Notebookcheck

HP ZBook 14u G4 (7500U, FirePro W4190M) Workstation Review

Nino Ricchizzi, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, Tanja Hinum (translated by Stanislav Kokhanyuk), 11/10/2017

The consumer workstation. The new ZBook 14u encompasses exactly 14 inches and is for those who seek a reliable companion above all else. We are quite fond of the overall package, but the hardware choices leave a lot to be desired.

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HP classifies the new ZBook 14u as an “ultrabook workstation". However, not all configurations can carry the “ultrabook” title. Furthermore, the suffix “u” implies that what we are dealing with here is an alternation of the conventional ZBook series. We put the 14-inch offshoot of the ZBook line under the microscope in 2014. The current ZBook product line aims to combine the advantages of a compact consumer notebook with the features of a workstation. The asking price for the 14-inch workstation starts at about 1200 Euros (~$1399). We had to pay 1820 Euros (~$2122) for our model, which has an Intel Core i7 CPU, a 256 GB SSD and a dedicated AMD graphics unit.

We included several competitors in our review. The first is the 15-inch variant of the ZBook, the ZBook 15u G4, which is available for 2240 Euros (~$2612) with an almost identical hardware configuration. The Lenovo ThinkPad P51s is the second competitor. The rival from Lenovo comes equipped with an Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia Quadro M520 GPU and a 4K display. The price tag of the ThinkPad: 2300 Euros (~$2682). The other competitor, the Dell Precision 3520, is faster and more expensive. The 15-inch workstation comes with a very capable Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia Quadro M620 and 32 GB of RAM. The price tag of this classic workstation amounts to 2500 Euros (~$2916). We include the 1000-Euro (~$1166) more expensive Apple MacBook Pro 15 as the most expensive rival in our round-up.

HP ZBook 14u G4 (ZBook 14 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-7500U (Intel Core i7), 2 cores, 15 W TPD, can get temporarily up to 25 W when Turbo Boost is engaged
Graphics adapter
AMD FirePro W4190M - 2048 MB, Core: 825 MHz, Memory: 1000 MHz, GDDR5, 21.19.142.32768 (Crimson 16.6)
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, AU Optronics AUO123D, TN, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audio-Combo, Card Reader: SD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, WWAN LTE/HSPA+ 4G Mobile Broadband Module, LTE
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25.1 x 338 x 237 ( = 0.99 x 13.31 x 9.33 in)
Battery
51 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Bang & Olufsen HD-Audio. Two stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, HP Sure Connect, HP Notifications, HP Hotkey Support, Conexant ISST Audio, HP Doumentation, HP WorkWise, HP Universal Camera Driver, HP Wireless Button Driver, HP Support Solution Framework, HP Device Access Manager, HP MAC Address Manager, Discover HP, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.7 kg ( = 59.97 oz / 3.75 pounds), Power Supply: 360 g ( = 12.7 oz / 0.79 pounds)
Price
1459 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The look of the case and the choice of the materials are nearly identical to the larger 15-inch variant. The chassis of the ZBook 14u has been fortified with magnesium. The bezels of the screen have been treated with a soft varnish. The lid is made of aluminum and comes in the color scheme “Space Silver”. The back of the lid is adorned with the manufacturer's logo. As per usual, there is a very good build quality. Applying external pressure to the chassis does not result in any noticeable deformation at any point. Only the back of the display lid exhibits some flex, which does not lead to any image distortion.

The built-in hinges are rigid enough to make sure that the display lid does not wobble. Furthermore, the ZBook is fully compliant with the Military Standard MIL-STD-810G. Thanks to the slightly rounded corners, the device feels and looks good. Something unpleasant: When the device is plugged in, one can feel a slight tingling sensation when touching the aluminum surface. This effect is well known from the MacBook series.

A workstation is paired with a consumer CPU and...
A workstation is paired with a consumer CPU and...
an obsolete workstation GPU.
The famous & classic design of the ZBook line
The ZBook 14u is appealing thanks to its mobility features
As per usual: a solid case and great build quality
Out of four different display options only one is...
...equipped with an IPS panel.

The HP ZBook 14u weighs in at 1700 grams (~3.75 lbs), which makes it the lightest device in our comparison chart. This can be attributed to the fact that all the other competitors are 15-inch devices. The Apple MacBook Pro is exactly 100 grams (0.22 lbs) heavier. The larger ZBook 15u weighs 200 grams (0.44 lbs) more. The Dell Precision 3520 tips the scales at 2.3 kilograms (5 lbs), which is especially disadvantageous when one has to do a lot of walking.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

The HP ZBook 14u comes equipped with only two USB Type-A ports. In addition, HP has included a USB Type-C port. Instead of an HDMI port, HP puts a DisplayPort output and a VGA port into the ZBook. The secure dock connector on the right side of the device is particularly interesting.

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Left side: Kensington lock, VGA port, one USB 3.0 port, Smart-Card Reader
Left side: Kensington lock, VGA port, one USB 3.0 port, Smart-Card Reader
Rear side
Rear side
Right side: USB Type-C port, DisplayPort output, microphone/headphone combo jack, one USB 3.0 port, Ethernet port, docking-station port, SIM-card slot, DC power socket
Right side: USB Type-C port, DisplayPort output, microphone/headphone combo jack, one USB 3.0 port, Ethernet port, docking-station port, SIM-card slot, DC power socket
Front side
Front side

SD-card reader

In order to analyze the SD-card reader’s performance, we use our reference SD card, the Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II. When copying JPEG files (each about 5 MB in size), the HP ZBook achieves an average transfer rate of 77 MB/s. This places the HP ZBook in the middle of the field, in terms of competition. Anyone who needs to frequently transfer files via an SD card will be better off with an external device or the Dell Precision 3520. Here the rival from Dell achieves transfer rates of up to 210 MB/s.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Precision 3520
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
210 MB/s ∼100% +172%
HP ZBook 15u G4
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
78.2 MB/s ∼37% +1%
HP ZBook 14u G4
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.2 MB/s ∼37%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76.8 MB/s ∼37% -1%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Precision 3520
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
119 MB/s ∼100% +36%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89 MB/s ∼75% +2%
HP ZBook 14u G4
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.3 MB/s ∼73%
HP ZBook 15u G4
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86.8 MB/s ∼73% -1%

Communication

Webcam - test shot
Webcam - test shot

The classic wired connection occurs via a Gigabit Intel I219-LM module. For the wireless connection to the web, the HP ZBook 14u uses an Intel 8265-AC module, which has a max speed of up to 867 Mbps. In our Wi-Fi test, the module reached a data reception speed of 520 Mbps and a data transmission speed of 665 Mbps. Although, our review device hands in a very good result regarding its data transmission speed, it falls behind the competition considerably in terms of its data reception rate.

