HP ZBook Firefly G8 14″ Review

this is the hp z book firefly 14 inch g8 there is also a 15 inch if that’s your thing so the generation 8 version has pretty much the same casing as last generation but we have intel tiger-like u-series cpus inside with optional v pro as well and then video cuadro t500 graphics now that’s not going to turn you into a blender jockey overnight it’s more for 2d work that sort of thing but this is still classified as a mobile workstation despite the ultrabook look and feel to it which is a very premium one and i’m still a sucker for that deco c they use we’re going to look at it now so of course hp has a whole line of z book mobile workstations we reviewed quite a few of those so if you want more powerful ones there’s the zebra fury the z book power all that sort of thing this is the ultrabooky kind of model that’s more for your engineering managers who need to carry it around and look at designs approve them or maybe even sales folks who are showing off those designs or just for those of you who need more than a basic ultrabook offers here a little bit more graphics more ram than you’d normally be able to get in some really nice displays like the dream color display which is the top offering and was that’s what we have if you know hp and you know dream color that’s a very nice wide gamut matte ips display that is great for content creators professional content creators now it’s not a cheap machine because again this is a business laptop probably mostly bought by it folks in bulk it starts around 1535 but ours is more like 2600 change when you get it configured with core i7 with v pro on board the dream color display and 32 gigs of ram and the nvidia t500 so not an easy spend but again it’s a business product so you might want to use a new laptop to learn some new skills maybe even skills that can pay for your next new laptop and that’s where our sponsor data camp comes in they help you learn data science and data science is hot right now is a good job that you can get 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not going to be something with an eight core cpu for example in terms of mobile workstations for those really who are doing a lot of the design and hard work here but still there’s a place for this and even if you’re not in primarily the cad business if you’re doing a lot of photoshop a little bit of premiere the kind of person who drives your typical ultrabook to the brink this is still worth a look it handles demanding workloads fairly well for an ultrabook that is the cpu performance doesn’t drop too much over time usually with thermal constraints that becomes an issue and the nvidia quadro t500 card has four gigs of g ddr6 vram on board it’s sort of equivalent to the consumer space to the nvidia mx450 but it’s clocked higher and of course it has the quadro certification and drivers compatibility for folks who are doing creative kind of tasks on board the ram story is also interesting here most ultrabooks top out at 16 gigs of ram sometimes 32 right so this one goes 32 gigs at max if you get it with the nvidia graphics and up to 64 gigs max if you go with just intel iris xe integrated graphics why is that because the gpu the dedicated gpu takes some space on the motherboard there’s no more room for ram slots so they solder it on board so you could buy it with 16 or 32 gigs soldered if you get the one with the nvidia graphics if you go for the iris xc there are actually two ram slots which is why 64 gigs would be the maximum and it’s ddr4 3200 megahertz ram so better than the average ultrabook for storage it’s pretty much typical one m.2 ssd slot is 2280 full height normal stuff so you can get it from anywhere from a 256 gig ssd all the way up to 2 terabytes we have a 512 gig ssd in ours because this is intel 11 generation tiger lake and you can get it with the core i5 or core i7 that’s up to you it has thunderball 4. two ports under both four and that’s also usb c 4.0 so good that and you have two usb a ports you have hdmi 2.0 and a headphone jack you have wi-fi on board of course wi-fi six is an intel ax201 car with bluetooth 5.2 and optional wn so you can get it with 4g or 5g in terms of security and biometrics and all that sort of thing fingerprint scanner is optional the webcam is a 720p with a privacy shutter and a smart card reader is only 22 away from being yours for those who work in industries where those are still a thing and because it’s a business laptop from hp you have their self-healing bios and the usual security metrics including a tpm 2.0 which is becoming a more relevant than ever with windows 11 coming out and almost sort of requiring that you have tpm 2.0 so in terms of heat noise this is pretty much more like an ultrabook than a mobile workstation which means it doesn’t get very loud even if you’re pushing it pretty aggressively the fans were maybe a little on the high pitch side but solid but i found that really you just don’t hear them that often or that loud so that’s a good thing because this is a thin metal clad ultrabook and again it’s 2.98 pounds which is 1.35 kilos we’re talking a a wayfish but sturdily built laptop here the surface temperatures if you’re pushing very hard it can get hot in normal use they do