HP is attempting to take on Apple's MacBook Pro with a new line that includes the first ultrabook mobile workstation.
Much as Adobe's focus with Premiere Pro CC has been in winning over Final Cut Pro users, HP's brand new line of pro-grade laptops has one eye on attracting current Apple users – as well as satisfying current Windows-based creatives who are looking for a mobile computer that's more stylish as well as powerful.
The new models are the ZBook 14, ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 – with screen sizes as you'd expect from the name. Interesting new features include Thunderbolt ports, optional touchscreens or high-colour-gamut screens and a much-improved design.
The new ZBooks are named after HP's Z series of desktop workstations – which at the same time as this launch have been upgraded with Xeon E5-2600 V2 processors and optional Thunderbolt 2 – and bring over many of the industrial design elements of the BMW DesignWorks-designed desktops. The end result is a not-unattractive mix of matte black and brushed metal that not only a definite improvement on the previous generation of mobile workstations, the EliteBook, but HP says they're between 10 and 33 per cent smaller and lighter too.
Well designed use of curves and tailoring mean they appear smaller and thinner than they actually are, though they're noticeably larger if you put a current generation MacBook Pro or Air next to the competing models (which we did at an embargoed HP event last week in New York).
Use the slideshow controls above and right to see the new ZBook range and discover its specs.