back to article Samsung outs MacBook Pro lookalike laptop

Samsung, oh how you must love to tempt Apple lawyers. Launched today: the Series 7 Chronos notebook, a 15.6in machine wrapped in aluminium. With a black caclulator-style keyboard. And a black lid hinge. Samsung Series 7 Chronos notebook Yes, the Chronos is less svelte as a MacBook Pro, and not as attractively designed, …


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  1. ByeLaw101


    Looks like an laptop to me, and so does the Apple... now what patent do you think Samsung has breached?

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Eh?

      I don't think I mentioned patents at all.

      Look up 'trade dress'.

      1. SC Handle

        Only one picture?

        Only picture (Of the comparisons) was a like for like for like shot. Not the best way to make a point.

      2. ByeLaw101
        Thumb Down

        RE: RE: Eh? ...

        Hi Tony,

        You didn't mention "trade dress" either, either way I don't see how your assertion that this product will "tempt Apple lawyer" is correct... seems a little ridiculous really.

      3. ByeLaw101
        Thumb Down

        Re: Re: Eh?

        Hi Tony,

        "I don't think I mentioned patents at all. Look up 'trade dress'."

        I inferred this due to the current legal spat is about patents. In fairness however, you didn't mention "trade dress" either.

      4. kyle elliott


        So, no one else can make metallic laptops anymore even though others did it before apple? I'm sorry, but there is nothing that is "blatantly copying" apple in this, and it's another sensationalist anti samsung article.

        It's a quite different laptop, and anyone can see the differences in a few seconds. Trying to claim its a copy is frankly short sighted and wrong.

      5. ByeLaw101
        Thumb Down

        Re: Re: Eh?

        Hi Tony,

        "I don't think I mentioned patents at all. Look up 'trade dress'."

        I inferred this due to the current legal spat is about patents. In fairness however, you didn't mention "trade dress" either. I did howver look it up and "Trade Dress" is another term for IP, of which of course includes patents.

      6. ByeLaw101

        Re: Re: Eh?

        Hi Tony,

        "I don't think I mentioned patents at all. Look up 'trade dress'."

        I inferred this due to the current legal spat is about patents. In fairness however, you didn't mention "trade dress" either. I did however look it up and "Trade Dress" is another term for IP, of which of course covers patents.

      7. N13L5

        true, but...

        First you say "the Samsung is not as attractively designed" - admitting its not an imitation. Actually the shape is much like other recent samsung notebooks.

        Then you add "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" ...Fanboi much? It appears the ONLY thing Samsung "copied" was using aluminum... otherwise it follows the same design lines of most current Samsung laptops.

        So your statement makes about as much sense as claiming that Apple imitated Boeing for using aluminum. The reason I comment is because you are perpetuating the retarded Apple hype and the fact that people are already crediting Apple for 'inventing' a lot of things they did not invent, they just polished the products more.

        The HP Envy is something of an imitation, but this is not.

        And did you notice that "not as attractive is a matter of taste?" I for one am no fan of Apple's totally flat case design. Yes, Apple has some good detail solutions, and the elements of its design match each other well. The chinese at Foxconn take great care that fit and finish is flawless.

        But Samsung's bezel around the screen is smaller than Apples, which I equate to better, cause I get a bigger 14" screen.

        Not that I'm a fan of Samsung either, but if they're copying anything in regards to their laptop surface layout, its Sony. They seem to have taken a close look at some details from recent VAIO laptops..

    2. DrXym

      Laptops don't all look the same

      No one can say Apple laptops look generic. If anything their styling is about the only thing that sets them apart from other devices so Apple is going to get pretty pissed at other laptops that ape their designs. Samsung seems to be on a "let's copy Apple bender" recently so it's not surprising they've been on the receiving end of a lot of lawsuits.

      That said I don't know if this laptop is that close to the Apple. The full size keyboard for example is totally different and the touchpad is offset for some reason. There are a lot of other metal / metal finish laptops out there. For example IMO the Dell XPS 15z bears more similarity to a Macbook Pro than this device even though the keyboard / fascia is gunmetal grey.

      1. Goat Jam

        touchpad is offset . . .

        . . . so that it is at the centre of the main keyboard.

        This is the reason that apple don't put numpads on their laptops to begin with.

    3. Ammaross Danan

      Trade dress or no....

      "Samsung didn't say how much this spec will cost you, but you can save a bit by settling for a 14in screen or a Core i5 CPU."

      Trade dress or no, it will likely "save a bit" compared to buying the Real Thing(tm).

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Full HD

    I'd want to watch Blu Ray moveis on the thing. Apple (for some reason I haven't managed to determine - other than Steve saying Blu Ray is a bunch of hurt) don't have any Blu Ray laptops - so this would be a good selling point. So, offer a 1080P model...

