Here is an excerpt from a NY Times article about some new Sony laptops (with commentary). Although I originally planned to quote the article the NY Times seems to take this whole "copyright infringement" stuff pretty seriously (one-month license to post an article excerpt online: $150, not being sued by a major news organization: priceless). Instead I will outline the "interesting variations in traditional laptop design" that Sony has managed to piece together.
1. Low-profile, lie-flat keyboard. Can you say MacBook?
2. Small media control buttons on the front of the laptop. Has Dell not been doing that since the dawn of time?
3. More media buttons above the keyboard. Hasn't every PC maker been doing that since the dawn of time?
4. Pulsating LED on the front. Hmmmmm, wonder where they came up with that. Cougheveryapplelaptopevermadecough.
5. Integrated web-cam. It was cute when Dell ripped it off but this is just silly.
Obviously, the people at Sony are the pioneers in this industry, and the tech writers for the NY Times obviously don't get out much (as I said in the title).