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HP ZBook Studio G3 Mobile Workstation review
Posted on 29-May-2016 14:29 by M Freitas. | Tags Filed under: Reviews.

The HP ZBook are wonderful development and workstation laptops. There, this is almost a full review.


I had a HP ZBook Studio G3 Mobile Workstation 15.3" laptop here for more than a month it is hard to say something bad about this machine. Perhaps the only thing I can think about is how strange the HP online material calls these machines "ultrabooks" - the only possible reason is because this specific model is light when compared with the larger and heavier versions.


First of all you get a laptop with a an Intel Core i7 Skylake processor (in my case, although Intel Xeon versions are available), with four cores and eight logical processors. The machine I received had 16GB RAM installed but it can support up to 32GB ECC memory and while I had a 256GB SSD you can configure this laptop with up to 2TB using the HP Z Turbo Drive G2.


The laptop is actually light for its size, at around 2Kg. While not light as my HP EliteBook 1020 it's screen is a giant when compared to my 13" laptop. The construction is beautiful, with diamond-cut edges, full-machined aluminum and die-cast magnesium body.





I was quite surprised when I booted it for the first time and noticed Windows 7 installed - on this day and age? It could be that many of the packages used in the main market for this laptop (CAD/CAM) require Windows 7 or many users have not planned for upgrades yet. No problem. The box also had restore optical discs for both Windows 7 and Windows 10. Seeing this laptop doesn't have an optical drive I decided to do what other users would - an online upgrade to Windows 10.


This was probably the fastest update I've seen - counting my own EliteBook, and a couple of Surface devices. What was really surprising is that ALL drivers were completely functional after the upgrade, with no devices shown with yellow exclamation marks in Device Manager. Even the fingerprint reader worked flawlessly after the upgrade, with Microsoft Windows Hello recognising it with no problems - a feat as I haven't had a fingerprint reader working well after such an upgrade.


Also interesting to see that HP released many updated drivers over the last month. Practically every driver has been updated and work as expected - that is with nothing breaking.


The laptop has a dual video architecture with a built-in Intel Graphics 530 and a NVIDIA Quadro M1000M. These are obviously geared towards CAD/CAM use but wouldn't do too badly with a bit of gaming after hours.



As part of the software it comes with a Office installation which I enabled using my Office 365 Home account - although could as easily have entered my Office 2016 Pro key to enabled it.


The number of ports is appropriate: SD slot, two Thunderbolt ports, three USB 3.0 ports (including a charging port for external USB devices) and RJ45 ethernet. Its support for wireless is fantastic, one of the few laptops I ever had here that could connect at rates over 800 Mbps - important when one is working on a gigabit fibre connection.



With Bang & Olufsen speakers positioned on each side of the keyboard, it's not a bad machine in terms of sound either.


The keyboard is really comfortable, with great space between keys, making typing easy and fast.


I can finish this write up as I started it: a wonderful laptop.


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