Sometimes, you want a laptop computer that is a little bit extra highly effective than your common system. That’s the place the HP ZBook 14u G4 is available in. Billed as the worth-possibility cellular workstation in HP’s ZBook lineup, the laptop computer presents a reasonably highly effective AMD FirePro graphics card and restricted ISV certifications for semi-intensive duties. However, its twin-core processor prevents it from performing extra of the heavy lifting you’d count on from a standard workstation.

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But in the event you want a cellular laptop computer with strong battery life and higher efficiency than your common enterprise pocket book, the ZBook is an effective candidate.

Design

At three.6 kilos and measuring 13.three x 9.three x zero.87 inches, the HP ZBook 14u G4 is lighter (but thicker) than Ultrabook-style cellular workstations just like the Dell Precision 5520 (four.four kilos, zero.7 inches thick) and HP ZBook Studio G4 (four.9 kilos, zero.7 inches thick). It’s extra in step with the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (three.48 kilos, zero.79 inches thick) or MacBook Pro 13-inch (Touch Bar) (three kilos, zero.6 inches thick), nevertheless it’s thicker than each.

With many workstations being put to make use of on meeting traces, in chemical crops and at out of doors work websites, the ZBook 14u G4 is constructed with a piece-prepared stage of ruggedness. The ZBook has handed a number of MIL-SPEC ruggedness tests for every little thing from excessive temperatures to operability in dusty environments. It has even been examined for explosive ambiance during which the air itself could also be full of flammable substances and a stray spark would have disastrous penalties.

The ZBook 14u G4 has a wholesome collection of ports and options. On the left facet of the laptop computer, you can see an built-in Smart Card reader, a USB three.zero port with energy for charging units and VGA video output.

On the fitting facet of the machine is a second USB three.zero port, a USB three.1 with a USB Type-C connection, a compact gigabit Ethernet port and DisplayPort for connecting an exterior monitor. It additionally boasts a constructed-in media-card reader, a mixture headphone and microphone jack, and a facet-docking connector. The ZBook 14u G4 is appropriate with the docking utilized in earlier editions of the transportable workstation.

Other constructed-in options embody a fingerprint sensor for safe login, close to-area communications or NFC, and elective cellular broadband. A constructed-in lock slot enables you to bodily safe the laptop computer, and different constructed-in security measures, like vPro administration and HP’s SureStart Gen three BIOS-stage safety allow you to really feel assured that your knowledge is equally locked down.

Display and Audio

Our configuration of the ZBook 14u G4 has a 14-inch touch display with 1920 x 1080 decision. That’s the usual decision for the ZBook 14u line, however contact is a configurable possibility. When I watched the trailer for Isle of Dogs, I may clearly make out the fur on every cease-motioned pooch, and one notably multicolored background had each hue of the rainbow.

Some cellular workstations will supply 4K resolution as an improve at buy, however the price range-pleasant ZBook doesn’t. If you desire a increased-decision show, take a look at the HP ZBook Studio G4, which has an possibility for a 3840 x 2160 display, or the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has a 2560 x 1600 show. The ZBook 14u G4’s 14-inch show has full-HD decision, which shall be sufficient for many work-associated makes use of, however if you’d like increased resolutions, you may must look elsewhere.

Averaging 316 nits based on our brightness meter, the ZBook 14u G4 has above-common brightness for a skinny, gentle work machine, with the class common being 248 nits. Similarly, the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 measured 234 nits, however different machines supply considerably brighter shows, such because the Dell Precision 5520 (335 nits), MacBook Pro 13-inch (458 nits) and HP ZBook Studio G4 (301 nits).

The ZBook 14u G4 has first rate color, reproducing 118 p.c of the seen sRGB spectrum based on our colorimeter. That’s not dangerous, edging forward of the Dell Precision 5520’s rating (113 p.c), handily beating the Lenovo ThinkPad T470’s exhibiting (73 p.c) and falling just a few proportion factors behind the wonderful MacBook Pro’s mark (123 p.c). That mentioned, HP’s personal DreamColor shows, provided on different HP workstations, are extra spectacular. That’s true, for instance, of the ZBook Studio G4, which boasts 175 p.c of the spectrum.

