Notebookcheck

HP ZBook 15 G4 (Xeon, Quadro M2200, Full-HD) Workstation Review

Nino Ricchizzi (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 10/04/2017

More is always better. The HP ZBook enters its fourth round in the laptop marketplace, this time flaunting even more performance power. Genuine updates or innovations are nowhere to be found. Even so, the manufacturer demonstrates what a true mobile workstation looks like.

This is not the first time we have had the HP ZBook in our test laboratory. Last year, we had the pleasure of thoroughly inspecting the G3 version. As a mobile workstation, the laptop is built for one main purpose: Performance. The configuration that lies before us is equipped with an Intel Xeon processor, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, a Nvidia Quadro M2200, and a 1 TB SSD. In the German online store, currently we only find a variety of preconfigured versions with price tags between 2150 and 3500 Euros (~$2550-4100), none of which match our configuration. Our test device is available in the German online store as a custom configuration for around 4650 Euros (~$5500; similar version available in the US for $3630).

In this review, we will dedicate ourselves to the discussion of new features. For further details, please see our comprehensive review of the third generation ZBook. The ZBook G3 will accompany us throughout this review, as will a worthy opponent of the latest HP workstation: the Lenovo ThinkPad P51. For 3300 Euros (~$3900), the ThinkPad offers an Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and a high-resolution 4K display.

HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Processor
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6, 4 cores, TDP 45 watts
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro M2200 - 4096 MB, Core: 695 MHz, Memory: 1377 MHz, GDDR5, 22.21.13.8216 , Nvidia Optimus
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2400
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LGD057E, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM236 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH, 1024 GB 
, 867 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audio combo, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC UHS-II, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, 1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 26 x 386 x 264 ( = 1.02 x 15.2 x 10.39 in)
Battery
90 Wh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.645 kg ( = 93.3 oz / 5.83 pounds), Power Supply: 460 g ( = 16.23 oz / 1.01 pounds)

 

SD Card Reader

By means of a Toshiba Exceria Pro SDCX 64 GB UHS-II reference memory card, we measured the SD card reader's data transfer rates. Our test device proves to be quite speedy here, surpassing its predecessor by a margin of over 50% in the copying of JPEG image files (each around 5 MB).

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
186 MB/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
155 MB/s ∼83% -17%
HP ZBook 15 G3
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
123 MB/s ∼66% -34%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
108 MB/s ∼58% -42%
MSI WE72 7RJ
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
17.2 MB/s ∼9% -91%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
215 MB/s ∼100% +2%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
209.8 MB/s ∼98%
HP ZBook 15 G3
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
206 MB/s ∼96% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
197 MB/s ∼92% -6%
MSI WE72 7RJ
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
18.4 MB/s ∼9% -91%

Communication

In our tests, the integrated Intel 8265 AC module reached transfer rates of 475 MBit/s (receive) and 559 MBit/s (transmit). Those results leave our test device up to 13% behind the Lenovo ThinkPad P51. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
643 MBit/s ∼100% +15%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
559 MBit/s ∼87%
MSI WE72 7RJ
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
351 MBit/s ∼55% -37%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
508 MBit/s ∼100% +7%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
475 MBit/s ∼94%
MSI WE72 7RJ
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
287 MBit/s ∼56% -40%

Display

pixel grid
pixel grid

As with the 3rd generation ZBook, HP is offering potential buyers a choice between four different kinds of displays. Details regarding the individual display varieties are available in our previous ZBook review. HP equipped our current test device with an anti-glare non-touch IPS display. The screen is about 10% brighter than its predecessor's screen: The new ZBook G4's brightness level averages 320 cd/m². The brightness distribution is 89% similar across the screen. We did not observe any screen bleeding or clouding. The black value amounts to 0.29 cd/m² – enough to produce a deep, rich black.

