HP ZBook Studio G3 Owner's Review

Discussion in 'HP' started by Billy Cantor, Jan 23, 2016.

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  1. Pirx

    Pirx Notebook Virtuoso

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    Well, yes, I can see how their design has gone stale by now. As for build quality, professional-class PCs have equaled Apple products in this area for a long time now. Not all of them, mind you, but there's plenty to choose from. Lots more choice than you get from Apple, obviously.
     
  2. Adamcs

    Adamcs Notebook Enthusiast

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    That's my idea, too.

    Comparing notebooks by going through specs, I have noticed that the hp studio's UHD display contrast ratio is only 400:1. I know that it alone doesn't say much but is it a mistake or am I missing some info?
    Lenovo's UHD display has 1000:1.
     
  3. Billy Cantor

    Billy Cantor Notebook Consultant

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    The chassis temperature has been consistently cool so far. A hot chassis is a dealbreaker for me for laptops, since I frequently use laptops on my lap.

    I'm not the best judge of fan noise. Most of the time I don't notice the fans at all, and it seems like the two fans turn on independently. When I set the laptop on top of another laptop, I occasionally hear a brief intermittent spin-up-to-fast fan sequence.

    I did notice that there are options to run the fans constantly in AC-powered mode and I assume that would create a constant quiet fan noise. For people who want a silent environment, a fanless PC might be a better choice.
     
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  4. Billy Cantor

    Billy Cantor Notebook Consultant

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    Dang. I tried that, but for some reason the PCMark8 "battery life" option is grayed out. Full battery, grumpy software. I tried. :)

    This is the top of the line SKU with Xeon and UHD 4K and a dGPU. I'm guessing that 4-5 hours is realistic. I'll try to watch a movie on it later, streamed over Wi-Fi, with the screen at full brightness. And I'll try doing a typical engineering workload. And I'll approximate and let you know. Hopefully someone else with a ZBook Studio G3 can run some proper battery benchmarks too.
     
  5. Billy Cantor

    Billy Cantor Notebook Consultant

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    There's definitely some (Voodoo) Omen DNA in there. If you look at the bottom venting and bottom design of the Omen Pro, it feels like an earlier iteration of the design used on the ZBook Studio G3. Except instead of airflow cutouts in the front and rear, HP sculpted the bottom of the machine so that there were huge vents on the left and right sides.

    And really...basing design elements of this machine on a proven gaming platform makes a lot of sense. Both machines have power-users who want lots of GPU power and push the limits. And frankly the venting design is pretty darn cool looking.
     
  6. Billy Cantor

    Billy Cantor Notebook Consultant

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    Are these the BIOS graphics options you're looking for?

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Billy Cantor

    Billy Cantor Notebook Consultant

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    Brave man :) I constantly switch between Mac OS X and Windows so I have some perspective here (although probably not as much as you on the OS X side).

    I love the refined feel of Mac OS X and how simple it is to do simple things on the Mac. But then it kind of drives me nuts having to learn and use a ton of multi-key combos for things which are both frequently-used and straightforward on the PC. A good example of this is switching between windows: on the Mac, Command+tab switches apps but then you have to use Command+"~" to switch between windows within an app. On a PC, you just use Alt+Tab regardless of whether the window is part of the same app or another app. I feel so much more productive on Windows--but I also feel like Windows is "pretty and designed for productivity" whereas OS X is "gorgeous and designed for ease of use". Both have pros; I just wish I could mash them together sometimes.

    Lenovo does make great keyboards, or at least they used to when they were IBM ThinkPads. They probably still do. We can't use Lenovo computers for sensitive work for political/legal reasons so I don't have a lot of recent experience here.

    The Dell Precision 7510 is a pretty big laptop. It's probably more of a purpose-built workstation than the Precision 5510. If you're looking for something more MacBook Pro-sized, you may want to stick to the ZBook Studios and the Precision 5510s.

    On displays: the Dell Precision 5510's UHD display is sexier than the ZBook Studio's UHD display. There are some color shifting issues at angles to be aware of, but if you like the beautiful glossy look of the MacBook Pros you'll probably gravitate toward the 5510. If you want color accuracy for design work, the ZBook Studio's upcoming DreamColor option will be a safe bet.

    The Precision 5510 has a bigger battery and will probably give you longer battery life than the ZBook Studio G3. They both weigh 4.4 pounds.

    As you said, I can't really comment on durability of the ZBook Studio's keyboard since it's a brand new machine. But I have used ZBooks in the past and have never ever had a key wear out or start to feel mushy after a year or two of use.

    Honestly, my only complaint with the keyboard on the ZBook Studio is that I keep hitting my palm on the touchpad while typing and that moves my curor. I haven't figured out how to get the Alps touchpad palm rejection to work yet but I see there are options--so I expect that to be a non-issue very soon.
     
  8. Billy Cantor

    Billy Cantor Notebook Consultant

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    I don't have any measurements for key travel, but it's a very reasonable amount. Every key I press registers with me mentally, and I haven't made typing mistakes yet.

    From a day of testing and comparison with my MacBook Pro's keyboard, I would say that the MacBook Pro's keyboard is slightly nicer for reasons I can't really quantify. But both machines have quality keyboards.
     
  9. Billy Cantor

    Billy Cantor Notebook Consultant

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    .
    That sounds about right for the standard UHD display. The upcoming DreamColor display's spec is a 1000:1 contrast ratio.

    I love OLED displays for their contrast (including totally black blacks) and IPS displays for their quality. I expect that the DreamColor option will probably be a good balance of the two. In the meantime, the current UHD display in my ZBook Studio makes for really striking and surprisingly accurate colors in photos and videos. [I wish it were DreamColor though. Sigh.]
     
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  10. pipspeak

    pipspeak Notebook Deity

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    Thanks for trying! I just assume the normal formula of dividing the manufacturer-quoted battery life by two, which would indeed give 4-5 hours.

    One other thing I'm curious about is if a 2.5" SSD is designed to fit where you have the Samsung 950 M2 -- it's hard to tell if a special cable is required
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
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