HP ZBook Studio G8 review

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This year’s HP ZBook Studio G8 retains the award-winning style of the G7 series, but ramps up the power to help content creators with their creative endeavours, both in the studio and in the field. This attention-grabbing machine features an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD storage, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU that meets all Adobe Creative Suite needs and beyond.

HP’s laptop is often ordered with one of Nvidia’s professional GPUs, formerly known as Quadro, but is also available with Nvidia gaming graphics, such as the GeForce RTX 3070 in our test unit. , and its keyboard has a rainbow RGB backlight that would look great in a fancy gaming rig. High-speed gamers won’t appreciate our studio’s 15.6-inch OLED display laptop, which is stunning but limited to a vain 60Hz refresh rate, but the system provides an excellent platform for 4K video editors or other digital content creators.

HP’s ZBook lineup, which includes the lightweight ZBook Firefly, the inexpensive ZBook Power, the mighty ZBook Fury and the best of all ZBook Studio brands, doesn’t get much attention. As a workstation-class mobile device, the ZBook Studio isn’t as flashy as most gaming laptops or as affordable as most “creator” laptops, but in many ways it’s better than both. In techie parlance, HP’s ZBook Studio G8 is a “workstation.”

On the hardware side, that usually means a Xeon processor, error-corrected RAM, and an A-series or Quadro graphics card, along with some sort of reliability test, software certifications from major developers like Adobe, and a warranty. prolonged. All of this usually comes with a price so high that it will cause altitude sickness if you stare at it for too long.

Design

The ZBook Studio G8 looks more like a traditional thin-and-light laptop than a workstation. This is intentional, as the laptop aims to appeal to both consumer-focused power users and professionals looking for a highly mobile solution. Looking at the ZBook Studio G8, there’s a striking resemblance to an HP Specter from a few years ago. There is an aggressive angle along each side, sharp bevels on various edges and the back edge is a sharp corner which adds charm to the design.

The color is called “Turbo Silver” and the overall aesthetic is sophisticated yet striking. It’s far more attractive than the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2, which shares similar components but is far more boxy and dated. The ZBook Studio G8 more directly challenges the Dell XPS 15 in looks and feel, but the Dell is thinner and just as attractive. With very thin display bezels on the sides and relatively narrow bezels at the top and bottom, the ZBook Studio G8 is a decently sized laptop considering its 15.6-inch 16:9 display.

Keyboard and touchpad

One of our absolute favorite keyboards is the ZBook Studio G8. Chiclet-style keys with RGB lighting are both clicky and responsive, and have excellent key size and travel. Thanks to the Omen Gaming Hub, which is new to the Studio Series, you can choose your own color scheme for the keyboard or play with it and customize it yourself.

The G8’s touchpad measures 2.8 x 4.5 inches, centered on the bridge and quite large. When using Windows 10 gestures like 2-finger scroll and pinch-to-zoom, the chrome touchpad is incredibly smooth and responsive.

Display

Bright and colorful, the HP ZBook Studio’s 15.6-inch 4K Gorilla Glass 6 OLED multi-touch display delivers crisp, vibrant images and videos. Whether we were editing photos or videos, or playing the WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship, everything was saturated with color. The colorful images from the Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora game trailer have been mesmerizingly reproduced. The opening forest scene looked like something you’d see in a National Geographic special. As we watched a Na’vi leap off a cliff to avoid a missile, we were mesmerized by the red-orange explosion.

The crisp detail of the alien planet’s flora was stunning and believable, as our Na’vi protagonist plummets to be rescued by a beautiful flying creature. We measured the Studio G8’s display with a colorimeter and it covered an impressive 142.5% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, beating the 84.4% average for high-end laptops. It finished in second place behind the ZenBook Pro Duo 15, which scored a measly 143.8%, followed by the MSI Z16 at 114.1% and the Dell XPS 15 OLED, which scored 85%.

audio

We listened to Jamie Foxx’s “Blame it on the Alcohol” through Bang and Olufsen speakers. We heard the poppy hip-hop dance flow of Jamie’s self-tuned vocals throughout my studio through both tweeters and woofers. There was some depth and separation of the bass from the mid and high notes. The music and vocals were all reproduced very cleanly.