326
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
338
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
321
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 338 cd/m² Average: 320.4 cd/m² Minimum: 9.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 319 cd/m²
Contrast: 1107:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.5 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 2.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
82.6% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 54.2% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.27
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
LG Philips LGD057E, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
LEN40BD, B156ZAN02.1, , 3840x2160, 15.6
MSI WE72 7RJ
LP173WF4-SPF1, , 1920x1080, 17.3
HP ZBook 15 G3
Samsung SDC5344, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
-1%
-9%
-59%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
39.2 (20.4, 18.8)
40.8 (20.8, 20)
-4%
45.2 (27.2, 18)
-15%
54 (24.4, 29.6)
-38%
Response Time Black / White *
25.6 (14.8, 10.8)
25.2 (14, 11.2)
2%
26.4 (14.8, 11.6)
-3%
35.6 (11.6, 24)
-39%
PWM Frequency
20830 (80)
198 (95)
-99%
Screen
13%
-22%
-20%
Brightness middle
321
317
-1%
302
-6%
306
-5%
Brightness
320
309
-3%
306
-4%
289
-10%
Brightness Distribution
89
89
0%
93
4%
85
-4%
Black Level *
0.29
0.36
-24%
0.31
-7%
0.34
-17%
Contrast
1107
881
-20%
974
-12%
900
-19%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.5
2.7
40%
6.2
-38%
5.1
-13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.5
4.1
57%
10.6
-12%
9.9
-4%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.9
3
-3%
7.3
-152%
7.4
-155%
Gamma
2.27 106%
2.27 106%
2.08 115%
2.37 101%
CCT
6519 100%
6077 107%
7020 93%
7263 89%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
54.2
87.6
62%
56
3%
63
16%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
82.6
99.5
20%
85.2
3%
95
15%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
6% / 11%
-16% / -20%
-40% / -29%

* ... smaller is better

The CalMAN program analyzes color and grayscale deviations. The DeltaE color deviation is 4.5, while the grayscale deviation comes to 2.9. These are typical results for an IPS panel. At 6519 K, the color temperature is optimal. On a negative note, the panel now covers only 82.6% of the small sRGB color space, compared to the previous ZBook's 95%.

HP uses pulse width modulation to control the dynamic display brightness. At a brightness level of 80%, we measured a frequency of over 20 kHz. Even users with sensitive eyes should not have problems here.

CalMAN: grayscale uncalibrated
CalMAN: grayscale uncalibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker uncalibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker uncalibrated
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps uncalibrated
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps uncalibrated
color space coverage sRGB
color space coverage sRGB
CalMAN: grayscale calibrated
CalMAN: grayscale calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker calibrated
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps calibrated
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps calibrated
color space coverage AdobeRGB
color space coverage AdobeRGB

In combination with the matte screen, the display is sufficiently bright to make the screen content easily visible anywhere in the office – even under most direct light sources. For a passable view outdoors, the user must seek a shady area.

Outdoors, the ZBook...
Outdoors, the ZBook...
...can only be used in certain circumstances.
...can only be used in certain circumstances.
viewing angle stability of the IPS panel
viewing angle stability of the IPS panel

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
25.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 10.8 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 44 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 18.8 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. » 42 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.3 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 detected 20830 Hz ≤ 80 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 20830 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 80 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 20830 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8813 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

LatencyMon
LatencyMon

As with the previous version of the ZBook, HP is offering the laptop with numerous configuration options. With an Intel Xeon processor, 32 GB of RAM, a 1 TB SSD, and a dedicated Nvidia graphics card, our test device represents the top model in the new ZBook G4 line. Together, these components form a mobile desktop replacement for professionals. The base configuration contains an Intel Core i5-7300HQ, an internal Intel HD Graphics 630, a 256 GB SSD, and 8 GB of RAM – a combination with a price point of 2200 Euros (~$2600; US version available for $1929). 

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Processor

Alongside a line of Intel Core i processors, HP is also offering a choice from two powerful Xeon CPUs. We became acquainted with the strongest model in our test device. The Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6 counts among today's fastest laptop CPUs. More performance is only available for desktops. The quad-core processor has a core clock rate of 3.1 to 4.2 GHz (4 cores: max. 3.9 GHz, 2 cores: max. 4.1 GHz), and 8 MB of L3 cache. At these speeds, the CPU is prepared for tasks that require a lot of performance power. 

In the Cinebench R15 benchmark, the mobile workstation impressed with a score of over 800. That represents a 10% increase in performance compared to the previous ZBook. The Lenovo ThinkPad P51 we tested achieved nearly equivalent results, even though it is equipped with a cheaper Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6. The reason: Our test device has a limited power draw of 45 W (temporarily 55 W). The ThinkPad's standard limit is 55 W (temporarily even up to 75 W). In this scenario, it makes little sense to shell out the extra cash for the more expensive Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6.

