A laptop, a tablet or a full-fledged working station, what will you call it? The hottest topic for today is HP Zbook X2 Detachable Workstation, a one of a kind detachable laptop styled workstation. If you want something that has the portability of a laptop and the power of desktop station, detachable workstation from HP might be for you.
HP Zbook X2 isn’t a laptop, not in any sense. The whole purpose of laptop is portability, while the Zbook stands at 4.78lbs in laptop mode with the detachable keyboard. In tablet mode though, it weighs at 3.64lbs which isn’t light as well. The whole purpose of HP Zbook Detachable Workstation is to provide the ease of tablet yet with the comfort of keyboard to the digital artists, photographers and other creatives. Its massive but designed to be very useful and easy in operation through shortcuts. The 4K display and professional-grade stylus has the feel of drawing on paper.
Specification of HP Zbook X2 Detachable Workstation
The Zbook is packed with whatever HP got in its pocket, at least it seems so. Let’s take a look at the specs.
|Dimension (WxDxH) inch||0.53×14.35×8.94 (tablet mode); 0.75×14.35×8.94 (laptop mode)|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro 64- Recommended by HP|
|Base features||ZBook x2 G4 with Intel Core i5-8250U processor + Intel UHD Graphics 620 (2WX08AV)
ZBook x2 G4 with Intel Core i7-7500U processor + NVIDIA Quadro M620 2 GB dedicated GDDR5 (X3U56AV)
ZBook x2 G4 with Intel Core i7-8550U processor + NVIDIA Quadro M620 2 GB dedicated GDDR5 (2WX06AV)
ZBook x2 G4 with Intel Core i7-8650U processor + NVIDIA Quadro M620 2 GB dedicated GDDR5 (2WX07AV)
ZBook x2 G4 with Intel Core i7-7600U processor + NVIDIA Quadro M620 2 GB dedicated GDDR5 (X3U57AV)
|Processor||Intel Core i5-8250U processor (1.6 GHz, 6 MB cache)
Intel Core i7-7500U processor (2.7 GHz, 4 MB cache)
Intel Core i7-8550U processor (1.8 GHz, 8 MB cache)
Intel Core i7-8650U processor (1.9 GHz, 8 MB cache)
Intel Core i7-7600U processor (2.8 GHz, 4 MB cache)
|Out-of-Band Management||No AMT vPro Technology Supported
AMT vPro Technology Disabled
Intel vPro Technology Enabled
|Display||14″ diagonal UHD B-LED UWVA for FHD Webcam + IR slim Touchscreen (3840×2160)
14″ diagonal UHD DreamColor B-LED UWVA for FHD Webcam + IR slim Touchscreen (3840×2160)
720P wIR/8MP Dual Webcam
|Graphics||No discrete graphics
NVIDIA Quadro M620 2 GB dedicated GDDR5
|Memory||8 GB (2×4 GB) DDR4 2133
16 GB (2×8 GB) DDR4 2133
32 GB (2×16 GB) DDR4 2133
|Internal storage||128 GB M2 SATA-3 SSD
256 GB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
256 GB PCIe NVMe MLC SSD
512 GB Z Turbo Drive G2 Self Encrypted (SED) OPAL2 TLC SSD
512 GB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
512 GB Z Turbo Drive G2 MLC SSD
512 GB M2 SATA-3 FIPS TLC SSD
1 TB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
1 TB Z Turbo Drive G2 MLC SSD
2 TB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
|Keyboard||Touchpad Backlit Soft Cover Keyboard (detachable)|
|Audio||Bang & Olufsen, dual stereo speakers, dual array digital microphone, functions keys for volume up and down, combo microphone/headphone jack, HD audio|
|Wireless technology||Intel 8265 ac 2×2 + Bluetooth 4.2|
|Fingerprint reader||W/O fingerprint reader|
|Ac adapter||65Watt and 90Watt AC adapter|
|Battery||4 Cell 70 WHr Long Life|
|I/O ports||Headphone/Microphone combo
1x HDMI 1.4
1x USB 3.0 (charging)
2x USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt 3 (display port 1.2)
1xsmart card reader
1x SD media card reader
Specs and Features of HP Zbook X2 Detachable Workstation
The HP Zbook X2 looks and feels undoubtedly powerful. It isn’t just a laptop or just a tablet, it is robust form of both of these combined. Some of the features and specs of the Zboob X2 are given below.