The device not only supports Bluetooth 4.2 but also has a SIM-card slot for a mobile Internet connection.

For video-conferencing, the device has an optional 720p camera. Under optimal lighting conditions, it produces pretty decent images. In dim lighting conditions, the webcam has to struggle with long reaction times and image errors. In this scenario, colors are not reproduced faithfully, as well. Furthermore, it suffers from a lot of noise.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Broadcom BCM15700A2 802.11ac
949 MBit/s ∼100% +83%
Dell Precision 3520
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
705 MBit/s ∼74% +36%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
672 MBit/s ∼71% +29%
HP ZBook 14u G4
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
519 MBit/s ∼55%
HP ZBook 15u G4
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
515 MBit/s ∼54% -1%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Broadcom BCM15700A2 802.11ac
845 MBit/s ∼100% +27%
HP ZBook 14u G4
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
665 MBit/s ∼79%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
508 MBit/s ∼60% -24%
HP ZBook 15u G4
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
506 MBit/s ∼60% -24%
Dell Precision 3520
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
378 MBit/s ∼45% -43%

Security

In terms of security features, the new ZBook 14u has all the features that one typically finds in a business device. The ZBook has diverse password options and the ports can be disabled via the BIOS.

On the hardware side, the device comes with a Smart Card Reader, a fingerprint-scanner, a Kensington lock and a TPM module. Besides all that, the HP ZBook also uses Intel's Anti-Theft technology. Various HP programs round off the software package.

Accessories

Besides the usual fare, like warranty information and brochures, there is nothing else in the box with the HP ZBook 14u. Currently, there are four different accessory offers in the online store on HP's website. The most interesting of those is the HP 2013 UltraSlim Docking Station for 150 Euros (~$174). The docking station is connected to the side of the device and has four additional USB ports, two DisplayPort outputs, a VGA port, a DVI port, an Ethernet port and a line-in/line-out jack. HP also offers an M.2 SSD (NVMe SSD) for 530 Euros (~$618). A second replaceable battery can be ordered for 88 Euros (~$102).

Maintenance

In order to take a look inside the device, one must undo a lot of screws, including protective caps. The process is very similar to the already reviewed ZBook 15u. For that reason, and due to our rental conditions, we recommend taking a look at the review of the larger model for additional information.

Warranty

As usual for HP, the ZBook has a three-year warranty, including the Pickup & Return service. Depending on the configuration, one can select additional warranty packages.

Input Devices

Worthy input devices
Worthy input devices

Keyboard

In our previous reviews, we gave mostly words of praise for the ZBook line. For long typing sessions and for those who possess the great skill of 10-finger typing, HP offers an outstanding keyboard.

The keyboard wins one over with a nice feel. The surface of the keyboard is slightly rough and rubbery, therefore it provides enough grip.  

Clear pressure points and a soft clicking sound round off the input device. Furthermore, the manufacturer builds in a two-level keyboard backlight. 

Initially, the pointing stick, which is located in the middle of the keyboard, takes some getting used to. Because of it, the sizes of the G, H and B keys have been slightly reduced.

Touchpad and Pointing Stick

The 9.5 x 5.5 cm (3.7 x 2.2 in) touchpad leaves as good an impression as the keyboard itself. On the smooth surface, multi-touch gestures feel very responsive. Even in the corners, inputs are always registered well. There are two mouse buttons on both the bottom side and the topside of the touchpad. These have very consistent and soft travel. The upper ones were intended to be used with the pointing stick. The pointing stick registers even very delicate movements and can be used as a third input device.

Display

Pixel grid
Pixel grid

All in all, the manufacturer offers four different display configurations. The lowest-priced option comes with an outdated 1366x768 SVA anti-glare panel. SVA stands for “Standard Viewing Angle” and implies that it is a TN panel. This display type is only 32 Euros (~$37) below a 1080p TN panel. For a premium of 107 Euros (~$124), the consumer can get a Full HD touchscreen. Unfortunately, in terms of viewing-angle stability, it is still a TN panel. A Full HD IPS panel is 110 Euros (~$128) more expensive than the cheapest display. Other high-res alternatives, with or without a touchscreen, do not exist. Our review configuration comes with a Full HD TN panel.

In our case, the display comes from the company AU Optronics and has an average brightness of 306 cd/m². The strong brightness deviations are quite unattractive. For example, the difference between the middle of the display and the left side amounts to 64 cd/m². Therefore, the brightness distribution of 81% turns out to be rather meager.

