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HP ZBook Studio x360 - Our creative community gave it a spin and here's what they think about it!

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Old 10-06-2019, 10:00 AM   #1
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HP ZBook Studio x360 - Our creative community gave it a spin and here's what they think about it!

Imagine the ability to create anytime, anywhere, at the very moment inspiration strikes!
Creatives know that jotting down visual ideas as text just doesn’t cut it, and neither does sketching on paper and transferring it digitally as a separate process. That’s why HP is reshaping workflows with the HP ZBook Studio x360.

Who better to test it than professional artists, designers, and photographers from the community?

5 lucky HWZ members got to fuel their artistic pursuits with a 4-week trial, sketching, painting, and editing on these convertible pro-grade PCs. Whether on-the-go in tablet mode or at the studio in docked form, let’s hear what it’s like to take the ZBook Studio x360 out for a creative spin!

Also, don't forget to check out HP ZBook Studio x360 - Hear What They Say for more product info, participate in a quick game and stand to win prizes!

Contest ends 14 July 2019, 2359h.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:05 AM   #2
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HP ZBook Studio x360 Trial User #1



Yew Hock, Graphic Designer

"For anyone who needs inking and a powerful on-the-go system, this is a very capable model with few other alternatives."

Overview

As a Mac user all this while, I was keen to try out the new HP ZBook Studio x360 mobile workstation. When I saw that HWZ and HP were selecting 5 individuals for a trial, I quickly submitted my name. I was surprised that I got selected, so here I am about my time with the machine.


Design

The overall design for the HP ZBook Studio x360 is amazingly aesthetic. The all-metal construction is really appealing, at least for me. I like the touch and feel of the metal with its polished accents, and the “Mobile Workstation” branding across the rear edge. HP also designed cut corners at the back end for a nice aesthetic touch. Of course, there is a little downside as the all-metal weight is slightly heavier than some other laptops.



The HP ZBook Studio x360 is both a touchscreen and a convertible laptop, with an optional Wacom stylus. I like the variety of modes, which can turn the laptop into a tablet, tent or presentation modes.
My laptop configuration included the Wacom AES Pen. This is a well-designed pen with 4,096 levels of pressure, tilt sensing and low latency features. HP put huge thought into the design by making the 4 laptop corners magnetic so the pen can stick on them and not roll off the table.



They have incorporated a full-size SD card reader which supports SD-, SDHC and SDXC cards. The SD card cannot fit in the slot completely and some of it will stick out a little, which means that it cannot be used for permanent storage expansion. However, things are different when it comes to quick data transfers, an important use case for professional photographers. This very fast SD card reader is ideal for such users.

The other and more interesting feature are the quad-stereo speakers by Bang & Olufsen, located above the keyboard. They are a nice touch! The keyboard is back-lit too.


Display

The HP ZBook Studio x360 has one of the brightest laptop panels on the market. As a graphic designer, brightness matters to me. Wherever I was, the display on the x360 really stood out. The display is calibrated to deliver color accuracy for creative designers, videographers and photographers in mind. Another great thing is its touch responsiveness. There is no lag and the touch points are all precise.




Performance

My HP ZBook Studio x360 came with a 6-core Intel Xeon, coupled with an NVIDIA P1000 graphics card. For day-to-day work like web browsing, sending emails, watching YouTube and listening to music, it all worked well. But this machine was built to do much more.

I mostly have Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, as well as Illustrator all open at the same time. Switching around between the 3 software seems to work really well. When I’m working on a huge Photoshop file with many layers, the fan will kick in to cool both the CPU and GPU down. The chassis does get a bit warm, but I think that is normal.

There are also times when I need to browse the internet to source for ideas, check my email or listen to music via iTunes. All these works great with the x360 too.

For a machine as powerful as the HP ZBook Studio x360, the battery lasts about 7.5 to 8 hours. That is better than most other laptops after a full charge. Do consider that I use power heavy apps like Adobe CC.
The tent mode is great for presenting and explaining my design concepts. Since it is a full-powered laptop I can work on amendments straight away. This has impressed clients, as they do not need to wait for me to return to the office for any minor corrections.


