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Review: HP's ZBook 15 and 17 G6 are impressive professional workstations

HP has up to date two beefy cellular workstations reduce out for specialised work. Is the refresh a winner, and the way do they examine?

HP’s lineup of powerhouse laptops has now entered its sixth technology with the ZBook 15 G6 and ZBook 17 G6. There are a variety of enhancements to what HP calls the world’s best-selling cellular workstation, however the truth that these ship above-average efficiency for specialised work has not modified. They’re relatively massive, heavy, and costly, however the options provided are well worth the tradeoff for those who want them. Let’s check out the ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 to see what they’re all about on this twin assessment.

Highly effective Cell Workstations

HP ZBook 15 G6 & ZBook 17 G6

Backside line: HP’s refreshed ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 are undeniably {powerful}, costly laptops full of options for professionals. They are not straightforward to tote round on account of weight and dimension, however those that want the efficiency will gladly commerce portability.



Execs

  • Toolless entry for simple upgrades
  • Extremely {powerful} {hardware} choices
  • Loud, full top-firing audio
  • Gorgeous DreamColor 4K shows
  • Sturdy aluminum building

Cons

  • Very thick and heavy
  • Battery life (understandably) suffers
  • Extraordinarily costly

From $1,989 at HP (15)

From $2,099 at HP (17)

HP ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 G6 at a look

HP provided Home windows Central with assessment items for the 15- and 17-inch ZBooks, now of their sixth technology. The 15-inch mannequin is supplied with an Intel Xeon processor (CPU), 64GB of RAM in 4 sticks of 16GB, a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), 4K DreamColor show, and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 graphics card (GPU). It prices about $4,830 after some hefty reductions when configured this manner.

The dearer 17-inch mannequin I am reviewing is supplied with the identical Intel Xeon CPU, 64GB of RAM break up up over 4 16GB sticks, a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD, 4K DreamColor show, and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU. Altogether it prices about $10,393 earlier than reductions, which deliver the value right down to about $6,444. It is clear simply from the value these are usually not laptops for the common consumer. They’re constructed for engineers, architects, editors, builders, and designers who do not need to sacrifice desktop efficiency when going cellular.

Here is a breakdown of the {hardware} in every of our assessment fashions. As you may see, there are a variety of similarities when you get previous the bodily dimension.

ClassZBook 15ZBook 17
OSHome windows 10 ProfessionalHome windows 10 Professional
ProcessorIntel Xeon E-2286M vPro
As much as 5.0GHz
Intel Xeon E-2286M vPro
As much as 5.0GHz
RAM64GB DDR4-2667MHz
(4x16GB)
64GB DDR4-2667MHz
(4x16GB)
GraphicsNVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000
6GB VRAM
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
16GB VRAM
Storage1TB PCIe NVMe SSD1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Show15.6 inches
3840×2160 (UHD)
Non-touch, matte, 600 nits
HP DreamColor
17.Three inches
3840×2160 (UHD)
Non-touch, matte, 400 nits
HP DreamColor
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 2.0
Three USB-A 3.0
RJ-45 Ethernet
3.5mm audio
Good Card reader (non-compulsory)
SD card reader
Two Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 2.0
Mini DisplayPort 1.4
Three USB-A 3.0
RJ-45 Ethernet
3.5mm audio
Good Card reader (non-compulsory)
SD card reader
Optical driveNoSure
AudioBang & Olufsen
High-firing audio system
Three microphones
Bang & Olufsen
High-firing audio system
Three microphones
Wi-fiIntel AX200 (Wi-Fi 6)
802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
Intel AX200 (Wi-Fi 6)
802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
DigicamEntrance-facing 1080pEntrance-facing 1080p
SafetyFingerprint reader
IR digicam
TPM 2.0
Webcam shutter
HP Positive Begin
Privateness show (non-compulsory)
Fingerprint reader
IR digicam
TPM 2.0
Webcam shutter
HP Positive Begin
Battery90Wh
150W AC adapter
95.6Wh
200W AC Adapter
Dimensions14.eight x 10.Four x 1.Zero inches
(376mm x 264mm x 26mm)
16.Four x 11.Three x 1.Three inches
(416mm x 288.4mm x 33.8mm)
WeightFrom 5.79 kilos (2.60kg)From 7 kilos (3.2kg)

Design and options

The ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 are thick. There is no means round it. The smaller mannequin, although in step with different workstations of its class just like the ThinkPad P53, remains to be not most individuals’s thought of cellular. Its beginning weight of 5.79 kilos (2.60kg) goes to be felt in a backpack. The 17-inch mannequin begins at about 7 kilos (3.2kg) and is actually an intimidating determine sitting open on a desk. However the outsized dimensions are forgiven as soon as we dig into efficiency and options.

