Sleek style, powerful specs: HP’s ZBooks take mobile workstations to new heights

 Laptops have evolved rapidly in recent years. Thanks in large part to the growing demand for gaming devices, portable PCs have been getting increasingly powerful – and often, they’ve been able to do so without sacrificing their sleek, go-anywhere designs.

This hardware trend hasn’t just benefited gamers, however – it’s also paid off for professionals, who’ve been able to adopt these new devices for business, design and development tasks. 

Laptop makers have generally responded to this demand in a couple of ways, such as offering powerful laptops in more sober and office-friendly designs, and producing cooling systems to make them run quieter to avoid distracting colleagues. 

However, many of this new breed of “work” laptops are still fundamentally just consumer notebooks in corporate clothing, with little to distinguish them from their mainstream counterparts. A gap in the market has developed where desirable, professional-spec laptops are few and far between. This is where HP’s new G7 ZBooks come in: a range of laptops for professionals that have all the style, power, design, portability and features to get even the toughest jobs done.

HP’s ZBook Firefly mobile workstations mix together pro-grade specs with a sleek, go-anywhere chassis. (Image HP)

Laptops for designers, creators and pros 

HP’s G7 ZBooks offer a wide variety of sizes, designs and capabilities, with a portable workstation to suit every type of power user. At the most accessible end of the range are the ZBook Firefly G7 laptops, which come in both 14-inch and 15-inch flavours. 

They don’t just look good with their aluminium chassis and suave styling – they also offer military-grade robustness and HP’s top, corporate security features, including a smartcard reader. At 1.69kg (15-inch) and 1.34kg (14-inch) and with sub-20mm thickness when closed, they’re light enough to go anywhere, while the 17-hour battery life ensures that you can work remotely all day long. There’s even a built-in 4G modem to ensure that a fast connection to the internet (and your office) is available when out and about. 

All models utilise top-shelf 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, support up to 32GB RAM and can provide up to 2TB of super-fast NVMe storage. However, boosting them into true, workstation territory is the Nvidia Quadro P520 graphics processor, which is perfect for CAD users, designers, developers, data scientists and coders alike.

HP Firefly laptop

The ZBook Firefly line may be sleek, you can still easily plug in external peripherals or a monitor thanks to its full-sized USB 3.1 and HDMI 1.4b ports. (Image HP)

The premium, work-focused features you need

Such professionals will also warm to the Firefly’s 4K UHD screens which offer a new, all-round, super-thin bezel, up to 550-nit brightness and VESA DisplayHDR 400 contrast certification. They also employ HP Sure View Reflect technology to fend off wandering eyes from nosey neighbours, narrowing viewing angles to just 45o to ensure what’s on your screen stays private. 

The new keyboard is quieter and more comfortable to type on, the webcam has a privacy slider and a new standby feature allows for instant-on power resume. Intriguing audio features include a third, ‘world facing’ microphone which can either be used to better-capture colleagues’ conversations in a meeting room or provide superior ambient noise reduction. There are also Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers, which offer HP noise cancellation technology and, despite the svelte chassis, are able to deliver a punchy 74dB of audio volume with an impressive 450Hz bass roll-off. 

Connectivity upgrades over previous generations see Thunderbolt-3 compatible USB-C ports added to the mix along with blistering, Wi-Fi 6 wireless speeds.

Other optimisations involve creative workflows with a variety of certified applications like Adobe Creative Cloud, SOLIDWORKS and AutoCAD plus remote access to high-end, rendering and 3D visualization workflows using ZCentral Remote Boost. Ultimately, the Firefly ZBooks are perfect for technical and creative managers, power users and STEAM students.

The ZBook Studio G7 offers a DCI-P3 factory-calibrated display with Pantone validation, so it's ready to handle demanding design-oriented tasks out of the box.

The ZBook Studio G7 offers a DCI-P3 factory-calibrated display with Pantone validation, so it’s ready to handle demanding design-oriented tasks out of the box. (Image HP)

Step up a notch

Dialling things up a notch is the 15-inch ZBook Studio G7. This offers the core features of the Firefly models but with added performance in key areas for professionals who can’t compromise. For the first time on a laptop, HP’s one-billion-colour Pantone-validated DreamColor technology is made available, which can display 100% of the complex DCI-P3 colour space. Other display options include a Full HD, low-power (1W) variant, Sure View privacy filtering, and there’s a Gorilla Glass 6-fabricated touchscreen model. Audio technology enables an even deeper 150Hz bass roll-off.

If you’re considering coming over from a Mac, there’s also an optional Z Command keyboard layout, which makes using function key modifier shortcuts simpler for switchers.

Bespoke cooling technology uses custom, composite fans, vapor chambers and Z Predictive fan algorithms to keep the Studio’s operation whisper-quiet, even when under load. With just a 17.5mm thickness, 1.7kg weight and 17.5-hour battery life, this powerful, professional machine remains incredibly portable.

Design pros may also want to note that the ZBook Studio G7 has a sibling called the ZBook Create G7. The latter sports an HDMI 1.4 socket as opposed to a Mini DisplayPort, but otherwise the key difference is that Nvidia’s consumer-oriented RTX graphics processor is used in preference to the Studio’s Quadro P520 GPU. 

Ready for the jobs of today – and tomorrow

With built-in Bang & Olufsen speakers, the ZBook Firefly and Studio can output powerful sound.

With built-in Bang & Olufsen speakers, the ZBook Firefly and Studio can output powerful sound. (Image HP)

All of HP’s ZBooks are VR-ready to enable 3D designers and engineers to use headsets to create within a virtual space, test schematics and layouts and offer a deeper level of engagement to stakeholders – allowing them to better understand projects.

HP has created the ZBooks with an eye on sustainability too. Ocean-bound plastics are reused where possible and the devices are EPEAT Gold certified by the Green Electronics Council.

Whether you want a professional laptop for 3D design, CAD, graphics rendering, compiling code, streaming media, professional photography, videography or to design and play games, HP’s latest ZBook G7 range has you covered. The sleek, go-anywhere tools can tackle any creative or professional task, and don’t sacrifice portability or looks to get there. 

Click here for more information on the full ZBook range

Need even more power? Consider an HP Z4 desktop

HP Z4 G4 Workstation

(Image HP)

Of course, not everybody wants to take their work with them – and some users need a machine with the kind of unbridled power that can’t easily be moved around. For designers, creators and other professionals who require ultimate computing performance, there’s the HP Z4 G4 Workstation range. 

Supporting Intel® Xeon® processor with up to 18 cores, multiple operating systems, ECC memory and over 40 PCIe lanes, this range of powerhouse PCs is highly configurable and can use multiple Nvidia and AMD workstation graphics cards, plus multiple superfast network ports. 

The new industrial chassis design befits the coolest office, while rigorous testing and certification processes ensure ultimate reliability and longevity. Discover the Z4 desktop workstation here.

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