HP ZBook 14u G6 Cellular Workstation overview: Slim and speedy, with a vibrant 4K display screen Overview

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The ZBook 14u G6 Cellular Workstation is a mid-ranking member of HP’s ZBook workstation lineup, which ranges from a 17-inch desktop substitute mannequin to the removable 14-inch ZBook x2. Billed by HP as its thinnest, lightest ZBook, the 14u G6 is designed for “individuals who push their typical workplace laptop previous breaking level”. To that finish, it options an eighth technology Intel Core i7 processor, discrete Radeon Professional graphics and as much as 1TB of SSD storage.

At first look the ZBook 14u G6 seems like an abnormal laptop computer. Regardless of HP’s declare, it isn’t notably mild at 1.48kg, however the 326mm-by-234mm desktop footprint is unexceptional for a 14-inch system, and it is moderately skinny at 17.9mm.

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The 14-inch ZBook 14u G6 seems like a daily laptop computer, however options some highly effective elements and a troublesome construct (though the lid part does flex).


Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Though this laptop computer meets the MIL-STD 810G robustness normal, there’s a honest quantity of flex within the lid — to the purpose the place I used to be capable of distort the display screen with some ease. You will in all probability desire a carry case or bag with a protecting padded pocket while you’re toting this laptop computer round.

A key characteristic of this cell workstation is straightforward entry for upgrades and repairs. There are screws on the underside of the chassis that ought to make it simple to get to elements to improve or exchange components like RAM, SSD, WLAN and WWAN modules.

The display screen sits in pretty slender brief bezels, however there is a deep prime bezel. Contained in the latter is a 720p digital camera with that may deal with face authentication by way of Home windows Howdy. There’s a sliding privateness cowl for the digital camera.

You would possibly assume, from the bezel dimension, that this can be a 360-degree rotating laptop computer can be utilized in pill mode, however the truth is the hinges do not even rotate far sufficient to let the display screen lie flat on a desk.
 
The display screen boasts 100% Adobe RGB color copy, which will probably be vital for these wanting to make use of it for graphics-heavy work. It additionally meant that video content material seemed nice. Digital artistic sort and media customers needs to be happy, too. 

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Varied display screen configurations can be found. My overview pattern had a 4K (three,840-by-2,160-pixel), matte-finish, non-touch show that was exceptionally vibrant. Whereas this could make it simpler to work outdoors in vibrant situations, I discovered it slightly a pressure on the eyes until the brightness was turned down. 

The keyboard includes well-spaced keys which might be massive and straightforward to hit precisely at contact typing velocity. I discovered the addition of a column of keys to the fitting of Enter irritating at first, as I tended to overlook the Enter key and stab at PgDn as a substitute earlier than acclimatising. The keyboard has a really mild contact, with good bounceback. The Fn keys are slightly slender, however nonetheless simple to hit. This row consists of Name and Finish keys, microphone mute and guide management for the two-level backlight.

The place it is configured (and it was not on my overview unit), there may be additionally a key to invoke HP’s display screen SureView privateness system. This considerably reduces the viewing angles of the display screen, making it troublesome for anybody sitting to your facet to see what you are doing. I’ve tried SureView on different HP laptops such because the EliteBook x360 1040 G5 and it has proved very efficient.

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The audio subsystem is designed in partnership with Bang & Olufsen.


Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

HP, like Lenovo on its ThinkPads, features a pointing stick between the G, H and B keys for positive management of the mouse pointer — HP calls this the ‘Pointstick’. Its concave, dimpled floor is tactile and is efficient for shifting the cursor round. There are two buttons on the highest of the touchpad which can be utilized along side the Pointstick. The touchpad has an NFC zone constructed into it. The place configured, the fingerprint sensor sits to the far proper facet of the wrist relaxation.

Above the keyboard is a familiar-looking grille housing the audio system. These ship good high quality sound, with robust bass tones. High quantity might be louder, however at the very least there is no lack of constancy at 100%.

The CPU/RAM/GPU combine is what actually helps this laptop computer zip alongside, which in fact is what a ‘cell workstation’ is all about. There are three iterations of the ZBook 14u G6 out there on HP’s UK web site, all operating on an eighth technology Intel Core i7-8565U processor with 16GB of RAM and discrete AMD Radeon Professional WX 3200 graphics. Storage ranges between 512GB and 1TB. Different variables embody contact and non-touch screens. Worth variation shouldn’t be very nice, with two fashions costing £1,198.80 (inc. VAT) and one costing £1,258.80 (inc. VAT).

These high-end core specs current an issue for the 50Wh battery. After I switched from mains to battery energy the laptop computer set itself at 100% display screen brightness and on its ‘greatest efficiency’ energy mode — every little thing operating at full pelt. This might be what these choosing this laptop computer need: you purchase a workstation, you anticipate workstation performance.

However coupled with the 4K display screen decision this actually challenges the battery: my first 2.5 hours of working with this setting depleted it by an enormous 47%. I recharged the battery, benefiting from the fast-charging functionality which HP says can ship 50% of battery cost in 30 minutes. I went from 42% to 71% in that timeframe — a acquire of 29%. Whereas in need of the 50% claimed, that is nonetheless a welcome characteristic.

Later, again with 100% cost, I dropped the display screen brightness to a workable 75% and set the facility mode to ‘higher battery’. Now that very same 2.5-hour working interval ate simply 20% of the battery, which was way more passable. to see if my earlier expertise was an anomaly, I went again to 100% brightness and ‘greatest efficiency’ mode, and in a single hour the battery dropped 18%.

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Mot of the ZBook 14u G6’s ports are on the fitting facet. They embody an RJ-45 Ethernet port with a sprung backside edge to accommodate the laptop computer’s slim profile.


Pictures: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The ZBook 14u G6 Cellular Workstation is designed for company environments that price safety extremely, and to that finish there is a sensible card reader on the left edge, alongside a single USB three.1 slot. The suitable edge has a lot of the connectivity: a round-pin energy enter, USB-C Thunderbolt three, USB three.1, full sized HDMI, three.5mm headset jack, dock connector, Ethernet and a SIM card slot.

These final two are attention-grabbing. The Ethernet port is full dimension RJ-45, and requires a bit of extra top than the chassis permits, so has a sprung backside edge that is compelled out by the jack when it is in place. This does not intervene with the laptop computer sitting flat on a desk, and is a intelligent answer. The SIM slot is unprotected, slightly like a MicroSD card slot, which some would possibly really feel makes the SIM card weak.

Conclusions

Whereas it seems like a normal laptop computer, HP’s ZBook 14u G6 Cellular Workstation packs a punch because of its high-end Core i7 processor and discrete AMD Radeon Professional graphics. The choice for a 1TB SSD ought to swimsuit creatives who want loads of storage, whereas a full-size Ethernet port can be welcome.

It is a disgrace the lid is not extra sturdy, the SIM card slot shouldn’t be lined, and the display screen would not hinge to 180 levels. However this laptop computer’s greatest drawback that in the event you run it at full tilt with the 4K display screen at excessive brightness, it will not final lengthy on battery energy.

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