HP ZBook Firefly 15 G7: Even new designs can't save Comet Lake laptops
The situation on the laptop market in 2020 can be described well with one word: Complicated. There are currently four different CPU architectures from Intel on the market: Comet Lake U, Comet Lake H, Ice Lake and, most recently, Tiger Lake. As if that wasn't complex enough, there's also AMD with its Ryzen 4000 series.
Of all the different architectures, Comet Lake U certainly faces the toughest situation. As the umpteenth 14-nanometer infusion of 2016's Skylake, its technical foundations are very outdated. Ice Lake offers better iGPU performance, while Tiger Lake and Ryzen 4000 are superior both in terms of CPU and GPU - Comet Lake H is unrivaled on the Intel side at least in CPU power.
Nevertheless, Comet Lake laptops can't simply be ignored. There are still too many of them. Business laptops are especially affected: If they don't come with AMD Ryzen 4000 processors, Intel Comet Lake is always used in 2020 business laptops. Tiger Lake is still too new, and Ice Lake was never considered for business models due to the lack of vPro.
Even a workstation laptop such as the HP ZBook Firefly 15 G7, which we tested extensively, becomes unattractive with Intel Comet Lake. And this is true even when the ZBook Firefly can cool the processor permanently with a consumption of 25 watts. Especially with AMD Ryzen 4000 processors, Comet Lake can't even begin to keep up.
The HP ZBook 15 Firefly G7 has an even more complicated situation because it uses the highly outdated Nvidia Pascal architecture. The Nvidia Quadro P520 is faster than the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 without problems, but newer iGPUs surpass it in terms of pure GPU performance.
Again, a technology update would be absolutely necessary. In this way, the next version of the HP ZBook Firefly 15 G7 could be an attractive laptop if it came with Tiger Lake and a new Quadro GPU based on the GeForce MX450.