Mobile workstations are perfect for power users and creators. They are especially suited to creative pros
and technical professionals of all kinds, across multiple industries, who are engaged in resource-intensive tasks, activities, and applications.
That’s because these laptops feature powerful mobile processors and graphics cards, large amounts of memory and storage, eye-catching displays, a copious number of ports, rugged durability, and much more.
Here are the top 5 workstation laptops from HP, which are designed to deliver high-performing specs to fuel creative, technical, and professional endeavors everywhere. First, we’ll dive into some of the features that comprise the top workstation laptops. Then we’ll get to the HP workstations that exemplify these features.
What is a mobile workstation?
A mobile workstation is a laptop that’s been beefed up with more; more processing cores, more memory and storage, more graphics capabilities, more ports, more advanced cooling options, and more durable features, just to name a few. It’s designed for performing intensive processing operations involved in design, editing, engineering, and architectural applications.
What do I look for in a mobile workstation?
Most mobile workstations have either 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch diagonal screens. If you’re looking for something with slimmer profiles, then keep an eye out for models with convertible and/or detachable options, especially those that convert to tablets.
Your workstation’s central processing unit
(CPU) should be strong and fast enough to run the powerful software behind such demanding applications like computer-aided design (CAD), video editing, modeling, 3D rendering and animation, VR, architecture, engineering, data analysis, and others. Look for at least a quad-core (4-core) processor.
The graphics card
(or GPU) speeds design, imaging, rendering, and animating processes and helps these and other applications perform their operations accurately and seamlessly. A graphics card, one that’s discrete (or dedicated) rather than integrated, with at least 2GB of video memory (vRAM), and preferably 4GB, should do the trick.
Memory (RAM) and storage capacity
Make sure that your workstation laptop has sufficient memory (RAM) and storage to house those enormous data files and run memory and storage hungry software. When it comes to both memory and storage, more is always better. Look for at least 16GB RAM and 1TB of hard disk drive (HDD) storage or 512GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage.
Because they run more powerful applications, workstation laptops tend to have a shorter battery life than traditional laptops. Although what constitutes a “long” battery life is subjective, the best workstation laptops usually have a battery life of more than 7 hours.
The best workstations have gone through rigorous testing in rugged environments, meeting industry and military-grade standards. They should be durable and flexible enough to withstand dust, drops, vibrations, and extreme temperature and altitude fluctuations so that you can take them wherever they need to go.
And while you’re taking them out and about, they’ll need to be sufficiently secure to protect your data, files, and programs. Look for security features such as privacy screens, lockability, and backup storage.
Mobile workstations should have plenty of ports to allow you to connect with peripherals wherever you go. Ideally, they’ll have ports that enable HDMI, USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 connections, and at least one USB Type-C™ (or Thunderbolt™ 3) port for high-speed connections to external drives or high-resolution displays.
Keeping in mind these specs, let’s jump into our list of the top 5 workstation laptops.
Top 5 workstation laptops from HP
1. HP ZBook 15 G6 mobile workstation
The HP ZBook 15 mobile workstation
is one of the most portable workstation laptops available today with a perfectly sized 15.6-inch diagonal display, weighing only 5.7 lbs and measuring 14.8 inches by 10.4 inches by 1 inch.
Yet it’s durable enough to handle the type of data-heavy rendering, engineering, and simulation workflows required by video editing, product design, architecture, and other creative applications.
The HP ZBook 15 delivers speedy performance designed to take on complex, multi-threaded applications like Adobe Premiere Pro and Autodesk 3ds Max, among others.
Choose from 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 and i7 processors with 4 and 6 cores, or 9th Generation Intel Core i9 processors and Intel Xeon® processors with 8 cores.
Render photorealistic designs and images, create lifelike VR, and work on demanding projects quickly and easily thanks to professional, high-quality graphics cards. The HP ZBook 15 offers VR-ready, next-generation GPUs based on the advanced Turing architecture
that include the NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX 3000 (with 6GB of vRAM), or the NVIDIA Quadro T2000 and T1000 (with 4GB vRAM).