Lastly, we analyzed the processor performance over a longer period, starting with a Cinebench R15 loop. Even after running the benchmark multiple times, the HP ZBook maintains its performance power.

For further comparisons, please see our benchmark list of the newest laptop processors.

clock behavior Cinebench R15
clock behavior Cinebench R15
clock behavior Intel Extreme Tuning Utility
clock behavior Intel Extreme Tuning Utility
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750760770780790800810Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
176 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
171 Points ∼97% -3%
Fujitsu Celsius H970
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
171 Points ∼97% -3%
MSI WE72 7RJ
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼91% -9%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
158 Points ∼90% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
157 Points ∼89% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50 20ENV509PB
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
157 Points ∼89% -11%
CPU Multi 64Bit
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
806 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
792 Points ∼98% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50 20ENV509PB
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
745 Points ∼92% -8%
MSI WE72 7RJ
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
743 Points ∼92% -8%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
732 Points ∼91% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
729 Points ∼90% -10%
Fujitsu Celsius H970
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
675 Points ∼84% -16%
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
115.51 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
806 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
176 Points
Help

System Performance

Since everyone knows time is money – and this is especially important for a mobile workstation – we wanted to analyze the ZBook's system performance using PCMark 8. Purely from a subjective perspective, the ZBook feels exceptionally fast. This impressive speed results from the pairing of a fast CPU with a quick PCIe mass storage device. Our subjective impression was substantiated by the PCMark scores. In the Home benchmark, the system performs 10% faster than its predecessor. In the Creative test, the climb was even greater: The score rose from 4392 points to 5663 points. The new ZBook G4 even has 4% lead over the G3 version in the Work benchmark. The Lenovo ThinkPad P51 lags significantly behind in both the Home and Work tests. However, it reveals its strength in the Creative portion, scoring a full 638 points above our test device (for a total of 6301 points). 

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
5423 Points ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5221 Points ∼96% -4%
MSI WE72 7RJ
Quadro M2200, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
5150 Points ∼95% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4372 Points ∼81% -19%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4256 Points ∼78% -22%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
4375 Points ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
Quadro M2200, 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
4295 Points ∼98% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4023 Points ∼92% -8%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3959 Points ∼90% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3641 Points ∼83% -17%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
4633 Points ∼100%
Productivity
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
7539 Points ∼100%
Essentials
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
8774 Points ∼100%
Score
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
4834 Points ∼100%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4375 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5663 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5423 points
Help

Mass Storage

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark

The configuration that lies before us has a 1 TB Samsung SSD at its command. During the configuration process in the HP Store, the buyer may choose up to two separate mass storage devices. The device in our machine is of the M.2 variety.

Thanks to its PCIe connection, this SSD struts its stuff with sequential read rates of 2166 MB/s and write rates of 1682 MB/s – surpassing both its predecessor and the Lenovo ThinkPad P51.

HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP ZBook 15 G3
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
MSI WE72 7RJ
Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
13%
19%
-6%
30%
Write 4k QD32
618.5
559.5
-10%
393.8
-36%
589.8
-5%
389.6
-37%
Read 4k QD32
733.4
664.2
-9%
797.8
9%
681.2
-7%
953.4
30%
Write 4k
187.6
176
-6%
207.3
11%
184.2
-2%
256.7
37%
Read 4k
57.52
61.27
7%
59.11
3%
59.94
4%
60.23
5%
Write 512
1175
1157
-2%
1432
22%
1483
26%
1291
10%
Read 512
411.6
1038
152%
1164
183%
312.6
-24%
1364
231%
Write Seq
1682
1541
-8%
1538
-9%
1512
-10%
1304
-22%
Read Seq
2166
1705
-21%
1502
-31%
1492
-31%
1771
-18%
Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
Sequential Read: 2166 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1682 MB/s
512K Read: 411.6 MB/s
512K Write: 1175 MB/s
4K Read: 57.52 MB/s
4K Write: 187.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 733.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 618.5 MB/s

Graphics Card

In order to outfit our configuration of the ZBook for professional graphics applications, HP installed an Nvidia Quadro M2200 graphics card. The G3 we reviewed used an Nvidia Quadro M2000M. Thanks to the increased number of pipelines and a higher memory clock frequency, the new version should perform around 20-40% better. 

In addition to this dedicated Nvidia GPU, the system uses a built-in graphics unit when modest graphics performance is required. The ZBook G4 contains an Intel HD Graphics P630, based on Kaby Lake architecture.

