HP Zbook 15 G2 review

Mighty processing power and a huge price – is this workstation worth almost £3,000?

20 May, 2015
£2,844 inc VAT
High-end processor; Discrete ISV-certified graphics; Numerous ports and a well-made exterior; Customisable specification
Bland looks; Heavier and thicker than rivals; Middling screen quality
It’s got great power, decent ergonomics and versatile design, but the HP loses out to its rival thanks to a high price, middling screen quality and its sheer size.

Workstation laptops have a reputation for being ugly and bulky but, with Ultrabooks and Apple notebooks all the rage, that’s just not good enough anymore – these machines now have to be powerful and truly portable.

HP’s latest ZBook, the second generation 15.6in model, certainly ticks the right boxes when it comes to power. It’s anchored by an Intel Core i7-4910MQ, which is one of Intel’s most potent mobile processors.

Specification and Performance

That chip certainly has the grunt to handle high-end work applications. It’s got four cores with Hyper-Threading, so it can address eight concurrent tasks, and it runs at a stock speed of 2.9GHz that rises to 3.9GHz with Turbo Boost. That’s impressive, and that’s not all – it’s also paired with 16GB of memory.

It’s a potent combination that romped through our application benchmarks to a score of 1.09, with individual Explorer and video rendering results of 1.27 and 1.26 indicating this machine’s multi-tasking and media prowess. That’s far ahead of some rivals: the latest 13in Macbook Pro could only score 0.78.

It streaks ahead of other competitors in synthetic benchmarks, too. The HP scored 5,849 in PCMark 7, while the Dell XPS 15 and Macbook Pro 15in couldn’t get beyond 5,800 points.


Processor: 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-4910MQ
GPU: Nvidia Quadro K2100M
Memory: 16GB DDR3
Storage: 256GB SSD
Connectivity: Dual-band 802.11ac, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: 3 x USB 3, 1 x USB 2, 1 x Thunderbolt, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x D-SUB, 1 x audio
Dimensions: (WxDxH): 382 x 257 x 40mm
Weight: 2.8kg