HP takes on Microsoft Surface Pro with detachable PC workstation with Nvidia Quadro pro graphics

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HP is taking on Microsoft in the detachable PC sector with the HP ZBook x2, a new CAD-optimised mobile workstation that it claims offers up to 73% more 3D performance than the Microsoft Surface Pro thanks to an integrated Nvidia Quadro GPU.

The HP ZBook x2 features a 14-inch 4K multi-touch display, a detachable Bluetooth keyboard and a pressure sensitive pen, based on Wacom EMR technology.

The machine can be used in two main modes – tablet mode (with keyboard completely removed) or in laptop mode, where the screen rests upright on a built-in stand.

In tablet mode, architects or industrial designers are given the creative freedom of tablet for sketching out concept designs in 2D or 3D. There are also plans for a protective case with an integrated pen holder, so the HP ZBook x2 could have uses beyond the design office, perhaps on the shop floor or construction site where 3D is needed in a handheld device.

In laptop mode, the HP ZBook x2 functions as a traditional mobile workstation, benefitting from the latest generation dual or quad core Intel processors (up to 4.2GHz), up to 32GB RAM, NVMe SSD and entry-level Nvidia Quadro professional 3D graphics.

There are also two other modes – detach mode, where the keyboard can be used via Bluetooth, and dock mode, where the HP ZBook x2 can power two additional 4K displays or five total displays.

The machine features a fully-machined, aluminium and die-cast magnesium body, starting at just 1.6kg (3.64 pounds) and 14.6 mm thin when in tablet mode, and 2.2kg (4.78 pounds)5 and 20.3 mm in laptop mode.


The HP-designed pen is battery-less and features 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with multi-directional tilt based with on Wacom electronic magnetic resonance (EMR) technology.

This is an interesting move from HP, who continues to expand its workstation portfolio at some pace – adding two other new form factors this year with the HP Z VR Backpack G1 and the HP Z2 Mini.

But HP face some strong competition, not only from Microsoft, with the Surface Pro, but Lenovo, with the ThinkPad P40 Yoga and Wacom, with the MobileStudio Pro.

We’ll be taking a closer look at the HP ZBook x2 soon.

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