Final Observations

The HP ZBook Studio x360 is a powerful machine and an optimal host for eGPU workflows. While it exceeded my performance expectations, I find the touch and ink solution is a really nice feature for the younger generation, since they are familiar with those inputs. For anyone who needs inking and a powerful on-the-go system, this is a very capable model with few other alternatives. Anyone with the budget will find that this is a good workstation to consider.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:12 AM   #3
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HP ZBook Studio x360 Trial User #2



Vincent, App Developer

“A thoroughly enjoyable experience!”

Overview

The HP ZBook Studio x360 is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop that gets the work done. It is a total powerhouse that comes with great pro-grade performance while still being at a reasonable weight. This is a powerful workstation that enhances one’s efficiency.

I am an app developer who programs and test applications for mobile. Apart from coding, I do a little bit of basic user interface design using Photoshop. I used to do a bit of video editing as well, so for this trial I will also be running Adobe Premiere Pro.


First impressions


Sleek cut corners

When I first received the HP ZBook Studio x360, I was impressed by how aesthetically pleasing it is. It is silver in colour and the design is stylish and sleek, with very nice cut corners at the back. The build quality feels robust and sturdy; you can really feel that it is made of premium materials, like a workstation should be.


Display – 15.6-inch 4K UHD DreamColor touch screen


Watching 4K YouYube videos has never felt more amazing

Personally, the screen is a very important factor to take into consideration when buying a laptop, as I spend a lot of time staring at the screen for work. The HP ZBook I got to try came with a 15.6-inch 4K (3840 x 2160) UHD DreamColor touch screen and an impressive brightness rating of 600 nits. According to HP, this is the world’s brightest 4K UHD laptop display!

Its brightness level and high resolution allows me to see the tiniest details on my screen, perfect for those doing photography or videography.

The HP DreamColor technology provides colour precision with over a billion colours and built-in colour calibration tools. This technology is very useful for those in the design industry where colour accuracy is needed. Unfortunately, due to my job scope, I am not able to fully utilise it.


Performance

My HP ZBook came with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, a dedicated NVIDIA Quadro P1000 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, as well as a 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD. If you are tech savvy, you will know that these specs are not for the average user. It is designed for content creators to handle heavy intensive programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Lightroom. The HP ZBook can handle whatever you throw at it.

I tried to work in Photoshop while rendering 4K video on Adobe Premiere Pro. I was impressed that it was able to run smoothly without any lag. The fans do get a little louder and the chassis a little warmer, but it was still within reasonable range given such a heavy load.


Photoshop runs smoothly even while video rendering on Premiere Pro and with VMware running in the background

Rendering 10 minutes of 1080p footage in 4K took around 25 minutes, whereas the same footage took almost 45 minutes on my personal computer. Opening large project files in Photoshop or Premiere Pro were also notably quicker compared to my personal laptop.

This is a perfect workstation for content creators who require a powerful machine, like what I have mentioned. You can be sure that the HP ZBook Studio x360 will be able to handle any heavy task as they are designed to do.


Testing it using Adobe Premiere Pro


HP WACOM Pen

The HP ZBook also came with the optional HP Wacom pen, which has over 4,000 levels of pressure sensitivity. While I do not usually draw or sketch, I used the pen to draft a website wireframe to test it out. The input was spot on and accurate, and there was no lag at all. However, I tried to draw while the laptop was at an 80-degree angle as shown below and found the screen a little flimsy in that position. I had to draw with it flat on the table instead.




Battery Life

I was able to get between 7-8 hours of battery life in normal day-to-day use such as browsing the internet, writing emails and coding. Using heavy programs such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro will drain the battery much quicker, bringing it down to maybe 3-4 hours. Of course, battery life will depend on your usage as well as settings such as the brightness level, so your mileage may vary.

Another thing I like about the laptop is that it charges extremely fast. It takes a little over an hour to get it from 10% to maximum charge. This makes it very convenient for those who move or travel often.


Conclusion

It was my first time using such a high-end laptop and I was impressed by how programs such as Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro ran so smoothly, and by how much faster video rendering was compared to my own laptop. The battery life was also better than I had expected. Overall, I had a great trial experience and I am glad to be given the opportunity to test such a powerful workstation.