    It's not a solid block of aluminium, side by side I'm guessing there is no way it can be mistaken for a MacBook Pro...

    1. Fuzzy Duck


      steve wants you to buy all of your content, including hd, from itunes.

      it's got nothing to do with blu-ray's also why apple are phasing out flash.

      it's all part of apple's walled garden approach, which is why i've had enough of them..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: because

        True Steve wants you to buy from iTunes. However Apple always try to phase out what they consider redundant technology, so that coincident happy consequence (increased iTunes use) isn't alone, proof of bad motives. Apple are notable for always trying to do what they think works best, whilst reducing clutter. There is a good argument blu-ray is effectively now redundant. And Apple are moving away from all optical storage devices, not just Blue Ray. Currently they consider Ethernet sockets redundant given the proliferation of WiFi, which is a real spoiler on the otherwise excellent MacBook Air. Personally I find this more annoying than not having BluRay (which I don't want because I want a thin notebook), but Apple annoying me that way isn't the product of bad motives. As for the thicker MacBook pro, with optical drive space, still BlueRay licensing costs and most people aren't that bothered.

        Phasing out Flash provides no mechanism for forcing people to use ITunes to puchase movies, so not quite sure of your logic there. Nor are they doing this on OSX which a reader of your comment would be forgiven for thinking. Your point may be that Apple phased out Flash to encouraging walled garden app production (in which case you haven't said it clearly). It's undoubtedly true this is the effect. But don't forget that at the outset, HTML web apps were pushed by Apple just as hard as native apps. They did a lot of work around them, provided all manner of developer samples and documentation. So it's not clear they were trying to corral users into paying for walled garden apps by banning Flash. Developers and users voted with their feet and chose native apps. I'm sure that since, they are very happy with the way the market has gone and it will be influencing their subsequent decisions a fair bit. But it's easy to go over the top with conspiracy re:hard-baked singular "f**k the customer" motives. Especially given Apple have such a good track record of focussing on what customers actually want (in most ways except price!). Incidentally their chosen segment is unlikely to wholly co-incide with the marketing profile of the average Register reader!

        1. DrXym

          Blu Ray isn't redundant

          The reasoning for why Apple didn't include Blu Ray support in OS X boils down to this - it competes with their own service, so they chose to shut it out. They can't have their customers "confused" by having multiple ways to buy or play content now can they?

          The whole "bag of hurt" story is bullshit. Yeah blu ray has certain technical / security requirements, primarily concerning display drivers and HDCP output and all Macs in the last 3 years meet them anyway for iTunes. I'd add that they could have just sold BD drives and left the software stack to 3rd parties but they didn't do that either. So it's just BS.

  3. Richard Scratcher
    Thumb Up


    Nothing wrong with making a 'luminum laptop. As you say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Can we expect to see Mr Geesung Choi wearing a mock turtleneck sweater for his next keynote speech?

    1. BadBart
      Thumb Up


      I would like to see this. Would be a slap at Apple for sure.

      Or, better yet, wear a blue mock turtleneck, and black jeans...

    2. VinceH

      Letters, digits.

      "Can we expect to see Mr Geesung Choi wearing a mock turtleneck sweater for his next keynote speech?"

      He should, just for the urine extracting entertainment value.

      1. sUpEr gEEk
        IT Angle


        Imagine Steve Ballmer with the turtle neck sweater at keynotes for MS

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          Oh Please!!!!

          Now I have this image of Steve Balmer in turtle neck sweater (and BOY will it be sweaty) bouncing around yelling "Developer, developers, developers,......."

  4. Ray 11

    Does Apple own the look for non black laptops

    The Macbook is white the Samsung is brushed Steel, how dare they copy...

  5. Herby

    To be complete... would just need to make it run MacOS. Then the lawsuits would be beating the path to the courthouse steps. Probably faster than the speed of light (or electrons)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Come on Tony

    I know you're a rabid Apple fan but on what basis do you claim that headline? That a laptop is laptop shaped - how surprising. That only Apple are allowed to use Aluminium chassis? Don't think so. A black keyboard - just like the one I am typing on.

    You conveniently post pictures of different angles in your examples because if you showed a like for like picture you would easily be able to see that apart from the similarities caused just by being a laptop, they are very different. Just one example is the keyboard, the samsung trackpad is not centred as it allows room for a full number keypad, something missing from the Macbook whose trackpad is centred. The ports are totally different but ZOMG!!!!! they put ports down the edge of a laptop, they must be copying Apple and even worse IT HAS A HINGE!!!!!

    Apple Fanboys get worse every year

    1. Andy 115

      Do you really think...

      That elReg have one of these to take pictures of?

      I doubt it, which might explain why the marketing shots are being used....

