Step aside Microsoft, because HP just released a monstrous 'detachable PC workstation' that can compete with powerful laptops like the Surface Book 2 released yesterday... but in a form factor that looks more like a Surface Pro. Meet the HP ZBook x2: the so-called "world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation."

In HP's own words, this computer "was designed to solve the performance and mobility needs of artists, designers and digital imaging professionals who need to push Adobe Creative Cloud and other professional applications to the limit." So what makes this computer more capable than HPs other two-in one solutions: the HP Spectre x2 and HP Elite x2. In a word: performance.

While previous two-in-one iterations with these kinds of specs put most of the components—the main CPU, GPU, etc—into the base unit, the HP ZBook x2 flips the script. The bluetooth keyboard is basically just that: a bluetooth keyboard; even when the tablet is detached completely it maintains the full performance from its CPU and GPUs. Think of it like a Surface Pro dressed up to star in the next Iron Man movie.

Spec-wise, the HP ZBook x2 can be configured with 8th Gen Intel Core i7 graphics, a discreet NVIDIA Quadro M620 graphics card with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, up to 2TB of local PCIe SSD storage, and up to 32GB of RAM. All of this sits behind a 14-inch 4K multi-touch screen with optional 10- bit, one-billion color HP DreamColor display that's been calibrated 100 percent of Adobe RGB.

The computer can be used in four different modes:

  • Laptop Mode: attached to the bluetooth keyboard.

  • Detached Mode: Use the tablet with the new HP pen, while still having full access to your Bluetooth keyboard shortcuts off to the side.

  • Docked Mode: Using the ZBook Dock, the x2 can power two additional 4K displays or five total displays.

  • Tablet Mode: totally detached and disconnected from the keyboard, the x2 maintains full graphics performance.

In most modes, you'll want to use the ZBook x2 with the new battery-free HP pen, which is based on Wacom EMR technology and offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with multi-directional tilt capabilities and a dedicated eraser. And when it's docked and powering two 4K displays, the setup can look pretty ... intense:

In short, the ZBook x2 is trying to be all things to professional creatives and designers. Instead of using some combination of laptop, iPad, and Wacom tablet, you can replace all of them (ostensibly) with one ZBook x2. And since it was designed in collaboration with Adobe, you can bet Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Premiere, and other powerful CC apps will work exceptionally well.

To learn more about the HP ZBook x2, head over to HP's website. The new 'detachable workstation' will go on sale in December and starts at $1,750 for the base model with a dual core 7th generation Intel Core i7 CPU—no word yet on how much more expensive it'll be to fully spec out one of these.

Press Release

HP Unveils World’s Most Powerful and First Detachable PC Workstation

HP ZBook x2 PC Allows Designers to Unleash the Power of Adobe Creative Cloud and Other Professional Applications

LAS VEGAS, NV – October 18, 2017 — Today at Adobe® MAX, HP will showcase the world’s most powerful detachable PC1 designed to solve the performance and mobility needs of artists, designers and digital imaging professionals who need to push Adobe Creative Cloud® and other professional applications to the limit. The performance of the HP ZBook x2, the world’s first detachable workstation,15 increases productivity and allows digital creators and storytellers the freedom to work when and where inspiration strikes.

HP’s reinvention of detachable PCs began earlier this year with the introduction of the HP Spectre x2 and the HP Elite x2. Today’s introduction of the HP ZBook x2 completes HP’s trifecta with its most powerful detachable solution targeted for the creative community. With this new offering, HP is extending its PC leadership by pioneering a new era for detachable PCs that offer superb performance, elegance and efficiency.

“As the world’s most powerful and first detachable PC workstation, there is no device better suited to turn the vision of artists and designers into reality,” said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, HP Z Workstations, HP Inc. “With the HP ZBook x2, we are delivering the perfect tool to accelerate the creative process – with unprecedented power, performance and natural ease-of-use. This device will make it easier than ever for creators to do what they do best – bring inspiring new ideas to life and enrich the world around us.”

