HP launches Surface rival at Adobe Max 2017

HP has edged further into the creative space with the launch of the HP ZBook x2, a detachable PC that serves as a direct rival to Microsoft's Surface range –
in particular, the newly released Surface Book 2 model.

Announced here at Adobe Max 2017 (alongside a slew of Creative Cloud innovations) the ZBook x2 is billed as the “world’s first detachable workstation”, and operates in four modes:

  • Tablet
    You can sketch on the go using the device's Wacom EMR pen and HP Quick keys.
  • Detached
    A bluetooth keyboard means you can keep working when the device is detached.
  • Docked
    You can view and edit your work on dual 4K displays using the HP ZBook Dock with Thunderbolt 3.
  • Laptop
    The HP Zbook x2 comes with an integrated 160-degree stand and full-sized keyboard.

The idea, says HP, was to build a tablet that would provide the creativity of a tablet and stylus – and the power of a computer. Rather than using one device for sketching and then another for heavier creative work (3D modelling, or big-file work in Photoshop, for example), designers and artists can streamline their workflow using solely the ZBook x2.

HP ZBook x2: screen

First, let’s talk about the display. There are two detachable screen options – both 14-inch diagonal, 4K multitouch IPS displays; with an optional 10-bit, one billion-colour, 100% Adobe RGB DreamColor display. 

HP calls it “the world’s most advanced detachable PC display” – and it certainly looks impressive here at Max. 

Anti-glare touchscreen technology promises to let creatives work in any lighting conditions, while Wacom technology drives the stylus, which delivers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support and "almost zero latency”. 

The pen sports six buttons with three functions each, and you'll never need to charge it because it doesn't have a battery.

Six times faster

The HP ZBook x2 runs on Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10. It comes with either seventh or eighth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs,  and up to 4.2 GHz of Intel Turbo boost, plus 32GB RAM over dual channels – that’s twice the memory capacity of any other HP detachable PC.

According to HP, the Turbo Drive storage is up to six times faster than SATA SSD, and up to 21 times faster than traditional HDD storage. Battery life is also claimed to be up to 10 hours, with ultra-fast recharging capabilities (50 per cent in 30 minutes).

Unsurprisingly, it isn’t the sleekest or the smallest tablet you'll see, sitting at 0.6 inches/15mm thick, and weighs in at 3.6lb/1.7kg. 

Prices for the HP ZBook x2 start at $1,749, with a release date scheduled for December.

Related articles:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Julia Sagar
Editor-in-chief retail

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.