A Closer Look at HP’s Latest Mobile Workstations

Desktop boat anchors need not apply. Powerful mobiles this way come.

HP ZBook 15u Touch Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook 15u Touch Mobile Workstation. HP

HP has always been a player in the mobile workstation game, along with the desktop workstation game, the high end display game, the consumer laptop game and a whole bunch of other games. They’re kind of like the Bo Jackson of tech. If there’s a technology out there, chances are HP is there, and chances are they’re playing at the high end of that space.

So it was no surprise when they launched a handful of sleek new products at their Workstation Global Launch Event.

The tech superpower announced a lineup of powerful new portables, alongside innovative storage and cooling solutions. For now, we'll take a look at the mobile workstations.

The video editor in us relies on a workstation day in and day out to ensure we are working quickly, efficiently, and with as few performance bottlenecks as possible. HP knows this, and their new mobile workstations deliver on all fronts.

Let’s start with a look at the ZBook Studio, which HP is calling “the world’s first quad core workstation Ultrabook”. The 15.6-inch HP ZBook Studio is HP’s thinnest and lightest full performance mobile workstation to date, and was designed for us - professionals who need real power on the go.
 
More than just powerful, this machine is light as well considering the immense power it can contain. The ZBook Studio tips the scales at just 4.4 lbs. and 18mm thin. Other mobile workstations might sacrifice power for size, but the ZBook Studio can be loaded from stem to stern with power and performance.

The ZBook Studio features Intel Core or Xeon processors, dual 1 TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2 for up to 2 TB of storage, up to 32 GB ECC memory, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, dual cooling fans, and options for HP DreamColor UHD or FHD touch displays. Needing some heavy GPU performance? Good. The ZBook Studio can house either the NVIDIA Quadro M1000M with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory or an Intel HD graphics 530.


 
“As the world’s first quad core workstation Ultrabook, the ZBook Studio is a perfect combination of brains and beauty with the engineering toughness of a HP Z Workstation,” said Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager, HP Workstations and Thin Clients, HP Inc. “The ZBook Studio endures 120,000 hours of testing and features numerous first-time workstation advancements, including Intel XEON CPUs with ECC memory, Thunderbolt 3, Gen 2 Z Turbo Drives, HP Sure Start client security, and an eight million color-critical pixel DreamColor 4k display.”
 
Following hot on the heels of the ZBook Studio, HP also released three other mobile workstations: the ZBook 15u, the ZBook 15 and the ZBook 17. These machines take over from previous generations of the same machine, though all three are thinner and lighter than their predecessors, but with increased power and performance.

Let’s go through them:
 
To start, HP announced the new HP ZBook 15u, a machine that promises workstation-level performance in a compact, reasonably-priced package. The aptly named 15u includes a 15.6” display, and can house up to 32 GB of memory, AMD FirePro graphics with 2 GB frame buffer, HP Z Turbo Drive G2 for up to 1.5 TB of total storage, and an FHD touch display.

Not a lot of compromise out of the latest with this one.
 
Next, HP announced the ZBook 15, the newest iteration of the world’s top-selling mobile workstation. Improving on the last version of the ZBook 15 in every way, the new model is 27 percent thinner and 7 percent lighter, and boasts a 27 percent increase in battery life. The HP ZBook 15 with a 15.6-inch diagonal display is equipped with an Intel® Core™ or Xeon® processor, 64 GB ECC memory, dual 1 TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2 for up to 3 TB of total storage, dual Thunderbolt 3, and optional HP DreamColor UHD or FHD touch displays.
 
And finally, there is the HP ZBook 17 — a monster machine that redefines the term “desktop replacement”. This new beast features a 67 percent increase in battery life, is 25 percent thinner and 11 percent lighter than its predecessor. The ZBook 17 can be packed with either an Intel Core or Xeon processor, up to 64 GB ECC memory, dual 1 TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2 for up to 4 TB of total storage, dual Thunderbolt 3, and optional HP DreamColor UHD or FHD touch displays. The ZBook 17 also features NVIDIA graphics support up to M5000M Quadro with an 8 GB frame buffer.
 
As with all great desktop replacements, an able dock can help greatly. Fortunately, offered with HP ZBook Workstations is the new HP ZBook Dock with Thunderbolt 3. Users can link up to 10 devices at once through ports that include Thunderbolt 3 (supporting DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1 Gen 2, and PCIe), four USB 3.0, RJ-45, VGA, combo audio, and two additional DisplayPorts.

“HP ZBook products have significant reliability advantages and are designed to pass military standards testing and endure 120,000 hours in HP’s test process,” said Ron Rogers, vice president and head of engineering, Workstations and Thin Clients, HP Inc. “HP practices physics of failure techniques to predict reliability and improve product performance. This engineering approach has provided end-users our most reliable workstations available.”
 
Price and Availability:
 

    The HP ZBook Studio is planned for availability in December starting at $1699.
    HP ZBook 15u is planned for availability in January starting at $1099.
    HP ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 are planned for availability in January – pricing not yet available.
    HP ZBook Dock with Thunderbolt 3 is planned for availability in December starting at $229.

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