HP ZBook Studio G7 (2021) Review

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In this article, I give you my HP ZBook Studio G7 (2021) review with specs included. It’s a 15-inch mobile workstation that is thin, light, and attractive which you don’t get to say a whole lot about mobile workstations typically.

There’s also a Creator model in addition to the Studio model and the difference is the Creator has GeForce graphics from Nvidia this one has Nvidia Quadro graphics otherwise they’re pretty much the same. It’s just to keep it kind of cute with the naming conventions that actually do make sense.

Next, there’s also a ZBook Fury which is thicker, heavier, and more expandable. Lastly, the lightest one is the Firefly. Pretty cool set of names there that actually kind of mean something.

This stylish little ZBook with the deco style Z on the cover is really very impressive in terms of the power that you get for the weight. It weighs 3.84 pounds (which is 1.74 kilograms). It is 17.5 millimeters thick so it’s also considerably smaller than the last generation.

HP ZBook Studio G7 (2021) is 22% smaller than the previous G6 model. It’s also considerably lighter and the bezels have gotten smaller too. There’s still some bezel on the bottom and I would expect in the future we might see 16 by 10 aspect ratio displays but this is 16 by 9, your typical conventional display aspect ratio.

There are four different display options available. There’s the Dream Color latest generation and the name really is true. It’s a beautiful wide gamut IPS technology display which unfortunately I don’t have this time. But, it’s always among my favorites for creator-oriented displays for those who need full Adobe RGB coverage.

There’s also a 4K OLED touch option which is HDR 500. The Dream Color is 400 nits the OLED is 500 nits. Then there is a straight Full HD one-watt panel, low power consumption 400 nits.

And then there’s the HP privacy screen option which is a thousand nits. It’s not like a thousand nits in your face, it’s there to create the privacy effect and I have that one. That one’s Full HD as well. Other than the OLED display, these are matte non-touch panels on board.

The chassis on this is CNC aluminum and it’s a natural satin finish with no paint. So, no paint to scratch off, that’s the good part. It’s fairly durable. It’s nice and rigidly built and the contrasting silvery sides that it has kind of reminds me a little bit of that Spectre look.

It’s a nice look and for a mobile workstation, this looks a lot more stylish than most of them. So, those who look at a Razor Blade Studio or an Advanced model and think that’s pretty the rest of them aren’t well, here at least there’s a little competition in the looks department. Different aesthetics certainly from a Razor but yeah.

Hp sees himself going after the 16-inch MacBook pro with this. And honestly, I don’t see that so much. Because the GPUs in here are pretty darn powerful.

So kind of a different class machine and obviously for those who want windows. But there’s also an ubuntu option for those who prefer Linux or freedos if you just don’t want to spend money for windows.

Inside we have intel 10th generation 45 watt h series CPU. So despite the fact it’s relatively thin and light we’re not looking at ultrabook CPUs here which we sometimes see on the more posh and thin mobile workstation line.

So you can get it with a Core i5 a core i7 with v pro options. Even a core i9 8 core versus the six-core i7. And there’s an intel Xeon option too. And you might think that’s already sounding a little toasty.

And then the GPU options are in the studio line Nvidia Quadro. And we have the RTX 3000 max q. You can also get the RTX 4000 max q or the RTX 5000 max q or even lower-end Quadro t 1000 2000 options.

So with that even though it’s max q 60 watt the 3000 which is about equivalent to an RTX 2060 in the GeForce line which you’d see in the creator. There’s still enough possibility for making heat here. But guess what hp is using a vapor chamber which is pretty cool to see.

So more effective cooling. So indeed the core temperatures GPU temperatures under heavy load on this. Of course, it’s intel you can get it into the 90s if you’re pushing it hard. But overall it the temperatures on this are pretty good.

And normal heavy loads say you’re doing something like bren blender or doing something like creo something like that you’ll see CPU temperatures typically more in the 80s. And GPU temperatures are well managed.

So that’s pretty good stuff also. What about surface temperatures though. Well and fan noise. Surface temperatures if you’re pushing it hard get pretty darn hot. So you’re not going to want to put this on your lap.

And of course any really performant laptop you wouldn’t want to. Because it’s going to get uncomfortable. The heat up top at least is towards the display above the keyboard area. Not blowing on the display but it’s a bit away from your hands on the trackpad.

So that part is good. The fans under light use you really won’t hear them. If you’re pushing it hard you will hear them. They’re not obnoxious squeechy whiny or anything like that but yeah. It needs those fans and it will use them.

In terms of internals and expandability. This is where you’re giving up something versus the fury which is the thicker more expandable version.

Ram is soldered on board ddr4 266 megahertz you can get it with a maximum of 32 gigs of dual channel which is what we have. So if you need more than that you’re looking at something bigger if you want to go with hp.

We have one m.2 SSD slot nvme pci 3 given the generation of CPU and chipset that makes sense. So no dual ssds which is kind of too bad. But that vapor chamber takes up a lot of space and so does the battery which is 83 watt-hour.