      Also to those complaining that the trackpad should be ANYTHING OTHER than centred on the main "QWERTY" part of the keyboard, just think of the immense ammounts of FAIL in that statement ... Where would you rest your wrists / palms when typing?

      1. Snapper

        Cynic? Moi?

        You don't think.......?

        Surely not!

        That putting the word 'Apple' in the title of the article (and even the creation of non-articles) is an editorial requirement AKA linkbait?

        I've noticed El Reg doing it a lot lately.

        Wonder how many times the word 'Apple' has been in a headline over the last six months compared to 'Windows'?

  7. Dazed and Confused

    Look alike?

    Looks like a MacBook?

    Looks like every other laptop ever made

    Open it up, oh look a keyboard at the bottom and a screen at the top.

    Not that it will stop Apple suing them, hell Apple would probably sue Toshiba for having made one 20 years before Apple ever thought of the idea of a Laptop.

  8. Kevin Mac Uistin

    What absolute tosh

    So what you're saying is that they're both quite thin. Something that was inevitable.

    They're a different colour, different port layout, different keyboard. It has as much in common as my 4 year old laptop as the MacBook Pro.

    It is more likely that this is an attempt to grab peoples attention in place of good reportage.

  9. Mondo the Magnificent

    Inspiration terminated...

    Quote from article "Yes, the Chronos isn't as svelte as a MacBook Pro, and not as attractively designed, either. But it's hard not to look at the it and guess its inspiration"

    Obviously not inspired enough to come with an OS other than MS Windows 7 out of the box!


  10. Anonymous Coward

    Apple copycat? Where?

    I see a "curved" case on the Samsung while on Apple its flat. The keyboard, Sony have been making that kind of keyboard so, who copy who? And the pad...its centered on Apple while in the Samsung its...? Tony, whats the point of your article? Jumping the "Samsung is a copycat" bashing bandwagon? Short timeline to write an article or as we say in my country "making sausage"? Or I didnt understand your humor?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lookalike? What!?

    Does anyone who actually owns a MacBook Pro think they look alike?

    They look just as "alike" as two totally different cars with the same color.

  12. Fuzzy Duck

    ok, i'll bite...

    a brushed metal exterior and black keyboard does not automatically make it into a macbook......

  13. Xtreame96

    Another Mac FanBoi Fail

    It seems the Register is getting as bad as and Gizmodo in the biased apple love.

    And nothing like the awesome pillar of techs journalism I used to love and trust.

    The laptops above share no real similar nature, and as CNET has had to admit in previous apologies, that all laptop makers have been trying to make thinner lighter laptops and that the MBA was not really a first.

    If you look at the shape, the dimension the curves, the track pad placement, they look nothing alike other than sharing typical laptop form factor. Even the author of this article said it does not share the same looks. Contradiction?

    The Register is no longer the great Vulture, its a Mac Fanboi and its a very sad day.

    Prune your list of authors, weed out the paid and unpaid Apple bias.

    So that we can have the tech news we used to love.

  14. lurker


    Hmm, VAIOs have looked more or less like that for over a decade now.

    Honestly, it's bad enough apple thinks they have the 'look and feel' rights to everything, without that idea being parroted in articles like this one. It's a thin laptop, with a brushed-metal case, big deal.

  15. Miek

    Not that similar!

    So it's silvery and has black keys, have you not seen a sony laptop before ?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    touch pad

    Why is the touch pad on more and more machines asymmetrically to the left ?

    I mouse with my right hand so this design is uncomfortable as I have to reach across further?

    1. thesykes

      re: Touch pad

      presumably so that the the touch pad is in the middle of the keyboard, which is to the left of the casing due to the numberk eypad on the right, much like a full sized keyboard layout.

      If the trackpad were in the middle of the casing, chances are you'd hit it repeatedly with your right hand whilst typing.

  17. Monty Burns

    Ok Reg, enoughs enough.

    Now your just shit stirring right? Those pictures show obviously diferent laptops to me.....

    Mac Book you show is white, Sammy Silver/Chrome

    Mac Book has speakers next to keyboard, Sammy No speakers in sight

    Mac Book has central touchpad, Sammy Skewed to one side to support keyboard layout

    Or have you just chosen some really bad pictures?

  18. Anonymous Coward

    But will it run...


    Here's waiting for the one with Gigabyte internals...

  19. RichyS
    Thumb Down

    Not that similar

    This isn't that similar to a MacBook -- there are plenty of laptops out there that look more like one. Not in the way that a Galaxy Tab apes the iPad, anyway.

    And more importantly, which idiot at Samsung decided to not copy Apple's keyboard layout? Who thought having an off-centre keyboard and trackpad was a good idea? Take him out and shoot him, frankly.

  20. TeeCee Gold badge


    At last a properly built aluminium laptop with a numeric keypad!

