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HP ZBook 14 review

The first workstation ultrabook keeps it simple

Our Verdict

This is one focused, secure business ultrabook, but it can't keep up with the competition at its priciest.

Product features

  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Fun, fast fingerprint sensor
  • Excellent inputs
  • Discrete GPU comes standard
  • Easy access to insides

Against

  • Inconsistent, drab design
  • FHD screen, backlighting optional
  • Poor value at high end
Scores in depth
HP ZBook 14 review
HP ZBook 14 review
HP ZBook 14 review
HP ZBook 14 review
HP ZBook 14 review

When it comes to professional laptops, HP isn't playing games. The company isn't interested in fancy features or alternative designs—its simply out to make a product that delivers. Inside and out, that philosophy is clear in the HP ZBook 14, which the vendor claims is "the world's first workstation ultrabook."

Weighing just 3.57 pounds and measuring 0.83 inches thin, the ZBook 14 is quite the mobile machine. The notebook was a breeze to carry around in my shoulder bag for the past week or so, and wasn't a pain to pull out either. The fact that HP ensured that its workstation ultrabook was built with premium materials certainly helped.

The ZBook 14 comes in a gray brushed aluminum finish on its lid surrounded by black soft touch paint accents and a classy chrome HP logo front and center. Smooth magnesium coats the laptop keyboard deck in an almost gunmetal hue, surrounding a chiclet-style, backlit and spill-resistant keyboard with matte plastic keys replete with drain to offset liquid damage.

HP ZBook 14 review
It looks heavier than it is

To please the veteran business users, HP included a gray rubber pointing stick between the G, H and B keys with two dedicated buttons just below the spacebar. Most users will be served just fine by the snappy, smooth touchpad with firm physical buttons.

Above the keyboard is a 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 LED screen that users can upgrade with 10 point multi-touch capability. Look even further up, and you'll find a 720p webcam—both of which are surrounded by a black magnesium bezel wrapped by a thick bumper of rubber.

HP ZBook 14 review
The chrome logo is a nice touch

Unfortunately, the ZBook 14 doesn't keep to a consistent aesthetic: The underside is made of a black magnesium and the soft touch paint on the lid is off putting. This pro laptop is no Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga or 15-inch MacBook Pro in terms of style. (The latter is seeing more and more play in the business world.)

Easy access? On a laptop? Blasphemy!

Despite its boring plastic construction, this ultrabook's undercarriage has a terribly useful feature: easy removal for access to the laptop's innards. Coined by HP as the "Easy Access Door," this allows for easy upgrades to this ZBook 14's 240GB solid-state drive, 16GB of DDR3 RAM and more.

HP ZBook 14 review
See? Easy peasy!

Held by one simple-but-sturdy sliding lock, this should come in especially handy for the business user or IT pro when hardware issues rear their ugly heads. But there's more to be said of a feature like this: HP is focused on function more so than form, for a product that would be the most useful for business-class users.


The ZBook 14 might not turn heads at the local coffee shop or on your cross-country flight, but thanks to a solid design—take the stiff, sturdy hinges, for instance—it will prove to be a reliable workhorse. HP made sure of that with some serious specs focused on one thing: enterprise performance.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
DisplayPortYes
Product FamilyZBook 14
Processor Modeli7-4600U
ColourGraphite
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed2.10 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size35.6 cm (14")
Number of Cells3-cell
Standard Memory8 GB
Cache4 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityIT Eco Declaration, RoHS, WEEE, EU WEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelQM87 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
ConstructionRugged
Total Number of USB Ports4
Memory StandardDDR3L-1600/PC3-12800
Height21.1 mm
Width339.1 mm
Depth237 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product Series14
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product NameZBook 14 Mobile Workstation
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad, Pointstick
Product LineZBook
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberF0V04ET#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

Exceptional innovation

HP's lightest mobile workstation - the new HP ZBook 14 utilizes impressive professional 3D graphics. This superbly thin, customizable workstation is light eoungh to carry when you're on the go - and powerful and reliable enough to carry you through the workday.

Maximum Memory16 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Package Contents
  • ZBook 14 Mobile Workstation
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cord
Limited Warranty3 Year