My Full HP zBook x2 Review (Video)

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by Happehlemons, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. incredulous

    incredulous Pen Pal - Newbie

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    That must've been really frustrating, were you using a colorimeter, or some other method? (I've never done a colour calibration, but looked through the settings in Windows, which seem very limited).

    I'm disappointed to hear the Wacom pens don't work, even with the Wacom MSP drivers installed, you have to assume it's deliberate, but what a shame the two companies couldn't have worked something out. It'd be so nice to choose the pen from the Wacom range that best suits your workflow.

    I can't abide by the colour on this display, so I guess I'm just going to have to send it back, get the DreamColour option & take the hit on battery life!
     
  2. Happehlemons

    Happehlemons Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Here's the VESA Mount pictures. Keep in mind that there's actually an HP zBook case that has VESA mounting brackets on it, but I dont really like the bulkyness of it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  3. incredulous

    incredulous Pen Pal - Newbie

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    How odd, I immediately felt that the colours looked washed-out on my X2 with non-Dreamcolour, although that was mainly an observation based on application borders and menus, like OneNote where the colours and greys just looked weak in comparison to both my Dell Ultrasharp monitor and my current Sony Vaio Flip 15A.

    Actual images make the difference slightly less obvious, but it is less comfortable on the eyes, that's for sure.

    I downloaded a proper calibration image from here: www.colourmanagement.net/ and tried to photograph a side-by-side comparison, which was tough, but the results are here if it helps anyone: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jk2at319v3t9hxp/AACayHRJm_70c3Olvq6GwapCa?dl=0
    Ironically, the difference is closest to what I see by eye in the screen grab from my phone's viewfinder (also included in the folder).

    Excuse my ignorance, but Selofain, how did you turn down the saturation on your screen? Did you use a third-party utility?
     
  4. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...Getting the grey levels right while having deep blacks and while still having reasonable white points was impossible for me...>>

    I can't speak specifically to HP's DreamColor screen, but I have been doing display calibration for several years and maintain a calibrated workflow on my desktop computer for processing photo images. I have a Dell UltraSharp monitor and a Z Canvas that both display calibrated, full Adobe RGB and various Surface Pros that are calibrated but don't appear to be full RGB. I use DataColor hardware (SpyderPro and SpyderPrint) to do the calibrations. Based on this, a few observations about displays and calibration:
    • Some displays require a few hundred hours of use to settle down before they can be calibrated and remain stable. As an example, an OLED TV needs at least two to three hundred hours of use before it settles down. If you try to calibrate it early, you will typically have problems achieving gamma settings that are stable. LCD displays require less time, but I don't know how much less because I've never bothered to try to calibrate a brand new LCD display; I always let them age a bit...
    • Switching between a calibrated color profile and an "out-of-the-box" color profile, the principal difference that I see is usually a yellow-green cast that calibration reduces. Of course, the calibration process spends significant time perfecting the white point but that seems less obvious to my eyes. DataColor provides a series of color and B&W reference images that you can switch between out-of-the-box and calibrated settings. This makes the differences pretty obvious.
    • Displays that provide full Adobe RGB can look highly saturated with intense hues. But try turning the brightness down just a bit. Your eyes have a logarithmic response to brightness and can tolerate wide swings in radiant intensity.
    • Speaking only for myself, I have never seen an "eye-ball" color calibration process (think: the Windows tool set) that works anywhere as well as a decent colorimeter. In fact, that's the principal reason why I own one...
     
  5. carnageX12

    carnageX12 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I see. The only VESA mount I have uses an x style bracket. Looks like it is just used as a display and not actively drawing on it in this position? Very cool that it works well for you. Also if that is a N64 under the TV, that's very cool as well.
     
  6. incredulous

    incredulous Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've just watched your video again and been experimenting some more with calibrating my display. I'm in a total quandary about which way to go! I have definitely improved the look of the display by increasing the gamma most of the way up the slider and dropping the red and green down a couple of notches in the colour balance.
    Blacks now look reasonably black and colours richer. I'd be interested to see what could be achieved with a colorimeter, but there isn't time unfortunately.

    You mentioned that you can disable DreamColour in the BIOS. I had originally asked HP if DreamColour could be turned on and off and was told it wasn't, although I'm sure they wouldn't advocate fiddling with the BIOS regularly anyhow!
    Could you confirm if you've actually tried it?
    I'm really concerned about getting the most out of the battery when doing CAD work on the move, but would really like to have the option of the fancy display when it's appropriate. Also, if I ever came to sell my X2 I expect most people are going to want the calibrated display, so that's a consideration too! Knowing for sure that I can turn it off would solve my headache once and for all!

    You also mentioned the registry key for disabling the kickstand - could you add here or in the video description.

    Thanks very much for all your help.
     
  7. Happehlemons

    Happehlemons Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yup, only use it for light touch and reference when working on the Cintiq, not as my main drawing tablet.
     
  8. Selofain

    Selofain Chronic Lurker

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    Yup! Radial Menu actually works off of the old two-button pens with an eraser, so it can customize all three. In newer pens (one button no eraser), the side button is the eraser.

    None of my older EMR pens comes close to the lovely feel of the pinpoint accuracy of the newer EMR pens. I miss using my Axiotron (two buttons and eraserrrrrr why Wacom), but the trade off is more than worth it.

    It's weird, because some colors were way saturated and others were washed out. I just didn't realize how washed out it was until I looked at a pencil doodle, created on the Zbook and appearing gray, on my T901, where it looked black.

    I ran the built in color calibration tool and fixing the gamma greatly improved things. Saturation, hue, and contrast are all in the Intel Graphics Settings. It should be an icon in your notification tray. The settings are under Display.
     
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  9. Happehlemons

    Happehlemons Pen Pal - Newbie

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    It shouldn't be too much of a risk to boot into the bios and turn off the discrete GPU. If I get around to trying it I'll let you know. I haven't actually tired it, but I did see the option when I was poking around the bios when I got the device.

    And the info on the kickstand is here:
    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/zbook-x2-just-anounced.73074/page-70#post-523612
     
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  10. artistebot

    artistebot Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks for your review, very thorough and well done. Agreed w all points!

    A few notes:

    In regards to palm touch vs pen I thought it was more of a windows issue than a hardware one, maybe I was wrong?
    Glad you did not comment on weight, it is built like a tank..whoo hoo!
    Glad you did not talk about the speakers, who cares...:)
    I found the tips from my Samsung Tab S3 and Staedtler Noris Digital are the same as the HP tips. I don't have the Pro Pen 2 to compare.
    HP does have the HP pen in stock: https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-zbook-x2-pen
    Glad you mentioned the express key issue, kinda sad I did not catch that when testing their updated drivers....sigh, my focus was on 2D apps.
    I find the express keys somewhat difficult to see, so I added color tabs next to them.
    Thanks for the kickstand hack...hell yes. WTF HP??!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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