Spectre XT and the MacBook Air. He noted that HP's new Ultrabook is rubber-coated at the bottom, and it is made of magnesium, compared to Apple's use of CNC aluminum.

He also highlighted a brush pattern on the Spectre XT that isn't found on the MacBook Air. And HP's Spectre line also includes dedicated Beats Audio processing, for higher quality sound.

"If you want to look at a macro level, there are a lot of similarities to everything in the market that's an Ultrabook today," he said. "It is not because those guys (Apple) did it first. It's just that's where the form factor is leading it."

Spectre XT


In April, it was said that Intel hopes to see shipments of as many as 30 million Ultrabooks this year. The company designed the Ultrabook specification for Windows PC makers after Apple found great success with its new MacBook Air.

Ultrabooks feature many of the same defining features as the MacBook Air: solid-state storage, instant-on capabilities, and super-thin design thanks to the lack of an optical drive.

Apple is expected to take design cues from its MacBook Air and bring them to the MacBook Pro lineup in the coming months. Apple's updated MacBook Pros will be powered by Intel's latest-generation Ivy Bridge processors, which began shipping in April.