In short, the HP ZBook Studio x360 proved to be a real powerhouse and a wonderful workstation. I would recommend the HP ZBook Studio x360 to all creative professionals such as graphic designers, video and film editors and even software developers.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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HP ZBook Studio x360 Trial User #3



Sam, Multimedia Producer

"If you are looking for your next professional laptop, this all in one solution will definitely be able to replace your desktop, laptop, tablet, and smart devices."

Overview

Running a video production company for more than 15 years is challenging and can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Since then we have developed to produce content in various aspects of digital design, photography, video and VR. A producer can't be an expert in all of these, but we need to have a working knowledge of the creative process and have excellent project management abilities.



I also have a Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) permit to fly a drone for commercial purposes. Filming and editing on-site and having effective turnaround while on the move are important parts of the job.



A good replacement for my desktop, laptop and tablets

For office usage, I usually depend on my desktop for all the motion graphics and 4K video editing projects. The rendering process can be a chore for many editors, especially when your client is chasing you for updates. The laptop’s i7 processor and graphics card proved to be effective in this situation. The clarity on the 3840 x 2160 screen just blows me away – if you are serious about editing high-resolution video and images, you need a sharp monitor with a good refresh rate.

Traveling around for work and doing round-the-clock presentations are also part of the job. Hence, this is when your laptop and tablet come into the picture. Currently, I am using a 15-inch MacBook Pro and a 10.5-inch iPad Pro. I will usually bring along 2 external SSDs for backups and editing on the move.

Extra weight counts when you’re on a work trip. The HP ZBook Studio x360 simply replaces most of my smart devices needed, lightening my load. With the SSD expansion slot and a hub, I could replace the iPad Pro tablet and MacBook Pro laptop.

Performance on the road is simply amazing. The outstanding battery life of almost 9 hours is definitely useful for a long flight. Editing video proxy on the move is a breeze with the laptop’s 4K resolution screen, great brightness and color. At 378 nits, the HP ZBook Studio x360 is the king of brightness. I have used this laptop onboard a boat and still managed to see the screen clearly.

It’s amazing – you have to try it to believe it for yourself. By adding on an external USB 3 video capture card, you can use the laptop as an external monitor and capture device for your filming.





Laptop features

For photography, the stylus features 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity as well as tilt controls and three customizable buttons. I love this! Accurate pressure and custom buttons are something the Apple Pencil is missing out on. For ergonomics and accurate drawing, I prefer this over Microsoft’s laptop.

The tablet function is definitely another bonus for photographers. It proved reliable and consistent when sending photos from the camera. Getting to zoom in and check details on the big screen also impressed the client and models.



For presentations, I just love the fact that you can easily zoom on the 15-inch 4K screen, adjust brightness or increase the audio level. The Bang & Olufsen speakers on the HP ZBook Studio x360 work like a charm and are also good for video conferences and live streaming video. They have a strong mid frequency and good clarity. However, don't expect this to blast out loud like a dedicated sound system, because it's designed for the user who is always on the move. The mic has an average pick up that works decently in enclosed environments.

Additional features of the laptop include a SIM card slot for data connections, which lets you use it like any smart device; it is useful for emails and video conferences when away from the office. It also uses Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) to add more PCIe solutions. Expansion is limitless – add-on graphics card docks such as the Razer Core X, PowerColor Gaming Station and Akitio Node for a big boost in performance.

It’s good for faster storage too. Thunderbolt 3 transfers at 40Gbps while regular USB-C only works at 10Gbps. Due to the similar port design, users may have a problem finding the right hub to make full use of the connection speed. One may consider purchasing the optional Thunderbolt 3 hub from HP to ensure they get the correct type.

An SD card slots serves as bonus on-board storage. There’s also a security lock and thumbprint scanner, which are a must for all smart devices as they help to protect your information and data.


Battery Life

The battery for the HP laptop proved to outlast most of the mobile workstations I have used. One of its advantages is the power charger that comes with it. This can fast charge the laptop to full in less than 90 minutes!