Which is a pretty decent-sized battery which means you can actually use this away from an outlet. Which isn’t always the case with mobile workstations.

In fact, since we have Nvidia switchable graphics going on here if it’s using intel UHD graphics say you’re doing light stuff you’re doing your slack or your office or whatever those sorts of things streaming video.

And this thing really reached seven and a half hours and 200 nits of brightness. That’s pretty darn good. Obviously, if you set the brightness lower if you can tolerate that you can get longer run times.

And that’s on the balanced power profile. On our benchmarks, we run it on the high-performance windows power profile. And the benchmarks are where we would expect for our core i7 6 core CPU and that Quadro RTX 3000.

Now for those who like GeForce better and hp actually does bill it is something you can gain with because the cooling is up to snuff with that vapor chamber. Again there are the creator models instead. And that has your GeForce cards inside.

The keyboard on this is pretty comfortable and pretty tactile. Not really deep travel. Again you’re looking at something that is not very thick. But the feel of the keys the key return all that sort of thing I really enjoy typing on it.

As your usual white back lighting. The trackpad on this is fine but it the surface is on the slippery side. I personally prefer a little bit more traction so my finger isn’t skating back and forth. But other than that and that’s a bit of personal preference there it works just fine.

In terms of connectivity, you’ve got intel wi-fi six with Bluetooth five. That’s the ax-201 card. There is no 4g or 5g option for this one. Again look to other models from hp or other vendors if you’re looking for that and you really need to have that.

Connectivity is good as well too. We have two thunderbolt 3 ports on board. We have mini display port. If you go to the creator you’ll get an HDMI port which is 1.4 when connected to integrated graphics or 2.0 and the d GPU is activated.

Headphone jack full-size sd card slot because again this is geared towards those who are creating content that sort of thing. And we have a USB 3.1 port on board as well.

So pretty good connectivity especially given again the size and the performance packed inside the machine. The speakers on this are surprisingly good. I guess because they figure you might be doing a little bit of gaming on this.

Especially if you get the creator edition instead. We’ve got quad stereo speakers banging alts and brandon and they get pretty darn loud and they have some reasonable bass on them.

So you’ve got two above the keyboard and you’ve got two that are down-firing as well. So nice job there. For biometrics, you have an optional fingerprint scanner and an optional windows hello ir camera.

There’s a webcam on board a to 720p. There is no privacy shutter on that. For our particular privacy screen model there is a dedicated button on the fn road to turn the privacy feature on and off.

It’s i don’t recommend this unless you really really need that privacy screen though because the viewing angles are reduced even when privacy mode is not engaged. Other than that the color gamut’s fine. The contrast is quite good.

Some of the other metrics are a little bit unusual on this but overall for a privacy screen it’s pretty good. Creators will probably go for that dream color display though that will set you back 400 bucks.

But then there’s the OLED glossy touch option if that floats your boat. All right here’s the bottom cover obviously. And large intake air ventilation here exhausts out the sides.

So to take this off seven torx t5 screws and then bob’s your uncle comes right off. You might have to pry just a little bit with a guitar pick but nothing too hard.

And captive screws so you won’t lose them afterwards. There’s the underside. And here are internals. Which for again a mobile workstation a little disappointing that the ram is soldered on board. And we have one m.2 SSD under this.

Rather attractive copper heatsink right here. Also very useful for well spreading heat. Battery right here 83 watt-hours. Pretty large drivers with interesting orange color there. They’re pretty big so no wonder they sound pretty good.

And here are our fans and this is the vapor chamber cooler which is taking up a heck of a lot of space obviously. Reducing the room for things like well ram slots so I can see why they did what they did there at hp. The wi-fi card is soldered on.

Another little ding there in mobile workstation life where you count on sometimes upgrading and replacing parts. But that’s how they got it this thin the small dislight once again.

So other competitors would be the ThinkPad p1 from Lenovo which is also a very good laptop. Very different aesthetic and well some people are hp people some are think pad people. There’s something to be said for each.

The pricing is fairly similar ballpark between the two of those. There’s a dell precision 55 50. That one doesn’t come with this powerful GPU options.

It stops at the Quadro t1 000 2000. So for those who actually need that graphics off there’s that. Again there’s a 16-inch MacBook pro and the razer blade 15 the advanced and the studio edition.

The studio edition is very expensive but it also is the Quadro RTX 5000 the highest end of GPU. So that’s part of the reason why it costs so much. So I think there’s only a small slice of people that can afford that and really need that much horsepower.

So that’s the hp zbook studio g7 and you can tell that I’m pretty impressed with this as the mobile workstation goes. It’s not depressing to look at it’s not heavy yet it’s very performant and it has vapor chamber cooling on board.

As to which way you go with this studio if you need Quadro graphics particularly architectural applications that sort of stuff. And but for those who prefer GeForce because you’re doing more blender stuff or you want to game with it you’ve got both options available which is pretty cool.

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HP ZBook Studio G7 (2021)
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