HP ZBook 17 G6 review: A heavy-duty, user-upgradable mobile workstation Review

Cell workstations are critical computing equipment with top-notch specifications, and as a consequence they occur at a premium cost — the most pricey iteration of the HP ZBook 17 G6 expenses £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.eighty inc. VAT) at the time of composing. For the money you may get top-finish discrete graphics, a Core i9 processor and a 17.three-inch screen with 4K resolution. Even as you go down the cost and specifications list you get a lot of ports and connectors for employing external equipment, and you will find even an optical push. The entry-stage ZBook 17 G6 design expenses £1,609 (ex. VAT £1,930.eighty inc. VAT).
No 17.three-inch laptop is going to slip simply into a backpack, and the HP ZBook 17 G6 is a significant and weighty device. It will plant a forty one.6cm by 28.8cm footprint on your desk, is three.3cm thick, and weighs a shoulder-sapping three.2kg. You can expect to pretty much certainly require to carry the significant and major electric power brick also (see opinions on battery existence under). 

If you do require to carry this expensive laptop you may want to be certain that it truly is properly secured — and it is. The chassis is extremely solid — “created to endure extensive MIL-STD 810G screening”, HP says — and really should cope with the rigours of journey.


The 17.three-inch ZBook 17 G6 is out there with Core i5, i7 and Xeon processors with up to 128GB of RAM, Nvidia graphics (Quadro T1000 up to Quadro RTX 5000) and up to 2TB of storage.

Images: HP Inc.

HP has done what it can to make this hefty laptop search fairly eye-catching, and you will find a distinctive taper towards the front extensive edge while the two rear corners are sharply angled in line with HP’s unique ZBook styling.

The base has a sliding lock that permits most of the bottom plate to be eliminated, providing person accessibility to components these types of as memory and storage. This offers a degree of potential-proofing for what is, immediately after all, a appreciable financial investment.

The screen is all-critical in a workstation, which needs to supply high-quality visuals. The 17.three-inch FHD (one,920 x one,080) IPS panel in my critique device experienced an ambient light sensor and 300 nits brightness. I observed it rather also vivid to use when set at one hundred%. It was not contact sensitive, and experienced an anti-glare complete. Increased up the cost scale the screen specifications top out at 4K resolution (three,480 x two,a hundred and sixty) and four hundred nits brightness.

The screen bezels are rather thick — all over 15mm to the sides, and a significant 29mm at the top. There is a lot of area in the top bezel for the 720p webcam and a pair of IR sensors for Windows Good day confront login (for those who desire finger biometrics you will find also a fingerprint sensor on the wrist rest). The webcam has a sliding privacy address.

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If you want to current your perform to other people, then high-quality audio may well properly be critical. Together the top of the keyboard is a total-width 3cm-deep speaker grille, housing the Bang & Olufsen audio system. This delivers a lot of volume — enough to get to all over a mid-sized meeting desk. It truly is arguably a little bit small on bass tones, but however amazing.


The spill-resistant keyboard has two levels of backlighting, and functions a pointing stick plus a different numeric keypad.

Impression: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The keyboard is spill resistant and backlit — you can manually select among two brightness levels for the backlight employing a Fn vital. HP’s typical focused Phone and Conclusion keys are to the correct of the Fn vital row. There is area for a range pad with total-size keys to the correct of the keyboard. The keys on their own are a minimal thunky, but I experienced no trouble reaching my normal contact-typing pace.

There is certainly a pointing stick sitting down among the G, H and B keys which can be made use of in conjunction with three buttons in a bar atop the touchpad, the central one being for vertical scrolling. Beneath the touchpad is a copy set of these buttons, while the touchpad itself does not have inset buttons. The latter was efficiently responsive to gestures, and simple to perform with. 

The HP ZBook 17 G6 is out there in the Uk in numerous distinct iterations, with specifications managing up to an Intel Core i9-9880H processor with 32GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics with 16GB of GDDR6 movie RAM, a 4K/four hundred nits screen and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. That’ll set you again a interesting £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.eighty inc VAT). 

SEE: Working from household: Results strategies for telecommuters (no cost PDF)

At the other finish of the cost spectrum, £1,609 (ex. VAT £1,930.eighty inc. VAT) will get you an Intel Core i7-9850H with 16GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro T1000 graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 movie RAM, an FHD/300 nits screen and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD.

I was despatched a specification that is not at present out there in the Uk, managing an Intel Xeon E 2286M processor with 64GB of RAM.

My battery existence knowledge may well not, hence, bear out what you may locate in units specified for the Uk. That could be just as properly. I billed the battery to one hundred% and allow the device decide on its configurations. In an hour it depleted to 72%. As the screen brightness experienced been routinely set at one hundred% I diminished this to eighty% — continue to completely usable — and labored for an additional hour, the battery dropping to 51%. For the third hour I tweaked the electric power mode to ‘better battery’, and it continue to fell considerably, ending the three-hour stint at 29%. All I might been carrying out throughout this period was composing into net apps, streaming audio, and browsing web-sites. Do not hope everything like a total performing day on battery electric power, for the Xeon-primarily based design at least.


The ZBook 17 G6’s chassis offers a lot of area for ports, slots — and even an optical push.

Images: HP Inc.

There are a lot of connectivity alternatives. The correct edge homes the round-pin electric power input, a mini DisplayPort, a total-size HDMI port, two USB-C Thunderbolt three ports, and a headset jack. Towards the front edge there is a scarce sight: an optical push with pop-out caddy.
The still left edge has an RJ-45 Ethernet port, three USB three.one ports (one with charging), an SD card reader and a SmartCard slot. 

All this helps make the HP ZBook 17 G6 one of the most effective-connected laptops of any type we have viewed not long ago, and could properly mean that consumers will not require to insert a docking device.


The HP ZBook 17 G6 is a critically highly effective piece of kit, created to offer desktop-quality functionality in a transportable deal. That claimed, few will want to carry this 3kg-plus beast extremely considerably, extremely usually. It truly is bursting with ports and connectors so you will find no require for a dock, and you will find even an built-in optical push.

The means to accessibility the innards for person updates is a significant plus point, but it will be really worth double-examining on battery existence: my Xeon-primarily based critique device (not a Uk specification) was not amazing in this regard.

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