HP ZBook x2: a Rugged 2-in-1 with Maximum Performance for Graphics Pros

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HP seems to have looked at the Microsoft Surface Pro and said “That’s nice, but it’s not powerful enough.” Like its rival detachable 2-in-1, the upcoming HP ZBook x2 will sport Intel Kaby Lake processors, but with up to 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage.

The lower-end versions will have either 7th-generation Core i7-7500U or 7600U processors. The high-end iterations will use 8th-gen i5-8250U, i7-8550U, or i7-8650U chips. The device will include an Nvidia Quadro M620 GPU, with 2GB of graphics memory

Storage options start with a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD, and include 256GB and 512GB  HP Turbo Drives.  The maxed-out option is a 2 terabyte NVMe M.2 SSD.

HP ZBook x2: Screen, Ports, Etc.

The design of the HP ZBook x2 is similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro: a tablet with a kickstand and detachable keyboard. Unlike its rival, the keyboard will be bundled with the computer, as will a pressure-sensitive active pen.

The 14-inch display will have a 14k resolution, and will support 100% of Adobe’s RGB color gamut.

The ZBook x2  will have a USB 3.0 Type-A port, SD memory card slot, fingerprint scanner, a headphone jack, and an HDMI 1.4 port. But that’s just the beginning of the options for attaching an external display, as it will also have dual USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support.

As one would expect from a computer designed for artists, it will come with a Wacom stylus that supports 4,096 levels of sensitivity. No battery is required for this pen as it uses electromagnetic resonance (EMR) technology.

Although the keyboard and trackpad can be attached to the tablet, they will communicate with the ZBook x2 over Bluetooth. This means these input devices are still usable even when not touching the slate.

Tablets get carried everywhere, which means they also get dropped. HP is building this 2-in-1 with MIL-STD 810G ruggedness, which means it be able to endure shock, vibration, dust, humidity, and extreme temperatures.

HP promises this 2-in-1 will deliver up to 10 hours of battery life. That’s despite a pair of fans needed to cool the hardware.

There are a couple of downsides to all of this. First off, the ZBook x2 will weigh in at 4.8 pounds with its keyboard attached. That about double the Surface Pro (2017) with keyboard.

Even more important, the starting price for this upcoming PC is $1,749. Choosing the fastest processor and most RAM and storage will surely push that price tag to more than $2,000.

HP plans to start shipping the ZBook x2 at the beginning of December.





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  1. AcademicManiac

    You know a Notebook is powerful when it has a 14k resolution screen.

  2. Ed Hardy

    Sorry, I meant 4K, of course.