HP launches ZBook 15V, a low-cost workstation for the masses starting at USD $950
Professionals looking for portable power typically turn to workstations laptops. These notebooks can pack a lot of performance into a reasonably mobile chassis. However, one of the biggest hurdles with workstations has been the high price tag. HP is looking to change that with the ZBook 15V, a new workstation in their ZBook line that they claim is an affordable entry into the world of workstations.
The ZBook 15V, announced earlier today, is aimed at a broader market than traditional workstation laptops. HP is specifically targetting students and small business owners that need more from their laptops than typical consumer-grade devices, typically for things like CAD design, architecture, and modeling work. Starting at USD $950, the 15V is reasonably portable (considering the components within) at just over 25 mm thick and weighing in at 2.14 kg (4.72 lbs).
The device offers a variety of configurations:
- CPU: Intel Core i5-8300H, Core i5-8400H vPro, Core i7-8750H, Core i7-8850H vPro, or Xeon E-2176M vPro
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphcis 630 (Core i5 and i7 options), UHD Graphics P630 (Intel Xeon options), Nvidia Quadro P600 (2 GB GDDR5, optional)
- RAM: Up to 32 GB DDR4-2667 (ECC RAM available with Xeon CPU), 2x 16 GB
- Storage: 2 TB PCIe NVMe SSD (via 2x M.2 slots) + up to 4 TB 2.5" drive (SATA III)
- Display: 15.6" 220 nit FHD (non-touch, anti-glare), 15.6" 250 nit FHD (touch, Corning Gorilla Glass 4), 15.6" 340 nit 4K (3840x2160, non-touch, anti-glare)
Ports include three USB 3.0 Type-A (one with always-on charging), a USB 3.1 Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3 support), an HDMI 2.0 port, an SD Card slot, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, and a combo audio in/out jack. The 15V comes with a dual-band Intel 9560 wireless card with support for 2x2 AC wireless and Bluetooth 5.0, which is a relatively new standard. Users can also choose a 4-cell 70 Wh or 3-cell 52.5 Wh battery that supports HP's Fast Charge tech.
Operating System options include Windows 10 (Home, Pro, or Workstation Plus), and end users can install Windows 10 Enterprise or FreeDOS 2.0. There's no word on Linux support, but HP has supported various distros of the open-source OS in the past. The chassis itself is nothing to write home about; its design is reminiscent of HP's newer OMEN X gaming laptops, although the uniform silver color is decidedly more professional.
While the 15V is targetted as an "affordable" workstation, the starting price of $950 will likely be for the Core i5-8300H edition with 8 GB of RAM and a 500 GB 5400 RPM HDD, although this is currently speculation on our part. Choosing more powerful components is sure to ramp the price up quickly, as is commonly the case for workstations, so potential buyers will need to keep that in mind. The 15V could be a miss for HP if they don't price higher tiers aggressively; while the machine promises a lot of power, consumers may not be willing to pay for it when there are other options available.
HP has a potent competitor in the 15V. Other 15-inch workstations, like the Precision 5520 from Dell and Lenovo's P51, are priced much higher but offer more powerful specs at their base configurations. HP needs to be aggressive if the 15V is going to capture any market share.