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

Victoria D. Doty

Cellular workstations are really serious computing products with best-notch specifications, and as a end result they come at a high quality cost — the most high priced iteration of the HP ZBook 17 G6 expenditures £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.eighty inc. VAT) at the time of composing. For the cash you’ll […]

Cellular workstations are really serious computing products with best-notch specifications, and as a end result they come at a high quality cost — the most high priced iteration of the HP ZBook 17 G6 expenditures £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.eighty inc. VAT) at the time of composing. For the cash you’ll get best-end discrete graphics, a Core i9 processor and a 17.3-inch display screen with 4K resolution. Even as you go down the cost and specifications checklist you get a great deal of ports and connectors for utilizing exterior products, and you can find even an optical travel. The entry-degree ZBook 17 G6 design expenditures £1,609 (ex. VAT £1,930.eighty inc. VAT).
No 17.3-inch laptop computer is going to slip conveniently into a backpack, and the HP ZBook 17 G6 is a significant and weighty device. It’s going to plant a 41.6cm by 28.8cm footprint on your desk, is 3.3cm thick, and weighs a shoulder-sapping 3.2kg. You can expect to almost definitely have to have to carry the significant and weighty power brick as well (see opinions on battery lifetime down below). 

If you do have to have to carry this highly-priced laptop computer you’ll want to be confident that it is really very well shielded — and it is. The chassis is extremely stable — “created to undergo extensive MIL-STD 810G testing”, HP says — and should really cope with the rigours of journey.


The 17.3-inch ZBook 17 G6 is accessible 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.

Visuals: HP Inc.

HP has carried out what it can to make this significant laptop computer appear fairly attractive, and you can find a unique taper towards the front long edge whilst the two rear corners are sharply angled in line with HP’s distinctive ZBook styling.

The base has a sliding lock that allows most of the base plate to be eliminated, supplying person entry to factors these types of as memory and storage. This delivers a degree of future-proofing for what is, soon after all, a significant financial investment.

The display screen is all-important in a workstation, which needs to provide high-quality visuals. The 17.3-inch FHD (one,920 x one,080) IPS panel in my evaluation device had an ambient mild sensor and three hundred nits brightness. I discovered it alternatively as well brilliant to use when established at 100{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}. It wasn’t contact delicate, and had an anti-glare finish. Higher up the cost scale the display screen specifications best out at 4K resolution (3,480 x two,a hundred and sixty) and 400 nits brightness.

The display screen bezels are alternatively thick — all-around 15mm to the sides, and a enormous 29mm at the best. There is a great deal of area in the best bezel for the 720p webcam and a pair of IR sensors for Home windows Hi there deal with login (for people who prefer finger biometrics you can find also a fingerprint sensor on the wrist relaxation). The webcam has a sliding privateness include.

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If you want to present your perform to other individuals, then high-quality audio might very well be important. Alongside the best of the keyboard is a whole-width 3cm-deep speaker grille, housing the Bang & Olufsen audio method. This provides a great deal of quantity — sufficient to reach all-around a mid-sized meeting table. It is really arguably a bit shorter on bass tones, but nonetheless remarkable.


The spill-resistant keyboard has two ranges of backlighting, and capabilities a pointing stick in addition a separate numeric keypad.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The keyboard is spill resistant and backlit — you can manually pick concerning two brightness ranges for the backlight utilizing a Fn important. HP’s standard focused Contact and End keys are to the proper of the Fn important row. There is area for a amount pad with whole-measurement keys to the proper of the keyboard. The keys on their own are a very little thunky, but I had no difficulty achieving my standard contact-typing velocity.

You can find a pointing stick sitting down concerning the G, H and B keys which can be made use of in conjunction with a few buttons in a bar atop the touchpad, the central one getting for vertical scrolling. Beneath the touchpad is a duplicate established of these buttons, whilst the touchpad itself does not have inset buttons. The latter was easily responsive to gestures, and uncomplicated to perform with. 

The HP ZBook 17 G6 is accessible in the British isles in various diverse iterations, with specifications operating up to an Intel Core i9-9880H processor with 32GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics with 16GB of GDDR6 video clip RAM, a 4K/400 nits display screen and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. That’ll established you back a neat £3,649 (ex. VAT £4,378.eighty inc VAT). 

SEE: Performing from residence: Accomplishment tips for telecommuters (no cost PDF)

At the other end 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 video clip RAM, an FHD/three hundred nits display screen and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD.

I was sent a specification that’s not now accessible in the British isles, operating an Intel Xeon E 2286M processor with 64GB of RAM.

My battery lifetime knowledge might not, consequently, bear out what you’ll obtain in models specified for the British isles. That may be just as very well. I charged the battery to 100{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} and enable the equipment select its settings. In an hour it depleted to 72{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}. As the display screen brightness had been automatically established at 100{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} I minimized this to eighty{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} — even now perfectly usable — and labored for one more hour, the battery dropping to fifty one{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}. For the third hour I tweaked the power mode to ‘better battery’, and it even now fell drastically, ending the a few-hour stint at 29{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}. All I might been undertaking through this time period was composing into world-wide-web apps, streaming songs, and browsing websites. Do not hope nearly anything like a whole working working day on battery power, for the Xeon-based design at minimum.


The ZBook 17 G6’s chassis delivers a great deal of area for ports, slots — and even an optical travel.

Visuals: HP Inc.

There are a great deal of connectivity selections. The proper edge houses the spherical-pin power input, a mini DisplayPort, a whole-measurement HDMI port, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a headset jack. Towards the front edge there is a rare sight: an optical travel with pop-out caddy.
The still left edge has an RJ-45 Ethernet port, a few USB 3.one ports (one with charging), an SD card reader and a SmartCard slot. 

All this will make the HP ZBook 17 G6 one of the greatest-linked laptops of any style we’ve found just lately, and could very well suggest that consumers don’t have to have to increase a docking device.


The HP ZBook 17 G6 is a seriously impressive piece of package, created to provide desktop-grade functionality in a transportable package. That stated, several will want to carry this 3kg-in addition beast extremely much, extremely normally. It is really bursting with ports and connectors so you can find no have to have for a dock, and you can find even an integrated optical travel.

The capability to entry the innards for person upgrades is a huge in addition issue, but it will be really worth double-checking on battery lifetime: my Xeon-based evaluation device (not a British isles specification) was not remarkable in this regard.

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