You wouldn’t have seen any laptop like this. It looks powerful, its look alone is industrial grade. The back is plain gunmetal gray with reflective Z logo and vents all over in the octagonal design. It has a pull-out kiskstand which extends up to 165 degrees.
Along the front side, there is thick bezel surrounding the 14-inch, 4K matte display. The top of the bezel houses webcam and infrared camera for logging in. each side has 6 buttons each which can be programmed for various purpose. The keyboard attaches with magnets to the bottom of the tablet and has the same color scheme as the rest of the body. HP claims the machine to be MIL-STD 810G tested and it has no issues with shocks, drops and vibrations. All the ports are on the right side with headphone jack and a lock slot on the left side.
It is just like an All-in-one PC with everything behind the display meaning you get same level of performance with or without the bottom attached. With the given dimension and weight, the Zbook is larger than any other workstations. While the Surface book has additional battery capacity and GPU on its base, Zbook has everything on the top. While Surface feels much more like a tablet, Zbook is somewhat clunkier to feel as tablet.
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Zbook X2 comes with 14-inch 4K panel, one of the most vivid ones in the market. It’s a matte touch screen with a chemical coating which when paired with a stylus feels like writing on the paper. The display can show 1 billion different colors which pops up in some areas while being some disappointing in others. The Zbook has 16:9 aspect ratio and covers 178% of the sRGB color gamut. The matte display is very helpful while drawing, but for reviewing the drawing, a screen somewhat glossier is great.
Stylus and Shortcuts
The stylus offered with the Zbook X2 is similar to a real-life pen with comfortable weight to it. The stylus has 4,096 degrees of pressure sensitivity in both tip and eraser. The Zbook stylus has no need for charging like the ones with the Apple pencil.
The shortcut buttons are on the sides of the screen. It comes in handy while using without the keyboard. The shortcut buttons are programmable with the HP’s Create control panel which can adjust those buttons as well as the preference for the eraser and pen. With adobe photoshop and illustrator installed, the buttons get pre-populated with suggestions. You can adjust the tip and the eraser feel for the stylus, the tilt sensitivity, and the extra button on the pen. The button doesn’t need a lot of pressure to work. The stylus comes with a carrying case but most of you would wish it was magnetic, sticking to the side of screen when not in use.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The detachable keyboard is weak point for most of the 2-in-1s around. But the Zbook X2’s keyboard is comparable to a full-size laptop keyboard. The keys have 1.5mm of travel and have clicky feel to it. The keyboard has a battery of its own. It can be connected to the top half not just with the pogo pins, but also over the Bluetooth. You can still be using the system with keyboard after it is detached. It charges through the main system when docked or has a micro USB port to charge separately. The touchpad is spacious and responds quickly to the Windows 10 gestures.
The audio quality of the X2 is fairly forgivable. The speakers are on the top back of the tablet which means using it in the laptop mode will have the speaker fire away from you. The vocals are quite decent, but the bass is not up to the mark. All in all, if you like some Boom Boom music, you would better pair it with an external speaker. Using it in tablet mode with the kick-stand at its full opening will however sound loud by the reflection from the table.
The Zbook X2 is packed with top of the line specs. The most notable part is 32GB of RAM which is double the capacity of some of the tables and convertibles can offer. There are plenty of processor and storage option available as mentioned on the specification table above. With the Intel Core i7-8650U processor, 32Gb of RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro M620 with 2GB of VRAM, everyday task is a piece of cake. On the Geekbench 4 overall performance, the Zbook scored 15,308 which is greater than the average workstation score. The Zbook’s PCIe SSD is faster than the average, faster than the Surface but slower than MacBook Pro.
