Over the last few days, we've covered tons of gaming laptops built around Intel's latest eighth-generation Core processors, but business and productivity machines are getting those new chips, too. To wit, HP has updated its ZBook mobile workstations and ZBook Studio portables with new Core and Xeon CPUs to go along with high-resolution displays and Nvidia Quadro graphics cards.
The ZBook 15 G5 and ZBook 17 G5 share most of their specifications. Their biggest difference comes down to the ZBook 15's 15.6" display against the ZBook 17's 17.3-incher. Both portable workstations are offered with the buyer's choice from four-core Intel Core i5-8300H or Core i5-8400H chips, six-shooter Core i7-8750H or i7-8850H silicon, or six-core Xeon E-2176M or E-2186M CPUs.
The processors lord over up to 64 GB of memory installed in four DDR4 SO-DIMM slots. There's support for ECC RAM depending on the choice of CPU, too. The ZBook 15 G5 has room for two M.2 storage devices and a 2.5" hard drive. HP didn't say how many drives would fit in the larger model, but it did say the maximum storage capacity of the ZBook 15 G5 is 6 TB and that the ZBook 17 can tote as much as 10 TB inside its chassis. The bigger model adds an optical drive that can read Blu-Ray discs on top of that.
The PC maker approaches graphics and displays with a shotgun approach. Intel IGPs, various Nvidia P-series Quadros, and Radeon FirePro cards on the options list. The ZBook 17's base display is a rather-disappointing 1600x900 unit, but there are 1920x1080 and 3840x2160 panels available at extra charge. The ZBook 15 starts out with a 220 cd/m² 1920x1080 screen, but brighter units at the same resolution and 3840x2160 panels are on the options list. Users can attach displays or external graphics boxes using the pair of Titan Ridge-powered Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) ports.
HP says the ZBook 15v is an all-new machine designed for engineering students and small businesses that need high performance and compatibility with existing applications at a low cost. Compared to the G5 ZBooks, the 15v has the same list of optional processors minus the top-drawer Xeon E-2186M. The number of memory slots drops to two, and memory capacity also falls to 32 GB. The only discrete graphics card available for the 15v is the Nvidia Quadro P600. The storage selection is also more in line with what one finds in a standard laptop, with a single M.2 slot and one 2.5" bay. One TB3 port survives the chainsaw surgery that makes a 15v from a full-fat ZBook 15.
The ZBook Studio and ZBook Studio x360 are a pair of systems with extra-flexible hinges and slimmer profiles than the bruising ZBook G5 pair. Processor options are every bit as burly, again running the gamut from Core i5 to Xeon E-2186 vPro. The CPUs get to munch bits from a memory buffet as large as 32 GB. The x360 variant only has room for a single M.2 storage device, but the regular ZBook Studio can also swallow a 2.5" device. Multiple grades of 1920x1080 and 3840x2160 touchscreen displays are available on both models. The big difference between the pair of machines is the x360's ability to bring the screen around all the way into tablet mode. Graphics options are limited to Intel IGPs and Nvidia Quadro P1000 cards. If those options don't push pixels hard enough, the machines each have two TB3 ports for attaching an external graphics dock.
Last on the list is the ZBook x2 G4 detachable workstation, a machine that takes a Surface Book-style form factor and fleshes it out with optional Nvidia Quadro M620 graphics, an optional Intel Core i7-8650U processor, and up to 32 GB of 2133 MT/s DDR4 memory. The machine's 16:9 aspect ratio, double-45° corners, and rather-tubby 3.64-lb (1.7 kg) weight in tablet mode also separate it from the Surface Book. At least some of that weight belongs to a 70-Wh battery with a claimed 10-hour life away from a wall outlet. A variety of SSDs from 128 GB M.2 SATA all the way up to 2 TB NVMe are on offer. Expansion and peripheral connectivity are available by way of a single TB3 port, a pair of USB 3.1 Type-C connectors, a single USB 3.0 Type-A jack, and an HDMI output.
HP wasn't ready to talk about prices for the ZBook 15 and ZBook 17, but you can bet they will be spendy when optioned out with Xeon processors, lots of memory, and professional-grade discrete graphics cards. HP did say the ZBook 15v would start at $949. The ZBook Studio will start at $1299, and the base ZBook Studio x360 will be set at $1499. Those four machines will start shipping in May. The ZBook x2 G4 Surface Book-alike is shipping now starting at $1799.