Plenty of memory, storage, and ports
Speed your editing, rendering, and visual effects performance with up to 128GB RAM. Enhance your productivity with up to 4TB of local PCIe storage with HP Z Turbo Drive, which is 6 times faster than SATA SSD and 21 times faster than standard HDD storage. The HP ZBook 15 also has plenty of ports to help power your projects, including an RJ-45/Ethernet, three USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI 2.0b, dual USB Type-C™ (Thunderbolt™ 3), and more.
Security and reliability
The HP ZBook 15 features a rugged design that has been tested against sand, dust, shock, extreme temps, and more. It was built to undergo extensive MIL-STD 810G testing and, in fact, passed 14 rigorous military-standard tests. Some of its advanced security features include HP Sure Start, the industry’s first self-healing BIOS, and HP Sure View, an integrated privacy screen that activates at the touch of a button.
2. HP ZBook 17 G6 mobile workstation
If you’re interested in moving up to a larger-sized screen that packs in even more power, check out the HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation
. This creative powerhouse melds a traditional desktop’s performance with the lightweight form factor and freedom of a laptop. It’s considered to be the world’s most powerful mobile workstation based on maximum processor, graphics, memory, and power supply.
Performing at the desktop level
The HP ZBook 17 workstation laptop has a relatively small footprint starting at 7 lbs and measuring only 1.3 inches thin. But in that space, it delivers desktop-class performance via powerful 9th Generation Intel Core i9 or Intel Xeon processors, from 4 to 8 cores. Memory and storage options are generous as well with up to 128GB RAM and up to 10TB storage with 5 drives.
Color to create
The 17.3-inch diagonal display of the HP ZBook 17 helps you bring your creative projects to life and generate eye-catching visuals. Its optional 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) HP DreamColor display shows up to one billion colors and a built-in color calibration system maintains color accuracy.
The Full High Definition (FHD) IPS anti-glare touch screen display has an ambient light sensor that lets you work comfortably in any lighting setting, automatically dimming or brightening the screen based on your surroundings.
Graphics that deliver
This mobile workstation has high-end graphics capabilities. Choose from an NVIDIA Quadro RTX™ 3000 (with 6GB vRAM), RTX 4000 (with 8GB vRAM), or the RTX 5000 (with 16GB vRAM) and up to the Quadro T1000 with 4GB of vRAM. It’s especially ideal for creative and technical specialists:
- Video editors and VR developers: Carry out complex visual effects and high-end color grading; perform on-location video editing with integrated, configurable video color spaces within HD and 4K content; develop 360-degree content.
- Architects and designers: Experience real-time walkthroughs; explore designs immersively in VR; process complex, real-time LIDAR point cloud data.
- Product developers: Design interactively with real-time rendering, presentation, and configuration processes. Implement real-time simulation-based design with server-grade processors, graphics, and memory.
3. HP ZBook Studio G5 mobile workstation
Looking for the ideal merger of ultra-high performance in an ultra-slim design? The HP ZBook Studio
is a creative dynamo with powerful processors, the brightest 15.6-inch diagonal displays, and high levels of security in a small footprint of 3/4-inch thick, weighing only 4.4 lbs.
The brightest 4K UHD laptop display from HP
One billion: It’s hard to fathom this number, but our eyes can perceive more than one billion colors. With 600 nits of brightness
, in fact 20% brighter than other top brands, the HP DreamColor display of the HP ZBook Studio lets you see those colors (true-to-life) and discern various vibrant colors, regardless of lighting conditions. Adobe RGB gives you more colors to see and work with, so it’s ideal for color-critical workflows such as matching your camera’s color setting, or printing with the color that you actually want.
Processing power and graphics of a desktop
The HP ZBook Studio has the processing, rendering, and editing power of a desktop in the slim design of a portable laptop. It features the latest 6-core and 8-core Intel Core i9 and Intel Xeon processors, NVIDIA Quadro P1000 and P2000 graphics with 4GB vRAM, up to 64GB of memory, and up to 4 TB local NVMe storage.
Calling all creators
The slim design, high-performance graphics, processing power, and memory of the HP ZBook Studio makes this mobile workstation the perfect solution for engineers and architects. You can design, develop, and render at any time (and wherever you happen to be) with simulation-based applications, 3D modeling processes like Building Information Modeling (BIM), or design programs such as Revit, Navisworks, and Enscape.