The overall performance is better than the par scores, but when it comes to pure graphics, it is lost somewhere. While the Surface Book 2 has a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, its performance outcasts the Zbook. The Surface 2 is meant for the entry-level VR and high-level gaming while Zbook X2 I meant for the designers and creatives focused mostly on the visuals.
If you plan on using your laptop while travelling, you will always need a charger while travelling. Through intensive web surfing, graphics test and videos, the battery lasted merely 4 hours and 9 minutes which is less than the average workstation. This might be because the DreamColor Screen uses the discrete GPU at all time. Turning off the DreamColor will give a boost to the battery life, but it is only fair enough.
The front webcam and the rear camera are definitely a unique combo to the laptops of this kind. The front camera is 720p selfie camera while the rear one is a 3264×1836 shooter. The rear camera is for the ease of the artists to click pictures of the subject they would want to sketch. The cameras have mixed experiences with some lagging and some excelling features.
The environment gets a little toasty under heavy load. Using it in the laptop mode is fairly easier on the cooling side with the vents all over. But in the tablet mode, it can hit somewhat 97degree Fahrenheit which is few degrees above the comfortable threshold.
The list of accessories is longer. Every version might not get the accessories similar, but it’s worth noting. The accessories include:
- HP laser 3 button USB Mouse
- HP HDMI to DVI Adapter
- HDMI to VGA Adapter
- HP USB 3.0 to Gigabit Adapter
- HP USB-C to RJ45 Adapter
- HP Business Top Load Case
- HP USB-C to VGA Adapter
- HP USB-C to HDMI Adapter
- HP Comfort Grip Wireless Mouse
- HP USB-C to DisplayPort
- HP 65-watt External Power Supply with Power Cord
- HP Mobile USB DVDRW NonLS
- HP ZBook Thunderbolt 3 Dock Cable 1m
- HP ZBook 150W Thunderbolt3 Dock
Zbook X2 is meant to be used with the Adobe’s Creative Suite, however, it is not included free. Though it can provide you a better deal on a one-year subscription for $479 which is 20% off the usual $49.99 monthly. The HP Zbook X2 detachable workstation is sold with a year warranty by default but you can bump it to three years for just $121.
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The HP has set up four configurations that it thinks are best for different creatives. There are configurations for Photographers ($2,699), digital artists ($2,429), video editors ($2,900) and professional digital artists and photographers ($3,279). All of these has the quad core Intel Core processor, except the digital artist configuration with 7th gen dual core CPU, and have various amounts of storage and RAM.
You can use the customization tool to build your own configuration. You can keep things you like and drop-off the rest. You have wide range of selection to make. Choose from whatever amount of RAM and Storage you want, keep the hardware you want and ditch the rest, it is up to you.
HP Zbook X2 Pricing
Looking at the specs and the configuration the HP is selling pre-configured, the price lands up above the $2,400 mark. Though you can customize the system as per your choice, the cheapest one would cost you $1,647.36 with Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SATA SSD, a 4K non-DreamColor display, no webcam, no discrete GPU, no fingerprint reader, no stylus, FreeDOS 2.0 instead of Windows 10. It isn’t recommendable one but shows off that customization can be done. You can keep things you really want and ditch the rest. Though, sticking up with the pre-configured device would be ideal choice.
If you are someone with the professional-grade inking capability and want adobe integration, go no further than HP Zbook X2 detachable workstation. It might be heavier to your pocket starting at $2,429. You might as well have a look at the other alternative as the 15-inch Apple MscBook Pro (starting at $2,399) and 15-inch Surface Book 2 (starting at $2,499). All these 3 workstations complement each other in one way or they fill in the gaps left by others, leaving theirs behind.
At last, the decision lands up on you. Whichever device you opt for, none of them are cheap choices. Be wise and choose the right one for your pocket and your need. The HP Zbook X2 detachable workstation is a specialized tool for the digital creatives who require power, high resolution screen, fantastic assisting tool like stylus, and accessible shortcuts for their Adobe creative suites with little sacrifice in the battery life. If it suits you, have no second thought and just go for it. You can make the purchase for much more category of the Zbook X2 available from the HP Official Store. You can find the one for your taste.