When it comes to laptops, you’re usually faced with two options. One, you can value function above all and pick a fully-featured workstation computer, but then you’d have to deal with the size, weight, and cost. Or you can go for portability, so you choose an ultrabook with a pretty basic performance specs.
This was until HP decided to give its customers the best of both worlds, and came out with the HP ZBook 15u G2. It has an ultrabook design, but it offers workstation laptop performance.
Features of the HP ZBook 15u G2
The HP ZBook 15u G2 is just one of the models in the ZBook mobile station lineup, but its specs match the ultrabook definition. Its HWD measurements are 21.42 by 375.5 by 253.6 mm, and it weighs a paltry 1.91 kg (4.2 pounds).
Its 15.6-inch screen offers full 1920 by 1080 HD resolution. There’s no touch functionality, but it does have a matte finish to combat glare. You’ll have to view it from the center, as the viewing angles are limited and there’s some color shifting when seen from off-center. Just below the display, you have a speaker bar with built-in stereo speakers, and the audio quality sound great with the DTS Studio Sound software.
The keyboard comes in a Chiclet design and a pointing stick at the center; backlighting is optional. It’s also resistant to spills, as it comes with a drain that handles the splashes and drips. There’s an image sensor touchpad with two sets of mouse buttons above and below, and the touch pad’s chemically fortified glass supports scrolling with two fingers.
Yet despite the thin and lightweight design, it is quite robust. The magnesium-reinforced chassis offers improved rigidity even as it sheds weight. The aluminum lid is even topped off with a scratch-resistant finish. It satisfies MIL-STD-810G standards, which means it can endure drops, shocks, temperature extremes, and vibration.
For connectivity, there are a number of ports you can use, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless. There’s even support for WiDi, which is the wireless media streaming tech from Intel. For security, there’s a fingerprint reader built in along with a TPM 1.2 embedded security chip.
For performance, you get the 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-5600U processor, which offers improved power and heat efficiency than the typical Core i7 chip. You also get the AMD FirePro M4170 graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive for storage. The battery life from the removable battery exceeds 6 hours of use.
Pros and Cons
It is slim, and yet its performance is really good. The durability frees you from any worries in case you drop it, and you even have a spill-resistant keyboard and built-in security.
On the downside, the lack of a touch screen may turn you off. And optional viewing may only be possible for a single person due to the narrow viewing angle.
If the lack of a touch screen doesn’t bother you, then this is what you get when you want workstation performance in a thin and light frame. Pound-for-pound, the HP ZBook 15u G2 is one of the best laptops around.