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HP ZBook Create: MacBook Pro rival could feature Intel’s Tiger Lake

The newly announced HP ZBook Create is – according to HP – the world’s smallest 15-inch notebook for creation and gaming. That’s a bold claim to make with so many gaming and creative laptops on the market, but we can’t find any laptop to disprove such a statement. 

Measuring in at just 17.5mm thin and with a starting weight at just 1.9kg, this is an impressively compact laptop. It’s not lacking for power either, capable of housing an RTX 2080 Super graphics card and up to Intel Core i9 and Intel Xeon processor options. And if that’s not impressive enough, a ZBook Studio alternative houses the all-powerful Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU. 

HP also confirmed the ZBook Create will feature “Intel Core and Intel Xeon next gen processors that are coming soon”. While both HP and Intel both refused to comment whether this will be Tiger Lake, we’re convinced it will be.

As this is very much a laptop pitched towards professional creators, HP has also made sure it’s got an incredibly accurate and high-resolution display. The 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel apparently sees a 100% DCI-P3 colour coverage as well as a high 600 nits brightness. 

Judging from the spec sheet alone, the HP ZBook Create looks like a very impressive laptop. HP is so confident that it’s pitching it against Apple’s MacBook Pro 16, but we’ll be reserving judgement until pricing is confirmed and we’re able to try the upcoming laptop for ourselves. 

Related: Best Laptop 2020

HP ZBook Create release date – When will it launch?

 The HP ZBook Create is confirmed to launch in August 2020. An exact release date will likely be revealed closer to the launch window. 

The more powerful HP ZBook Studio laptop will also launch during August 2020. 

HP ZBook Create price – How much will it cost?

There is no confirmed pricing for the HP ZBook Create so far, with HP stating “pricing will be shared closer to availability” in its press release. 

You can expect this laptop to be expensive though, especially with the top-spec Nvidia RTX 2080 Super graphics card. HP has not been subtle in comparing the ZBook Create to the MacBook Pro 16, which has a starting price of £2399. 

Related: MacBook Pro 16 review

HP ZBook Create

HP ZBook Create specs – How powerful is it?

HP hasn’t released the entire spec sheet for the ZBook Create, with the likes of RAM and SSD capacity noticeably missing. However, we do know it will utilise the RTX 2080 Super graphics card, which is currently the most powerful consumer laptop GPU available. 

HP is also offering an even more powerful model called the HP ZBook Studio, which flaunts Nvidia’s Quadro RTX 5000 for prosumers needing as much GPU power as possible such as 3D designers, engineers and game designers. 

It was also confirmed the ZBook Create will feature “Intel Core and Intel Xeon next gen processors that are coming soon”. Both HP and Intel refused to confirm that this will be the long-anticipated Tiger Lake processors, but we’ve got a strong hunch it will be.

Regardless, the HP ZBook Create has admirable specs and should be more than powerful enough for most video editors and photographers in a professional capacity. You can see the confirmed specs below:

Display 15.6-inch 4K OLED
Graphics  Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
Processor Up to “next-gen” Intel Core i9 and Intel Xeon
Dimensions 353 x 235 x 17.5 mm
Weight From 1.9kg

Related: Intel Tiger Lake

HP ZBook Create performance – Can it beat the MacBook Pro?

HP frequently compared the HP ZBook Create to the MacBook Pro 16 during its video presentation. It’s pretty clear that HP is pitching this laptop to the professional creative market which Apple has previously dominated. 

HP hasn’t been coy with its comparisons either, suggesting the ZBook Studio is 7x faster at rendering than the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Since HP did its own benchmarks, we’d be a little sceptical of that result, although it’s well known the Quadro RTX 5000 is a very powerful GPU.

One thing is for sure; the HP ZBook Create won’t offer such a dramatic advantage given its less powerful components. That said, with a GeForce graphics card, the ZBook Create will be able to double up as a gaming laptop. 

Related: Best Gaming Laptop 2020

HP ZBook Create

HP ZBook Create display – 4K OLED stunner 

When it comes to creative laptops, the screen quality is arguably just as important as the performance. HP has made sure the ZBook Create has a super-accurate colour accuracy with a claimed 100% DCI-P3 gamut coverage, which is frankly incredible if true. 

This an OLED display panel too, which means the ZBook Create’s screen should offer deep dark blacks and a high contrast ratio. The 4K resolution will also ensure a sharp and clear picture too.

HP also claims the ZBook Create’s screen can go as bright as 600 nits, which is twice the brightness of your average laptop. While brightness is certainly one of the less important display figures, it should at least mean this laptop will be usable in bright conditions without the worry of glare.

HP’s renowned SureView privacy feature also makes an appearance here, which distorts the view from those peering at the screen from an angle. This is useful to prevent people from snooping at your screen without permission, which is important for professional creatives. 

Related: Best HP Laptop 2020

HP ZBook Create design – Compact powerhouse 

The most impressive design factor of the ZBook is its size – HP claims it’s the smallest 15-inch notebook for creation and gaming. While we can’t confirm whether that’s true given the multitude of GPU-equipped laptops on the market, it is undoubtedly smaller and lighter than most portable with this kind of power. 

Weighing in at 1.9kg, the HP ZBook narrowly undercuts the MacBook Pro 16 and Razer Blade 15. It’s pretty slender at 17.5mm thin too, so it should be easy enough to stow into a bag. 

HP has also squeezed down the bezel, so it’s almost not visible, resulting in an 87% screen-to-body ratio which looks seriously slick judging from press shots. It does look very similar to the MacBook though, with HP vying to tempt Apple fans over to Windows. 

Speaking of similarities to Apple’s laptops, HP has even confirmed it’s replicating the Mac keyboard layout to allow for a seamless switch from a MacBook to the ZBook. This is optional though, so you’ll be able to retain the traditional Windows setup if you prefer. 

Being a creative-focused laptop, it’s no surprise the ZBook Create boasts a wealth of ports including 2x Thunderbolt-supporting USB-C, 2x USB-3, HDMI and a headphone jack. 

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