HP ZBook Firefly 14 G8 review: Upgraded CPU and GPU, but screen options and battery life disappoint Review

Maria J. Danford

HP carries on to identify its sleekest and most transportable laptops following traveling bugs. The 13.3-inch Elite Dragonfly 2-in-one convertible recently saw an spectacular G2 enhance, and now HP has up-to-date the 14-inch ZBook Firefly, which is a minor heavier but also offers much more heavyweight overall performance as the “smallest and lightest” of the company’s Z-sequence of mobile workstations. 

In lots of approaches, the ZBook Firefly 14 G8 is a traditional 14-inch notebook, lacking the convertible design and style and 4K exhibit of the Dragonfly G2. Nevertheless, it does supply real workstation-course overall performance in a slender and light-weight design and style that will attractiveness to content material creators, architects and other experienced users. 

Style and design & characteristics

This 8th-generation (G8) update is in essence a ‘speed bump’ that introduces Intel’s latest (11th generation) processors and Nvidia’s T500 GPU to the variety.  

The simple design and style hasn’t transformed considering that the G7 version that we reviewed before this calendar year, measuring 323mm large by 21.5mm deep by seventeen.9mm thick, and weighing just one.4kg. The construct high quality stays spectacular way too, with the Firefly’s strong — and recycled — aluminium casing assembly the armed service-grade MIL-STD-810H standard for resistance to warmth, shock and humidity. That rugged design and style could be overkill for the Adobe Imaginative Cloud users that HP highlights on its site, but it will be welcomed by architects or engineers who need to have to stop by constructing web sites and other outdoor areas. 

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The 14-inch ZBook Firefly 14 G8 runs on 11th-generation Main i5 or i7 processors with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. It can use CPU-integrated Iris Xe graphics or a discrete Nvidia T500 GPU with 4GB of movie RAM. The chassis is MIL-STD-810H licensed.


Visuals: HP Inc

The keyboard feels organization and cozy way too, with a row of navigation keys on the considerably ideal, and a fingerprint sensor just beneath that. HP gets a minor carried absent with the trackpad characteristics, nevertheless. As you would expect, you can ideal-click by tapping with two fingers, but there are also still left/ideal buttons in the reduced corners of the trackpad, as properly as two separate actual physical buttons over the trackpad itself, and even a pointing adhere situated on the key keyboard. 

Like its predecessor, the Firefly G8 has two USB 3.one ports on the still left-hand side, despite the fact that the two USB-C ports in excess of on the ideal have been upgraded to guidance Thunderbolt 4. You will find an HDMI port on that side way too, which you are going to most likely need to have for an exterior monitor, supplied the Firefly’s modest built-in exhibit. You will find no Ethernet port, so you are going to need to have an adapter if you need to have a wired connection in an workplace. 

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Oddly, this G8 version of the ZBook Firefly currently lacks the 4K exhibit solution that was offered with its predecessor. Our critique device experienced a non-touch IPS exhibit with regular FHD (1920 x 1080, 157.3dpi) resolution, which was vivid and vibrant, many thanks to its spectacular one thousand nits brightness, aided by a welcome anti-glare coating for outdoor use. It also features HP’s SureView privacy manner that’s intended to fight ‘visual hacking’ (another person on the lookout in excess of your shoulder) by sharply limiting the display’s viewing angles. Brain you, the viewing angles usually are not wonderful even with SureView turned off, so the Firefly could not be the greatest solution for providing shows where you do want other people to be able to see the screen. 

An additional oddity is that the exhibit on our critique device only supported 72% of the NTSC colour gamut. There are other exhibit options offered that guidance touch and the sRGB and DCI-P3 colour requirements for graphics and movie get the job done, but these all share the very same 1080p resolution. There is a separate 15.6-inch version of the Firefly that delivers a 4K solution — but, of training course, this is larger, heavier and much more costly, which will be a disappointment for users who are attracted to the really transportable design and style of this 14-inch model. 

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Proper side (leading): electricity connector HDMI one.4b 2x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4. Still left side (over): headphone/microphone combo 2x USB 3.one.