Wanting again on the G5 fashions, not loads has modified bodily for the G6 replace. Dimensions are about the identical for the aluminum chassis, you continue to get a ton of ports, and the keyboard and touchpad are laid out the identical. HP has, nonetheless, upped the variety of MIL-STD 810G sturdiness checks from 14 to 21. The laptops are going to theoretically higher stand up to drops and photo voltaic radiation (like should you go away your laptop computer in your automobile on a sizzling day). Holding these units, it is exhausting to think about them taking vital harm. As an added bonus, the chassis does not choose up practically as many fingerprints as a ThinkPad.

Connectivity is ample in each laptops, however the ZBook 17 brings a couple of additional choices. On high of the ZBook 15’s two Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, three USB-A 3.0, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio, SD card reader, and non-compulsory Good Card reader, the ZBook 17 brings an optical drive and Mini DisplayPort 1.4. You possibly can join one thing like HP’s Thunderbolt Dock G2 to both laptop computer for additional ports. The whole lot is effectively positioned for probably the most half; I simply want the ZBook 17 had USB-A on the correct aspect to deal with any exterior mice. My hand hit the discharge on the optical drive a couple of instances whereas carrying the laptop computer round, but it surely’s one thing that may be prevented as soon as the place it is situated.

Keyboard, cameras, and audio

Keyboard and touchpad on the ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 are the very same, although the bigger mannequin has extra space across the sides due to the general bigger chassis. You could have six rows of backlit chiclet keys (and quantity pad) which have loads of journey and ample spacing. Coming from a ThinkPad, I desire Lenovo’s keyboard for the marginally cupped keys and tender really feel, however HP is not far behind and is definitely reduce out for lengthy days of typing. The one criticism I’ve is that the up and down arrow keys are bunched up and the top-right Delete, Residence, Finish, and Pg keys are relatively small and out of the best way.

The sizable Precision touchpad is bordered by two units of bodily buttons, one for the touchpad itself and one for the nub pointer that is situated between G, H, and B keyboard keys. The touchpad does not really click on down so it is both a faucet or a bodily button.

Each laptops come configured with a front-facing 1080p webcam and IR digicam for facial recognition by means of Home windows Hi there, and each have privateness shutters to simply block out the view. This shutter was customary on non-touch fashions up to now, but it surely’s now moved as much as deal with contact fashions as effectively. The IR digicam labored because it ought to for fast logins, and is backed up by a fingerprint reader embedded into the right-hand palmrest. The usual 1080p webcam delivers a crisp image that is nice for stills and video conferencing.

The ZBooks nonetheless have twin microphones to higher choose up your voice whereas conferencing, and a 3rd world-facing mic with noise cancellation is meant to chop out chatter from the encompassing world. HP additionally included devoted collaboration keys on the keyboard so you may rapidly choose up, mute, and alter name quantity when speaking with colleagues.

Audio system obtained a workover for the G6 ZBooks, and the result’s spectacular. They’re situated on each laptops above the keyboard for top-firing orientation that is not muffled. A discrete amp chip on the audio system helps audio get overly loud, as much as about 74dB, and there is no noticeable distortion at excessive ranges. These are usually not your common Ultrabook audio system.

Rounding out a number of the skilled options is non-compulsory LTE connectivity. Neither assessment mannequin consists of the mandatory community card, however there’s a clear house for it inside. If you might want to keep linked always, even exterior of Wi-Fi zones, it will be effectively price the additional bit of cash. These laptops are additionally appropriate with Wi-Fi 6 for terribly quick wi-fi speeds.

Show

The ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 assessment items I obtained each have a 4K (UHD) DreamColor show that’s designed for video work. They arrive calibrated from the manufacturing facility and are tuned the identical for a uniform end-audience expertise. Each non-touch shows have a matte end to chop down on glare, and each use an IPS panel for broad viewing angles.

Image from each is unbelievable due to a billion colours and ideal distinction. The 15-inch mannequin hits about 600 nits brightness whereas the 17-inch mannequin tops out at about 400 nits. In both case, screens had been vibrant sufficient to be seen clearly in a well-lit room. Adaptive brightness handles most changes precisely for a greater consumer expertise. Because of DreamColor Assistant software program there are a selection of coloration presets to select from, together with DCI-P3, AdobeRGB, sRGB, DICOM, and BT.709.

The small camera-like sensor within the nook of the touchpad had me scratching my head till I noticed it is a built-in coloration calibration device. You possibly can set what coloration gamut you are working in, shut the lid of the laptop computer, and let it calibrate itself. That is an superior function, particularly for many who cannot simply calibrate for one gamut and go away it’s.

