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What makes the HP ZBook series the perfect mobile workstations for creators?
Nowadays, laptops have become a necessity. Before, there was no such need for a mobile computer, since most people’s main PCs were in their offices, and more often in a desktop form factor.
Laptops, sometimes, were considered a luxury, or they were oriented exclusively to specific workflows. Of course, they have been in the working arena for a while, especially in the technology and service sector; nonetheless, they became popular as a working tool just a few years ago.
Among the many dynamics that COVID-19 (this trite but restless topic) has changed, the way we work was one of the most affected.
Even though the fear of the virus is gone in the vast majority of the population —along with the risk it carries— our approach to work has not gone back to ‘normal’ and probably never will.
This situation caused many people to migrate to a hybrid working environment, which made laptops incredibly useful. For most office employees, a regular laptop was more than enough; however, that was not the case for every work sphere.
Creative professionals such as designers, 3D artists, and video editors require equipment beyond the standard laptop price.
Long-lasting battery life, improved security measures, or extended RAM capacity are characteristics that a creator appreciates; however, they are not enough for the latter to perform many of their daily tasks. To fulfill those needs, they require workstations instead.
What is a workstation?
The definition of the term ‘workstation’ has changed through time quite a bit, due to accelerated technological progress. Before, a workstation was a computer that had higher levels of performance in comparison with a regular PC. It offered not only power, but also reliability, compatibility, and an advanced architecture for multiprocessing environments.
In the present day, this definition is incomplete. Indeed, a workstation is everything mentioned in the previous paragraph, but thanks to new technological developments, the performance gap between a regular PC and a workstation has diminished. Therefore, the workstation market has had to reinvent itself.
Consequently, workstations are not only powerful computers anymore, moreover they are PCs that include optimized hardware and have been designed to outperform any other equipment.
It may be difficult for you to tell the difference between mobile workstations and regular (or perhaps fancy) laptops at first glance. To be able to see what differentiates them, you should look at their hardware specifications. But what kind of specs should you look for?
This question could be answered in many ways, since it depends on how you are planning to use your PC. In this article, we will explore the specs you should look for in a mobile workstation if you are a creative professional and also, the best one for you.
Characteristics to look for in a creator’s workstation
The features that you should look for as a creative professional are the following:
The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of the computer. It probably represents the most important part of the whole system, and it is crucial for the performance of the computer in any task.
CPUs are formed by cores, which are the pathways that execute any process. In the past, computers had just one core (one execution track), but nowadays, the most common arrangement is two and four cores.
Besides cores, another important CPU feature is threads. Threads are, let us say, a virtual extra corridor that provides cores with the ability to process a double amount of information. For instance, a CPU with 4 cores will have 8 threads.
For pretty basic jobs, such as internet navigation and writing, 2-core systems with 4 threads are enough; meanwhile, 4-core and 8-thread CPUs have become the sweet spot between power and energy efficiency for most everyday tasks.
However, some creative assignments can consume your laptop’s capacity, like rendering and video editing. For those purposes, arrangements of at least 6 cores with 12 threads or 8 cores with 16 threads arrangements are needed.
If you'd like to know more about CPUs’ functionalities and their importance, please have a look at the article that addresses this topic.
While a good CPU is essential to a laptop, it would not be really useful for a creator if not accompanied by a high-quality GPU.
The graphic processing unit (GPU), also called graphic card, is the part of the computer that is responsible for processing visual information.
This, above all else, is vital for any creative job. The GPU takes out the graphic processes from the CPU, which might overwhelm it.
When we talk about GPUs, there are two different types: integrated graphics and dedicated ones. The former applies to a graphic card that is integrated with the CPU and shares the same VRAM. The latter means that the GPU has its own memory.
To put it simply, creative purposes demand the best graphic performance and, because of it , laptops for creators need a GPU with its own memory (dedicated GPU).
If you'd like to learn more about the role that a graphic processing unit plays in a PCs performance, click here.
The random access memory (RAM) is a short-term storage device. A computer’s operating system uses this memory to store, for a short period, the programs and processes that are executing.
All programs’ instructions that pass through the CPU, the GPU and other units in the PC are loaded into the RAM. Besides containing all those instructions and units, the RAM holds all the data held by those programs too.
If we draw an analogy with a library, the storage device (an SSD or an HDD) would be the entire library, while the RAM would be a table within the library with a specific amount of space for books.