Though this laptop computer is not marketed with a calibrated show for graphics professionals, it does have excellent colour accuracy, with a Delta-E score of zero.32 (nearer to zero is healthier). That’s higher than the scores of each the Dell Precision 5520 (1.5) and the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (2.1), although it’s barely much less correct than both the MacBook Pro 13-inch (zero.2) or the ZBook Studio G4 (zero.2).

HP has outfitted the ZBook 14u G4 with a set of Bang and Olufsen audio system, which sounded fairly good at most volumes. When I listened to Weezer’s “Beach Boys,” the sound was a little bit weak on the low finish, with out a lot bass, and the sound received a bit tinny at increased volumes. But one particular person utilizing the laptop computer can get loads of sound with none degradation in high quality.

Keyboard & Touchpad

The laptop computer’s keyboard has 1.5 millimeters of journey, and was fairly responsive, letting me hit 82 phrases per minute within the 10FastFingers.com typing take a look at, barely above my traditional 80 wpm. The keyboard has constructed-in backlighting, with three brightness settings, and has a pointing stick set amidst the G, H and B keys.

The three.eight x 2.1 inch touchpad supplies correct and clean gesture enter, whereas discrete proper and left buttons allow you to click on with out the anomaly of a clickpad. A second set of proper and left buttons sits above the touchpad, just under the spacebar. They’re used at the side of the pointing stick.

Performance

Our evaluate configuration of the HP ZBook 14u G4 was outfitted with an Intel Core i7-7600U processor, which is a potent processor for an ultraportable workplace machine, however comparatively anemic for any machine billed as a workstation. The twin-core processor provided first rate efficiency after I streamed movies and had 20 browser tabs open, however that is a far cry from the standard workload that workstations are anticipated to shoulder.

On Geekbench 4, the ZBook 14u G4 scored 9,134, which fares nicely when in comparison with enterprise laptops just like the Lenovo ThinkPad T470, which scored 6,739 with an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, or the Apple MacBook Pro, which scored 9,213 with an Intel Core i5-7267U. But the Dell Precision 5520, which boasts a workstation-class Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6 and 32GB of RAM, blew previous the ZBook, with a rating of 15,309.

The ZBook 14u G4 falls into that very same center floor within the OpenOffice spreadsheet macro test, during which it paired 20,000 names and addresses in three minutes 12 seconds. While that is considerably sooner than the Lenovo ThinkPad T470’s time (four:01), it is just a few seconds slower than the Dell Precision 5520’s mark (three:08), and slower nonetheless when in comparison with the HP ZBook Studio G4’s end result (2:59).

The ZBook 14u G4’s 512GB HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe SSD took simply 9 seconds to duplicate four.97GB of multimedia information, for a speed of 565 megabyte per second, practically equivalent to the end result from the HP ZBook Studio G4 (565.4MBps), which additionally makes use of an HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe SSD. The ZBook is considerably sooner than the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (267.8MBps, 256GB PCIe SSD) and the Dell Precision 5520 (462.7MBps, 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD), however slower than the MacBook Pro 13-inch (727MBps, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD).

Graphics

Armed with an AMD FirePro W4190M with 2GB of devoted VRAM, the ZBook 14u G4 scored 100,583 in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, neatly splitting the distinction between the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (62,912 with an Intel HD Graphics 620) and the Dell Precision 5520 (143,124 with an Nvidia Quadro M1200 and 4GB of RAM) or the equally outfitted HP ZBook Studio G4 (145,911 with an Nvidia Quadro M1200, 4GB of RAM). In the extra demanding 3DMark Fire Strike test, the ZBook 14u G4 scored 1,706, whereas the Dell Precision 5520 (three,987) scored considerably increased.

Though it is not constructed for gaming, the ZBook 14u G4 ran Dirt three (set to medium graphics and 1080p decision) at 48 frames per second. That’s above the 30-fps threshold for clean playability, fairly just like the outcomes from the MacBook Pro 13-inch (41 fps) and HP ZBook Studio G4 (45 fps), and equivalent to the Lenovo ThinkPad T470’s mark (48 fps).