All we needed was a cocktail to get the party started. If you access the HP Audio Control software, you can adjust the EQ and add a little more bass, just in case you’re a bass player like me. To conclude our audio evening, we played “Music For Brain Power” by Beethoven. The heavenly high notes of the violins with the slowly rising crescendo of the bass strings, with the flowing, harmonic flutes and oboes in the background, as if angels are singing softly.

Chart

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU in the HP ZBook Studio G8 with 6 GB of VRAM is very powerful. We didn’t encounter any lag or performance issues when editing video with Adobe Premiere or DaVinci Resolve. When shooting stills with Capture One, the delay between shots was minimal as images transferred quickly to the screen. With HP Omen software installed, an RGB keyboard, an Nvidia RTX GPU, and 32GB of RAM, it’s ready to game, and we made it. We destroyed cars in WRC 10 and murdered enemies in Borderlands 2, which we finally finished, by the way.

The 60Hz display held up well with an average of 60fps in Borderlands 2 and WRC 10. We tested the GPU with Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (1080p) benchmark. The Studio G8 hit 79 fps at 1080p and 64 fps at 4K, easily beating the premium laptop average of 32 fps. That was enough to topple the XPS 15 with 67 fps. This puts the G8 in second place behind the MSI Creator Z16 with 95.5 fps at 1080p, but not behind the Creator Z16.

Performance

Given the ultra-thin design, we were skeptical of HP’s ability to squeeze the most performance out of the Core i9-11950H and NVIDIA RTX 3070. We were only right. In most of our benchmarks, the ZBook couldn’t quite outperform the newer Razer Blade 15 Advanced, which technically uses an even slightly slower Core i9-11900H, but the slimmer ZBook Studio was still able to hold its own. impose. Performance numbers on the shelf.

Whether you’re using Photoshop, Lightroom or Capture One, you can expect the Studio G8 to handle most photo and video editing tasks with ease, while remaining extremely quiet compared to some of the gaming laptops we’ve tested. For today’s comparisons, we’re presenting HP’s results side-by-side with the same tests performed on an iMac M1, ASUS Zephyrus G14 with AMD, and the aforementioned Blade 15 Advanced.

Battery life

The ZBook Studio G8 packs an 83 Wh battery, which isn’t huge for this class of device. The Lenovo ThinkPad P15, for example, has a capacity of 94 watt hours and the Dell XPS 15 is nearly on par with HP at 86 watt hours. Throw in a few high-end components and a power-hungry 4K OLED display, and my battery life predictions were grim. Things were as bad as expected.

Starting with our web browsing test, which runs through a range of popular and complex websites, the ZBook Studio G8 only managed five hours, about half of what we’re aiming for in this test. The XPS 15 OLED lasted nine hours and the ThinkPad P15 9.5 hours. In our video test, which repeats a local 1080p movie trailer, the ZBook Studio G8 lasted just 6.25 hours, compared to the XPS 15 OLED at 11 hours and the ThinkPad P15 at 11.15 hours.

Heat

Surface temperatures are symmetrical due to the symmetrical cooling solution inside. The hotspot is near the center of the keyboard, where it can reach over 51 C under heavy loads, compared to 49 C on the Dell Precision 7550. The palm rests can also get quite warm at around 38 C due to the design dense from the metal base. . Warmer temperatures are not uncomfortable for the hands, but they are noticeable.

Setup options

The HP ZBook Studio G8 we received costs $4,727 and features an 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11950H processor, Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 GPU with 6GB VRAM, 32GB RAM, 2TB NVMe SSD, and a 15.6 inch OLED 4k multi-touch 15.6 inch OLED 4k display. The base version of HP’s ZBook Studio G8 costs $2,479 and comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor, Nvidia T1200 GPU with 4GB vRAM, 16GB RAM, 512 GB NVMe SSD and 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare IPS display 15.6 inch IPS display with 400 nits brightness.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this article on the HP ZBook Studio G8. The caveats above apply, but other than a few minor flaws we’ve mentioned above, we couldn’t find anything wrong with this laptop. For creatives, it’s a workhorse. The ZBook Studio G8 packs a lot more performance than we expected from such a thin and light chassis, and it’s relatively quiet.

It looks and feels great, and it offers a variety of configuration options that let you find a price/performance ratio that’s right for you. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself if the less glamorous perks of a mobile workstation are worth the inflated price tag. If so, we could recommend this laptop without hesitation.

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