I arrived at an airport with less than 30% battery but managed to charge it back up while sitting at the waiting lounge. One advice is to turn on airplane mode and reduce screen brightness for a faster charge; the airplane mode can be easily located at the bottom right of the screen.


Future expansion options



You can do some DIY system upgrades by expanding the storage and upgrading the RAM. Just use a T8 Torx screwdriver to open the bottom cover of the laptop.



An additional M.2 SSD slot (highlighted in blue) on the laptop lets you install any compatible SSD for more storage.



Upgrading the RAM is simple too.
I hope to see more accessories for the HP ZBook Studio x360 in the future, such as sun hood monitor covers, a Thunderbolt 3 expansion dock (which should be able to charge the laptop) and a built-in video capture card option that accepts HDMI inputs or Cat 5 cable.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:35 AM   #5
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HP ZBook Studio x360 Trial User #4



Tricia, Concept Artist & Illustrator

"An eye-opening experience and a breakthrough in screen technology!"

Overview

For the past 4 weeks, the HP ZBook Studio x360 opened my eyes to the versatility of a laptop designed for the lifestyle and demands of the modern, on-the-go artist. With its impressive color display and high specs, the workstation proved itself to be a real game-changer in the range of tablet-laptops convertibles targeted at creatives.
It was an enlightening and truly exciting trial experience!


About my industry

A little introduction here. My name is Tricia and I have been working as a full-time concept artist and illustrator for 8 years. I’ve experienced working on pre-production for animation and games.


Here is an example of the types of concepts I create. These were drawn for a personal project with a nomadic desert princess character. I made multiple variations to explore her personality and purpose through design; achieving a regal but elegant and no-nonsense look was key here.

My current job in a mobile game company requires me to visualize practical and creative concepts based on the art director’s demands, all while bringing something new to the table. On a regular workday, I read the job brief, spend a few hours doing online research, and then make the design sketches on paper. After I have a couple of satisfactory designs, I take photos of my sketches to transfer them to my PC, before spending the majority of my time fleshing out those designs. I use a pen tablet with software such as Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint PRO.


Memorable features

Wacom AES Stylus

I’m almost always messing around with drawing tools, sometimes even while commuting as opportunities to capture experiences can come out of the blue. The tactile feeling of drawing directly onto a surface and watching your work take shape, is akin to the raw feeling of working a piece of clay with your bare hands.

This is why the HP ZBook Studio x360 was such a gem to work on, with its Wacom AES pen and touch screen technology. I can attest to experiencing a similar intuitiveness and freedom I get from exploring ideas on a piece of paper, with infinitely more possibilities and quicker output that only the digital medium can offer; doodling on the go has never been easier.


Sketching directly on the screen in tablet mode to see if there are any parallax issues or lag. So far so good! The tablet is also made in a nice, slim size and the Wacom-designed nib has a nice touch feedback to it.


The Wacom AES stylus has 2 customizable buttons on the side and a button on top , which is meant for Windows Ink Workspace. It comes with a USB-C cable for fast charging, and by fast charging I mean a 30-minute charge that will get the stylus going for an entire week! A little LED between the buttons light up when you plug it in for charging.



The stylus has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It doesn’t sound quite as impressive as the Wacom Cintiq stylus that comes with almost double the sensitivity, but as someone who still uses a Wacom Intuos 3 for non-office related work (with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity) this felt like a MAJOR upgrade.

I really only have two qualms with the stylus. The first being that there is almost no indication for the pen’s power levels - you’ll only know that the battery is almost depleted when a window randomly pops up with a 15% or 10% warning, and after closing this window you’ll never find it again. It’s a little strange but knowing the stylus’s long battery life and fast charging capabilities, I’d say this lack of visual indication is something I can overlook.

The second being that the cursor tends to jitter when you don’t have the tip hovering close enough to the display, and it can jitter even more if your palm is rested on the screen. But since there are no parallax issues between the nib and the display, as soon as you touch the screen with the pen the jitter stops immediately so you can work like normal.