All in all, HP offers five distinct graphics solutions. Those who can do without a dedicated unit will save 100 Euros (~$120), but they will have to make do with the graphics card integrated into Intel's processor. The HP ZBook's base price includes an Nvidia Quadro M620, which is an entry-level workstation GPU. For an additional 80 or 100 Euros (~$95 or $120), the HP Store offers an AMD Radeon Pro WX 4150 or Nvidia Quadro M1200, respectively. Both units are mid-range cards. We examined the top model more closely (+270 Euros; ~$320).

The advantages of an Nvidia Quadro M2200 over a conventional consumer graphics card are a modified BIOS and special drivers for professional applications. The SPECviewperf benchmark speaks to some of these usage scenarios. Here we observe a 10-25% increase in performance compared to the laptop's predecessor. In some tests, the two devices are actually more or less on par with each other. A look at the diagram below clearly reveals that the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which is faster in the DirectX domain, is markedly slower in professional use.

SPECviewperf 11
1920x1080 Siemens NX
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
49.48 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
48.26 fps ∼98% -2%
HP ZBook 15 G3
43.17 fps ∼87% -13%
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
9.44 fps ∼19% -81%
1920x1080 Tcvis
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
52.86 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
49.11 fps ∼93% -7%
HP ZBook 15 G3
44.89 fps ∼85% -15%
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
3 fps ∼6% -94%
1920x1080 SolidWorks
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
56.8 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G3
48.13 fps ∼85% -15%
MSI WE72 7RJ
42.66 fps ∼75% -25%
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
16.34 fps ∼29% -71%
1920x1080 Pro/ENGINEER
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
22.18 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G3
21.57 fps ∼97% -3%
MSI WE72 7RJ
16.23 fps ∼73% -27%
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
2.85 fps ∼13% -87%
1920x1080 Maya
HP ZBook 15 G3
57.67 fps ∼100% 0%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
57.67 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
56.57 fps ∼98% -2%
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
17.59 fps ∼31% -69%
1920x1080 Lightwave
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
57.49 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G3
51.97 fps ∼90% -10%
MSI WE72 7RJ
47.95 fps ∼83% -17%
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
20.4 fps ∼35% -65%
1920x1080 Ensight
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
58.49 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
55.72 fps ∼95% -5%
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
47.51 fps ∼81% -19%
HP ZBook 15 G3
46.68 fps ∼80% -20%
1920x1080 Catia
HP ZBook 15 G3
53.54 fps ∼100% +2%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
52.67 fps ∼98%
MSI WE72 7RJ
48.49 fps ∼91% -8%
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
16.49 fps ∼31% -69%
SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
99.53 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
85.32 fps ∼86% -14%
HP ZBook 15 G3
66.02 fps ∼66% -34%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
59.02 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
58.06 fps ∼98% -2%
HP ZBook 15 G3
35.87 fps ∼61% -39%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01)
MSI WE72 7RJ
32.77 fps ∼100% +5%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
31.14 fps ∼95%
HP ZBook 15 G3
23.86 fps ∼73% -23%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
24.64 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
20.34 fps ∼83% -17%
HP ZBook 15 G3
15.03 fps ∼61% -39%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
48.34 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
46.94 fps ∼97% -3%
HP ZBook 15 G3
35.94 fps ∼74% -26%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
5.15 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
4.28 fps ∼83% -17%
HP ZBook 15 G3
3.29 fps ∼64% -36%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
71.24 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
68.52 fps ∼96% -4%
HP ZBook 15 G3
40.61 fps ∼57% -43%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04)
MSI WE72 7RJ
73.2 fps ∼100% +3%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
71.41 fps ∼98%
HP ZBook 15 G3
47.08 fps ∼64% -34%

Legend

 
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6, NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
 
HP ZBook 15 G3 Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
 
MSI WE72 7RJ Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e
 
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4 Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP

In the second section, we will examine the results in the LuxMark and SiSoft Sandra benchmarks. Both use the OpenGL port to perform calculations on the graphics card. Here too, the new G4 proves up to 20% quicker than the G3 version.

