The HP ZBook 14 G2 accomplishes what it set out to do: provide workstation-class functionality in a portable 3.5 pound form factor with nearly all-day battery life. Its Intel “Broadwell” dual-core processor, good quality FHD IPS display, AMD FirePro M4150 graphics card and 16GB of RAM deliver satisfactory performance and usability for most professional applications. The overall performance is limited primarily by the dual-core processor; the top-end 15W Core i7-5600U in our review unit can nearly match a standard 47W Core i7 quad-core in single-threaded performance but falls far behind in multithreaded scenarios such as encoding and rendering.
The ZBook 14 G2’s other positive attributes include its high quality construction, excellent upgrade options, cool and quiet operation and standard three-year warranty which also covers the battery. The keyboard feels less than perfect to the touch and that is this notebook’s one notable con which detracts from the ownership experience. However, the keyboard is still plenty functional thanks to its desktop-like layout and full-sized keys.
Our review unit was more than double the $890 base price at $1,991 making the ZBook 14 G2 one of the most expensive Ultrabooks we’ve tested to date though to be fair, it’s classified as a mobile workstation. The options on our test unit including the IPS display, Core i7-5600U processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD added up quickly; more frugal shoppers can mix and match to end up closer to the $1,500 mark.
In conclusion we extend our general recommendation to the HP ZBook 14 G2 for striking a good balance between workstation performance and portability.
- Good performance
- Solid build quality
- Good battery life
- Excellent upgrade options
- Lackluster keyboard