Technology

HP embraces Thunderbolt 3 as it brings premium features to mainstream systems

Enlarge / Internal ZBook 15u G5. As a business machine, it is easy to disassemble and repair.

After spending a few years improving the quality and design of its high-end systems, HP is turning to its consumer notebooks. The new range of EliteBook, Workstations, Monitors and ZBook Docks from the 800 Series brings many of the features of the 1000 Series Premium to a wider audience.

The EliteBook 800 G5 Series, available in 13-inch, 14-inch, and 15-inch versions, is HP's leading professional notebook. "Mainstream" means here that they are not as thin as the 1000 series, whereas "corporate" means they carry a lot of things that are not found on mainstream systems : for example, a smart card reader, Gigabit Ethernet and a docking station connector for HP's slim and non-Thunderbolt 3 docking station. Their keyboards include buttons for answering and hanging up calls on Skype for Business, they are available with Intel vPro management, and they use the latest generation of HP "Sure Start" firmware to protect against certain types of malware. The integrated 4G WWAN is an option, with NFC, 802.11a / b / g / n and Bluetooth 4.2.

Enlarge / HP EliteBook 850 G5.

HP

By further enhancing their utility on conference calls and Skype, consumer devices include a dual microphone. paintings. One that faces you, while another faces the rest of the world for more effective noise cancellation.

But even as traditional systems, HP offers slim casings, machined aluminum and beauty. They are not the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market, but they are still thin (0.7 inch) and light, starting at 3, 3.3 and 4 lb for screens of 13, 14 and 15 inches, respectively. Add another 0.4lbs for the contact. They all have Thunderbolt 3 in addition to the old USB.

The new EliteBooks include Windows Hello authentication with fingerprint and, optionally, infrared face recognition. All systems are available with Kaby Lake processors of the 7th generation (two cores / four threads) or 8th generation (four cores / eight threads), up to 32 GB of RAM and up to 1 TB of storage PCIe SSD. The 14-inch 840 and 15-inch 850 models both offer optional AMD Radeon RX 540 graphics cards with dedicated 4GB GDDR5 memory; these sizes also have the option of a 3840 × 2160 screen, as an alternative to the 1920 × 1080 available in all three sizes.

"Corporate" also means that these systems are designed to be usable. Their keyboards are all anti-splash: they have a tray under the keys to catch any spill, as well as drainage channels to direct liquids away from the parts of a computer that do not like liquids. They can be dismantled in the field and all their major components can be replaced by armed IT staff with a little more than a screwdriver.

Enlarge / HP ZBook 14u and 15u, back-to-back.

HP

Systems are also available with HP second-generation Sure View privacy screen. Sure View's first generation uses TN displays (that's the kind with terrible viewing angles) and a special coating so that the screen appears almost black when viewed from the side. These new laptops all offer the second-generation Sure View: they use IPS displays (that's the kind with good viewing angles), and instead of becoming dark when they're seen outside of them. angles, they are of a bright white.

When Sure View is on, the screens emit additional light. There is some impact on the battery life, but the greatest peace of mind that they can offer when using a laptop in an airplane, a train or other public place is worth it.

The EliteBook 830, 840 and 850 G5 will all be available this month, with starting prices of $ 1,049, $ 1,029 and $ 1,039 respectively (you read that: the smallest is the most expensive ). ]

HP also has some mobile workstations, the ZBook 14u G5 (14 inches) and ZBook 15u G5 (15 inches). Overall, they offer similar features and screen options to the EliteBook 800, but they can include up to 2TB of SSD storage and use a Radeon Pro WX 3100 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 dedicated for their discrete graphics. There is also an integrated SD card reader.

They will also be available this month, starting from $ 1,099 for the 14u and $ 1,109 for the 15u.

Enlarge / HP Thunderbolt Dock G2 with Audio Module

HP

The five laptops are compatible with the new Thunderbolt Dock G2 from HP. This small cube-ish block connects to computers using Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C, and it adds a pair of USB Type-A ports, two DisplayPort, er, ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a headphone jack, a USB Type- Port C, and a Thunderbolt 3 port downstream. With Thunderbolt 3, he can drive a pair of 4K monitors.

The Dock also borrows a concept from Elite Slice PC . The top of the dock can be unclipped and replaced by an audio module. This module includes a few buttons to answer or hang calls, mute and adjust the volume. It also includes a speaker and a microphone. With this, the Dock is not just a dock: it's also a conference phone.

Enlarge / HP Monitor Z27

HP

The Dock does not currently have any prices and should be on sale in may.

But wait, there's more: HP has a range of three new 4K monitors, the Z27, Z32 and Z43, with diagonals of 27, 32 and 43 inches. They all support a range of DisplayPort, HDMI and USB Type C inputs, offering up to 65 W of power compared to Type C for charging. All are 10-bit panels per pixel. They are available now for $ 559, $ 899 and $ 799, respectively.

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