As I strapped on an HTC Vive headset, I immersed myself in a virtual render of the Bank of England, an architectural masterpiece demolished in the 20th century. I realized that virtual reality is bigger than gaming, and it seems that HP agrees.
The company just launched its latest line of ZBook workstations, including the VR-capable ZBook 17 G4 that my powered my immersive experience. Available now, starting at $1,519 (with VR-ready configs starting at $3,438), this ZBook is a 17-inch tank of a workstation that can be customized to support VR content running at 90 frames per second.
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While virtually teleporting around this bank render, which ran in the Enscape 3D program, I thought about VR as a tool for the modern executive. It's a lot easier to understand a new project you're signing off on from this point of view, especially as one controller button allowed me to see how things looked when more or less clouds changed interior lighting.
Depending on your needs, you can configure the ZBook 17 G4 with a range of CPUs (from 7th Gen Core i3 up to Xeon), as well as discrete Nvidia Quadro (with P4000 and P5000 options for VR) and AMD Radeon Pro graphics. It also sports dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and includes security standards such as a TPM chip and a Smart Card Reader, with the option for a fingerprint reader.
HP also announced the 15-inch ZBook 15 G4, which is available now, with pricing starting at $1,419. This model can't support VR, but it does feature the same range of Intel's Xeon and 7th Gen Core CPUs. It's for the user who runs demanding software from the likes of Adobe and Autodesk, but doesn't require virtual realities.
Workstation users who demand more portability will likely have their eye on the new 4.6-pound, 18-millimeter-thin ZBook Studio G4, which also features 7th Gen Kaby Lake CPUs. We look forward to testing out the configuration with a 92-watthour battery, as HP's claiming it will offer 16.5 hours of life on a single charge, which is only available in the single hard drive configurations. It's available now with pricing starting at $1,399.
HP's also bringing back the 14-inch ZBook 14u G4, its lightest workstation, for this 4th generation refresh. Starting at just 3.61 pounds, this notebook packs 7th Gen CPUs, AMD FirePro 3D graphics, up to 32GB of memory and up to 2TB of storage. Unlike the others, pricing and availability for the 14u won't be revealed until this summer.