SiSoft Sandra 2016
Image Processing
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
265.3 MPix/s ∼100% +11%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
239.6 MPix/s ∼90%
HP ZBook 15 G3
228.6 MPix/s ∼86% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
222.6 MPix/s ∼84% -7%
GP Cryptography (Higher Security AES256+SHA2-512)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
14.11 GB/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
11.7 GB/s ∼83% -17%
HP ZBook 15 G3
9.82 GB/s ∼70% -30%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
9.6 GB/s ∼68% -32%
GP Financial Analysis (FP High/Double Precision)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
31.9 KOPT/s ∼100% +20%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
26.48 KOPT/s ∼83%
HP ZBook 15 G3
21.8 KOPT/s ∼68% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
21.49 KOPT/s ∼67% -19%
LuxMark v2.0 64Bit
Room GPUs-only
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
1318 Samples/s ∼100% +1%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
1306 Samples/s ∼99%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
1292 Samples/s ∼98% -1%
HP ZBook 15 G3
930 Samples/s ∼71% -29%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
742 Samples/s ∼56% -43%
Sala GPUs-only
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
2646 Samples/s ∼100% +26%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
2107 Samples/s ∼80% 0%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
2099 Samples/s ∼79%
HP ZBook 15 G3
1556 Samples/s ∼59% -26%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
1344 Samples/s ∼51% -36%

Legend

 
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6, NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
 
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6, NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
 
Lenovo ThinkPad P50 Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
 
HP ZBook 15 G3 Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
 
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Toshiba NVMe THNSN5128GP

We measured DirectX performance with the 3DMark benchmark, which attested to a 40% increase compared to the predecessor model. The Unigine Valley 1.0 test compares DirectX and OpenGL performance. Once again, we find our test device performs 30-40% better than the ZBook G3.

Further comparisons and benchmark results are available in our separate article on current laptop graphics cards.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8103 Points ∼100% +40%
MSI WE72 7RJ
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5869 Points ∼72% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
5850 Points ∼72% +1%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
5786 Points ∼71%
Asus G752VL-T7023T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5446 Points ∼67% -6%
HP ZBook 15 G3
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
4091 Points ∼50% -29%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Saelic Veni G422 G7TPK4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
53639 Points ∼100% +42%
MSI WE72 7RJ
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
37841 Points ∼71% 0%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
37796 Points ∼70%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
36877 Points ∼69% -2%
HP ZBook 15 G3
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
30236 Points ∼56% -20%
Asus G752VL-T7023T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
17226 Points ∼32% -54%
Unigine Valley 1.0
1920x1080 Extreme HD DirectX AA:x8
MSI WE72 7RJ
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
28.1 fps ∼100% +1%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
27.9 fps ∼99%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
23.2 fps ∼83% -17%
HP ZBook 15 G3
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
20.4 fps ∼73% -27%
1920x1080 Extreme HD Preset OpenGL AA:x8
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
28.3 fps ∼100% +22%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
23.2 fps ∼82%
MSI WE72 7RJ
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
23.1 fps ∼82% 0%
HP ZBook 15 G3
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
18.3 fps ∼65% -21%
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Extreme Preset OpenGL
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
30.7 fps ∼100% 0%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
30.6 fps ∼100%
MSI WE72 7RJ
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
29.5 fps ∼96% -4%
Extreme Preset DX11
MSI WE72 7RJ
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Core i7-7700HQ
35.1 fps ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
35.1 fps ∼100% 0%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
35 fps ∼100%
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
144957 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
22003 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
5232 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
1903 points
Help

Gaming Performance

This mobile workstation can boldly enter the gaming world, too. Those who enjoy older games – or can do without maximum graphics settings for new games – will find themselves well equipped to dive into various gaming adventures. The G4's performance level lies between the Nvidia GeForce GTX 965m and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

To find out which games run fluidly on this GPU, see our article, "Which games run fluidly on laptop graphics cards?"

The Witcher 3
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
41 fps ∼100% +35%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
37.2 fps ∼91% +23%
MSI GE72 965M Ti
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
36.8 (min: 29, max: 43) fps ∼90% +21%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
30.3 fps ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
26.3 fps ∼64% -13%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
25.9 fps ∼63% -15%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
66.6 fps ∼100% +5%
MSI GE72 965M Ti
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
65 (min: 56, max: 72) fps ∼98% +3%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
63.4 fps ∼95%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
47.3 fps ∼71% -25%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
46.8 fps ∼70% -26%
0123456789101112131415161718192021Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 270.9174.1149.156.8fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 104.663.430.318fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 12368.537.433fps

Emissions

In idle mode, the HP ZBook G4 hardly makes a peep. Only upon close listening does the user hear the occasional electronic noise from one of the components. However, these sounds were not within detectable ranges (at least for our measuring devices). As soon as we started the benchmarks like 3DMark, we registered a gradual increase in fan speed to up to 39 dB(A). Under load, the volume settled at around 36 dB(A). We recorded similar behavior in our tests of the Lenovo ThinkPad P51. Compared to the ZBook G3, this number represents an enormous improvement. The predecessor model reached nearly 50 dB(A). 