This is the perfect device for creators, designers, and video editors who want to be able to work easily and confidently on the go without sacrificing performance. You will appreciate the ability to design, edit, and render quickly and proficiently. Tasks like 4K video editing, color grading, and photo retouching are no longer relegated to the desktop in the office or at home.
HP's most secure mobile workstation
You’re only as secure as your weakest link, and hackers, malware, ransomware, and viruses know this. HP ZBook Studio protects your work and content with industry-leading security features such as the HP Sure View privacy screen, HP Sure Click browser malware and virus protection, HP RAID 1 hard drive backup software, and many others.
Be productive wherever you are with up to 16 hours of battery life. This mobile workstation also has a full-sized, backlit, and minor spill-resistant keyboard that helps keep you working, worry-free. It also has all the ports you need to keep you connected, charged, and able to transfer data with two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, an SD card slot, and dual Thunderbolt 3 ports.
4. HP ZBook Studio x360 mobile workstation
Those searching for more flexibility, both literally and figuratively, from their mobile workstations will want to check out this particular device. The HP ZBook Studio x360
is one of the world’s most powerful convertible PCs that blends the latest convertible design with the pro-grade performance of a laptop, offering four distinct modes of configuration including that of a traditional laptop.
An innovative, multipurpose 360-degree hinge
Showcase your work and designs however you need to. The HP ZBook Studio x360 has an innovative 360-degree hinge that you can use in four different configurations:
- Laptop: Carry out your best work in the traditional clamshell configuration of a 15.6-inch diagonal laptop
- Stand and tent: Easily collaborate and showcase your work with multiple modes for reviewing both concepts and designs
- Tablet: Conveniently create, sketch, mark up, design, and edit with the comfort of a tablet and using the precise, intuitive Wacom AES pen (which is designed to feel like using a pencil on paper)
- Dock: Dock and connect to multiple displays to see your work up close
Built for powerful workloads
Unlike other convertible notebooks, the HP ZBook Studio x360 is no underachiever when it comes to performance. It’s built to run the powerful multi-threaded and resource-intensive applications inherent in the creative and technical realm.
It features up to 6-core Intel Core i7 and Intel Xeon processors and up to 8-core Intel Core i9 processors. NVIDIA Quadro P1000 and P2000 graphics cards, up to 64GB RAM, and up to 4TB of local NVMe storage.
5. HP ZBook x2 detachable workstation
One of the best high-performance workstation laptops is another that goes beyond the traditional laptop configuration. The HP ZBook x2 detachable workstation
is HP’s most powerful detachable PC that functions as both a laptop and a tablet for a full-performance workstation-class laptop experience in one of the slimmest footprints of .57 inches thin when in tablet mode.
Versatility to keep working
The HP ZBook x2 features HP's most advanced detachable PC display with a 14-inch diagonal 4K IPS anti-glare touch screen HP DreamColor display. It also has an integrated stand and a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard that, even when detached, remains active so you can keep working.
In tablet mode, you can use customizable HP Quick Keys with 18 time-saving shortcuts for your favorite Adobe apps. And the Wacom EMR pen provides a natural tilt and almost zero latency, with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity to make every stroke count.
Workstation-class laptop experience
The HP ZBook x2 powers creativity and design with the latest Intel Core i7 processors with 4 cores, NVIDIA Quadro M620 GPU with 2GB vRAM, and up to 32GB RAM, twice the memory capacity of any other HP detachable PC.
It also offers up to 2TB of local PCIe storage, and up to 512GB HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe SSD storage, which is up to 6x faster than SATA SSD and 21x faster than traditional HDD storage.
New HP mobile workstation coming in 2020
HP ZBook Studio
Scheduled for release in Summer 2020, the new 15-inch HP ZBook Studio mobile workstation will be the world’s most powerful mobile workstation of its size for rendering. It will let you design, edit, render, and stream from anywhere, offering the first DreamColor display with a 17.5 hour, all-day battery life.
Workstation laptops are popular because they eliminate the need to choose between power and portability. This is an especially welcome attribute when you’re looking to create, design, render, engineer, invent, work, and play without sacrificing mobility.
While each of the above models meet a diverse group of needs, we recommend the HP ZBook Studio G5 mobile workstation as the perfect choice for a variety of creative and high-performance endeavors.
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