Visuals: HP Inc

Price tag & options

The pricing predicament for the ZBook Firefly G8 is a minor difficult way too, with differing specs and customisation options offered in the United kingdom and US. 

Pricing in the United kingdom commences at £1,169 (ex. VAT £1,402.eighty inc. VAT) for a Firefly G8 functioning Home windows 10 Professional sixty four, with a quad-core Core i7-1165G7 processor functioning at 2.8GHz (up to 4.7GHz with TurboBoost). That value also consists of 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and discrete Nvidia T500 graphics with 4GB of dedicated movie memory. The 1080p exhibit for that model is very modest, nevertheless, with only 250 nits brightness and forty five% of the NTSC colour gamut. Our critique device stepped up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD and, as famous, the exhibit supported 72% of NTSC with one thousand nits brightness, bringing the total value to £1,389 (ex. VAT £1,666.eighty inc. VAT). 

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Customers in the US look to deal with somewhat larger pricing, with the entry-amount Firefly G8 costing $one,889 though applying a much more modest Main i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and Nvidia’s T500 GPU. Just after that, the US version of the Firefly G8 skips previous its United kingdom counterpart, opting for a somewhat faster Core i7-1185G7 processor (3.0GHz, with TurboBoost to 4.8GHz) with 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, costing $2,489. There are a assortment of customisation options offered, despite the fact that it stays puzzling that the several exhibit options are all confined to just 1080p resolution. 

Effectiveness & battery lifetime

The ZBook Firefly G8’s overall performance confirms its place as HP’s entry-amount mobile workstation for 2nd and technical design and style get the job done. It has the very same Main i7 processor as the light-weight Dragonfly convertible, with the Dragonfly producing Geekbench 5 scores of 1565 for solitary-main overall performance and 4330 for multi-main. The ZBook Firefly G8 springs no surprises with a solitary-main score of one,590, but comfortably eases into the lead with a score of 5,450 for multi-main overall performance.  

The integrated Iris Xe GPU of the Dragonfly was no slouch when it came to graphics, attaining a score of 85fps in the Cinebench R15 OpenGL graphics benchmark, and 16fps for the much more demanding Unigine Valley 3D tests. Nevertheless, the Firefly G8’s discrete Nvidia T500 GPU jumps ideal forward to 165fps on the Cinebench take a look at. Its overall performance with the significant-duty Valley benchmark isn’t going to improve very so significantly, nevertheless, nudging only somewhat forward to 19fps. This confirms that the ZBook Firefly is greatest suited to 2nd graphics and much more simple 3D get the job done. 

The Firefly G8’s Main i7 processor does also have its possess integrated Iris Xe GPU, of training course, and this permits you to switch amongst integrated and discrete graphics as required. Using the Iris Xe in our tests nevertheless authorized the Firefly to publish a respectable 95fps in Cinebench and 16fps in Valley, so you could use the integrated graphics for much more routine duties in buy to preserve battery lifetime. 

That could be required way too, as the Firefly’s battery lifetime was not spectacular — in particular for a notebook with a modest FHD-resolution exhibit. Using Wi-Fi to stream movie consistently — with integrated graphics selected, and brightness at fifty% — the Firefly lasted just seven.5 hours, which is shut to a whole day’s get the job done, but rarely outstanding for a contemporary notebook. We’ve found reviews of Firefly styles with 250 nits displays, which recorded superior battery lifetime, so the one thousand nits of our critique device appears to be to come at a cost, even when decreased somewhat for the duration of our battery tests. 

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Graphic: HP Inc

Conclusions

HP’s ZBook Firefly G8 is one thing of a mixed bag. It truly is a fairly priced entry-amount mobile workstation that delivers potent overall performance for content material generation, 2nd graphics and technical design and style get the job done, wrapped up in a light-weight but strong design and style. Nevertheless, the confined exhibit options look alternatively brief-sighted for these a potent notebook, and the battery lifetime absolutely leaves home for enhancement. Qualified users who get the job done outdoor all day lengthy could prefer a notebook with much more robust battery lifetime, but the Firefly G8 will nevertheless be a very good solution for workplace use, functioning from household, and occasional visits to off-internet site areas.

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