Not a few weeks ago, specifications pages for two HP products previously unheard of, the ZBook 15 and ZBook 17, surfaced on Belgian website Academic Shop. The website, which sells computer hardware and software geared towards the education market, quickly pulled them but it looks like the folks at Academic Shop have just relisted the specifications lists. They’ve also replaced the ZBook names with more mysterious sounding “New HP 15 inch Elite platform” and “New HP 17 inch Elite platform“… though it’s quite hard to get the cat back in the bag once it’s out (the ZBook name isn’t quite a secret anymore).
The ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 listed on Academic Shop appear to be base models, or very close to base models, with relatively low price tags of 1499 EUR and 1915 EUR respectively and specifications that don’t sound particularly beastly. Both come with Intel 2013 Haswell processors (though these models are equipped with Intel’s most basic i7-4700MQ quad core 2.4 GHz processors), one stick of 8 GB RAM (both models have 4 x DDR3 RAM slots clocked at 1600 MHz) and 16:9 ratio matte LED backlit displays (15 and 17 inches respectively) with 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution (inline with information from earlier this month that Full HD panels would come standard). Both models are also listed with HP 8 cell long-life batteries which come with a 3 year warranty.
Both the ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 will feature Nvidia’s next-generation Kepler Quadro workstation-class cards… but what’s surprising is that both models on the shopping website have the same 1 GB Quadro K610M listed. The Quadro K610M is an entry-level model in Nvidia’s next-gen Kepler Quadro lineup and is made for 15.6 inch models. But then again, these appear to be basic ZBook models and it is likely that higher-end graphics cards will be available for more expensive/configurable models.
There’s also support for a mSATA drive and 2.5 inch disk drives. Like their EliteBook predecessors, the ZBook 15 will likely support one 2.5 inch drive natively while the ZBook 17 will be probably be able to house two drives (because of the machine’s larger size). Both ZBook models have optical disk drives, and will probably support the Upgrade Bay to add one additional 2.5 inch drive.
Both HP ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 will have the exact same port selection (the types and number of ports remain unchanged from last generation EliteBook 8570w/EliteBook 8770w):
- 5 USB ports total (2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 2.0 charging and 1 eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port)
- 2 video outputs: 1 VGA port and 1 DisplayPort (more displays can be connected via ports on the optional docking station)
- Firewire port and dedicated audio in/out jacks
- Serial, RJ11 and RJ45 ports
As usual, there’s also support for the HP Standard docking station, secondary battery, 720p HD webcam, Bluetooth 4.0 EDR, SRS Premium Sound Pro branded speakers and pointing stick + trackpad combo, each with their own set of buttons.
Workstation users will be delighted to hear that both the ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 will have full-sized keyboards along with numeric keypads on the right. The recently announced 15 inch Dell Precision M3800 comes with a keyboard without a number pad.
What remains under the wraps now are the dimensions and weight figures of the new HP ZBook line. They are rumored to have lost some fat in dimensions (not sure about weight) so we’ll have to wait and see when HP officially announces information on their next-gen notebooks. Meanwhile, Dell has already brought out a ‘slim’ 15 inch mobile workstation, the 18mm/0.7 inch thin and 2 kg/4.7 pound Precision M3800 (whose competitor will probably be the ZBook 15) last weekend so it will probably be an interesting fight once HP and Lenovo bring out their cards onto the table.