HP ZBook Create G7, hands on: A premium 15.6-inch laptop for power users and creators

hp-zbook-create-g7-header.jpg
  • Editors' rating
    Not yet rated
  • $4,199.00

If you need to run demanding workloads such as photo or video editing and/or do some high-end gaming, you need serious computing power -- which, naturally, comes at a price. HP's ZBook Create G7 certainly has compute power – our review unit came with a Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics with 8GB of dedicated video memory. That comes at a premium price, of course -- £2,842.80 (inc. VAT; £2,369 ex. VAT). Although it's not a true workstation-class device with the top-end GPU and ISV certifications that designers and architects require, for example, this is still a beast of a 'creator' laptop. 

hp-zbook-create-g7-main.jpg

HP's 15.6-inch ZBook Create G7 runs on 10th-generation Core i5, i7 or i9 processors with up to 32GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD storage and discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or 2080 graphics. It weighs from 1.92kg (4.32lbs) and is powered by an 83Wh battery with claimed battery life of up to 14 hours. Screens are available at FHD or 4K resolution, the latter with and without touch support.

Images: HP Inc

The HP ZBook Create G7 packs a 15.6-inch screen, and is big and heavy, measuring 35.4cm wide by 23.46cm deep by 1.79cm (non-touch) or 1.75cm (touch) thick. Weight starts at 1.92kg, which means you won't want to carry it very far or very often. If you do travel with the ZBook Create G7, its solid metal chassis should ensure it survives any knocks or drops ("Our ZBooks are designed to undergo extensive MIL-STD 810H testing", as HP carefully puts it). Mobile professionals will appreciate this laptop's fast-charging capacity -- from zero to 50% in half an hour, HP claims -- which may justify carrying the large power brick, even though it adds even more weight. 

The ZBook Create G7's 15.6-inch screen sits in relatively narrow bezels on three sides, leaving a bottom bezel that's around 18mm deep. The screen on my review unit was a 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS panel with an anti-glare finish and 600 nits maximum brightness. Supporting 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut and with HDR 400 certification, this HP DreamColor panel displays images wonderfully, but is not touch responsive. If you need that, a Gorilla Glass 6-protected HDR 500 4K touch-screen is available, but it's less bright (400 nits) and will set you back another £221.42 (ex. VAT). 

SEE: Windows 10 Start menu hacks (TechRepublic Premium)

The Bang & Olufsen-branded audio subsystem is superb. There are two speakers under a long grille above the keyboard, and another pair on the underside, on the left and right edges. These sit in an upward angle of the chassis so they're protected from desktop muffling. The speakers plenty of volume, bass tones are strong, and there's no distortion even at the very top of the volume range. The ZBook Create G7 proves that laptops can deliver great audio quality. 

hp-zbook-create-g7-keyboard.jpg

The full-size keyboard is backlit and spill-resistant, and quiet in use.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The HP Premium Quiet Keyboard is comfortable to use and although the action is quite resistant I had no typing issues, reaching my usual touch-typing speed quite easily. True to its name, this is an unobtrusive keyboard, generating just the slightest tapping noise, making it a good option for quieter workspaces. The touchpad is smooth and very responsive. 

Top ZDNET Reviews

The processor needs a fair bit of cooling, and the left edge has a long vent to promote airflow. Nonetheless, even with the system idling I felt a bit of warmth on the wrist rest and base. The heat rose noticeably even with light workloads involving video streaming and music playing. That's something to beware if you plan to push the 10th-generation Intel Core i9-10885H processor really hard.  

hp-zbook-create-g7-ports.jpg

Left side (top): USB 3, cooling vent, 3.5mm headphone jack. Right side (above): SD card slot, Mini DisplayPort, 2x USB-C, power.

Images: HP Inc

There's no security cover on the webcam, which you'd expect on a laptop at this price point. On the plus side, face authentication via Windows Hello is supported. Connectivity is a little on the light side. The left edge is largely occupied by the aforementioned air vent, leaving space just for a 3.5mm headset jack and a single USB 3 port. On the right there are two USB-C ports, an SD card slot and a Mini DisplayPort connector, along with a round-pin charge port (which means that both USB-C ports are always available). HDMI is available in place of DisplayPort on other models, but surely room could be found for both video connectors? There's a fingerprint sensor on the wrist rest. 

hp-zbook-create-g7-in-use.jpg

Image: HP Inc

The HP ZBook Create G7 is a premium laptop with plenty of CPU and GPU muscle, RAM and SSD storage, and superb 4K display and audio subsystems. A touch-screen will add extra cost, and it can get rather warm, but otherwise this is an impressive laptop for power users and creators. 

