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

Cellular workstations are really serious computing equipment with best-notch specs, and as a result they occur at a premium rate — the most highly-priced iteration of the HP ZBook 17 G6 charges £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.80 inc. VAT) at the time of crafting. For the revenue you may get best-conclude discrete graphics, a Core i9 processor and a 17.3-inch screen with 4K resolution. Even as you go down the rate and specs checklist you get a lot of ports and connectors for applying external equipment, and there is even an optical generate. The entry-amount ZBook 17 G6 model charges £1,609 (ex. VAT £1,930.80 inc. VAT).
 
No 17.3-inch laptop computer is likely to slip quickly into a backpack, and the HP ZBook 17 G6 is a substantial and weighty device. It will plant a forty one.6cm by 28.8cm footprint on your desk, is 3.3cm thick, and weighs a shoulder-sapping 3.2kg. You may pretty much undoubtedly want to carry the substantial and major power brick also (see feedback on battery everyday living below). 

If you do want to carry this high-priced laptop computer you may want to be certain that it can be perfectly protected — and it is. The chassis is really sound — “developed to endure in depth MIL-STD 810G screening”, HP says — and should really cope with the rigours of vacation.

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The 17.3-inch ZBook 17 G6 is available with Core 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 done what it can to make this hefty laptop computer search reasonably interesting, and there is a distinct taper towards the front extensive edge although the two rear corners are sharply angled in line with HP’s distinctive ZBook styling.

The base has a sliding lock that enables most of the base plate to be taken out, giving consumer access to elements these kinds of as memory and storage. This gives a diploma of long term-proofing for what is, right after all, a appreciable financial investment.

The screen is all-crucial in a workstation, which requirements to supply superior-quality visuals. The 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS panel in my evaluate device experienced an ambient mild sensor and three hundred nits brightness. I located it instead also vibrant to use when established at one hundred%. It was not touch delicate, and experienced an anti-glare finish. Higher up the rate scale the screen specs best out at 4K resolution (3,480 x two,a hundred and sixty) and 400 nits brightness.

The screen bezels are instead thick — around 15mm to the sides, and a huge 29mm at the best. There is a lot of room in the best bezel for the 720p webcam and a pair of IR sensors for Windows Hello there facial area login (for individuals who choose finger biometrics there is also a fingerprint sensor on the wrist rest). The webcam has a sliding privacy protect.

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If you want to current your function to other individuals, then superior-quality audio may well perfectly be crucial. Together the best of the keyboard is a whole-width 3cm-deep speaker grille, housing the Bang & Olufsen audio procedure. This provides a lot of volume — ample to arrive at around a mid-sized convention desk. It can be arguably a bit limited on bass tones, but nonetheless spectacular.

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The spill-resistant keyboard has two amounts of backlighting, and options a pointing stick plus a independent numeric keypad.


Graphic: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The keyboard is spill resistant and backlit — you can manually choose amongst two brightness amounts for the backlight applying a Fn key. HP’s regular committed Get in touch with and Stop keys are to the ideal of the Fn key row. There is room for a range pad with whole-sizing keys to the ideal of the keyboard. The keys themselves are a tiny thunky, but I experienced no trouble achieving my common touch-typing pace.

You can find a pointing stick sitting down amongst the G, H and B keys which can be made use of in conjunction with three buttons in a bar atop the touchpad, the central one getting for vertical scrolling. Beneath the touchpad is a copy established of these buttons, although the touchpad by itself does not have inset buttons. The latter was smoothly responsive to gestures, and easy to function with. 

The HP ZBook 17 G6 is available in the British isles in a number of unique iterations, with specs jogging up to an Intel Core i9-9880H processor with 32GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics with 16GB of GDDR6 video clip RAM, a 4K/400 nits screen and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. That’ll established you back a cool £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.80 inc VAT). 

SEE: Doing the job from residence: Achievement strategies for telecommuters (free PDF)

At the other conclude of the rate spectrum, £1,609 (ex. VAT £1,930.80 inc. VAT) will get you an Intel Core i7-9850H with 16GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro T1000 graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 video clip RAM, an FHD/three hundred nits screen and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD.

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

My battery everyday living knowledge may well not, consequently, bear out what you may locate in units specified for the British isles. That may well be just as perfectly. I billed the battery to one hundred% and let the machine decide its configurations. In an hour it depleted to seventy two%. As the screen brightness experienced been instantly established at one hundred% I minimized this to 80% — even now properly usable — and worked for another hour, the battery dropping to fifty one%. For the third hour I tweaked the power method to ‘better battery’, and it even now fell significantly, finishing the three-hour stint at 29%. All I’d been doing throughout this period was crafting into internet apps, streaming audio, and searching websites. Do not expect anything at all like a whole doing work working day on battery power, for the Xeon-based model at minimum.

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The ZBook 17 G6’s chassis gives a lot of room for ports, slots — and even an optical generate.


Illustrations or photos: HP Inc.

There are a lot of connectivity options. The ideal edge homes the round-pin power enter, a mini DisplayPort, a whole-sizing HDMI port, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a headset jack. In direction of the front edge there is a scarce sight: an optical generate with pop-out caddy.
The still left edge has an RJ-forty five Ethernet port, three USB 3.1 ports (one with charging), an SD card reader and a SmartCard slot. 

All this tends to make the HP ZBook 17 G6 one of the most effective-related laptops of any sort we have viewed just lately, and could perfectly indicate that people never want to insert a docking device.

Conclusions

The HP ZBook 17 G6 is a severely powerful piece of package, developed to present desktop-quality performance in a transportable offer. That said, few will want to carry this 3kg-plus beast really much, really usually. It can be bursting with ports and connectors so there is no want for a dock, and there is even an built-in optical generate.

The potential to access the innards for consumer upgrades is a big plus level, but it will be worth double-checking on battery everyday living: my Xeon-based evaluate device (not a British isles specification) was not spectacular in this respect.

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