HP targets creative pros with powerful 2-in-1 mobile workstation

HP shows off workstation designed for the Adobe Creative Cloud

HP says it will start shipping the ZBook x2 in December. At first glance, the ZBook x2 looks like a suped-up tablet that can be used as a laptop with an attachable keyboard. HP bills the device as the "world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation". New systems come with a 20% discount for one-year subscriptions to Creative Cloud, and the company will also offer customized configurations that include a Creative Cloud subscription in the price and are tuned for different categories of user: photographers, digital artists, video editors, or pro digital artists and photographers.

"Adobe is thrilled with our collaboration with HP, which we know will further fuel creativity and give Creative Cloud members more power and freedom to create wherever inspiration strikes", Mala Sharma, vice president and general manager of Creative Cloud product, marketing and community at Adobe, said in the release.

In detached mode, it allows users to create on the tablet with HP's most accurate and expressive pen, while still having full access to all of their shortcut keys with the Bluetooth®-enabled keyboard off to the side.

There's an SD card slot for loading in photos from a digital camera, 720p webcams front and back of the tablet section and the keyboard also features 18 customizable shortcuts that change depending on which application is running. The battery-less, HP-designed pen based on Wacom EMR technology, responds instantly to every nuance of the artist's hand for natural motion. Up to up to 4.2 GHz of turbo boost processing is available from the choice of i7/i5 Intel Core brains, supported by up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 2 TB of SSD storage. HP says that the Wacom EMR pen responds instantly with nearly zero latency and can detect 4,096 levels of pressure.

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While Microsoft has added a 15-inch Surface Book 2 to the existing 13.5-inch form factor, the ZBook x2 splits the difference with a 14-inch 3,840x2,160 (4K) touchscreen display that's slightly higher resolution than either new Surface.

Numerous security features seen in the recent updated x360 range are present including HP Sure Start Gen 3, TPM 2.0, a smart card reader and a fingerprint reader.

The HP ZBook x2 claims to offer up to 10 hours of battery life and supports fast charging. On the rear of its relatively thick chassis, the ZBook x2 can be propped up with an included kickstand. And yes, there's Thunderbolt 3 ports via USB C. Finally, the ZBook x2 is wrapped in a machined aluminum and die-cast magnesium body, and has been "designed to pass MIL-STD 810G testing". The HP ZBook x2 also undergoes dozens of tests for certification and optimized performance with the industry's leading software providers like Adobe and Autodesk.

Speaking of Adobe, HP clearly sees the Creative Cloud crowd as the key demographic for the ZBook x2.

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