313
cd/m²
334
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
274
cd/m²
338
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 338 cd/m² Average: 306.6 cd/m² Minimum: 22 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 338 cd/m²
Contrast: 398:1 (Black: 0.85 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.53 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 11.12 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
82% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 53% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.5
HP ZBook 14u G4
AU Optronics AUO123D, , 1920x1080, 14
Dell Precision 3520
1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
BOE NV156QUM-N44, , 3840x2160, 15.6
HP ZBook 15u G4
LP156WF6, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
APPA031, , 2880x1800, 15.4
Response Times
-23%
8%
12%
-22%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
47 (29, 18)
48 (24.4, 23.6)
-2%
38.4 (20.4, 18)
18%
39.6 (22.4, 17.2)
16%
48 (23.6, 24.4)
-2%
Response Time Black / White *
24 (19, 5)
34.4 (17.2, 17.2)
-43%
24.8 (13.6, 11.2)
-3%
22 (12, 10)
8%
33.8 (19.6, 14.2)
-41%
PWM Frequency
1064 (90)
980.4 (90)
20830 (90)
119000 (80, 210)
Screen
37%
40%
27%
79%
Brightness middle
338
345
2%
317
-6%
320
-5%
545
61%
Brightness
307
329
7%
290
-6%
310
1%
523
70%
Brightness Distribution
81
88
9%
85
5%
92
14%
86
6%
Black Level *
0.85
0.37
56%
0.32
62%
0.45
47%
0.44
48%
Contrast
398
932
134%
991
149%
711
79%
1239
211%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.53
5
41%
3.6
58%
5.5
36%
1.6
81%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
14
8
43%
6.6
53%
9
36%
3.8
73%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.12
6.2
44%
4.2
62%
4.8
57%
1.9
83%
Gamma
2.5 88%
2.35 94%
2.24 98%
2.28 96%
2.26 97%
CCT
12193 53%
6702 97%
6740 96%
6987 93%
6834 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
53
61.8
17%
59.5
12%
55
4%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
82
94.7
15%
91.1
11%
83.8
2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
7% / 27%
24% / 35%
20% / 25%
29% / 59%

* ... smaller is better

Right out of the box, the color accuracy and the grayscale reproduction turn out to be pretty poor. Especially annoying: A strong bluish cast is visible. In the CalMAN test, we saw a DeltaE deviation of 8.5 for the colors and 11.1 for the grayscale. After calibration, things improve significantly: The bluish cast is almost gone. The DeltaE deviations are reduced, as well. As always, our calibrated profile can be downloaded from our site as an ICC file.

CalMAN: ColorChecker (before calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (before calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (before calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (before calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (before calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (before calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (after calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (after calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (after calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (after calibration)

Thanks to the matte display and the average brightness of over 300 cd/m², the device can be used outside. However, direct sunlight should be avoided.

The 14-inch ZBook...
The 14-inch ZBook...
...leaves a good impression...
...leaves a good impression...
...when used outdoors.
...when used outdoors.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 5 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 32 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
47 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 29 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 76 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8773 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The use of a TN panel brings with it one big disadvantage: Colors and brightness get distorted significantly when the display is viewed from the side. 

Poor viewing angles
Poor viewing angles

Performance

LatencyMon
LatencyMon

As is usual for the ZBook line, we come across many different hardware configurations. Our review model comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-7500U processor, 8 GB of RAM and a dedicated AMD FirePro W4190M graphics chip. Please note: ECC RAM is not the only type of RAM that is supported; whereas the HP ZBook 15u supports only ECC RAM. Our model represents the entry point into the world of workstations. In other words: The HP ZBook 14u is intended for those who need a device that does not present too much of a burden on long trips and that possesses hardware that is suitable for professional applications. Furthermore, the workstation offers all the important security features from the business realm. 

The prices for the 14-inch ZBook start at 1200 Euros (~$1399). With this base configuration, one will have to forgo the dedicated graphics chip, and one will also have to settle for a slower Intel Core i5 processor. Our review model is currently available for 1820 Euros (~$2122).

Processor

Intel Extreme Tuning: CB 15
Intel Extreme Tuning: CB 15

The Intel Core i7-7500U serves as the centerpiece. As was already mentioned in the review of the 15-inch variant, this CPU finds its place on the list of the most often used CPUs of 2017. The CPU’s clock rate ranges between 2.7 GHz and 3.5 GHz. With two cores and four threads, even demanding applications as well as multitasking do not present any problems. It has a max TDP of 15 W. The Intel Turbo Boost technology can temporarily increase the TDP up to 25 W. For even more performance, HP offers a more capable version with an Intel Core i7-7600U. However, at a premium of 200 Euros (~$233), this CPU does not come cheap. With the help of Cinebench R15, we shall see whether the CPU can hold up against the competition and whether a CPU upgrade is in order.

Initially, it turns out that our review device cannot keep up with the selected rivals from Dell and Apple in the Cinebench R15 Multi-Core benchmark. Both competing devices have powerful quad-core HQ processors and hand in twice as many points. The Intel Core i7-7600U achieves 379 points, which means that it is approximately 6% faster. The base configuration of the ZBook 14u comes equipped with an Intel Core i5-7200U, which performs 7% worse in the Multi-Core benchmark.

In the Single-Core benchmark, the Intel Core i7-7600U is on the same level as the CPUs in the Dell Precision 3520 and the Apple MacBook Pro 15, which were in the lead in the Multi-Core benchmark. Here our review device performs only 8% slower. With the Intel Core i5-7200U, the performance gap grows wider. Here it amounts to 15% when compared to our review device, which comes with an Intel Core i7-7500U.

In order to analyze the CPU performance under continuous load, we run Cinebench R15 in a continuous loop. After 50 benchmark runs, the score does not fluctuate, which means that the performance does not, either. The score sits almost constantly at 350 points. The Intel Core i7-7600U, which can be found in the competitor from Lenovo, hands in around 10 to 15 points more, when running in a continuous loop. Whether or not a performance increase of 5% justifies an Intel Core i7-7600U in the HP ZBook will be down to the user's decision. It is also conceivable that HP can handle the additional performance better, which can lead to the i7-7600U-based ZBook performing better in the Cinebench R15 loop.

Important for mobile use: The CPU’s performance does not decrease when the device is running on battery power.