Under load, the system generates an irritating and inconsistent chirping sound. We experienced this as exceptionally unpleasant, especially when there is no other background noise.

Noise Level

Idle
29.5 / 29.5 / 30 dB(A)
Load
39.5 / 36 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: 29.5 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2029.828.629.831.328.728.42528.72729.330.62629.53128.524.127.429.125.527.34030.326.325.326.324.926.95028.326.324.425.323.125.5632725.225.725.124.126.9802624.924.525.723.825.110025.724.823.925.222.723.812522.322.322.722.320.723.116022.822.620.92119.223.220023.724.621.82019.124.625023.623.521.818.817.92331523.72321.718.317.324.640024.623.222.61716.726.250025.424.321.917.216.526.863026.925.524.917.616.527.480027.926.724.717.616.427.4100029.128.625.518.116.829.6125030.42926.318.416.630.516003130.129.217.81731.2200030.428.8251817.531.3250028.826.923.817.817.628.731502624.72217.71826.1400024.823.120.617.717.824.7500022.721.619.617.717.722.8630020.419.418.217.617.620.4800019.218.617.717.317.319.21000017.717.31716.716.717.61250018.317.91816.416.417.41600016.716.416.515.915.916.3SPL39.538.23629.829.439.8N32.72.21.31.23.1median 24.6HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AVmedian 23.5median 21.9median 17.7median 17.3median 24.6Delta2.92.42.40.41.22.429.727.327.129.427.527.727.72627.326.82524.626.223.224.923.623.825.923.924.22622.721.922.922.720.622.920.819.520.521.719.422.72218.322.921.317.623.72016.92320.516.52420.916.523.620.416.623.421.417.125.121.217.225.721.317.525.821.617.926.721.117.927.519.317.72718.717.922.918.918.120.41817.619.418.117.217.917.116.617.116.716.316.416.315.71632.229.536.61.71.22.4median 20.8Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GEmedian 17.6median 22.91.30.9233.733.735.333.432.133.232.331.832.830.42828.627.428.828.825.626.526.427.829.526.826.230.530.728.226.72725.126.325.328.22424.326.127.227.126.626.525.228.426.626.626.322.629.626.323.422.122.330.127.224.722.821.332.229.225.42320.133.132.627.826.121.536.928.62521.418.433.734.328.424.81837.534.228.62617.438.633.528.224.816.838.73529.325.716.540.435.129.425.816.240.536.732.128.316.142.538.731.526.516.144.436.628.72316.243.635.128.623.716.541.233.326.32216.741.531.625.920.617.139.729.824.119.917.235.927.721.718.217.632.125.221.217.917.629.5232017.817.527.42022.117.617.522.146.640.436.329.252.75.53.42.41.28.3median 31.6MSI WE72 7RJmedian 26.6median 23median 17.5median 36.93.92.62.81.54.5hearing rangehide median Fan Noise

Temperature

Overall, in the stress test...
Overall, in the stress test...
...the HP ZBook G4 proves...
...the HP ZBook G4 proves...
...exceptional.
...exceptional.

In idle mode, the G4's case temperatures hardly rise at all. Only under load did we measure an enormous increase in temperature. As in the third generation, the hotspot is located in the center of the case. Our current version's maximum temperature measured nearly 57 °C (134.6 °F) on the underside. This number is only marginally better than the predecessor's 60.8 °C (141.4 °F). As a result, it is not advisable to place the device on your lap when it is under load. On the top of the base unit, the hotspot measures 51 °C (123.8 °F). This is only slightly cooler than the G3 model. 41 °C (105.8 °F) in the keyboard area is also palpable while typing. The Lenovo ThinkPad P51 proves cooler overall. Even under load, the ThinkPad's temperatures mostly remain around 40 °C (104 °F). 