RECENT AND RELATED CONTENT

HP ZBook Firefly 14 G7 review: A compact and durable entry-level mobile workstation  

HP EliteBook x360 1030 G7 review: A top-quality 13-inch 2-in-1 ultraportable

What laptop should I buy? Windows 10 or MacOS, plus 10 more things to consider

Best laptops at CES 2021: Top notebooks, 2-in-1s, and ultraportables

The best laptops 2021: Our recommended models for every use case and platform

Read more reviews

Specifications

General
Packaged Quantity 1
Platform Technology Intel vPro Technology
Embedded Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) Security Chip
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Edition - English
Processor / Chipset
CPU Intel Core i9 (10th Gen) 10885H / 2.4 GHz
Max Turbo Speed 5.3 GHz
Number of Cores 8-core
Cache L3 - 16 MB
64-bit Computing Yes
Features Hyper-Threading Technology, Intel Smart Cache, Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0
Cache Memory
Type L3 cache
RAM
Memory Speed 3200 MHz
Configuration Features provided memory is soldered
Technology DDR4 SDRAM
Data Integrity Check non-ECC
Rated Memory Speed 3200 MHz
Memory
Technology DDR4 SDRAM - non-ECC
Speed 3200 MHz
Environmental Parameters
Humidity Range Operating 10 - 90% (non-condensing)
Display
LCD Backlight Technology WLED backlight
Resolution 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
Widescreen Display Yes
Monitor Features 100% sRGB color gamut, 72% NTSC color gamut, Full HD eDP anti-glare, Panel Self Refresh (PSR)
Type LED
TFT Technology IPS
Diagonal Size (metric) 39.6 cm
Display Resolution Abbreviation Full HD
Audio & Video
Multi-GPU Configuration 1 single GPU card / integrated GPU
Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER / Intel UHD Graphics
Sound Two subwoofers, two tweeters, dual array microphone
Features Bang & Olufsen Audio
Hard Drive
Type SSD
SSD Form Factor M.2 2280
Capacity 1 TB
Hard Drive Features NVM Express (NVMe), triple-level cell (TLC)
Input
Type ClickPad, keyboard
Features gesture function, glass clickpad, multi-touch clickpad, precision touchpad, spill-resistant
Communications
Wireless Protocol Bluetooth 5.0
Wireless Controller Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201
Features Miracast, dual stream (2x2)
Optical Storage
Drive Type no optical drive
Type none
Processor
CPU Type Core i9
Manufacturer Intel
Clock Speed 2.4 GHz
Card Reader
Type card reader
Supported Flash Memory SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card, SDXC UHS Memory Card
Battery
Capacity 83 Wh
Cells 6-cell
Technology lithium polymer
Run Time (Up To) 14 hour(s)
AC Adapter
Input AC 120/230 V (50/60 Hz)
Output 200 Watt, 19.5 V
Connections & Expansion
Interfaces 2 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 (supports Thunderbolt 3)
USB 3.1 Gen 1 (charging)
Headphone/microphone combo jack
Mini DisplayPort 1.4
Memory Card Reader Yes (SD Card, SDHC Card, SDXC Card, SDXC UHS Card)
Header
Brand HP
Product Line HP ZBook
Localization English
Country Kits United States
Packaged Quantity 1
Networking
Data Link Protocol Bluetooth 5.0, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
Compliant Standards Wi-Fi CERTIFIED
Miscellaneous
Color turbo silver
Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) Security Chip, fingerprint reader
Features BIOS Absolute Persistence, HP Fast Charge, Master Boot Record Security, Power On Authentication, Pre-boot Authentication
Compliant Standards A-Tick, BSMI, CCC, CIT, CP65, CSA, FCC, ICCP, ICES, KCC, RoHS, SABS, UL, VCCI, WEEE, low halogen
Theft/Intrusion Protection security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)
Security Slot Type Kensington nano security slot
Monitor
Diagonal Size 15.6 in
Image Brightness 400 cd/m2
System
Platform Technology Intel vPro Technology
Notebook Type notebook
Platform Windows
Hard Drive Capacity 1 TB
Embedded Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) Security Chip
Security Devices fingerprint reader
Dimensions & Weight
Width 13.9 in
Depth 9.2 in
Height 0.7 in
Audio Output
Compliant Standards High Definition Audio
Manufacturer Warranty
Type 3 years warranty
Environmental Standards
ENERGY STAR Certified Yes
Physical Characteristics
Weight 4.23 lbs
Power
Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
Max Operating Temperature 95 °F
Operating System / Software
OS Provided: Type Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Edition
Type HP Client Security Manager, HP Connection Optimizer, HP Device Access Manager, HP Fingerprint Sensor, HP Hotkey Support, HP Noise Cancellation, HP Secure Erase, HP Support Assistant, Native Miracast, Windows Defender
Video Output
Discrete Graphics Processor Yes
Multi-GPU Configuration 1 single GPU card / integrated GPU
Graphics Processor Series Intel UHD Graphics
Input Device
Backlight Yes
Interfaces
USB-C Ports Qty 2
Comment charging
Service & Support
Type 3 years warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Service Included parts and labor
Full Contract Period 3 years
Shock & Vibration Tolerance
Shock Acceleration (Operating) 40 g
Shock Acceleration (Non-operating) 200 g
Vibration Acceleration (Operating) 0.75 g
Vibration Frequency Range (Operating) RMS (random)

Where To Buy

Price
$4,199.00

Where To Buy

HP ZBook Create G7 - 15.6" - Core i9 10885H - vPro - 32 GB RAM - 1 TB SSD - US

Part Number: 2W1J5UT#ABA
Price
$4,199.00