HP Zbook Studio packs workstation power into an ultrabook

Intel's mobile Xeon CPUs are beginning to show up in more and more mobile workstations. These chips' relatively low power requirements and support for ECC memory have made for workstations with lots of power in a small space. HP has whipped up the Zbook Studio, a thin-and-light workstation with a Xeon, an optional Quadro graphics chip, and lots of connectivity options.

The Zbook Studio uses a four-core, eight-thread Xeon E3-1505M v5 with 8MB of L3 cache and Intel HD P530 graphics. Early next year, HP will add a Xeon E3-1545M v5 CPU option with Intel's Iris Pro 580 graphics. Up to 32GB of ECC DDR4 memory can be paired with the CPU. Storage options include a 128GB SATA SSD, 256GB or 512GB SATA SSDs with encryption support, and NVMe PCIe SSDs ranging from 256GB to 1TB. 

Those who need discrete graphics power can add Nvidia's Quadro M1000M graphics chip. HP also incorporates Nvidia's Optimus switchable graphics tech for machines with the Quadro on board. The 1080p IPS display can be upgraded to a 4K model. Buyers will also be able to add a 4K DreamColor wide-gamut touch panel in early 2016.

The low power requirements of both the processor and graphics card pay off in the form of a thin chassis, which HP says is 18 mm (0.71") thick. The 4.4-pound weight is pretty light for a 15-inch laptop, too. The Zbook has a four-cell, 62-Wh battery, but HP isn't making any claims about how long it will last yet.

That chassis has plenty of connectivity options, though. Intel's Thunderbolt 3 controller runs a pair of do-everything Type-C ports, which talk both USB 3.1 and PCIe 3.0. The Zbook Studio also has a trio of USB 3.0 Type-A ports. The HDMI output supports 4K resolutions at 60 Hz. For networking, the Zbook has VPro-equipped Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. If that's not enough connectivity, HP is releasing the Zbook Dock alongside its workstation, a Thunderbolt peripheral that adds 10 extra ports for displays, peripheral I/O, and networking.

HP says the Zbook Studio will be available in early December with a starting price of $1699. The Zbook Dock will run an additional $229.

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