HP DreamColor Display

Anyone in the digital creative field knows the pain of dealing with screen color calibration. As a digital artist, it is of the utmost importance that I get true-to-life colors on my workstation. In that regard, HP’s DreamColor display has truly been a pleasure to work with. The display screen has an anti-glare coating, a built-in color calibrator, and an impressive spectrum of over 1 billion colors for seamless gradient blends. Reportedly, the DreamColor Engine has calibration controls so precise that artists can trust that what they see on their desk matches what ends up on the big screen.

This anti-glare screen is also one of the best I’ve ever used. With its ultrabright 600 nits display, there was little to no compromise to color quality or brightness when viewed from varying angles. It has allowed me to work comfortably whether outdoors or indoors with an overhanging light source. Testing the laptop in a non-air-conditioned setting did make the chassis heat up after about 15 minutes or so, and I wouldn’t recommend doing that for long use.

Two fans start to kick in as soon as the computer is under heavy load to help cool the CPU and GPU down. Despite the slight noise it makes, this seems to work for the ZBook as the screen managed to stay relatively cool during the duration of my usage.


360-Degree Hinge

One of my favourite features besides the screen and stylus is the laptop’s 360-degree hinge. With slight resistance, the laptop’s lid can be pushed from docked mode to stand and tent mode or pushed even further into tablet mode. When you tilt the laptop, the display will readjust automatically from landscape to portrait mode, and even flip upright if you have the laptop “upside down” in tent mode.

For my range of work, however, the tablet mode worked best. After plugging in some readily available add-ons like a mouse and a keyboard, I had a pretty solid workstation! For a more ergonomic setup, I’d suggest an adjustable laptop stand or, better yet, a height-and-angle adjustable desk. I’ve tried both and I’m definitely leaning towards the adjustable desk as I can angle the laptop freely, preventing the regular work hazards of lower back pain and neck-shoulder discomfort.


My preferred setup with the laptop propped up on a height-and-angle adjustable table.

On a side note, the laptop actually comes with its own on-screen touch keyboard for easy typing while in tablet mode. For accessing Adobe shortcut keys, an attached keyboard felt much more natural to me.


Touch Gestures

And now I’d like to gush about the gesture functions! This might not even be one of the biggest selling features specific to the HP ZBook Studio x360, but now that I’ve experienced touch gestures for work, I am a true believer. Needless to say, they were great whether in tablet or laptop mode. The setup instructions that come with the laptop lists a few touch gestures for the touchpad or touch screen of selected models. For windows, the gestures are as follows:

On touchpad:
• Tap to select
• Two-finger tap to highlight
• One-finger slide to move cursor
• Two-finger slide to scroll
• Two-finger pinch to zoom
• Three-finger swipe to minimize and return to homescreen
• Four-finger tap for settings window

On touch screen:
• Tap to select
• Two-finger pinch to zoom
• One finger to scroll

The best part about these gestures is that they are customizable depending on the software you use! I’ll cover the two painting applications I frequently use: Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint PRO.


Touch Gestures: Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop has come a long way since I doodled my first “real digital painting” on Photoshop 7 back in 2004. This photo manipulation and digital painting software practically needs no introduction. My recently unearthed discovery of touch gestures in Photoshop (introduced in 2017) really feels like a new feature that I’ve been deprived from all this while.
Below are the available gestures listed on Adobe’s own website.



I personally found the 3-finger history scrub feature to be the most impressive visually, as a timeline of your Photoshop history appears on top of the canvas. As you swipe from left to right, the canvas updates accordingly, making you feel like an unnecessarily cool Time Lord of sorts.




Touch Gestures: Clip Studio Paint PRO

Clip Studio Paint is a well-known software amongst comic and manga artists for its extensive coloring and inking tools. It also has advanced brush stabilization and blending functions, a library of ready-to-use 3D models and comic materials, and many other features. If you’re somewhat proficient with the software, this laptop will be an absolute joy to work with!

Using the touch screen, you can employ gestures for:
• Undo (two-finger tap)
• Redo (press and tap)
• Zoom (two-finger pinch)
• Rotate canvas (two-finger rotation)
• Move canvas (two-finger swipe)

With the quick access menu displayed, there’s even less need for an attached keyboard! The top button on the stylus is also set to the eyedropper tool by default. You can change these gestures by going to File> Preferences> Touch Gestures.