Liberating Digital Creativity

The HP ZBook x2 allows designers to effortlessly create with quad-core Intel® CoreTM processors2, twice the memory of any other detachable PC3 and NVIDIA® Quadro® Graphics that deliver 73 percent higher graphics performance compared to the Surface Pro4. A quiet, dual-fan active cooling system is designed to dissipate heat from the powerful graphics card and processor. To better meet the needs of the creative community, including Adobe users, HP also developed customizable, application-aware HP Quick Keys, to provide artists with 18 time-saving shortcuts.

"At Adobe, our goal is to accelerate creativity. Creative Cloud is the platform that enables us to deliver powerful innovation in our apps and cloud-based services supported by Adobe Sensei with artificial intelligence at the heart of every customer experience,” said Mala Sharma, vice president and general manager, Creative Cloud Product, Marketing and Community. “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.”

Today, many creative professionals use multiple devices such as a MacBook Pro plus an iPad to accomplish the same tasks that can be done on the HP ZBook x2. Knowing that ultimate mobility is important, HP created a single device that delivers the same performance capabilities from inking to docked mode.

HP’s most versatile detachable to date, the HP ZBook x2 operates in four modes: laptop, detached, docked and tablet.

  • In laptop mode, the HP ZBook x2 is a powerful mobile workstation with a keyboard leveraged from the HP ZBook Studio.

  • 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.

  • In docked mode, the HP ZBook x2 can power two additional 4K displays or five total displays.

  • In tablet mode, it maintains full graphics performance allowing users to capture ideas with powerful NVIDIA 3D graphics.

Using HP’s most natural pen with the HP ZBook x2, users can create without interruption as the pen never needs to be charged. The battery-less, HP-designed pen based on Wacom EMR technology, responds instantly to every nuance of the artist’s hand for natural motion. The HP ZBook x2 offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with multi-directional tilt capabilities and includes a dedicated eraser.

As a member of the world’s most secure and manageable mobile workstation family10, the HP ZBook x2 features HP Sure Start Gen311 for BIOS protection, TPM 2.0 for hardware-based encryption to secure credentials, secure authentication methods through the Smart Card Reader and HP’s Client Security Suite Gen312 to protect data, device and identity, including facial recognition and fingerprint reader.

HP ZBook x2 Highlights

The HP ZBook x2 embodies the intersection of mobility and performance in a fully-machined, aluminum and die-cast magnesium body starting at just 3.64 pounds5 and 14.6 mm thin when in tablet mode, and 4.78 pounds5 and 20.3 mm in laptop mode. The HP ZBook x2 has a stunning 14-inch diagonal, 4K multi-touch display with an optional 10- bit, one-billion color6 HP DreamColor display calibrated to 100 percent of Adobe RGB. The HP ZBook x2 has the world’s most advanced detachable PC display16 and includes an anti-glare touchscreen allowing users to immerse themselves while working in any lighting condition. At the desk, it can power dual 4K displays from the HP ZBook Dock with ThunderboltTM 37.

This detachable PC has up to 10 hours of battery life13 for maximum productivity and ultra-fast recharge (50 percent in just 30 minutes8). The HP ZBook x2 offers up to 4.2 GHz of Intel®Turbo Boost, 32 GB RAM over dual channels for more responsiveness under heavier workloads like complex layering in Photoshop. The model’s HP Z Turbo Drive storage is up to 6X faster than SATA SSD and up to 21X faster than traditional HDD storage. The HP ZBook x2 offers up to 2 TB9 of local PCIe storage and incorporates a full-sized SD card slot, perfect for professional photographers. Using the dock or Thunderbolt 3 ports on the HP ZBook x2, it can transfer large files from cameras, external storage, phones and other peripherals.

Designed to go anywhere and handle the toughest workloads, the HP ZBook x2 mobile workstation is designed to pass MIL-STD 810G testing14. 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.

HP ZBook x2 Pricing and Availability

HP ZBook x2 is scheduled for availability in December starting at $1,749. The datasheet is available here.