not but yeah quite toasty if you do intend to push it hard doing things like heavy duty 2d cad work or premiere or something like that i don’t mean zoom calls so much back to the display a little bit boy are there several display options here but they’re all full hd resolution this is a 16 by 9 aspect ratio the base model is only 250 nits and 45 of ntsc which means it’s not even hitting full srgb so you’re probably not going to be excited by that one or want that one but that’s the only one that’s also available as a touch screen if you want it the rest are all matte non-touch displays then there’s a 400 nit display option with full srgb coverage that’s pretty darn nice there’s a thousand knit privacy screen this is not a normal thousand that screen is done for the privacy feature if you need that and then our to die for 500 dream color display with nearly full p3 coverage 98 percent and really good adobe coverage and some of the best calibration of the box i’ve seen i mean look at that graph those bars are just barely there at all it’s a really nice looking display and you’re going to enjoy it when you’re just consuming content as well especially because it’s matte super bright ours actually exceeds that 500 net claim and nice and again if you are doing things that require color accuracy it’s it’s there for you it’ll do the job again typical of higher end business laptops and ultrabooks the keyboard on this is very good because typically business folks spend a lot of time typing right the key spring in return it just feels so good on this so tactile it’s not a very deep travel keyboard certainly it’s a pretty thin laptop but man it felt good i was typing really well just like that it’s white backlit like most all business laptops are trackpad is pretty decent size roomy enough it behaves well and of course there’s the eraser stick kind of track point pointer we have on board so those of you who are jumping ship from a thinkpad can feel comfy with that and that has dedicated clicker buttons while the trackpad is the buttonless variety speakers on this are banging olfson branded which is true of many hp laptops business and consumer they’re stereo they’re up firing they’re okay they’re pretty good volume i mean not a lot of bass but this is a 14 inch thin laptop so not much of a way to get a lot of bass there but for a business laptop they sound pretty decent and since it’s a business laptop and since hp was well aware of the pandemic there’s a new feature you’ll see a little wiping hand on the taskbar and you can hit that and it’ll disable the trackpad and the keyboard for with the timer so you can wipe it all down and keep it clean and also they have the little thing that reminds you to get up and move around every so often she thinks hp that’s all sounding pretty good other than the fact that it is pretty darn expensive right well how about battery life it’s a 53 watt hour battery which is pretty respectable and competitive with things like the dell xps 13 and we have a 65 watt fast charger and you’re going to need the 65 watts also if you are driving that nvidia t500 card just to make sure it doesn’t discharge while you’re driving the laptop hard well battery life is pretty good that’s one of the things tiger lake brings to the table here and we actually averaged about 11 hours on a charge and that’s with a mix of productivity work doing some streaming video a little bit of zoom with brightness set to 200 nits obviously if you dropped it 250 nits you might even hit 12 hours or if you’re doing less zoom calls or something like that but that’s pretty darn good taking off the bottom cover is really easy just unscrew the visible phillips head screws and then something like a suction cup will make the job easier to pop that off here’s our ventilation obviously right there underside of the metal cover those are captive screws that’s why they are not falling out right now and pretty beefy subframe there to keep it rigid this is a very sturdy feeling little laptop to be honest battery right there our m.2 ssd is under this cover with a little pull tab right here it’s a western digital 512 gig in ours that benchmark pretty well here we have another cover and this would be i would say the soldered ram so not much you can do about that we have the 32 gig model and the wi-fi card is soldered on board here and we’re talking small spaces huh heap sync for the cpu and gpu combo and a single fan solution it’s really surprising how cool it runs given the fact that we have just a single fan here and a tight design hp did something right and the speaker modules are here this is the bottom side because they do fire upward so that’s the hp zbook firefly 14 gen 8 and it’s a good enough looking laptop in that z tradition of angularity with the deco logo on board but it’s sturdily built i like the dream color display a lot who wouldn’t right and the keyboard on this is excellent two thunderbolt four ports good enough and the more ram than usual also quite nice the drawbacks are of course that it is expensive and despite the fact that it’s called a mobile workstation let’s face it it’s really an ultrabook with low end dedicated graphics

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HP ZBook Firefly G8 14"