Readers can find other CPU benchmarks in our CPU benchmarks section.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
162 Points ∼100% +14%
Dell Precision 3520
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
160 Points ∼99% +13%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
159.95 Points ∼99% +13%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼96% +10%
HP ZBook 15u G4
Intel Core i7-7500U
147 Points ∼91% +4%
HP ZBook 14u G4
Intel Core i7-7500U
142 Points ∼88%
HP EliteBook 850 G4 Z8W50EA
Intel Core i5-7200U
129 Points ∼80% -9%
HP EliteBook 840 G4 Z8N44EA
Intel Core i5-7200U
125 Points ∼77% -12%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Precision 3520
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
736 Points ∼100% +111%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
732 (min: 729, max: 733) Points ∼99% +110%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
726.78 (min: 704.77, max: 731.97) Points ∼99% +108%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
379 Points ∼51% +9%
HP ZBook 15u G4
Intel Core i7-7500U
357 Points ∼49% +2%
HP ZBook 14u G4
Intel Core i7-7500U
349 Points ∼47%
HP EliteBook 840 G4 Z8N44EA
Intel Core i5-7200U
333 Points ∼45% -5%
HP EliteBook 850 G4 Z8W50EA
Intel Core i5-7200U
329 Points ∼45% -6%
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
48.74 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
349 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
142 Points
Help

System Performance

Thanks to the fast SSD and the responsive hard drive, the system runs smoothly. Programs start quickly and multitasking does not present any problems. This subjective impression is confirmed by the PCMark 8 benchmark. However, the smaller 14-inch model of the ZBook performs about 7% worse than the 15-inch variant in the “Work” benchmark. By contrast, a comparison with the Lenovo P51s shows that the ZBook 14u performs 14% better, and in the “Home” benchmark, it actually does 22% better.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell Precision 3520
Quadro M620, 7820HQ, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
5194 Points ∼100% +9%
HP ZBook 15u G4
FirePro W4190M, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5100 Points ∼98% +7%
HP ZBook 14u G4
FirePro W4190M, 7500U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
4781 Points ∼92%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Radeon Pro 555, 7700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
4648 Points ∼89% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
4193 Points ∼81% -12%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Precision 3520
Quadro M620, 7820HQ, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
4183 Points ∼100% +6%
HP ZBook 15u G4
FirePro W4190M, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4169 Points ∼100% +6%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Radeon Pro 555, 7700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
4054 Points ∼97% +3%
HP ZBook 14u G4
FirePro W4190M, 7500U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
3947 Points ∼94%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
3232 Points ∼77% -18%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3947 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4894 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4781 points
Help

Storage Devices

AS SSD
AS SSD

Our review configuration comes equipped with a 256 GB SSD from Samsung. The M.2 SSD is connected via SATA 3.2. CrystalDiskMark hands in a sequential read speed of 513 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 320 MB/s. These speeds are rather average for SSDs that are connected via SATA. The storage device of the Lenovo ThinkPad P51 is much faster. The ThinkPad boasts with transfer rates of over 1100 MB/s.

Such options are also available for the HP ZBook: Besides several HDD options, the manufacturer offers a FIPS-certified self-encrypting 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD for 390 Euros (~$450). A 1 TB SSD is also available for 570 Euros (~$660). HP also offers its own Z Turbo PCIe SSDs, which come in the same capacities as the traditional SSDs.

HP ZBook 14u G4
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
Dell Precision 3520
Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
HP ZBook 15u G4
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Apple SSD SM0256L
HP EliteBook 840 G4 Z8N44EA
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
224%
106%
323%
229%
105%
Write 4k QD32
222.3
548.6
147%
396.1
78%
478.3
115%
468.37
111%
315.8
42%
Read 4k QD32
298.4
641.7
115%
552
85%
551.8
85%
630.82
111%
523.1
75%
Write 4k
91.33
161.4
77%
128
40%
152.7
67%
12.87
-86%
129.5
42%
Read 4k
30.9
54.8
77%
35.2
14%
53.35
73%
10.76
-65%
37
20%
Write 512
83.19
959.4
1053%
456.1
448%
1535
1745%
1124.03
1251%
428
414%
Read 512
467
782.1
67%
829.1
78%
413.4
-11%
967.57
107%
820.3
76%
Write Seq
502
1138
127%
476.3
-5%
1580
215%
1505.1
200%
802.2
60%
Read Seq
517.4
1189
130%
1096
112%
2042
295%
1556.5
201%
1094
111%
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
Sequential Read: 517.4 MB/s
Sequential Write: 502 MB/s
512K Read: 467 MB/s
512K Write: 83.19 MB/s
4K Read: 30.9 MB/s
4K Write: 91.33 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 298.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 222.3 MB/s

Graphics Card

Besides an integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU, our review configuration includes an AMD FirePro W4190M. The AMD graphics unit was introduced in 2015 and finds its place in the entry-level segment of the workstation GPUs. Unfortunately, HP offers no other dedicated GPU options for the ZBook. Anyway, the FirePro W4190M has already been used in three generations of the ZBook. In the consumer arena, the performance of the GPU is on the same level as 2015’s Nvidia GeForce 940M.

The built-in GPU has 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM and 382 shader units. The core clock reaches up to 900 MHz. The drivers that are optimized for professional 3D applications are the characteristic feature of a workstation GPU, such as the AMD FirePro W4190M. For testing in this area, we use SPECViewperf 11.