In the stress test, we run Prime95 and FurMark to simulate a situation of maximum load. A laptop will generally only experience this level of load in exceptional circumstances, like rendering and gaming. During the test, the CPU briefly throttled due to excessive heat. In this situation, the clock frequency fell below the base rate of 3.1 GHz to around 3 GHz. After more than an hour in the test, the average clock rate came to almost exactly 3.1 GHz. All told, we expected the cooling system in a full-fledged mobile workstation to be able to handle a CPU that uses more than the standard 45 watts. Because the cooling system clearly is not up to the task, it is questionable whether the expensive processor is worth the extra cost.

On a positive note: When we ended the stress test and immediately started 3DMark again, the laptop achieved the same scores as after a cold boot.

Max. Load
 49.8 °C
122 F
50.8 °C
123 F
43.7 °C
111 F
 
 37.6 °C
100 F
41.7 °C
107 F
38.3 °C
101 F
 
 26.8 °C
80 F
29 °C
84 F
27.7 °C
82 F
 
Maximum: 50.8 °C = 123 F
Average: 38.4 °C = 101 F
42.1 °C
108 F
57.4 °C
135 F
40.9 °C
106 F
36.2 °C
97 F
41.3 °C
106 F
35.2 °C
95 F
28.3 °C
83 F
30.5 °C
87 F
28.2 °C
83 F
Maximum: 57.4 °C = 135 F
Average: 37.8 °C = 100 F
Power Supply (max.)  53 °C = 127 F | Room Temperature 21.7 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-900
stress test: top
stress test: top
stress test: bottom
stress test: bottom
Witcher 3: top
Witcher 3: top
Witcher 3: bottom
Witcher 3: bottom

Speakers

Quiet and thin. Users who want a great listening experience will need to plug in external devices. The ZBook's speakers are extremely quiet – not even loud enough for Skype calls in noisy environments.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.73232.72532.330.632.33129.327.829.34029.728.929.75026.127.126.16329.225.129.28032.425.832.410031.62331.612538.524.338.516046.320.546.320050.220.750.225052.819.252.831555.218.955.240050.817.450.850051.51751.563055.416.355.480058.416.458.4100056.716.756.7125059.91759.9160061.917.261.9200062.417.562.4250064.917.664.9315067.317.767.3400068.517.968.5500070.117.970.1630068.117.668.1800064.617.364.61000060.916.860.91250059.616.659.61600059.415.859.4SPL77.129.577.1N37.11.237.1median 59.4HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AVmedian 17.5median 59.4Delta5.515.526.928.126.531.926.427.724.326.821.824.92425.422.326.72126.221.132.118.434.719.64017.742.517.345.516.946.217.250.316.550.516.252.116.754.517.256.417.553.117.755.117.851.617.949.217.853.51847.717.352.817.251.716.644.516.139.315.632.729.564.51.218.6median 17.3Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GEmedian 49.20.86.1hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 13.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 26% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 61% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 20%, 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%

Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (64.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (13.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 57% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 20%, worst was 31%
Compared to all devices tested
» 44% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Our test device's energy usage in idle mode is similar to that of the ZBook G3. At a maximum of 12.7 watts, the laptop proves less thirsty than the Lenovo ThinkPad P51, which needs up to 22 watts. Only under load does the ZBook G4's new hardware make its presence known. The power consumption rate rises to up to 154 watts, though it falls back to 143 watts in a matter of seconds. In comparison, the similarly equipped Lenovo mobile workstation uses just 130 watts. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.39 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.9 / 8.9 / 12.7 Watt
Load midlight 95.2 / 154 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
E3-1535M v6, Quadro M2200, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M2200, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
MSI WE72 7RJ
7700HQ, Quadro M2200, Samsung SM961 MZVPW256 m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
HP ZBook 15 G3
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e, UWVA-IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
-35%
-68%
-2%
Idle Minimum *
5.9
8.6
-46%
15
-154%
5.7
3%
Idle Average *
8.9
15.9
-79%
20.1
-126%
12.2
-37%
Idle Maximum *
12.7
22.1
-74%
23.8
-87%
12.6
1%
Load Average *
95.2
84.4
11%
85.6
10%
83.1
13%
Load Maximum *
154
130.6
15%
128
17%
138.2
10%
Witcher 3 ultra *
87.7

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

HP continues to supply their ZBook with a 90 Wh battery. Curiously, the HW Info diagnostic tool registers a capacity of just 84 Wh. Exact size aside, we wanted to take a closer look at the 9-cell battery.