Other awesome features in a nutshell

1) With regards to aesthetics, the laptop has a sleek metal finish with nice cut corners on the back end of the lid. The spacious keyboard is comfortable and pleasant to type on; its backlit keys are a plus!



2) Equipped with high specs such as an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, integrated Intel HD graphics, dedicated NVIDIA Quadro P1000 graphics, 1TB storage and 32GB of RAM means this workstation gets heavier workloads done more efficiently than most traditional laptops.

3) The 15.6-inch size and 2.2kg weight made it comfortable enough to carry around for work trips or business meetups.


Conclusion

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my trial use of the HP ZBook Studio x360. This is indeed a powerful machine that will be a great addition to any on-the-go creative working primarily in 2D. They would appreciate the stylus pen, touch screen technology, impeccable color output, the versatility of switching between laptop and tablet modes, and the ability to work from practically anywhere.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
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Jaymi, Founder & Director

“If you have cash, this is a great looking, high performing and secure laptop, tablet, and collaborative workstation with a truly outstanding display.”

Overview

It’s late evening on 29 April. As can often happen at this time of year, a huge thunderstorm from almost nowhere released what seemed like 1.7 million litres of water in only a minute -- quite the spectacle. I was on the way to collect a trial unit of what was billed as the world’s most powerful convertible PC, the HP ZBook Studio x360, which I’d soon discover would have features that are just as spectacular.


Design

After a polite briefing from HP, my trial package was handed over. First impressions were that the HP ZBook Studio x360 had some arresting appeal. Its all-metal space grey casing, chamfered corners, simple HP branding and slimline profile convinced me that braving the storm had been worthwhile. Having already familiarised myself with the trial unit’s specifications, it certainly managed to pack its workstation-class punch into an attractive, convertible form factor.

Let’s be clear, though: all this performance means that it’s not exactly a lightweight device. But in this regard, it is very comparable to its nearest competition and frankly, in the grand scheme of things, the upgrade options more than accounts for any delta with lighter competition.

With a solid folding hinge design – which at times is a little too resistive, especially when lifting the lid in laptop mode – the HP ZBook Studio x360 elegantly performs its ensemble party trick, swiftly transforming into four different usability modes. These include the standard issue laptop mode and a collaborative stand and tent mode, with the notebook standing as an A-frame. This is when the resistive hinge redeems itself as a credible design feature, as the display itself stays solid and present throughout with supporting keyboard, virtual keyboard, and touch and pen input options following suit each time.


HP ZBook Studio x360 with Resolume Arena 6 VJ software.

The keyboard itself is very comfortable to use and features a pad, sensor and speakers. It is delightful to use, offering positive and reassuring tactile feedback as you type, with full backlighting for easy usage in poorly lit conditions. One minor issue resolved for our own comfort was to adjust the auto-off timing of this backlit feature in the BIOS, so that the LEDs remain on – an easy fix after a quick web search. As far as connectivity is concerned, on the left side are two USB 3.0 ports (one for charging), a security cable slot, the power button and a micro SD slot.

Turning around to the right is the stereo microphone in / headphone-out combo jack, power connector, an HDMI 2.0 port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and an SD card reader. In our field use, we needed to use a USB hub as we have a number of external content drives and data sensors to handle (we were not given the optional Thunderbolt dock as part of the trial). In notebook mode, the x360 holds up quite well with minimal screen movement compared to a standard notebook. Boasting a speaker package from Bang & Olufsen, sound can be heard in all modes of orientation.

Finally, if you’re as lucky as we were, there is an optional upgrade to a 4K HP DreamColor display. This has a world class brightness of 600nits and can achieve 100% Adobe RGB. Its billion colours instantly grab your attention and really shift into a league of its own. Quite honestly, this aspect of the design is almost a deal sealer in and of itself, and when added to the overall build quality this is a very compelling and attractive go-anywhere, professional-grade workstation.


Using the HP ZBook Studio x360

I run a small business focussed at creating unique, immersive experiences using a mix of UI/UX design, content creation and contact interactivity, so we always need to work fast, work quick and deliver to the timeline and budgets that our clients set. We work with a multitude of data capture devices, including motion and depth sensors such as the Kinect and repurposed laser range finders. Our developers like to continually challenge and push boundaries, and we are always researching and trialling new methods to merge the physical world with digital experiences.