SPECviewperf 11
1920x1080 Siemens NX
Dell Precision 3520
37.9 fps ∼100% +32%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
31.28 fps ∼83% +9%
HP ZBook 14u G4
28.74 fps ∼76%
Dell Vostro 15 5568
5.52 fps ∼15% -81%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL
4.26 fps ∼11% -85%
1920x1080 Tcvis
Dell Precision 3520
40.35 fps ∼100% +73%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
35.81 fps ∼89% +53%
HP ZBook 14u G4
23.36 fps ∼58%
Dell Vostro 15 5568
1.33 fps ∼3% -94%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL
1.12 fps ∼3% -95%
1920x1080 SolidWorks
HP ZBook 14u G4
51.18 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 3520
50.13 fps ∼98% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
43.69 fps ∼85% -15%
Dell Vostro 15 5568
10.59 fps ∼21% -79%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL
6.57 fps ∼13% -87%
1920x1080 Pro/ENGINEER
Dell Precision 3520
20.19 fps ∼100% +132%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
16.84 fps ∼83% +93%
HP ZBook 14u G4
8.71 fps ∼43%
Dell Vostro 15 5568
3.77 fps ∼19% -57%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL
1.64 fps ∼8% -81%
1920x1080 Maya
HP ZBook 14u G4
65.46 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 3520
55.41 fps ∼85% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
50.76 fps ∼78% -22%
Dell Vostro 15 5568
7.81 fps ∼12% -88%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL
6.8 fps ∼10% -90%
1920x1080 Lightwave
HP ZBook 14u G4
67.54 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 3520
54.85 fps ∼81% -19%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
48.34 fps ∼72% -28%
Dell Vostro 15 5568
18.63 fps ∼28% -72%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL
14.34 fps ∼21% -79%
1920x1080 Ensight
Dell Precision 3520
32.63 fps ∼100% +55%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
24.78 fps ∼76% +17%
HP ZBook 14u G4
21.09 fps ∼65%
Dell Vostro 15 5568
19.12 fps ∼59% -9%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL
17.31 fps ∼53% -18%
1920x1080 Catia
Dell Precision 3520
51.54 fps ∼100% +74%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
40.53 fps ∼79% +37%
HP ZBook 14u G4
29.61 fps ∼57%
Dell Vostro 15 5568
10.7 fps ∼21% -64%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL
9.78 fps ∼19% -67%

Legend

 
HP ZBook 14u G4 Intel Core i7-7500U, AMD FirePro W4190M, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
 
Dell Precision 3520 Intel Core i7-7820HQ, NVIDIA Quadro M620, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
 
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE Intel Core i7-7600U, NVIDIA Quadro M520, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
 
Dell Vostro 15 5568 Intel Core i7-7500U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Transcend MTS400 256 GB M.2 TS256GMTS400
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Z70-80 PL Intel Core i5-5200U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB

Realistic usage scenarios include: conversion of images and videos, encryption and use in financial analysis. Such usage scenarios can be simulated with SiSoft Sandra 2016 and LuxMark 2.0. These kinds of calculations are carried out through AMD OpenCL APP. APP enables the GPU to do these calculations instead of the CPU.

LuxMark v2.0 64Bit
Room GPUs-only
Dell Precision 3520
834 Samples/s ∼100% +101%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560)
686 Samples/s ∼82% +65%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
506 Samples/s ∼61% +22%
HP ZBook 15u G4
431 Samples/s ∼52% +4%
HP ZBook 14u G4
415 Samples/s ∼50%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
405 Samples/s ∼49% -2%
Sala GPUs-only
Dell Precision 3520
1440 Samples/s ∼100% +56%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560)
1323 Samples/s ∼92% +43%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
1001 Samples/s ∼70% +8%
HP ZBook 15u G4
984 Samples/s ∼68% +6%
HP ZBook 14u G4
924 Samples/s ∼64%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
708 Samples/s ∼49% -23%
SiSoft Sandra 2016
Image Processing
HP ZBook 15u G4
191.42 MPix/s ∼100% 0%
HP ZBook 14u G4
190.64 MPix/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
149.34 MPix/s ∼78% -22%
Dell Precision 3520
137.5 MPix/s ∼72% -28%
GP Cryptography (Higher Security AES256+SHA2-512)
Dell Precision 3520
8 GB/s ∼100% +100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
4.86 GB/s ∼61% +22%
HP ZBook 14u G4
4 GB/s ∼50%
HP ZBook 15u G4
3.92 GB/s ∼49% -2%
GP Financial Analysis (FP High/Double Precision)
HP ZBook 14u G4
42.2 KOPT/s ∼100%
HP ZBook 15u G4
42 KOPT/s ∼100% 0%
Dell Precision 3520
19.2 KOPT/s ∼45% -55%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
14 KOPT/s ∼33% -67%

Legend

 
HP ZBook 14u G4 Intel Core i7-7500U, AMD FirePro W4190M, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
 
Dell Precision 3520 Intel Core i7-7820HQ, NVIDIA Quadro M620, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
 
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE Intel Core i7-7600U, NVIDIA Quadro M520, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
 
HP ZBook 15u G4 Intel Core i7-7500U, AMD FirePro W4190M, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
 
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560) Intel Core i7-7820HQ, AMD Radeon Pro 560,
 
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555) Intel Core i7-7700HQ, AMD Radeon Pro 555, Apple SSD SM0256L

In the last part of this section, we shall focus our attention on DirectX and OpenGL performance. In 3DMark FireStrike and CloudGate, the FirePro W4190M performs better than an Nvidia GeForce 940M. By means of the Unigine Heaven benchmark, one can compare the performance of the same benchmark in the DirectX environment and the OpenGL environment. All in all, the workstation GPU performs as expected. However, the rivals with an Nvidia Quadro GPU perform significantly better.