To test a laptop's maximum endurance, we utilize the Battery Eater test, which simulates system use while reading texts. At the lowest brightness setting and with the communications modules turned off, the HP mobile workstation runs for over 18 hours. The rest of the competition cannot hold a candle to that run time. The Lenovo ThinkPad P51 gives up the ghost two hours earlier. The G3 version runs out of steam well before its successor too (14 hours). 

Our WLAN test simulates practical, everyday use. With the brightness level set to 150 cd/m², we run a script to imitate web surfing. At around 9 hours, here too our test device proves to be of an athletic build. The competitor from Lenovo reaches nearly seven hours.

Lastly, we look at the device's minimum expected run time using the Battery Eater Classic test. The ZBook retires after less than two hours here. The laptop's predecessor reached a similar run time. The ThinkPad P51 only managed 1.5 hours. 

The G4's battery life was even shorter when we started SPECviewperf 12. After just one hour and 26 minutes, the laptop cut out.

On the subject of charge time: The ZBook needs around an hour to charge to 80%. Another 45 minutes are required to reach the 99% mark. The device needs a good two hours for the full 100%.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
18h 16min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 07min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 29min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 55min
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
E3-1535M v6, Quadro M2200, 90 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
E3-1505M v6, Quadro M2200, 90 Wh
MSI WE72 7RJ
7700HQ, Quadro M2200, 51 Wh
HP ZBook 15 G3
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, 90 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, 90 Wh
Battery Runtime
-20%
-70%
-22%
-40%
Reader / Idle
1096
981
-10%
268
-76%
822
-25%
539
-51%
H.264
629
455
-28%
181
-71%
449
-29%
331
-47%
WiFi v1.3
547
413
-24%
177
-68%
386
-29%
288
-47%
Load
115
95
-17%
42
-63%
110
-4%
98
-15%

Pros

+ very stable and high-quality case
+ good performance
+ very good IPS display (after calibration)
+ quick SSD
+ long battery life
+ up-to-date ports
+ good upgradability
+ fast WLAN
+ 3-year warranty
+ individually configurable

Cons

- some components hard to reach (SIM slot!)
- battery not accessible from outside
- PWM
- heats up under load
- chirps under load
- weak speakers

Verdict

The HP ZBook G4, courtesy of HP Germany.
The HP ZBook G4, courtesy of HP Germany.

The ZBook enters the next round with a persuasive increase in performance power. In our review of the last generation, all we had were words of praise for the design and stability of the case. We were also impressed with the comprehensive choice of ports and good upgradability. The current ZBook G4 is once again available in a number of different configurations. We had the pleasure of testing the top model. Only in the realm of the display did we see a lot of room for improvement. We were particularly disappointed that the display's color space coverage is smaller than the previous generation's coverage. However, in every other respect, the G4 is better than its predecessor, especially given the great power that lies dormant inside. The potent Xeon processor and the GPU upgrade together produce a marked upsurge in computing and graphics performance. Despite this increase in performance, the laptop's temperatures remain somewhat cooler, and its energy management is better balanced. But, as if that were not enough, the battery life is now strong enough for even a somewhat prolonged work day. Unfortunately, the overall picture is a little tarnished by the weak and quiet speakers. We hope to see improvements here in coming generations.

All in all, HP's newest ZBook proves once again to be a very good mobile workstation. 

The ZBook is available in Germany starting at 2200 Euros (~$2600; US version available for $1929). Our test device costs a steep 4650 Euros (~$5500; similar version available in the US for $3630). However, a configuration with a slightly weaker and cheaper processor may be more sensible. Before making a decision, a look at the competition – like the Lenovo ThinkPad P51 – is certainly worthwhile.

HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV - 09/27/2017 v6
Nino Ricchizzi

Chassis
94 / 98 → 96%
Keyboard
91%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
77 / 81 → 95%
Weight
59 / 10-66 → 87%
Battery
92%
Display
89%
Games Performance
88%
Application Performance
96%
Temperature
87 / 95 → 92%
Noise
85 / 90 → 94%
Audio
73%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
82%
89%
Workstation - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP ZBook 15 G4 (Xeon, Quadro M2200, Full-HD) Workstation Review
Nino Ricchizzi, 2017-10- 4 (Update: 2017-10- 8)