HP launches ZBook X2, claims it's 'world's most powerful detachable PC'

The 14-inch mobile workstation is being introduced at Adobe's Max conference, and its top-notch specs and high price tag put it clearly in the same market as Microsoft's new Surface Book 2.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

HP ZBook x2 mobile workstation

HP will be showing off the new ZBook x2 at Adobe's Max conference today, raising the stakes for pro-level 2-in-1 devices after Microsoft announced its Surface Book 2 yesterday.

While the Surface Book is clearly competing with Apple's MacBook Pro in the creative class laptop space, HP is labeling the ZBook as a detachable workstation and claiming it's the "world's most powerful detachable PC."

Nonetheless with a starting price of $1,749, the ZBook can't help but be compared to its fellow Windows hybrid system. Like the new Surface Book, the ZBook x2 comes with either seventh- or eighth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs. Microsoft actually does HP one better by including a discrete graphics card with many Surface Book 2 configuration, whereas the x2's Nvidia Quadro M620 is optional (albeit more powerful than the GeForce GTX 1050 or 1060 cards Microsoft includes).

While Microsoft has added a 15-inch Surface Book 2 to the existing 13.5-inch form factor, the ZBook x2 splits the difference with a 14-inch 3,840x2,160 (4K) touchscreen display that's slightly higher resolution than either new Surface. HP offers up 32GB of RAM, though other ZBook x2 configurations come with 8GB or 16GB like the Surface Book.

Microsoft touts its new laptops as being able to get the most out of its Office software, but HP is choosing to appeal to digital media mavens with its Adobe-friendly features. These include configurations built around different Adobe apps (Photoshop, Premiere, etc.) that also include a year's subscription to Creative Cloud, an optional "DreamColor" display with 100% Adobe RGB color space, and HP Quick Keys for easy access to shortcuts for Adobe programs.

HP says it will start shipping the ZBook x2 in December. For more hands-on details about this 2-in-1 workstation, check out our sister site CNET's coverage.

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