Battery Life

The ZBook 14u G4 will roughly get you thru a workday with out forcing you to make use of the charger, lasting 7 hours 53 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (steady internet browsing over Wi-Fi). That’s longer than the quantity-crunching HP ZBook Studio G4’s time (four:30), and inside an hour of the MacBook Pro 13-inch’s exhibiting (eight:40). It falls solely a bit behind the common for the skinny-and-gentle laptop computer class (eight:21), nevertheless it’s hours shorter than instances from outliers just like the Dell Precision 5520 (11:57). The Lenovo ThinkPad T470 lasted eight:39 with its constructed-in battery, nevertheless it additionally has a second prolonged battery that stretches the usable life to 17:25.

In order to supply higher portability and cut back the time you may spend tethered to a wall socket, the ZBook 14u G4 has HP’s Fast Charge expertise. This brings an empty battery as much as 50 p.c cost in 30 minutes.

Webcam

The the ZBook 14u G4’s constructed-in webcam is not spectacular, however that is the case with most laptops’ webcams. The digital camera adequately captured element and colour, corresponding to the grey and gentle-blue stripes on my shirt and the Purch Labs signal on the wall within the background. It was barely washed out the place vivid gentle shone on my white shirt, however not egregiously so.

Heat

After I streamed video full display for 15 minutes and checked floor temperatures of the laptop computer, the ZBook 14u G4 stayed comfortably cool. The touchpad measured 75 levels Fahrenheit, whereas the keyboard was barely hotter, at 80 levels, as measured between the G and H keys. The backside of the laptop computer chassis reached 82 levels, with one hotspot measuring 84 levels.

Software and Warranty

The laptop computer comes with a reasonably clear set up of Windows 10 Pro, which features a few extras, like Skype, Candy Crush Soda Saga and Paint 3D. HP features a few utilities of its personal, like a assist and assist portal and preloaded HP printer software program, however nothing notably irritating.

Unlike extra highly effective workstations within the ZBook lineup, the Zbook 14u G4 has some ISV certifications, primarily for structure and development,, bBut it lackswithout the assist for heavy-responsibility animation and rendering that extra highly effective workstations are constructed for. It”s received sufficient energy for functions like AutoCAD, Avid Media Composer, Avid Pro Tools, and Dassault Solidworks, however most of the instruments and packages you may affiliate with a workstation should not licensed. This shouldn”t be a shock on a light-weight cellular workstation, nevertheless it”s value declaring that you simply do sacrifice among the performance you may take without any consideration in a workstation while you go for the transportable, price range-pleasant mannequin.

The ZBook 14u G4 is roofed with a typical 3three-yr guarantee. See how HP stacked up towards different manufacturers in our annual Tech Support Showdown and our survey of the Best and Worst Laptop Brands.

Configuration Options

The HP ZBook 14u G4 is being billed as HP”s worth-priced workstation, however the a number of configurations nonetheless cowl a variety of choices. The entry-stage mannequin sells for $999, and options an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of reminiscence, and a 500GB 7,200rpm SATA arduous drive. All fashions include AMD”s FirePro W4190M graphics and a 1920 x 1080 show, however the base mannequin doesn”t supply contact.

We examined a singular evaluate configuration, priced at $1,900, with an Intel Core i7-7600Uu processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB HP Z Turbo Drive SSD, and a contact display. Most increased configurations as an alternative include an Intel Core i7-7500U processor, and range in storage, with choices for a 500GB HDD, 1TB arduous HDD, 256GB SSD or the 512GB seen in our mannequin.

Bottom Line

The HP ZBook 14u G4 is a beefed-up enterprise machine for the parents whothat want a workstation with out the additional bulk. It presents a variety of reliability and security options, like MIL-SPEC- licensed development and assured compatibility with AutoCAD and related packages, nevertheless it”s removed from the powerhouse most individuals count on when shopping for a workstation.

For a barely extra transportable enterprise machine with out the CAD-succesful graphics, the 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad T470 ($919 to start out, $1,294 as reviewed) presents an excellent mixture of mobility and productive energy, with a number of inexpensive configurations. If you want the standard hallmarks of a cellular workstation, like a colour-calibrated show or excessive-finish efficiency, thean the 15-inch Dell Precision 5520 (beginning at $1,399, examined at $2,659) is a greater possibility, although you”ll pay $600 to – $700 extra for a mannequin with a extra succesful Intel Xeon processor and Nvidia Quadro graphics. Despite the bigger show and barely heavier weight, the Dell Precision 5520 additionally boasts a slimmer design and longer battery life, making it the higher selection for portability in a cellular workstation.