HP Announces Redesigned ZBook, EliteBook 800 Notebooks And New Thunderbolt Dock

HP announced all-new versions of its ZBook workstation notebooks and EliteBook 800 series enterprise notebooks, along with a new Thunderbolt Dock G2 that optionally functions as a voice conference device.

Say Hello To The Refreshed ZBook 14u And 15u

The ZBook product line are HP’s workstation notebooks and convertibles. These products typically combine higher-end CPUs with discrete graphics and rugged bodies. HP has refreshed two stalwarts of the the lineup, the mid-range 14u and 15u notebooks. The new models are complete redesigns and have adopted the full aluminum construction that HP introduced with the earlier released EliteBook 1000 series. As a result, both have become thinner and lighter. The 14u, which was previously thicker than its 15” counterpart, is now 17.9mm thick, down from 22.1mm. Weight is decreased to 3.27lbs, down from 3.61lbs. The new 15u is 18.6mm thick, down from 19.9mm, and weighs 3.89lbs rather than 4.18lbs. None of this has compromised durability, however, as the new ZBooks continue to pass MIL-810 STD durability tests.

Within, the new 14u and 15u trade the 7th-gen dual-core Intel CPUs for 8th-gen quad-core ones. More importantly, however, the predecessors’ three-year-old AMD FirePro W4190M GPU, which is actually based on the four-year-old HD 8790, will see an upgrade to a yet-unspecified newer AMD GPU. It’ll be a welcome upgrade, because the new EliteBooks can be had with 4K touch screens.

And The New EliteBook 800 Series

The EliteBook products are HP’s high-end business notebooks. They’re not as powerful as the ZBook mobile workstations, but what they lose in processing power, they gain in portability. Similar to the ZBooks, the new EliteBook 800 loses its old utilitarian design for the style of its thinner brother, the EliteBook 1000. The new 800 series continues to come in three sizes: 13, 14, and 15”. Their thickness and weight ranges from 17.7mm and 2.94lbs for the 13” model to 18.25mm and 3.94lbs, for the 15” model. The new models also continue to pass MIL-810 STD durability tests like their predecessors.

As expected, all the new EliteBook 800 notebooks will see their CPUs upgraded to 8th-gen quad-core parts, but the 14 and 15” models will gain the option of having an AMD RX 540 discrete GPU. (Their predecessors only had Intel integrated graphics). Other features of the new 800 series include a brighter 400 nit screen and a faster charging battery.

We don’t have full specs for new ZBook 14u and 15u or the new EliteBook 800 series yet. Both are expected to be available in February. Pricing for the ZBooks will begin at around $1,100. The Elitebooks will be priced from around $1,050.

Meet The Thunderbolt Dock G2

Announced alongside the new USB-C-equipped monitors is HP’s Thunderbolt Dock G2. It’s quite unlike conventional Thunderbolt or USB-C docks we’ve seen because it does more than just provide ports and charging for your notebook. At the top of the dock is a modular portion that can fit a Bang & Olufsen-branded teleconferencing device. With that device attached, you gain quick-access controls for Skype, and the dock becomes a speaker and voice-canceling microphone. Unfortunately, we don’t know much else about the dock except that it can support up to two 4K displays. 

HP says the price of the Thunderbolt Dock G2 will be announced closer to its release in May.

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