HP ZBook 17 G2 review

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HP ZBook 17 G2 review

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Here is the HP ZBook 17 G2 given to TechRadar Pro:

Spec Sheet

  • CPU: 3.10 and 3.30 GHz Intel Core i7-4940MX
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Screen: 1920x1080
  • Storage: 1TB 7200 RPM SATA, 256 PCIe SSD
  • Optical drive: DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL
  • Ports: 2 USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.0 charging, 1 USB 2.0, DP 1.2, 1 Thunderbolt 2, 1 RJ45, 1 docking connector, 1 secondary battery connector, 1 VGA, 1 Express Card/54, 1 SD, 1 SmartCard reader
  • Connectivity: WLAN: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 802.11 a/b/g/n (2x2)
  • Camera: 720p HD
  • Weight: 7.42 pounds
  • Size: 16.37 x 10.7 x 1.33 in
  • Operating system: Windows 7

You know that you're getting a lot when you purchase a laptop that starts at $1900 and weighs more than 7 pounds. But you can also rest easy that you'll be able to fit all of your data on this device. Configurable up to 3.25TB of data, the HP ZBook 17 G2 is more desktop than it is laptop. For example: Dell's new M3800 only goes up to 2TB of data, is two inches smaller and costs just $200 less.

HP ZBook 17 G2 review

Although this laptop isn't the most portable on the market, if you do find yourself travelling with it, you won't lack for connection options. The addition of the Thunderbolt 2 port means you can get excellent 3K resolution when you dock the device to 3K compatible displays. Still not up to snuff with the Lenovo ThinkPad W540's built-in 3K standard, but a nice touch nonetheless.


Performance is really where this machine shines (when not bogged down by viruses - more on this later). I ran a dozen cloud-based spreadsheets while simultaneously downloading WarThunder (which looked and played superbly) and FutureMark benchmarks. I had no issue whatsoever until I went into that twelfth spreadsheet and then the FutureMark download crashed. This is on-par with the cloud-based workload I run my 2010 MacBook Pro through each day, but I would never even think of downloading that second program on the MacBook, lest all hell break loose.


Here's how the HP ZBook 17 G2 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

  • 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 18213; Sky Diver: 139343; Fire Strike: 4385
  • Cinebench CPU: 727 points; Graphics: 118 fps,
  • PCMark 8 (Home Test): 4048 points
  • PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours and 15 minutes

It should come as no surprise that the ZBook G2 crushed last year's model in these benchmarking tests. In Cinebench the ZBook 17 G2 managed a frame rate of 118 frames per second, compared with 83.24 FPS last year. Last year's model scored 616 points in the CPU test, which measures a computer's ability to manage storage, computation, image and video manipulation, and web browsing, among other tests. This year's model scored 727 points.

HP ZBook 17 G2 review

Last year's model cranked out an impressive 3123 points in 3DMark's Fire Strike test, which measures graphics rendering. This year's model improved more than 1200 points to 4385.

On PCMark's home test, which measures your laptop's ability to handle common tasks like web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat, among other tasks, this model scored 4048 points, a whopping 400 points higher than last year's model.

"Okay, but how does this stack up against its competitors from other brands?" you're likely asking.

HP ZBook 17 G2 review

Lenovo's ThinkPad W540 gets crushed in every category. It's dramatically worse than the new ZBook on Cloud Gate's graphics and physics tests, it's nowhere even close to the ZBook on SkyDiver and FireStrike, and if you're concerned about frames per second, the new ZBook delivers 48 more frames per second than the Lenovo. Keep in mind that the Lenovo is one of the best devices on the market - that's how good the new ZBook is.

When compared to Dell's Precision M6800, the ZBook gets somewhat humbled. Although the ZBook performed better on graphics rendering and physics tests, the M6800 was better at graphical complexity. In terms of frames per second, the ZBook crushes the Dell as well, which performed more in line with the Lenovo W540.