The Taipei, Tiawan-based Computex annual computer expo is behind us, and there were lots of announcements from OEMs related to new chipsets and processing power for workstations and laptops.
More specifically, HP took the opportunity to announce its spring 2019 suite of new computers, suitable for the enterprise, consumers and creative artists alike.
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Starting with the Elite x G4, HP will continue to make its presence known in the enterprise work space. The device is designed for the on-the-go power user and productivity maven. While the name may be a mouthful, no one will care when you’re actually getting things done. This is the world’s first detachable computing device, which includes a leather keyboard folio.
In addition to its sleek design, you also have an included privacy screen on the 1920×1280 display as well as a privacy shutter on the integrated camera. The internals aren’t lacking to help power this Windows 10 device. It has a maximum of 16GB of RAM and a selection of 8th generation Intel quad core processors. You also get USB-C ports, two of which are standard 3.1, and one is a Gen 1 for power delivery. In addition to your typical WiFi connectivity, you can utilize a nano SIM slot for 4G cellular connectivity. HP states that users can get all of this horsepower and expect up to 10 hours of battery life.
This sounds fine and well as a device designed with corporate strategists and leaders in mind. But seeing the stylus with the G4 made me wonder about creative productivity. I asked how the style compares to the Wacom tablet or Apple Pencil with regards to performance in creative apps. The HP representative assured me that the stylus integrates and performs beautifully as part of Windows Ink and within apps such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
More traditional laptop
The G4 is a nice mix of productivity prowess and portability. These detachable screens are a fascinating niche in the market, but I rather have a standard clamshell laptop. Fortunately, there are options available for old guys like myself as HP announced the ZBook line of laptops. The ZBook 15 (Figure A), and ZBook 17 share the same internal specifications, but offer a 15.5-inch (ZBook 15) screen versus a 17.3-inch screen (ZBook 17).
The ZBook product line is the heavy-lifter of laptops. The horsepower in the chassis comes by way of an 9th-generation Intel processor starting with an i5-9300H or upgradeable up to the Xeon E-2286M vPro. Find yourself needing more RAM? No problem. You can install up to 128GB of RAM. Have a massive and meticulously detailed graphic poster you need to design? No problem. You’re looking at a 4K display touting one billion colors at 600 nit, which is pushed with an NVIDIA Quadro graphics card. So, your biggest Photoshop file or Autodesk 3ds Max project will not be a tough challenge for you and this hardware. And yes, it’s loaded with plenty of I/O ports and NVMe solid state drives for optimal data transfer as well as 4G LTE network connectivity in case ethernet or WiFi access is unavailable in your work space.
HP believes VR (virtual reality) can be more than just a few tech enthusiasts sitting in a dedicated room playing video games. Sure VR can entertain, but it also is practical and informative. The HP VR Backpack G2 (Figure B) is not just another wearable device, nor is it your typical VR system. This is a totally mobile, yet powerful PC packed into a mini PC form factor and a backpack. This packaging offers VR enthusiasts a full room for an immersive VR experience without a mass of wires and cables getting in the way and limiting the experience. In addition to being a great gaming option, this package is an excellent consideration for the enterprise and corporations looking to train staff members on specific tasks or even to share with customers. For example, think of an assembly line where quality assurance is crucial. VR can be implemented to walk users through the detailed processes and procedures. From a customer standpoint, consider the entertainment world. Escape rooms are really popular today for team-building and fun. A VR backpack can boost that experience.
All of the HP announcements sound both interesting and quite useful for content creators and on-the-go productivity masters. At press time, no pricing has been announced, but HP representatives assured they would get back to me regarding pricing as it gets closer to its summer release date.