HP ZBook 17 G6 review: A heavy-duty, user-upgradable mobile workstation Review

Mobile workstations are critical computing equipment with major-notch specs, and as a outcome they arrive at a quality cost — the most expensive iteration of the HP ZBook 17 G6 expenses £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.eighty inc. VAT) at the time of crafting. For the income you’ll get major-stop discrete graphics, a Main i9 processor and a 17.three-inch screen with 4K resolution. Even as you go down the cost and specs checklist you get a great deal of ports and connectors for utilizing external equipment, and there’s even an optical drive. The entry-level ZBook 17 G6 model expenses £1,609 (ex. VAT £1,930.eighty inc. VAT).
 
No 17.three-inch laptop computer is heading to slip effortlessly into a backpack, and the HP ZBook 17 G6 is a significant and weighty device. It’s going to plant a 41.6cm by 28.8cm footprint on your desk, is three.3cm thick, and weighs a shoulder-sapping three.2kg. You are going to nearly unquestionably require to have the significant and heavy power brick much too (see feedback on battery existence beneath). 

If you do require to have this high-priced laptop computer you’ll want to be assured that it is nicely safeguarded — and it is. The chassis is quite good — “developed to endure substantial MIL-STD 810G testing”, HP says — and need to cope with the rigours of travel.

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The 17.three-inch ZBook 17 G6 is obtainable with Main i5, i7 and Xeon processors with up to 128GB of RAM, Nvidia graphics (Quadro T1000 up to Quadro RTX 5000) and up to 2TB of storage.


Illustrations or photos: HP Inc.

HP has accomplished what it can to make this significant laptop computer glimpse reasonably appealing, and there’s a unique taper towards the front prolonged edge although the two rear corners are sharply angled in line with HP’s unique ZBook styling.

The foundation has a sliding lock that makes it possible for most of the bottom plate to be taken off, giving consumer accessibility to elements such as memory and storage. This provides a diploma of long term-proofing for what is, soon after all, a appreciable investment.

The screen is all-essential in a workstation, which demands to deliver superior-top quality visuals. The 17.three-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS panel in my evaluation device experienced an ambient gentle sensor and three hundred nits brightness. I found it relatively much too bright to use when established at a hundred%. It was not touch delicate, and experienced an anti-glare end. Increased up the cost scale the screen specs major out at 4K resolution (three,480 x 2,one hundred sixty) and four hundred nits brightness.

The screen bezels are relatively thick — all-around 15mm to the sides, and a enormous 29mm at the major. There is a great deal of room in the major bezel for the 720p webcam and a pair of IR sensors for Home windows Hi experience login (for all those who prefer finger biometrics there’s also a fingerprint sensor on the wrist relaxation). The webcam has a sliding privateness protect.

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If you want to existing your get the job done to some others, then superior-top quality audio may nicely be essential. Alongside the major of the keyboard is a whole-width 3cm-deep speaker grille, housing the Bang & Olufsen audio method. This provides a great deal of volume — ample to reach all-around a mid-sized meeting desk. It is arguably a bit short on bass tones, but however impressive.

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The spill-resistant keyboard has two concentrations of backlighting, and features a pointing stick moreover a separate numeric keypad.


Impression: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The keyboard is spill resistant and backlit — you can manually select concerning two brightness concentrations for the backlight utilizing a Fn key. HP’s typical devoted Phone and Stop keys are to the appropriate of the Fn key row. There is room for a range pad with whole-size keys to the appropriate of the keyboard. The keys them selves are a very little thunky, but I experienced no difficulties achieving my normal touch-typing speed.

There is a pointing stick sitting concerning the G, H and B keys which can be utilized in conjunction with 3 buttons in a bar atop the touchpad, the central just one remaining for vertical scrolling. Beneath the touchpad is a replicate established of these buttons, although the touchpad by itself does not have inset buttons. The latter was effortlessly responsive to gestures, and straightforward to get the job done with. 

The HP ZBook 17 G6 is obtainable in the British isles in quite a few distinctive iterations, with specs jogging up to an Intel Main i9-9880H processor with 32GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics with 16GB of GDDR6 video RAM, a 4K/four hundred nits screen and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. That’ll established you back a interesting £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.eighty inc VAT). 

SEE: Functioning from household: Success ideas for telecommuters (no cost PDF)

At the other stop of the cost spectrum, £1,609 (ex. VAT £1,930.eighty inc. VAT) will get you an Intel Main i7-9850H with 16GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro T1000 graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 video RAM, an FHD/three hundred nits screen and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD.

I was despatched a specification that’s not at this time obtainable in the British isles, jogging an Intel Xeon E 2286M processor with 64GB of RAM.

My battery existence working experience may not, thus, bear out what you’ll discover in units specified for the British isles. That may be just as nicely. I billed the battery to a hundred% and let the device choose its settings. In an hour it depleted to seventy two%. As the screen brightness experienced been routinely established at a hundred% I lessened this to eighty% — nonetheless beautifully usable — and labored for an additional hour, the battery dropping to 51%. For the 3rd hour I tweaked the power mode to ‘better battery’, and it nonetheless fell considerably, ending the 3-hour stint at 29%. All I’d been doing in the course of this interval was crafting into website apps, streaming new music, and searching web sites. Never assume anything at all like a whole functioning day on battery power, for the Xeon-based mostly model at least.

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The ZBook 17 G6’s chassis provides a great deal of room for ports, slots — and even an optical drive.


Illustrations or photos: HP Inc.

There are a great deal of connectivity selections. The appropriate edge homes the round-pin power input, a mini DisplayPort, a whole-size HDMI port, two USB-C Thunderbolt three ports, and a headset jack. Towards the front edge there is a unusual sight: an optical drive with pop-out caddy.
The still left edge has an RJ-45 Ethernet port, 3 USB three.1 ports (just one with charging), an SD card reader and a SmartCard slot. 

All this tends to make the HP ZBook 17 G6 just one of the most effective-related laptops of any type we have witnessed a short while ago, and could nicely imply that people really don’t require to add a docking device.

Conclusions

The HP ZBook 17 G6 is a critically effective piece of kit, developed to give desktop-quality functionality in a transportable package. That mentioned, several will want to have this 3kg-moreover beast quite considerably, quite typically. It is bursting with ports and connectors so there’s no require for a dock, and there’s even an integrated optical drive.

The skill to accessibility the innards for consumer updates is a large moreover level, but it will be value double-examining on battery existence: my Xeon-based mostly evaluation device (not a British isles specification) was not impressive in this regard.

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