HP made a ridiculously powerful detachable tablet for artists

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If you’re a graphic artist and find yourself needing a ton of power on the go, HP may have the answer. It’s unveiling a new detachable tablet today called the ZBook x2 that has the specs of a workstation PC: a quad-core i7 processor (from Intel’s Kaby Lake-R line), an Nvidia Quadro M620 graphics card, and up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.

That’s all inside of a seriously chunky tablet and detachable keyboard cover. The tablet has a matte 14-inch touchscreen that can be configured up to 4K resolution with 10-bit color. It supports a passive pen — made by HP but with Wacom tech — that includes 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and an eraser on the back.

The ZBook x2 also has a kickstand, a smart card reader, an SD card reader, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt support, allowing it to power two 4K monitors. There’s a 720p webcam on the tablet, and the keyboard includes backlighting. It weighs 4.78 pounds.

Pricing starts at $1,749, but for the top specs listed above, expect to pay much, much more when the machine goes on sale this December. The ZBook x2 is an altogether ridiculous tablet in both form and function that’s going to be way outside the realm of what most people need or are willing to pay for. But there’s a dedicated market for workstation desktops and portables, and HP is hoping that the flexibility provided by the x2 will entice even more of those high-paying customers.

Correction October 18th, 9AM ET: The ZBook x2’s GPU is built into the tablet itself, not the keyboard, as HP initially indicated to us.


the display part looks clunky like something from 2007

I was thinking more like 1997. I know, we didn’t have anything like that back then but the styling cues just yell "nineties Sony".

It looks like something the marines in aliens might carry

I was thinking the same thing. I really want one.

Somehow they neglected to think that artists tend to like devices that actually look good.

Looks more like this was designed for fans of early 90’s sci-fi.

Artists really don’t tend to care how their gear looks as long as it gets the job done. Designers on the other hand tend to like pretty things.

As someone who was an artist in residence for a year as a painter, has had two solo photography exhibits, and works as a graphic designer, I’m really skeptical of your claim. But I suppose I’ll be able to see for myself when artists start buying these machines and hauling them around. I’m sure they’ll be everywhere.

Perhaps I should clarify further. I’m talking about artists and 3D graphic artists who work on things like games and film. You said yourself that you work with graphic designers so you and the people you work with are evidently more in that camp.

That is an important distinction. 3D rendering requires a lot of horsepower, so as far as laptops go, the HP might be useful for those fields.

Anybody into that sort of thing is going be using a desktop and a graphics pad

Yeah maybe 3D artists. Most every other artist trends toward the Macbook side of things or more recently something like the Surface Pro.

Even if you need power on the go I still don’t see this doing well.

I think when they meant "artists" they were actually referring to CAD designers, architects, engineers, that sort of professionals who actually use Quadro (or Xeon) specs. I think this would appeal to them

Looking at their website I was wrong, this is indeed for artists:

This is not for artist, this is for architects, engineers, industries, mines, anything that demands 3D modelling in high detail

YEP, I was SO wrong

Everything about this device is pretty much a yes, but then you read the devices is 16:9 and that’s a pretty big con. Also, most artists I have spoken to care more about function and performance(specially of the pen, which looks to be Wacom EMR that looks.

I don’t think I’ve ever simultaneously been this attracted to, and repulsed by, a product that isn’t made by Sony.

Also ridiculously ugly.

It looks like a prop from Starship Troopers.

Sent from my iPhone

I kinda like it

Rule of thumb for creating a product for people who work on aesthetics for a living: try not to make it look embarrassingly hideous.

I wonder how their market research of these type of products look. Most artists/designers/creatives I know who have to juggle big photoshop and CAD files usually work on workstations on a desk somewhere. It is not that artists constantly travel around while doing art stuff.

HP made a ridiculously powerful looking detachable tablet for artists

Passive pen or active pen?

My guess is that this is actually an active pen given that this is for artist’s and given that Wacom developed it.

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