Unlike the 15-inch model of the ZBook, the performance of the 14-inch variant is halved when it is running on battery power, according to 3DMark 11. For more benchmarks and comparisons, go to our GPU benchmarks page.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
AMD Radeon Pro 555, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5185 Points ∼100% +121%
Dell Precision 3520
NVIDIA Quadro M620, Intel Core i7-7820HQ
3801 Points ∼73% +62%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
2658 Points ∼51% +13%
Acer Aspire E5-771G-71PT
NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Intel Core i7-5500U
2387 Points ∼46% +2%
HP ZBook 15u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
2379 Points ∼46% +1%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, Intel Core i7-6500U
2366 Points ∼46% +1%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
2351 Points ∼45%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
AMD Radeon Pro 555, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
3721 Points ∼100% +113%
Dell Precision 3520
NVIDIA Quadro M620, Intel Core i7-7820HQ
3204 Points ∼86% +84%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
2342 Points ∼63% +34%
HP ZBook 15u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
1806 Points ∼49% +3%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
1745 Points ∼47%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, Intel Core i7-6500U
1589 Points ∼43% -9%
Acer Aspire E5-771G-71PT
NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Intel Core i7-5500U
1577 Points ∼42% -10%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Dell Precision 3520
NVIDIA Quadro M620, Intel Core i7-7820HQ
23259 Points ∼100% +89%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
AMD Radeon Pro 555, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22624 Points ∼97% +84%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
13394 Points ∼58% +9%
HP ZBook 15u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
12601 Points ∼54% +2%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
12317 Points ∼53%
Acer Aspire E5-771G-71PT
NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Intel Core i7-5500U
8728 Points ∼38% -29%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, Intel Core i7-6500U
8549 Points ∼37% -31%
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Extreme Preset OpenGL
Dell Precision 3520
NVIDIA Quadro M620, Intel Core i7-7820HQ
14.5 fps ∼100% +36%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
10.7 fps ∼74%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
10.7 fps ∼74% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
9.9 fps ∼68% -7%
HP ZBook 15u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
7.5 fps ∼52% -30%
Extreme Preset DX11
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
AMD Radeon Pro 555, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
20.4 (min: 7, max: 43) fps ∼100% +65%
Dell Precision 3520
NVIDIA Quadro M620, Intel Core i7-7820HQ
15.6 fps ∼76% +26%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
12.4 fps ∼61%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
12.4 fps ∼61% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
10.6 fps ∼52% -15%
HP ZBook 15u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
8.8 fps ∼43% -29%
Unigine Valley 1.0
1920x1080 Extreme HD DirectX AA:x8
Dell Precision 3520
NVIDIA Quadro M620, Intel Core i7-7820HQ
17.4 fps ∼100% +110%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
AMD Radeon Pro 555, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
16 (min: 9, max: 29) fps ∼92% +93%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
11.4 fps ∼66% +37%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
8.3 fps ∼48%
HP ZBook 15u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
6.2 fps ∼36% -25%
1920x1080 Extreme HD Preset OpenGL AA:x8
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
AMD Radeon Pro 555, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
16.1 (min: 16, max: 16.1) fps ∼100% +160%
Dell Precision 3520
NVIDIA Quadro M620, Intel Core i7-7820HQ
14.8 fps ∼92% +139%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
NVIDIA Quadro M520, Intel Core i7-7600U
9.9 fps ∼61% +60%
HP ZBook 15u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
8.4 fps ∼52% +35%
HP ZBook 14u G4
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-7500U
6.2 fps ∼39%
3DMark 11 Performance
2570 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
42335 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8348 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1663 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The choice of a two-year-old workstation GPU means that only a few current titles can offer a playable frame rate. As was already determined in the review of the 15-inch variant: Even the Nvidia GeForce 940MX, which came out roughly at the same time as the W4190M, is faster.

BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Radeon Pro 555, 7700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
37.6 (min: 11, max: 191) fps ∼100% +136%
Dell Precision 3520
Quadro M620, 7820HQ, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
35.6 fps ∼95% +124%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
24.2 fps ∼64% +52%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKB 80XL01NEGE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, SK Hynix HFS256G3BTND
22.8 fps ∼61% +43%
HP ZBook 14u G4
FirePro W4190M, 7500U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
15.9 fps ∼42%
HP ZBook 15u G4
FirePro W4190M, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
15.45 fps ∼41% -3%
Acer TravelMate P277-MG-7474
GeForce 940M, 5500U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
14.54 fps ∼39% -9%
HP EliteBook 840 G4 Z8N44EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
9.1 fps ∼24% -43%
1366x768 High Preset
Dell Precision 3520
Quadro M620, 7820HQ, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
92.3 fps ∼100% +103%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
64.1 fps ∼69% +41%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKB 80XL01NEGE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, SK Hynix HFS256G3BTND
59.7 fps ∼65% +31%
HP ZBook 15u G4
FirePro W4190M, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
46.86 fps ∼51% +3%
HP ZBook 14u G4
FirePro W4190M, 7500U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
45.4 fps ∼49%
Acer TravelMate P277-MG-7474
GeForce 940M, 5500U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
42.5 fps ∼46% -6%
HP EliteBook 840 G4 Z8N44EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
28.2 fps ∼31% -38%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 100.953.445.415.9fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 2016112fps
GTA V (2015) 72.76117.37.1fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 28.618.59.75.7fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 59.942.318.913fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 25.617.49.97.9fps
Doom (2016) 23.513.98.94.9fps
Resident Evil 7 (2017) 23.710.99.45.4fps
Rocket League (2017) 101.739.126.5fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 33 severe graphical problems10 severe graphical problems7 severe graphical problemsfps
F1 2017 (2017) 40181413fps
Ark Survival Evolved (2017) 19.496.23.6fps
The Evil Within 2 (2017) 9.35.14.7fps

Emissions

System Noise

During idle operation, the device does not make any noise whatsoever. However, even under low load, the fan noise becomes audible. Under full load, the system noise reaches up to 40 dB(A). All in all, the system noise does not make one uncomfortable and there is also no annoying coil whine to report.

