I helped a friend select and test a HP Zbook 14 for possible roll out in his company. It is an interesting machine. PCMag wrote a glowing report on it, and so did about a dozen other laptop review websites. PCMag said it was its new editors choice.
It is surprising isn’t it that HP makes good laptops? I worked at companies that have tried many different manufacturers, and they all had serious issues. For example, one place that tried a Lenovo Carbon got bit hard when they had a high failure rate. Another company that used Dell laptops was frustrated by the high cost of repairs and frequent need for repairs. Another company tried using Sony and they said they weren’t as reliable as they had hoped. What makes me say that are good is that they are reliable. This laptop model is built to a MIL specification which among other things protects from a 4 foot drop and liquid being spilled on the keyboard. This would significantly cut down on repair expenses for most companies.
Another helpful feature of this laptop is that it has workstation (desktop) performance in a laptop. They didn’t skimp on hardware so the speed is fantastic. They didn’t load it up with junk software either so it is responsive out of the box. The design isn’t anything remarkable, but almost everything else is good on it. The keyboard/mouse I found to be responsive and the screen was beautiful in its crisp and clear image. I didn’t have any complaints in the week I used it.
If you are a regular reader you might remember that I have also reviewed Toshiba Kirabook which is still a very fine machine. How does this compare to that? I would say they are for two different audiences. The Kirabook is more for executives in which the appearance is often more highly valued. This doesn’t have the most beautiful appearance, but it makes up for it in raw power and reliability. I imagine this laptop could be used for everyone in the company but executives who might find its appearance not what they expect for a “luxury” laptop. Most people expect the slimmest thing possible, and if you want that then you should be looking at an Apple MacBook Pro. However if you can’t afford the $2500 this is reasonably well configured at around $1900.
In short if you are an apple person the Kirabook is like a Macbook Air, and this Zbook 14 is like a Macbook Pro. Not as pretty but certainly very functional, fast, reliable. What more could you ask for in a Windows laptop?