when i review laptops on this channel, theytend to be from the super budget market. but a â€œbudgetâ€ or â€œvalueâ€ laptop scaleswith the intended markets, and sometimes you still want a kickass machine without spending4 grand on a laptop. thatâ€™s where the hp zbook 15u comes in. this is from their â€œvalue performanceâ€line of workstation ultrabooks, recently accompanied by a 14 inch model. this little machine packs a punch, but doesnâ€™tweigh much at all. letâ€™s take a look. are you tired of your streams or voice chatsounding like this?
do you want the comfort and quality of high-endheadphones without sacrificing microphone quality? antlionâ€™s modmic 5 is the perfect solution. their dual-capsule microphone attaches easilyand securely to your existing headphones and fits within any setup thanks to the modularcable system. it comes with a cable wrap to protect yourwires, includes an optional inline mute module and sounds a little something like this. check it out via the link in the descriptionbelow. as i mentioned before, the zbook 15u comesat the bottom tier of hpâ€™s zbook lineup,
below the studio and the traditional zbook15 and 17 models. my loaner unit came decked out with an i7-7600ucpu, 15.6 inch led 1080p touch screen, 16 gigs of ram, an amd firepro w4190m discretegpu, and a 512gb pcie nvme ssd. itâ€™s fast, and powerful, while still notweighing much at all and actually being on the thinner end of laptops that iâ€™ve used. there are other models available, includinga 4k screen option, too. ram can be increased up to 32gb and up to2tb of storage. the design is slick and i appreciate it. now, this is a business and professional-orientedlaptop – which means it has two inclusions
that can be controversial as of late. firstly, the nub or nib, or whatever the heckpeople call this thing. i canâ€™t stand using it, but itâ€™s an importantinclusion for some users. this brings two mouse buttons directly belowthe spacebar, followed by a second pair below the trackpad. if you go whacking away at the spacebar youmight end up clicking, but theyâ€™re pretty easy to differentiate. secondly, this laptop has a lot of freakingports. in a good way.
around the left side, we have a kensingtonlock, air vent, vga output, a usb 3.0 type a and a smart card slot. on the right, well, thereâ€™s a lot. dc power in port, sim card slot that supportsmost major carriers, the dock connector for hpâ€™s zbook thunderbolt 3 dock, gigabit ethernet,another full-size usb 3.0 port, headphone microphone combo jack, a full-sized displayportfor connecting to higher-end displays, and a usb 3.1 gen 1 type c port. no thunderbolt supported by the normal output,though – only through the dock. if you feel like something might be missing,below the displayport connection is a filler
card for the sd card reader. i was able to successfully use the logitechbrio 4k webcam via usb c with this laptop. i didnâ€™t have anything else to test withthe connection, but that worked fine with a simple amazon basics usb c cable. this laptop is loaded with connectivity. i know everyoneâ€™s tired of jabs at the macbookpro for lack of ports, but this would be a laptop iâ€™d be comfortable with taking anywhereand knowing it would do the job. and if youâ€™re going to be taking it placesto work, youâ€™re probably going to be typing a lot.
thankfully the typing experience on theirsolid, white backlit keyboard is great. thereâ€™s no tray flex and the keys feel responsiveand not mushy at all. the fastest way to my heart is a good typingexperience on a laptop. the keyboard includes full numpad while maintaininga sensible layout. iâ€™ve been watching a lot of lon seidmanâ€™slaptop reviews and seeing how many laptops wind up introducing crazy bad key layoutsalways has me concerned for my next review unit. below the keyboard is a fingerprint reader. if you set this up with windows hello, itcombines with hpâ€™s fast secure boot to let
you go from powered off to desktop in no timeat all. iâ€™ve been very impressed with this. the nvme ssd is blazing fast, and hp haveoptimized the boot process greatly. i was also impressed to see that the speakersare above the keyboard. a nice, sleek grill covers the stereo speakerswhich sound pretty damn good for a laptop. i usually donâ€™t even consider laptop speakersworth thinking about, but these are nice. also above the keyboard sit the power buttonand dedicated buttons for turning off wifi and muting the speakers. these are handy, and i can see why these wouldbe important for office environments.
