Please help me decide Zbook x2 G4 or Spectre x360 15"

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Hyachan, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Just another voice to chime in here fr the HP ZBook X2. Its a really great machine for heavy 2D lifting. I lOVE it for video work, drawing and painting in HUGE 8K documents in 16bit color. The dreamcolor display is absolutely stunning and makes going back to my Cintiq 22HD difficult. It wont push a lot of 3D weight around without throttling, but that's to be expected, and at least the dedicated GPU does do light 3D work ok (I used it for some 3D proxy creation in windows 3D builder).
    The HP ZBook X2 pen is the best pen I have ever used on an EMR convertible.
     
  2. artistebot

    artistebot Scribbler - Standard Member

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    IMHO, despite it age, the Zbook X2 G4 remains a "unicorn" as a mobile windows based tablet. For that purpose, its primary drawback would be its weight and low battery life. Never the less, part of the reason for weight is it built-in rugged impact resistance.

    Consider tis unique feature that many other EMR devices don't have.
    Express Keys
    Backlit keyboard that works attached or vis bluetooth.
    Lots of ports
    Upgradable ram to 32gb (maybe 64..?)
    Upgradable SSD
    10bit 4k screen
    Designed to MIL-STD-810G impact resistance.




    I will be keeping my Zbook x2 for a long time, the CPU/GPU may be old but it more than enough for 2d illustration work.
     
  3. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    What’s the feeling like, drawing on the matte screen? Does it have a nice tooth to it, when combined with the HP pen? Or is that not important really to others? I’m big on a nice screen texture. I hate drawing on glass.

    And what’s the story, in the end, on the buttons? Are they programmable? Or is what they do coded in? Having them would seem like a big plus. And do folks simply turn off touch when drawing, with the dedicated button?

    Also, are folks using the kickstand? I had read that the viewing angles weren’t that good, and that when it was resting far back at an angle for drawing, there was some distortion of values. I wondered if this was just an issue for non-dreamcolor models.

    I could imagine the mat screen texture, in combo with the felt nib HP pen, with the kickstand and side buttons, could be potentially a stellar drawing experience. But reviews seem a bit iffy on these things at times.

    Obviously, it’s more than powerful enough for 2d art. The question is all these special details that artists would need to weigh in on after using it. I’m kind of curious how people are using the device’s special elements in real life situations. Can you guys chime in?
     
  4. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Sure, I used the ZBook X2 exclusively full time for work when we first moved and I was still having my office renvoated. So mostly using it for drawing/painting/designing in photoshop all day on large complex PSD's, and also using it for gaming in my spare time, Zoom meetings with work, browsing etc.

    I'd say the only issue with the stand design is its not very "lappable". You can do it in a pinch if you have long enough legs, but its certainly not designed for the lap. But for drawing and painting all day I had no issue with it. The stand is very robust and I was happy with the angles.

    I have ZERO noticeable color distortion when looking from different angles. I assume that must have been the non-dreamcolors? The screen is nothing shy of perfect IMO!

    Buttons are programmable but a nightmare to physically see or feel without modifying them with stickers or something. I never used them that much (I used my G13 at the desk for my shortcuts) but the software included for those buttons is really nice. The reference layer brings it up as a nice overlay stating what shortcuts are active based on the program you have open very similar to the cintiq reference overlay. One of the buttons turns touch on and off as well, but can be remapped like all of them. I turned touch off while drawing when I was working at the desk since I dont need it, but when I was drawing casually on my lap I would use touch and the buttons and it all seemed to work good to me. Touch was generally pretty decent, even in photoshop.

    You might need to add a more textured screen protector if it was too glassy for you, but I liked it. The rubber-ish nibs that came with it are very frictiony like the old felt nibs. I would say the surface is a bit more slippery than a cintiq but not like drawing on a note phone or anything.
     
  5. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks stoneseeker.

    I’ve not drawn on it myself. So my statement about not enjoying drawing on glassy screens was more general than specific. I was curious if the screen had a nice texture. Sounds like it does, particularly if used with the felt nibs. I’ve read the statement about it not being as textured as the cintiqs elsewhere as well. I have no experience with them though, so the comparison is lost on me.
     
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  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The HP stylus black nibs are nice but the grey nibs are stellar for drawing with. I can tell you it will be hard swapping to another pen when I move on from the zbook.

    Have to say when I'm using Adobe products the buttons are perfect - they are preprogrammed around Adobe however it could be me but remapping for other applications has been a waste of time. You should be able to swap from one layout for Adobe to another for Clip Studio (for example) but I find if I'm in CSP and press a button expecting a CSP shortcut - I activate an Adobe shortcut instead.

    I did spend a lot of time setting up reprogrammed buttons but I'm slowly accepting that it will always revert to the default settings.

    Absolutely I am - it's rock solid. I wouldn't put in on my knees as it's a thin metal edge and the tablet is heavy.

    Yup.
     
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