HP today introduced its latest ZBook mobile workstations, combining the latest generation of Intel multicore processors with higher-speed memory inside rugged notebooks for serious professionals.
As we discussed in our reviews of the previous ZBooks, the HP ZBook mobile workstations are more than just business laptops. These machines are built to address the demanding needs of compute-intensive industries, including media and entertainment, graphic design, CAD, manufacturing, finance, health care, and oil and gas exploration.
The new HP ZBook 15 G2 and ZBook 17 G2 mobile workstations look very similar to the previous generation of ZBooks but take advantage of the newest Intel processors, including optional Intel quad-core processors and Nvidia Quadro and AMD FirePro professional graphics that are ISV-certified. In addition to offering configurations with Microsoft Windows 7 or 8.1, HP offers Linux support including Ubuntu.
The HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation features a thin design and offers a very-high-resolution 15-inch diagonal, 3,200 x 1,800 Quad-HD display. We were somewhat disappointed that this generation of the ZBook 15 doesn’t include an optional DreamColor display for color-critical work, but the larger HP ZBook 17 G2 Mobile Workstation has an option for a 17.3-inch diagonal with HP DreamColor display for visual artists and professionals who demand consistent color throughout their workflow.
The new line of HP ZBook workstations include Thunderbolt 2 ports for the fastest possible data transfer speeds for large files and the HP Z Turbo Drive (a custom m.2 SSD) for greater speed than a traditional 2.5-inch SATA SSD.
Both the ZBook 15 G2 and the 17 G2 workstations include charging ports for mobile devices so you can charge your phone or other small device even when the notebook is powered off.
As with the previous generation, the two new HP ZBooks continue to offer a tool-less access panel on the bottom of the chassis and tool-less removable hard drives to deliver ease of service and expandability. The access panel can also be locked down with a security screw if your IT department is concerned about employees messing with the insides of their workstations.
Businesses that spend the money on premium mobile workstations also expect serious durability … and HP’s engineers didn’t hesitate to drop the ZBooks on the floor and stand on them during the preview event for the press. Yes, the ZBooks continued to work just fine after this demonstration.
There is no word on when HP will announce an update to the smaller and lighter ZBook 14 mobile workstation Ultrabook, but HP executives and engineers are painfully aware that the ZBook 14 needs an update as well for those mobile professionals who can’t handle the bulk of a 15-inch laptop.
Price and availability
The HP ZBook 15 G2 and ZBook 17 G2 Mobile Workstation are expected to be available worldwide in late September. Estimated U.S. pricing starts at $1,499 and $1,749, respectively.