HP knocks another nail in Apple’s coffin with the powerful ZBook X2 detachable PC workstation

Oct 18, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

HP knocks another nail in Apple’s coffin with the powerful ZBook X2 detachable PC workstation

Oct 18, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Hot on the heels of Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 announcement yesterday comes Hewlett Packard. The Surface Book 2 looked pretty impressive 24 hours ago. Now, though it’s looking a little weaker by comparison. It comes with up to 32GB RAM, vs the 16GB limit on the Surface Book 2, and up to 2TB internal SSD storage. The ZBook X2 also features an even higher resolution 4K multi touch screen display.

It’s also a true 2-in-1 laptop, in the sense that you can completely detach the keyboard from the display and turn it into a tablet. Not just flip the screen around and fold it backwards. More like Microsoft’s Surface Pro, albeit with a substantially higher spec.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxmwf6XzC3E

I’d already ditched any ideas I had about getting a Mac or building a new Windows desktop after yesterday’s Surface Book 2 announcement, but now I’m rethinking things, yet again.

Like the Surface Book 2, you get the option of 7th or 9th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. Internal storage, however, is doubled from a maximum of 1TB to 2TB. As is the ram, offering up to 32GB of total storage.

The other big difference, as far as performance for creatives goes, is the GPU. While both use NVidia GPUs, the Surface Book 2 ofers the GTX1050 or GTX1060 mobile chipset, the ZBook X2 comes with a Discrete NVidia Quadro M620 GPU. Depending on what you plan to do with the system, this may or may not be a good thing. But you can be pretty sure it won’t have the gaming performance of Microsoft’s offering. If that’s important to you.

The specs overall are very impressive for such a small and portable device. It will also act as your desktop replacement, too, though. When docked, it supports a pair of external 4K monitors.


It will be interesting to see how this battle between the Surface Book 2 and the ZBook X2 plays out. Equally as interesting will be to see how many of those MacBook Pro users sitting on the fence about upgrading finally decide to just make the switch.

Another product that’s feeling the pressure from devices like this and the Microsoft Surface Pro is the Wacom Cintiq. I already know a few people who went with the Surface Pro 5 instead of picking up a Cintiq. The lines between the specialist graphics tablet display, and tablet computers that offer Wacom-like usability is becoming somewhat blurred of late.

The base model ZBook X2 starts at $1,750, and will be available in December. Find out more on the HP Website.

Update: Of course I’m not talking about the death of Apple – Simply their “Pro” line of computers, which are arguably aimed more at consumers than actual professional creatives these days.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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19 responses to “HP knocks another nail in Apple’s coffin with the powerful ZBook X2 detachable PC workstation”

  1. Henrique Pimentel Avatar
    Henrique Pimentel

    wow, amazing.
    But, Windows and Adobe applications dont use all of this power.
    Very good GPU for Lightroom and nothing is the same.
    I know, I know, Adobe’s team is working for a new version with some updates in performance issue, but, for now, spend a lot of money in this machine (or Macbook “pro” too) is throw away money.

    1. Madara Avatar
      Madara

      I believe Premiere CC would take advantage of the power.

    2. beverins Avatar
      beverins

      It sure takes advantage of it in AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Zbrush, Mari and Nuke.

  2. Tim Covington Avatar
    Tim Covington

    Except, every person I know who repairs computers advises people to avoid HP computers.

    1. Royce Trounson Avatar
      Royce Trounson

      home level hp yes, bis class they are shit hot

    2. Jyi Offer Avatar
      Jyi Offer

      …and everyone who’s ever purchased a HP computer. Anyone remember Compaq?

    3. Emilee Marie Baxter Avatar
      Emilee Marie Baxter

      To be fair, most consumers are looking for quick and cheap access to technology, not professional, built to be a workhorse, computers.

      Considering most HP computers purchased are in the $200-600 range it’s really not hard to see why so many people warn against them. There’s no cooling, no well-built parts, no decent hinges on a $200 laptop lol

    4. beverins Avatar
      beverins

      I have this machine – it is built to a higher standard. It can be put to 100% CPU and 100% GPU rendering for months at a time with no Ill Effects. A Surface Pro, Macbook Pro, Dell XPS… these will all burn out if you try that.

  3. nfasth Avatar
    nfasth

    Wait, did they just brag about ”fully functional bluetooth keyboard”? Are they used to shipping only somewhat functional keyboards?

    Also, that photographer working on the big monitor – he’s only using about 3/4 of the screen. Is the computer not able to output in the full resolution of the second screen? (I know that it’s just mirrored from the original screen, but still).

    I’m not saying that I’m not interested. Those just felt like a couple of things not completely thought through.

    1. John Lockard Avatar
      John Lockard

      He’s mirroring/cloning the screen from the tablet to the desktop and the screens are different aspect ratios, so rather than stretching the display on the desktop screen, it’s cropping the sides. For the Ad/video, it was an unfortunate monitor choice HP made.

    2. Renato Murakami Avatar
      Renato Murakami

      Not sure if it’s the case, but I think they put that in there because some hybrids have keyboards that will only work when connected. Might be wrong though.

  4. Rod Avatar
    Rod

    …regardless of how many ‘mega-pickle’ powerful HP, Microsoft, etc. make their machines there is one inescapable flaw, they don’t run a macOS – that IS the reason mac users are mac users!

    1. John Lockard Avatar
      John Lockard

      Some

      1. Casey Avatar
        Casey

        So true. It’s been the one big thing that has kept me from jumping ship so far. I don’t want to be stuck in what has been a miserable operating system. By the way, Kudos to John for writing a great clickbait headline for this article. I saw the same story on DP Review, but they just stated the facts. Yawn..

  5. David Newman Avatar
    David Newman

    Winner, Most Hyperbolic Headline of the Day Award

    AAPL revenue: 216B; HPQ revenue, 9B (both 2016)

  6. Stereo Reverb Avatar
    Stereo Reverb

    Yep, this will serious hurt Apple and their Macbook line. Totally. ;)

  7. Steen Kelså Avatar
    Steen Kelså

    Surely the headline is there to elicit fume from Mac users. As long as it doesn’t run macOS, IDGAF about it

  8. Bruno Pezzimenti Avatar
    Bruno Pezzimenti

    DIYPhotography is all about advertising products now is it?
    Maybe time to unfollow unless things change.

  9. CAugustin Avatar
    CAugustin

    The problem with this one as with the Surface Pro is that you can’t use them as a “lap”top. This is where the Surface Book comes in handy.

    And for those bragging about about these machines not having macOS and therefor not being “in the run” – Apple does decline stylus support for Mac users (on the screen, I don’t talk about “indirect” solutions like graphic tablets or Wacom Cintiq) and point them to the iPad Pro, which does not offer any pro tools. I tried it (the large one) – it is a mere toy and absolutely no comparison to a Surface with Photoshop (and Illustrator, and InDesign, and real MS Office, and, and, and, and …).

    This is why so people are looking for a Windows machine instead of their beloved Macs – and macOS is way better than Windows 10. Switching from macOS to Windows really hurts badly, but Apple is forcing it by now.