    Not an Excel junkie, but I work with a lot of antique "green screen" stuff and most terminal emulations are a right PITA to remap for a keyboard lacking same. Just physically not enough keys, so you either have to lose something important or put up with loads of arcane shift/ctrl/alt combos.

  21. BorkedAgain

    Let's you and him fight!

    You're trying to pick a fight on Samsung's behalf, aint'cha? Naughty Reg...

  22. darklord
    Thumb Down

    more Vaio than mac pro

    This looks more Sony Viao prob Sony lisence the vaio from Samsung. I know dell used to buy and relable samsungs in the past (D410 was a samsung)

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Apple and Oranges

    I don't know what you're on. Looks like Apple and Oranges to me.

    Also Samsung has had a track record with that brushed aluminium look.

    If you want imitation of laptops, look at Toshiba and IBM.

  24. Jon Press

    Look Up Trade Dress

    I think the 'trade' round here charges on a pay-per-view basis to do that.

    There is, though, an interesting comparison with clothing. The High Street clothes shops are full of stuff that look rather like "designer" outfits and the original designers don't get royalties and they can't sue as it's been a long enough established practice for the legal precedents to have been set at a time when IP was considered a bit more rationally (and indeed at a time when clothing was not the province of international megacorporations with armies of lawyers).

    The principle of design rights, trade dress, etc, haven't changed much, but the implementation for new technology is vastly different to the established practice for older industries.

  25. g e

    But to be fair

    Who really gives a Nun's **** what fucking Apple think.

  26. g e

    This has caused me to coin a new(?) term...


  27. Colin Guthrie
    Thumb Up

    Quite nice...

    ... although I don't like the large keyboard... I'll use my lappy with an external keyboard for any kind of serious data entry. Hopefully the smaller version will have a smaller keyboard.

    So it's maybe between this and the new ASUS UX21 then I guess.... :)


    samsung laptop

    hum looks nice next we will find apple claiming its violating a patent like they always do. if apple keep peeing companys off there gonna end up with no customers the way there carrying on. the smartphone buissness was fine till apple turned up and ruined it. absolute joke. but anyway thats a nice laptop samsung has done like the back aluminium body. next we will hear samsung filling patents against samsungs tvs fridge freezers cookers microwaves home cinema systems what next. apple drop dead

  29. Paul Durrant

    Clearly a rip-off of the MacBook Pro look

    I'm astonished that none of the comments so far acknowledge the obvious fact that this new Samsung notebook rips off the Apple MacBook Pro look.

    Let's count the ways:

    1. All-aluminium enclosure

    2. Ports on left hand side

    3. Slot load optical drive on right hand side

    4. Square black flat keytops set in aluminium

    5. Hinge shape and style - long centre bar hinge that drops the lid behind the body of the laptop

    6. Large all-in-one trackpad and button.

    And for that matter - just look at the thing.

    There are innumerable ways to design the look of modern electronics. It's not right to just rip off the design of other manufacturers.

  30. dssf

    Some plaintive wishes of Samsung

    C'mon, SAMMY! Make one at 17.3" diagonal and at under USD $700. Please, Please, PLEASE tempt me. I need the screen size for drafting. I want 6 GB or 8GB RAM (4 is not enough, since I run win 7 in a VirutaBox machine); and I don't run win natively.

    HP's wanting out of hardware/computers, so I won't be upgrading to HP again. (Bought one in Jan 2009.)

    Won't be going back to Gateway (Bought one in Dec 2007), as their chassis cracked under flexing pressures in my backpack. HP's 17" monster is about 8 pounds, so, SAMMY PLEASE, make a lightweight 17.3"er, similar to the light weight of the MacBook Pro.

    Oh, please, Please, PLEASE, emulated the flat Dell power supply. That thinge is BEAUTIFULLY THIN! Saves space, and is light weight.

    Oh, and please beat the battery tech HP supplied. Between PCLOS and my inadvertently letting win 7 BOTH manage the battery, my battery became a 30-minute battery by Octover 2010, and then a 5-minute battery by March 2011.

  31. Eddy Ito

    To be honest Tony

    It looks more like the Toshiba Satellite P775 you reviewed several weeks back than it does any Apple product. I'm beginning to wonder if some folks don't see the word Samsung on something and automatically compare it to the nearest Apple. We know the Apple lawyers do but it doesn't make it so.

  32. Mr Floppy

    It doesn't matter

    Yes, there are some similarities in appearance (few that I can see) but it doesn't matter because it has the words "Samsung" on the cover. It's also pretty fugly.

    I think the "inspiration" is misguided with many of the east Asian manufacturers. There are plenty of good designers out there given the number that make it over here as games designers. It just seems that the ones without an original thought work for the big companies, or are made to toe the line

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