that just brings us to the bang & olufsenscreen. 1920 by 1080 full hd, ips panel and touchscreen. it looks great. it gets crazy bright, and colors and sharpnessfeel totally on point. there is a ultra high definition non-touchoption available as well. but i – a resident resolution and pixel junkie- honestly feel 1080p is still a solid spot for performance and sharpness for 15.6 inchlaptop screens. plus, modern windows feels hindered withouta touch screen, even if you only use it every once in a while.
i will say the screen is quite reflective,though. at high brightness, itâ€™s not super noticeableor a problem, but itâ€™s easy to get distracted by reflections along the bezel. the screen is quite heavy, too. this means if you pick the laptop up quickenough at the right angle, it falls back. thankfully, the hinges feel pretty strong,but thatâ€™d still make me nervous. above the screen is their webcamâ€¦ [webcamclip] performance-wise, this laptop does pretty well.
itâ€™s still only a dual core with 4 threads,but itâ€™s a fast one. throw the amd firepro behind it and this providesa pretty solid balance of performance to price, i think. itâ€™s not a gaming machine – the fireprois more optimized for professional graphics and 3d work. running through some standard benchmarks,googleâ€™s now retired octane scored in at 39510, with a 166 speedometer score. these are actually higher than my main desktop! iâ€™m going to write it up to how many chromeextensions and tabs i keep open on my desktop
since itâ€™s a very superior machine, butthat was still funny to see. 3dmark didnâ€™t like the firepro gpu. the zbook 15u got a 8975 in cloudgate anda 5729 in skydiver, but there were errors about the gpu not being supported, so takethose numbers with a grain of salt. what about real-world performance? i was able to edit videos in premiere prowith no major hiccups. the great speakers make this a particularlyenjoyable experience, too. though render times are a bit slow due tothe dual cores. working with big 18+ megapixel raw photosand graphics work for the channel in photoshop
is a breeze, here, too. and it is capable of some light gaming. cs:go on low at 1080p runs just at or under60 fps and is totally playable. rocket league on low to medium settings runsat 1080p between 45 and 60 fps and is playable and still responsive-feeling. feels a lot like the console port, to be honest,haha. black ops 3 on low only held about 30 fpsand looked terrible. doom wasâ€¦ unplayable, as was the witcher3, both with single digit framerates. world of warcraft ran at about 50 to 60 fpsduring overworld wandering, but i couldnâ€™t
test pvp or raids or anything. heroes of the storm ran over 100 fps on low,and about 45 to 60 fps on medium. overwatch on low with 75% resolution scalingbounced between 45 and 60 fps. i was using a laggy wireless mouse, so itwasnâ€™t super playable, but it would be fine for most people in a pinch. iâ€™ve been quite satisfied with the hp zbook15u. itâ€™s not the best laptop ever, but for avalue performance entry, it does its job, and just overall feels â€œpolishedâ€ – whichiâ€™d expect from a fourth generation revision. there are a couple more features i wantedto bring up.
the first doesnâ€™t have any immediate relevanceto me, but i found neat regardless. hp surestart gen3 provides a fast secure bootfor windows. it protects the bios settings from corruptionor hijacking. this also allows it managers to mass recoverbios and implement specific settings across multiple units. this is integrated directly within the motherboardto prevent tampering. every power state change initiates a bioscheck to recover, if needed. sweet. secondly is a big deal for me: the battery.
the 15u has a 51whr battery, which works withthe low-power kaby lake cpu to have great battery life. hp quotes the lifespan at around 15 hours. i donâ€™t have the means to quantify thatright now, but iâ€™ve only needed to charge it twice during my loaner period, so iâ€™mimpressed. not only that, but they also have their ownquickcharge technology which charges the battery from 0 to 50% in just 30 minutes! insane. this is perfect if youâ€™re in a pinch atan airport or coffee shop and need to keep
working throughout the day. like i said, thereâ€™s lots of polish on thislaptop. if youâ€™re looking for a professional laptopfor your workflow needs, the hp zbook 15u might just be for you. hit the like button if you enjoyed this review. subscribe for more awesome tech videos, considersubscribing on patreon to help keep this content going, and iâ€™ll see you next time.