HP’s ZBook x2: It’s powerful, it’s specialized, and it’s very expensive

Enlarge / HP ZBook x2. (credit: Peter Bright)

Since Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 proved that there was a market for tablet-sized PCs sporting detachable keyboards, we’ve seen an abundance of minor variations of the concept from the major PC OEMs. For the most part, they’ve stuck pretty close to Microsoft’s basic formula, with tweaks in screen size and resolution, connectivity options, and hinge design distinguishing one from another.

By comparison, the new HP ZBook x2 looks like it will be one of the more unusual riffs on the concept. The fundamentals remain the same, but ZBook is HP’s mobile workstation branding, and, accordingly, the ZBook x2 is aimed specifically at artists, engineers, designers, and other professional users. In particular, it’s aimed at those users who like the flexibility of the Surface Pro form factor—a machine for drawing and sketching, but also for sending emails, filing accounts, or whatever else a user needs to do. Yet, the ZBook x2 also offers more power than other systems of this type.

This extra power comes from three things in particular. The first is the processor; HP is offering the new 8th generation Intel Core chips with four cores and eight threads. Second is the GPU: there’s a discrete Nvidia Quadro M620 GPU with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5. And finally there’s RAM: up to 32GB.

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