HP’s ZBook x2 is a Microsoft Surface Pro on steroids

Microsoft’s Surface Pro has pretty much been the gold standard for detachable 2-in-1 laptops. Its combination of performance, portability and premium good looks are hard to beat. But what if you wanted more. What if the top spec Surface Pro with an Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage is too pedestrian for you?

Fear not, young grasshopper, HP’s got you covered with the brand new ZBook x2. It’s bananas.

HP’s idea with the ZBook x2 is to give you an all-in-one solution for creators, as you can tell by the Z denomination that the company usually reserves for their workstation machines. This is supposed to eliminate the need to switch devices midway through your workflow because the tablet you’re sketching on can’t handle the more demanding segments of work.

So, the ZBook x2 is packed to the brim with high-end specs. It can be spec-ed up to an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor (4 cores, 8 threads) that runs at 4.2GHz. It’s also configurable with up to 32GB of RAM and it even features a discrete GPU in the form of NVIDIA’s Quadro M620 with 2GB of dedicated video memory. For mass storage, it can pack up to a 2TB PCIe SSD.

What about the display then? Well, HP’s ZBook x2 comes with two 14-inch screen options: The first is a 3840×2160 4K IPS display with reduced glare, while the second is a 10-bit-per-pixel DreamColour screen that’s capable of displaying the full Adobe RGB colour space.

Since it’s targetted at creators, HP’s also got a stylus with Wacom technology and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It’s also got tilt-support and doesn’t require a battery to operate.

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To make things even easier for creators, HP’s ZBook x2 comes with six programmable buttons — with three functions per button — flanking the screen. It ships with a profile of Adobe Photoshop shortcuts pre-programmed into these buttons but users can customise it however they want.

Connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.2, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi as well as mobile broadband. As far as I/O is concerned, the convertible comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB Type-A 3.1 gen 1 port, a HDMI 1.4 port and a headphone jack.

And the cherry on top of it all is that the keyboard also connects to the device via Bluetooth so you can still use the keyboard and touchpad even when you detach it.

However, all of this power comes at a cost — portability. The HP ZBook x2 is a heavy laptop, weighing 2.2kg with the keyboard attached. However, it isn’t as unportable as something like a gaming laptop so the performance trade-off is probably worth it for those who need this kind of horsepower.

HP’s ZBook x2 has prices starting at USD1,749 (around RM7,389).