Professionals who require correct coloration copy shouldn’t have any points with the DreamColor show, however there are different choices if it is not fairly what you are in search of. There are extra choices accessible for the ZBook 15 — as little as FHD with 250 nits brightness — however the ZBook 17 additionally has some price range choices. For additional privateness, the 15-inch ZBook has an non-compulsory Positive View end that blocks the view of anybody who’s not trying immediately on the show.

Efficiency and battery life

The ZBook lineup is all about delivering excessive efficiency {hardware}, and in that sense the G6 fashions succeed. Whereas there are lower-end configurations accessible for each sizes (right down to a ninth Gen Intel Core i5-9300H CPU), the true magnificence lies within the specialised choices. Resulting from dimension and cooling constraints, the ZBook 15 has as much as a NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, whereas the ZBook 17 has as much as a NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU with a whopping 16GB of VRAM.

Coupled with Intel Xeon E-2286M vPro CPUs with eight cores, as much as 128GB of RAM unfold out over 4 modules, and as much as 10TB of storage (15-inch mannequin tops out at 6TB), you should not have any issues getting the correct amount of energy for the duty at hand. Unbiased Software program Vendor (ISV) certifications are included for well-liked design and growth packages, guaranteeing the laptop computer is appropriate.

Eradicating the underside cowl of both laptop computer is easy due to toolless entry. Slide a swap over to launch the underside panel, take away the duvet, and you’ve got immediate entry to RAM, SSD, and battery. It is not hot-swappable, however you may rapidly pull it out and substitute it with none instruments. When you do not need to purchase storage and RAM straight from HP, you may simply improve later.

Twin followers in every laptop computer hold internals at an acceptable temperature. Even underneath sustained load whereas benchmarking the ZBook 17 was surprisingly quiet and did not undergo from any vital throttling. The ZBook 15’s followers appeared to work a bit tougher, little doubt as a result of smaller chassis, however fan quantity nonetheless wasn’t egregious.

I ran some benchmarks on each the ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 to see how they stack up towards one another in addition to another laptops we have lately reviewed.

CPU

Geekbench 5.Zero Benchmarks (Greater is best)

MachineCPUSingle coreMulti core
HP ZBook 15 G6Xeon E-2286M1,2797,686
HP ZBook 17 G6Xeon E-2286M1,2637,595
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Xeon E-2276M1,2376,152
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)i7-9850H1,2335,216
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive (Gen 2)i7-9850H1,1604,168
Dynabook Portégé X30-Fi7-8665U1,2363,473
Dynabook Tecra X50-Fi7-8665U1,2413,043
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1i7-8565U1,1112,965
Floor Laptop computer 3 13.5Core i5-1035G71,1774,413
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390Core i7-1065G71,2093,571
Floor Laptop computer 3 15Ryzen 57692,720
Dell XPS 15 7590Core i9-9980HK1,1767,624

The Xeon E-2286M’s eight cores ship spectacular multi-core scores in Geekbench 5. No points right here with heavy multitasking.

PCMark

PCMark 10

MachineRating
HP ZBook 15 G66,146
HP ZBook 17 G66,405
Lenovo ThinkPad P535,668
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)4,969
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive (Gen 2)4,915
Dynabook Portégé X30-F3,881
Dynabook Tecra X50-F4,128
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-13,764
Floor Laptop computer 3 15 (AMD)4,006
Dell XPS 15 75905,521
Dell Precision 35413,906

The PCMark 10 benchmark checks how effectively a PC’s {hardware} collectively handles on a regular basis work. Once more it is clear these high-end configurations will not have a lot concern going up towards a heavy workload.

3DMark

Time Spy

MachineGPURating
HP ZBook 15 G6Quadro RTX 30005,619
HP ZBook 17 G6Quadro RTX 50007,803
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Quadro RTX 50006,760
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)Quadro T20002,956
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive (Gen 2)GTX 1650 Max-Q3,190
Lenovo Legion Y740 15RTX 2070 Max-Q6,406
Lenovo Legion Y740 17RTX 2080 Max-Q7,128

3DMark

Hearth Strike

MachineGPURating
HP ZBook 15 G6Quadro RTX 300012,305
HP ZBook 17 G6Quadro RTX 500016,775
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Quadro RTX 500016,367
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)Quadro T20006,632
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive (Gen 2)GTX 1650 Max-Q7,198
Dell XPS 15 (7590)GTX 1650 Max-Q7,763
Lenovo Legion Y740 15RTX 2070 Max-Q14,669
Lenovo Legion Y740 17RTX 2080 Max-Q16,303
Razer Blade 15GTX 107013,560

NVIDIA’s specialised Quadro RTX GPUs are absolute powerhouses designed to work with high-end skilled software program.