Noise Level

Idle
30.4 / 30.4 / 30.4 dB(A)
Load
37 / 40 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.4 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.731.632.930.632.72531.231.932.832.831.23134.933.934.53234.94031.429.630.530.431.45037.236.537.235.337.26329.627.830.229.929.68027.125.92727.427.110026.525.225.625.726.512524.125.825.124.724.116023.724.123.324.123.720023.923.722.523.123.9250232321.722.32331523.421.621.121.323.440023.622.22020.523.65002321.919.519.72363023.521.418.618.923.580026.8241818.426.8100029.324.91818.329.3125027.824.717.517.627.8160028.324.917.317.728.3200030.327.117.417.430.3250032.12817.817.532.1315030.223.917.717.830.2400028.123.218.417.928.150002420.918.31824630023.721.718.318.123.7800019.620.918.418.419.6100002127.318.418.4211250020.831.518.418.420.81600019.927.218.418.419.9SPL403730.430.440N3.12.51.41.43.1median 23.9median 24median 18.4median 18.4median 23.9Delta2.11.81.722.13529.231.334.8313534.43434.834.73334.43430.830.232.431.63431.230.930.832.529.631.228.928.529.129.328.128.927.128.626.929.72727.127.828.827.728.326.727.826.426.125.325.225.226.426.625.224.524.926.426.624.323.923.423.923.124.325.124.723.723.72425.126.125.222.622.621.926.125.323.32221.920.525.323.823.220.920.619.323.824.923.321.52018.924.925.223.422.319.718.125.225.923.421.619.41725.925.924.121.619.316.625.926.424.621.719.716.226.425.42421.318.216.625.424.923.62118.416.524.926.72421.417.915.926.730.827.723.319.216.330.832.528.523.919.716.632.527.524.820.517.916.327.522.921.218.617.416.922.920.819.618.217.31720.818.418.818.217.316.918.417.518.518.417.316.817.517.720.720.518.117.117.739.436.733.631.129.239.43.12.51.91.51.23.1median 25.3median 23.9median 21.6median 19.4median 17median 25.31.40.81.31.92.41.429.53027.826.329.929.328.826.53028.926.729.128.927.326.526.125.927.926.626.527.725.625.727.125.626.927.523.724.124.32424.426.324.623.122.323.922.924.52524.72522.124.723.823.924.625.523.92122.622.821.122.622.52321.222.421.721.422.6232118.720.419.919.320.419.61919.42020.318.819.719.819.41919.618.71918.418.119.418.719.418.918.317.91818.917.819.517.91817.617.7191819.418.117.617.216.919.418.920.319.81917.516.521.119.322.721.220.917.716.721.92024.521.120.417.716.724.920.62523.222.618.817.324.421.326.624.222.918.917.526.221.326.224.123.11917.626.523.529.226.725.319.617.829.123.129.426.224.71918.129.120.126.222.921.618.317.825.818.622.820.319.51817.822.417.620.619.118.41817.420.217.118.918.218.118.217.318.416.517.917.317.617.416.617.81618.41817.718.216.117.715.818.218.718.918.715.616.932.537.53533.930.529.537.31.62.421.81.41.22.4median 19median 20.6median 20.3median 19.3median 18.3median 17.6median 211.42.62.21.710.83hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseHP ZBook 14u G4Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGEHP ZBook 15u G4

Temperature

During normal operation, the case temperatures rise slightly, but not to annoying levels. Under load, the temperatures can reach up to 49 °C (120 °F). Especially annoying: we measured 48 °C (118 °F) in the middle of the keyboard. One would think that this problem would not turn up with the 15-inch variant, on account of the larger volume. Instead, we encountered even higher temperatures of up to 54 °C (129 °F) in our review of the ZBook 15u. This kind of load is conceivable in rendering applications.

The next step is to measure the internal temperatures under such loads. After over one hour of runtime, the ZBook initially shows itself from a good side. Even though the CPU temperatures rise up to 92 °C (198 °F), no throttling occurs. The CPU’s clock rate stabilizes at 2.9 GHz, meaning that it remains well above the base clock of 2.7 GHz. However, the GPU does not perform very well. The core clock repeatedly drops to only 675 MHz, which is 125 MHz below the actual base clock.

After the stress test ended, things improved: The device achieved the same score in 3DMark as after a cold start.

The CPU performance shows itself...
The CPU performance shows itself...
...from a good side...
...from a good side...
...in our stress test
...in our stress test
Temperatures reach almost 50 °C on the underside
Temperatures reach almost 50 °C on the underside
 24.3 °C
76 F
25 °C
77 F
25.3 °C
78 F
 
 24.1 °C
75 F
25 °C
77 F
25.4 °C
78 F
 
 24.2 °C
76 F
24 °C
75 F
25.1 °C
77 F
 
Maximum: 25.4 °C = 78 F
Average: 24.7 °C = 76 F
26.1 °C
79 F
25.6 °C
78 F
25.1 °C
77 F
25.5 °C
78 F
25 °C
77 F
24.9 °C
77 F
25.1 °C
77 F
24.6 °C
76 F
24.7 °C
76 F
Maximum: 26.1 °C = 79 F
Average: 25.2 °C = 77 F
Power Supply (max.)  28.2 °C = 83 F | Room Temperature 23.1 °C = 74 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.2 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 31.2 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Workstation.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 48 °C / 118 F, compared to the average of 37.2 °C / 99 F, ranging from 23.1 to 69.8 °C for the class Workstation.
(-) The maximum temperature on the bottom side is 48.6 °C / 119 F, compared to the average of 40.3 °C / 105 F, ranging from 23.5 to 77.3 °C for the class Workstation.
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.7 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 31.2 °C / 88 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 30.6 °C / 87.1 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.1 °C / 82.6 F (-2.5 °C / -4.5 F).
Heat distribution under load (underside)
Heat distribution under load (underside)
Heat distribution under load (upper side)
Heat distribution under load (upper side)
Heat distribution at idle (underside)
Heat distribution at idle (underside)
Heat distribution at idle (upper side)
Heat distribution at idle (upper side)

Speakers

Despite the fact that the low frequencies, and therefore the bass, are mostly missing, the sound quality leaves a rather solid impression. Music sounds balanced and voices are rendered clearly and distinctly. Here, the integrated Bang & Olufsen equalizer helps out a lot. However, the volume could have been somewhat higher.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.530.631.52530.632.830.63133.93233.94030.230.430.25036.235.336.26328.829.928.88026.327.426.310026.925.726.912535.924.735.916045.224.145.220046.323.146.325040.922.340.931552.421.352.440065.820.565.850067.819.767.863068.218.968.280065.818.465.810006418.364125065.317.665.3160060.217.760.2200059.817.459.825006717.567315068.717.868.7400065.517.965.5500067.11867.1630068.318.168.3800066.718.466.71000066.418.466.4125006818.4681600061.118.461.1SPL78.230.478.2N43.71.443.7median 65.5median 18.4median 65.5Delta82835.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseHP ZBook 14u G4Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HP ZBook 14u G4 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (68.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 34% of all tested devices in this class were better, 14% similar, 52% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 19%, worst was 31%
Compared to all devices tested
» 23% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 70% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked!)