Everything in our workflow must be optimised and everyone person in the team needs to be in lockstep when delivering a programme. This is especially so when a project is focussed at creating immersive interactive media experiences, which often call into use not only the typical 2D/3D suite of creative applications from Adobe and Cinema 4D but data, visual programming and live performance applications such as TouchDesigner, Resolume Arena and Pangolin QuickShow.

To be fair, colour representation and calibration are important but not typically critical to our rendered output. That said, the content that we do render will still require heavy GPU support, normally achieved with our studio-based workstations, so it was intriguing to have the opportunity to take the HP ZBook Studio x360 for a spin.

We threw multiple real time apps in live show conditions at the x360, including laser show control and projection mapping VJ content using multiple layers of live content. It didn’t miss a beat, comfortably supporting over 25 simultaneous layers of full HD content projecting at 60fps, whilst receiving live motion capture data from a laser range finder -- all processed through a procedural visual programming application. Its convertible modes meant that it could be used in laptop mode for content and timeline creation, while tent mode was super useful for our laser control, projection mapping software and their respective cue and clip activations.

Overall, the HP ZBook x360 gave a solid and confident performance in live show conditions and delivered flawlessly. The machine’s performance instilled a lot of confidence in us, as we simply cannot tolerate any platform instability once our shows start. Battery life with all these applications running was between 4-6 hours, which for our use is perfectly acceptable. The fan design seeks to remove heat from the GPU and CPU on each side of the laptop and, in the grand scheme of things, the ambient heat transmitted to one’s thighs is comfortable enough. Besides, the convertible modes circumvent that problem anyway.


HP ZBook Studio x360 with QuickShow laser software.


HP ZBook Studio x360 with TouchDesigner.


Performance

We deliberately chose not to do too many benchmarking tests, instead favouring to use the HP ZBook Studio x360 in our day-to-day operations. But for sake of good order, we ran the full spectrum of UserBenchmark and Passmark tests. To be honest, we’re not sure if it’s the latest Windows 10 update that had been done beforehand (as recommended by the onboard HP assistant) but scores for CPU and storage read/write were very respectable. Peculiarly, the Nvidia Quadro P1000 didn’t fare so well when rendering 3D geometry and scenes, which for us is not an issue. We’d use our render farm for this purpose instead, but for playback and other data intensive tasks the HP ZBook Studio x360 is a strong and credible performer. In any event, here are the scores from the two tests below:

Specifications

HP ZBook Studio x360
• Intel Core i7-8750H CPU @ 2.20GHz (6 Cores)
• 16GB RAM
• SAMSUNG NVMe 512GB
• NVIDIA Quadro P1000 8GB RAM
• 15.6-inch diagonal UHD DreamColor Touch UWVA/AG (600 nits)

Benchmarks

https://www.userbenchmark.com/

• UserBenchmarks: Game 34%, Desk 118%, Work 82%
• CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H - 93.1%
• GPU: Nvidia Quadro P1000 - 24.7%
• SSD: Samsung MZVLB512HAJQ-000H1 512GB - 274.6%
• RAM: Hynix HMA81GS6CJR8N-VK 2x8GB - 79.5%

https://www.passmark.com




Conclusion

The HP ZBook Studio x360 is a great choice for professionals that move around frequently and require performance on the go, without the burden of heavier mobile workstations. The convertible has a variety of specifications and each can be configured to allow for increased storage, speed, screen brightness and colour performance. It’s not going to be your main rendering workstation, but it will slot itself into the production workflow neatly.

Our feel is that whatever storage and memory options you go for, you will probably discover that the 4K 600nits display with HP DreamColor will simply be too irresistible. With the x360’s build quality, performance, security and reliability, you can trust in what can easily be considered a business purchase, so don’t be afraid to do the ROI and spec as high as you can afford.

TL;DR: If you have cash, this is a great looking, high performing and secure laptop, tablet, and collaborative workstation with a truly outstanding display.
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Last edited by hwzadmin; 14-06-2019 at 02:57 PM..
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