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HP ZBook x2 G4 Detachable Workstation review: A hybrid for creatives

If an typical laptop won’t cut it performance-wise we need to step adult to a mobile workstation, and HP has several contenders in a ZBook range: late final year we looked during a ZBook 14u G4 and found that while it was robust, opening was disappointing. Next adult is another 14-inch system, that HP claims is a “World’s Most Powerful and First Detachable PC Workstation”. Let’s see how it shapes up.

The ZBook x2 G4 detachable has a sold design. A grille circumference half of a lid houses cooling vents and is immediately eye-catching, as are a bony ‘cut-off’ corners. These comforts alone make a ZBook x2 G4 mount out from a crowd.


The 14-inch ZBook x2 G4 runs on 7th or 8th-generation Intel Core i7 CPUs with a dissimilar Nvidia Quadro M620 GPU. The detacahble device weighs from 2.17kg (4.78lb) in laptop mode and 1.65kg (3.64lb) in inscription mode.

Images: HP Inc.

The gathering of regulating a kickstand to support a lid/screen/tablet territory is frequency a novelty. HP has constructed a mount that does a pursuit really well: it’s good hinged, and remained plain during a exam period. The mount is able of holding a shade during roughly any angle, so that by a time it reaches a limits, there are usually a few degrees between a shade and a prosaic surface.

The two-piece inlet of this laptop means users can detach a keyboard and leave it in a office. But even given that this is a laptop directed during designers who will expected wish to work approach to a shade many of a time, we consider a keyboard will substantially transport many some-more mostly than it’s left during base. It provides insurance for a shade in transit, and is expected to be indispensable when a user is out and about — it’s preferable to operative with on-screen keyboards that devour observation area.

The sum weight is 2.17kg, or 1.65kg though a keyboard. That’s a lot to lift around, and — as we shall see — a vast energy section will also substantially need to transport as well.

The tablet’s weight creates it unreal to reason in a hands for really long– this sold inscription will reside on a kickstand or prosaic on a table many of a time. If this device should trip from a palm or a tabletop, a military-grade robustness (MIL-STD 810G) should safeguard that it comes to no harm.

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The ZBook x2 G4 doesn’t try to squeeze a arrangement into a minimal-bezel design. Quite a opposite, in fact. The side bezels are 27mm, a tip bezel is 22mm and a reduce bezel measures 30mm. There are good reasons for this: a tip bezel houses cameras, including a infrared camera for Windows Hello (there’s another camera on a back), and a reduce bezel has to yield comforts for advancing a keyboard. The keyboard wharf binds well, even yet it relies on magnets rather than automatic thatch or levers.

The side bezels are a many interesting, though. Both left and right sides residence an array of 6 buttons and 3 little white LED lights.


The 6 Quick Keys on any side of a shade are useful when operative with a coop in inscription mode, and are rarely configurable.

Images: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The buttons are a HP Quick Keys, that are essential to operative during speed and will come into play quite when users are focused on pen-based submit rather than operative with a keyboard. They can be configured as shortcuts in a far-reaching operation of apps, not usually artistic ones, and can be used to get around a laptop some-more generally — for instance locking shade revolution or job adult Cortana. You can configure 3 opposite operative modes, and those white lights prove that one is active during any sold time. That’s a lot of customisation.


The enclosed ZBook x2 Pen is also configurable, regulating a same utility.

Images: HP Inc. Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The HP ZBook x2 Pen that is included, comes with a possess lift case. With 4,096 levels of vigour sensitivity, no need to charge, and considerable responsiveness, this Wacom EMR device is precisely what stylus-wielding creatives will need to make a many of this kind of device. The same application that allows for customisation of those screenside buttons can be used to customise a pen’s performance.

The keyboard is built to last. It hardly flexes, and offers adequate transport and elasticity to examination really good with unchanging laptop keyboards. we worked absolutely and during full hold typing speed though any problems. Bluetooth kicks in automatically when a keyboard is undocked, creation it easy to continue operative though interruption. There is a large, far-reaching touchpad with an NFC section in a centre, that we found manageable and gratifying to use.


The ZBook x2’s keyboard attaches solidly, is gentle to use, and switches seamlessly to a Bluetooth tie when detached.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The keyboard has a possess battery to keep Bluetooth going. It will assign from a categorical battery when docked, or it can be charged alone by a possess Mini-USB port, that is discreetly located behind a advancing strip.

The 14-inch HP Dreamcolor touchscreen has a 4K fortitude of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels (315ppi). The IPS display’s anti-glare finish is good matched to artistic applications; colours are vibrant, and limit liughtness is clever though being overpowering.

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A laptop like this will no doubt be used to denote artistic work, and in some cases this will embody audio, so it’s unsatisfactory that a stereo speakers miss punch. Their location, distant left and right of a tip corner of a tablet, creates sense, though there’s a bit too many three-way and not adequate bass, and volume doesn’t go scarcely high enough. Despite a Bang Olufsen credentials, audio is not this laptop’s clever suit.

In a zeal to get a HP ZBook x2 G4 out for review, we was sent a US specification. My examination section ran an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8650U CPU with 32GB of RAM and a dissimilar Nvidia Quadro M620 GPU with 2GB of VRAM. For storage, it had a 512GB PCIe SSD.

The cost of my examination section pattern was not reliable for a UK, though in a US a starting cost is $2,279, so we can expect a likewise high cost in a UK. Indeed, a Core i7-7600U chronicle of this laptop is now accessible in a UK for £2,530.80 (inc VAT, or $2,109 ex. VAT).

Ports and slots are essentially ranged along a right brief corner of a tablet, that houses a fingerprint sensor, an SD label reader, full sized USB 3.0 and HDMI ports, dual USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports and a energy input. The left corner houses a 3.5mm headset jack, a energy symbol and dual volume buttons.

HP claims that a ZBook x2 G4’s 4-cell 70Wh battery will broach ‘up to’ 10 hours of life, though we found battery life unsatisfactory in practice. With a laptop on ‘best performance’ mode and shade liughtness during 100 percent, it depleted to 54 percent in usually dual hours. A some-more regressive 75 percent shade liughtness forsaken it down to 45 percent in 3 hours. The bottom line is that you’re doubtful to get a full day’s work from this complement though recharging during some point.


The HP ZBook x2 G4 is a powerhouse for artistic types, and has a lot going for it. The bezel shortcuts for coop users are a highlight, and a coop itself is superb. The detachable pattern has been good thought-out and good implemented. However, a audio subsystem is unsatisfactory and assuage battery life will order out some use cases.

This is a reward device with a co-ordinate cost tag. It’s not for everyone, though if you’re looking for a workstation-class detachable with glorious coop input, it’s your best choice right now.


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