Cinebench

Cinebench (R20) (Greater is best)

MachineCPUVary
HP ZBook 15 G6Xeon E-2286M3,480 to three,525
HP ZBook 17 G6Xeon E-2286M3,346 to three,447
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Xeon E-2276M2,686 to 2,701
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)Core i7-9850H1,783 to 2,201
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive (Gen 2)Core i7-9850H1,730 to 2,495
Dynabook Portégé X30-FCore i7-8665U1,242 to 1,313
Floor Laptop computer 3 13.5Core i5-1035G41,584 to 1,606
Floor Laptop computer 3 15Core i7-1065G71,703 to 1,745

Operating the Cinebench R20 take a look at a number of instances in a row is an effective indicator of whether or not or not a laptop computer will throttle underneath sustained load. It is clear that cooling is working as meant in each laptops … and take a look at how excessive these scores are in comparison with the ThinkPad P53.

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Greater is best)

MachineLearnWrite
HP ZBook 15 G63,295.20 MB/s3,041.99 MB/s
HP ZBook 17 G63,430.80 MB/s2,829.46 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P533,567.23 MB/s2,813.25 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)3,508 MB/s3,010 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive (Gen 2)3,416 MB/s3,016 MB/s
Dynabook Portégé X30-F529 MB/s348 MB/s
Dynabook Tecra X50-F3,400 MB/s1,952 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P523,120 MB/s1,551.5 MB/s
Dell XPS 15 75903,000 MB/s2,796 MB/s
MSI PS63 Trendy3,300 MB/s1,875 MB/s

The M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs included are extraordinarily quick. I additionally examined with PCMark’s Storage take a look at and obtained again a rating of 1,657 within the ZBook 17 and a couple of,471 within the ZBook 15.

Each laptops have HP Quick Cost to ship about half battery life in 45 minutes. An added bonus is that the AC adapters are significantly smaller than a variety of competing workstations. If you’re continuously toting these laptops in your again, any discount in weight is a boon. And it would be best to take your AC adapter with you in every single place, as these laptops suck up energy rapidly.

PCMark’s gaming battery take a look at, which measures battery life with the system underneath comparatively heavy load, measured simply an hour and 15 minutes. Going about regular work, it is best to count on between 5 and 6 hours of life from a cost. Word that I examined relatively high-end fashions with 4K shows, and less-powerful configurations with FHD show could have much better battery life.

Sadly, I could not run the identical take a look at on the ZBook 15 on account of a battery concern; the laptop computer would not run with out the AC adapter. It’d make you query sturdiness but it surely’s simply one thing that occurs and is roofed by guarantee if help choices do not clear up the issue.

Must you purchase HP’s ZBook 15 or ZBook 17?

It is clear after utilizing these laptops why HP’s ZBook lineup is so well-liked within the skilled world. You get a whack of HP Positive safety choices (like Positive Begin BIOS monitor and Positive Sense antivirus), you get the ability wanted to deal with specialised duties, and also you get a bunch of show choices, together with the good DreamColor 4K screens I examined. The laptops are thick and heavy, however they’re sturdy and seemingly have the correct amount of cooling to forestall thermal throttling.

Toolless entry on the underside panel is an ingenious addition, the top-firing audio system are wonderful, and also you get loads of ports for connecting your peripherals, together with one thing like HP’s Reverb VR headset. I do not fairly just like the keyboard as a lot as I do on a ThinkPad, but it surely’s nonetheless going to make typing comfy.

4
out of 5


Answering the “Must you purchase?” query finally comes down as to if or not you want the efficiency and options and may afford the steep price ticket. Need as much as a NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU and bigger show that makes collaboration a lot simpler? Go together with the ZBook 17, although remember it is significantly better suited to life on a desk than in a backpack on account of its dimension and weight.

Are you able to get by with as much as a NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 GPU and smaller 15-inch show? The ZBook 15 is probably going a greater (and extra inexpensive) alternative, plus it is a lot simpler to hold round. It will not have a Mini DisplayPort or an optical drive, but it surely does a way more convincing job of appearing as a transportable laptop computer.

15-Inch Cell Workstation

HP ZBook 15 G6

Extra moveable, much less {powerful}

Wish to hold value and weight down whereas nonetheless getting spectacular workstation efficiency? The HP ZBook 15 G6 is probably going a better option for you.

See at HP

17-Inch Cell Workstation

HP ZBook 17 G6

Extra {powerful}, much less moveable

On the lookout for final efficiency and an unlimited show? The HP ZBook 17 G6 will fulfill, however be careful for value and weight.

See at HP

About Cale Hunt

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