Like this analogy’s table has limited space for books that can fit on it, like a RAM has limited space for the programs and data that it can handle. The larger amount of memory, the more processes that the PC is able to run at the same time.
In this sense, a computer with 8GB RAM doubles the number of processes and programs that a computer with only 4GB can handle simultaneously.
Creative tasks, as we have already stated, demand a lot of resources and also the capacity to run several things at the same time. Creative software like the Adobe suite family, for example, requires at least 8GB of RAM. To obtain maximum performance, we suggest 16GB RAM.
HP mobile workstations for creative professionals
Now that you know which specs you should look for in a laptop for creators, we present to you the best mobile workstations in 2022 for any creative task.
Whether you would use it to run Adobe Illustrator® and Photoshop®, or any other software as a graphic designer, for video editing, or to create a 3D image through Cinema 4D® or Blender®, we have the laptop for you.
The HP ZBook family has been created to offer the best performance and cooling systems to give you the power you require, without compromising the hardware due to overheating problems.
HP ZBook Firefly G7
The HP ZBook Firefly G7 is the lightest workstation of the ZBook family, which was created thinking of fulfilling your needs of mobility and power at an affordable price. This workstation is perfect for design and photography students.
This laptop stands heavy workloads with a 10th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor with 4 cores and 8 threads, and a 4GB NVIDIA Quadro® GPU.
It possesses a 16GB DDR4-266 MHz RAM and 512GB SSD storage, which provides a multitasking virtual environment and enough space to save all your creative projects.
Furthermore, size should not be a problem, since this workstation has a beautiful 15.6 inch FHD display (1920x1080p) and a full-size numeric keypad.
If you are a graphic designer, with these specs you will have more than enough to run pro software tools as a graphic designer such as Adobe Illustrator and Procreate®; if you are an editorial designer, tools such as Adobe InDesign®; if you are a photographer, Adobe Lightroom® and Capture One®.
HP ZBook Studio 15.6 G8
The HP ZBook Studio G8 was created with visual and rendering workflows in mind. It also has a 15.6-inch FHD screen, and 512GB SSD storage.
This workstation has an Intel® Core™ i7 processor with 8 cores and 16 threads and a 4GB NVIDIA®️ T1200 GDDR6 GPU, that you can use for rendering or visualizing in real time, collaborating remotely, and even gaming.
This GPU is based on Turing architecture, which optimized the core and cache design, making it faster and improving its energy efficiency up to 40%.
You can find this mobile workstation in two different versions. The 16GB RAM version with an affordable price, and the 32GB version, perfect for heavy workloads, such as animation.
With the HP ZBook Studio G8, you will be able to run all the software previously mentioned and more. Video editing and 3D modeling software, such as Blender, Adobe Pro Create, Adobe After Effects®, or Cinema 4D run comfortably thanks to its powerful CPU, GPU and RAM.
Shop the HP ZBook Studio 15.6 G8
HP ZBook Fury 17.3 G8
The HP ZBook Fury 17.3 G8 was created for providing incredible performance with the best portable visualization. Perfect to easily create, simulate and edit thanks to its amazing 17.3-inch FHD display. You have never seen so many colours.
Besides its beautiful screen, this workstation has an Intel® Core™ i7 processor with 8 cores and 16 threads, a 4GB NVIDIA®️ T1200 GDDR6 GPU, 32GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage.
Furthermore, the HP ZBook Fury 17.3 G8 was designed considering future hardware modifications, making it a great investment. This laptop has tool-free access to removable components and an extensive port selection for critical accessories.
We are aware that accidents can happen, and that is why this model has a spill-resistant keyboard.
Shop the HP ZBook Fury 17.3 G8
To sum up
If you are a creative pro, you should take into account that most laptops are not going to be suitable for you, due to the performance needs that creative tasks require. To be able to work comfortably, you should consider buying a mobile workstation.
The most important specs that you need to have in mind are a CPU with 4 cores or more, a dedicated GPU with 4GB or more, great display resolution, and an 8GB RAM.
If you are a graphic designer, photographer, cartoonist, or illustrator, we recommend the HP ZBook Firefly G7. If your workflow requires more power, because you are oriented toward video production, the HP ZBook Studio 15.6 G8 would be a better fit for you. Finally, if you want a great laptop for creative tasks with a wider screen and that won't become obsolete over time, we recommend that you get the HP ZBook Fury 17.3 G8.
About the author: Alvaro Felipe Ortega González is a writer and an editor for HP Tech Takes. He is a historian and a content creator who likes to write about technology and past studies.