HP's Five-by-Five NAB Blast
Jon Peddie
April 13, 2015

HP's Five-by-Five NAB Blast

HP introduced five new notebook workstations at NAB, but the one we’re all going to want is the slick-looking Omen Pro. Stealing the nifty package from HP’s recent re-entry into the PC gaming market, the Omen is good looking and one of the , thinnest workstation notebooks you’re going to find.
The Omen Pro comes with a choice Intel core i7s, and an Nvidia K1100m GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM to drive the 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080-touchscreen display. The main memory starts at 8GB and can be doubled in size, and the SSD can be 256GB or 512GB. The SSD uses HP’s Z Turbo drive, which they are very proud of. Overall the system is only 19.9 mm thick in the rear and drops down to 15.5 mm in the front, and it weighs a trifling 4.68 pounds, not 4.69, or 4.7 mind you, just 4.68. We have no idea how much the thing sells for but you can be assured HP knows whom their competitors are and will bring this in at a good price. 

The other newbie to the stable is the lower cost (we think), and lower performance Zbook 15u, and its little sister the Zbook 14. We got a Zbook 15u to play with and you can see the results in our Mt. Tiburon Testing Labs report in this issue. Suffice it to say, the Zbook 15u is a damn powerful machine and we were pleasantly surprised.

So, HP’s workstation line up now looks like this.

HP's notebook workstation lineup for the first half of 2015. Source: HP

The Zbook 15 starts at $1,699 and the Zbook 17 starts at $1919.

But wait, there’s more. Monitors, too!

HP was the leader in monitors but seemed to lose their mojo, and Dell swept by them with a fantastic range of monitors. HPs got their seemingly unending re-organization and top management shuffle behind them now (for a while at least we hope) and re-applied themselves to their core strengths. The net result is five very desirable, as in, I want one of those, monitors.

HP's spring monitor lineup comes in one color, black. No pastels in workstation land. Source: HP

All the new monitors are IPS, and the 24 and 27-inch models hit 99% of the sRGB color gamut. The monitors are full of holes and have ports for HDMI, mDP, DP, MHL, DVI, and a USB 3.0 hub with a fast-charging port. And, they are cheap to run, earning an Energy Star certification, as well as being TCO qualified, and EPEATGold registered. Although that looks like throw away PR babble, it’s not, those certs are what will keep you off the phone with HP’s (pretty decent) support line.

Resolutions available in HP's new monitor lineup:
Z27n: 2560x1440 res
Z25n: 2560x1440 res
Z24n: 1920x1200 res
Z24nq: 1920x1440 res
Z24nf: 1920x1080 res

All the monitors have HP’s new skinny bezel, something we’ve been asking for years and really appreciate. You can push the monitors together and the disruption in the image is minimal, which is great for looking at big models or, not that you’d do it, playing games. We couldn’t get prices before going to press, but we’re not worried about it; HP knows what they’re doing, these monitors will be competitive.

What do we think?

We think there should be an Omen and a Z27n sitting in front of us. These new workstations and monitors look to be world class and highly desirable and should help HP keep its market lead. The competition from Apple, Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, and a bunch of second-tier companies is ferocious in workstation land, and you don’t get to be the leader by being stupid, slow, or too expensive. You also have to be able to ship, which means build before orders come in. And that means you need to have a pretty good idea of what the market wants—and it’s not a faster horse. We think HP is on top of their game.