Energy Management

Energy Consumption

The AC adapter delivers 65 W, which, in view of the maximum power draw, is insufficient. Under load, the power draw sometimes reaches 64 W. This number sinks to 63 W after a short time. Things look better under medium load. With the brightness set to max, communications modules enabled and 3DMark06 running, the ZBook 14u draws 45 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.49 / 0.36 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.4 / 5.3 / 8.8 Watt
Load midlight 45 / 64 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP ZBook 14u G4
7500U, FirePro W4190M, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ, TN, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
7600U, Quadro M520, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0), IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell Precision 3520
7820HQ, Quadro M620, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK), IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP ZBook 15u G4
7500U, FirePro W4190M, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
7700HQ, Radeon Pro 555, Apple SSD SM0256L, IPS, 2880x1800, 15.4
Power Consumption
-69%
-90%
-37%
-80%
Idle Minimum *
2.4
5.8
-142%
5.8
-142%
3.85
-60%
3.4
-42%
Idle Average *
5.3
10.4
-96%
10.7
-102%
7.5
-42%
13.9
-162%
Idle Maximum *
8.8
13.5
-53%
13.3
-51%
11.8
-34%
17.6
-100%
Load Average *
45
62.4
-39%
78.2
-74%
47.7
-6%
71.1
-58%
Load Maximum *
64
73.1
-14%
116
-81%
90.2
-41%
88.5
-38%
Witcher 3 ultra *
58.8
46.7
57.9

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

HP equips the 14-inch variant with the same 51-Wh battery that we saw in the ZBook 15u. In terms of the charging time, the manufacturer promises a 50% charge in 30 minutes. We can confirm this claim. For an 80% charge, the notebook must be plugged in for 60 minutes. After 1.5 hours, the battery is charged up to 95%.

In order to measure the maximum battery runtime, we set the display brightness to its absolute minimum, disable communications modules and run a script that simulates reading. The workstation slips into sleep mode only after 24 hours. Only the Lenovo ThinkPad P51s manages to reach a longer runtime.

The most important usage scenario is for web-surfing. With the brightness set to 150 cd/m², the ZBook 14u reaches a runtime of 10 hours and 43 minutes. Therefore, it is on the same level as the Apple MacBook Pro 15 and one hour behind the ThinkPad rival.

In order to determine the minimum battery runtime, we enable the “High Performance” profile in Windows and run Battery Eater in Classic mode. After one-and-a-half hours of on-screen time, the ZBook shuts down. Except for the Lenovo ThinkPad P51s, all other competitors shut down after an hour or so.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
23h 38min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 43min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 35min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 44min
HP ZBook 14u G4
7500U, FirePro W4190M, 51 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
7600U, Quadro M520, 104 Wh
Dell Precision 3520
7820HQ, Quadro M620, 68 Wh
HP ZBook 15u G4
7500U, FirePro W4190M, 51 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
7700HQ, Radeon Pro 555, 76 Wh
Battery Runtime
64%
-25%
-28%
-18%
Reader / Idle
1418
1581
11%
996
-30%
966
-32%
H.264
575
700
22%
483
-16%
486
-15%
511
-11%
WiFi v1.3
643
712
11%
455
-29%
457
-29%
644
0%
Load
104
323
211%
79
-24%
65
-37%
60
-42%
Witcher 3 ultra
87

Verdict

Pros

+ build quality of the case
+ comfortable input devices
+ low system noise
+ a lot of ports, including a VGA port and a full-sized DisplayPort output
+ battery life

Cons

- really outdated AMD GPU
- CPU is too slow for a mobile workstation
- poor TN display
- no Thunderbolt 3 port
- inadequate AC adapter
The HP ZBook 14u, provided courtesy of: notebooksbilliger.de
The HP ZBook 14u, provided courtesy of: notebooksbilliger.de

HP achieves exactly what we expect with the ZBook 14u: All the essentials and the security features of the classic ZBook series put together in a lower-priced package. The hardware inside the device is made up of a mixture of consumer and workstation products. The case is very well-made and contains both plastic and metal elements. Due to the weight of 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs), the new workstation proves to be a pleasant companion. The input devices are also of high value, and users who type a lot will be satisfied with them. The TN panel that is used in our configuration is somewhat disappointing, though. Right out of the box, it suffers from a perceivable bluish cast. However, this is remedied after calibration. Potential buyers, who will not always keep the device docked, should consider getting an IPS panel.

The performance characteristics are the main point here, though. A dual-core processor is sufficient for this device. This CPU is most common in low-TDP consumer notebooks. It performs particularly poorly in the Multi-Core benchmarks, when compared to the rest of the competition. A positive point: No matter what the load is, the CPU does not throttle. The second important component is the AMD FirePro W4190M. Unfortunately, the GPU comes from 2015, which is clearly reflected in the benchmark results. Nevertheless, it still achieves better results than conventional notebooks in the workstation-oriented benchmarks. However, the ZBook 14u cannot keep up with the devices that we have selected for comparison purposes. 

Lastly, we turned our attention to the battery life and ascertained that the ZBook is capable of surviving a long workday at the office. Here, only the Lenovo ThinkPad P51s could get a better result.

The ZBook 14u is a mixture of an uncompromising workstation and a consumer device. The overall good impression of this line is marred by an obsolete graphics unit.

Those who want more CPU performance and a true quad-core processor should take a look at the devices that we have selected for comparison purposes. The Lenovo ThinkPad P51s wins one over with its endurance. The Dell Precision 3520 scores major points with its performance, while the Apple MacBook Pro scores points with its superb display and the choice of materials.

HP ZBook 14u G4 - 11/07/2017 v6
Nino Ricchizzi

Chassis
89 / 98 → 91%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
69 / 81 → 85%
Weight
67 / 10-66 → 100%
Battery
92%
Display
79%
Games Performance
64%
Application Performance
90%
Temperature
85 / 95 → 89%
Noise
91 / 90 → 100%
Audio
55%
Camera
44 / 85 → 52%
Average
75%
80%
Workstation - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP ZBook 14u G4 (7500U, FirePro W4190M) Workstation Review
Nino Ricchizzi, 2017-11-10 (Update: 2017-11-11)