Zbook X2 Initial Impression

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by carnageX12, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. incredulous

    incredulous Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @carnageX12
    Apologies from me for the tardy response, I had completely missed this reply.
    Thanks for looking into the problem, it seems bonkers to me that HP wouldn't have a handle on the browser supplied as part of the operating system, but not much surprises me these days! I would test out your theory, but I finally returned my demo unit and rebuilt my Vaio flip 15 with an SSD borrowed from a friend to tide me over till I decide what to do about the X2.
    It's amusing to see the new HP Spectre folio adopt such a similar form factor to the idea Sony came up with in 2014 - I still like it in principle and it's certainly a better solution than the Yoga style implementation, which makes converting from laptop to tablet impractical with any peripherals plugged in.

    The surface-style form factor of the X2 is the best all-rounder so far though - if there were a way to make it more usable on your lap it would be spot on..


    On the subject of any updates/refresh to the X2, or it's demise, the following is all I've got out of the guy I've been communicating with in workstations sales:-
    'Regarding a new version of the ZBook x2 I’ve not heard anything and there has been no official announcement, we already have the 8th gen chips so I guess that’s it for a while but can’t confirm either way as yet whether there will be a new version in future.'

    At the time, I wasn't aware of the i9 chips and new GPUs for the rest of the ZBook range, so I'll go back to him with that and if anything useful comes of it, I'll post again.

    I've drafted a review of the X2 too, it needs a little polishing up, but will go up at some point - there are various things that irritated me which I've not seen anyone else mention - I'm not sure what that says about me, but will be interested to see what people think...
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...the following is all I've got out of the guy I've been communicating with in workstations sales...>>

    @incredulous : Thanks for the follow-up, even if it's a bit late. As you may have seen in an adjacent thread, I decided to order an X2 after Microsoft announced their SP6 refresh, with processors that HP has been using since February. Regarding the b2b feedback that you got, I got a very similar response from the small business sales rep who arranged my purchase. First of all, he check to see if there were any new models in the catalog (no...). Then he looked at the last update and speculated that, in his experience, the X2 wouldn't be refreshed for about a year, assuming that HP kept it in their line-up.

    Not encouraging, but not really discouraging, either. I'll be interested to know if your contact has any new thoughts based on the 9th Gen updates that HP recently made...
     
  3. incredulous

    incredulous Pen Pal - Newbie

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    You're welcome @Steve S , I'll certainly update if I get any more info.
    The Bluetooth keyboard of the X2 puts it streets ahead of the surface Pro in my book, regardless of internals. I simply can't understand why this feature isn't normal for this form factor.

    Anyhow, enjoy your new machine.
     
  4. mari0s

    mari0s Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi there,

    I am a new owner of the DreamColor i7-8550U 16GB 512GB - X2!
    Happy with the performance and with the colours, but I am having a few issues and was wondering if you knew fixes or had thoughts.

    1. Touchpad: a bit imprecise for fine movements and delayed/laggy. I'm coming from the MS Surface... Are you using the Windows or Alps profile? I am with MS, just increased the sensitivity and its much better.
    2. Touchscreen, is there a way to make pinch zooming more responsive? Touches are mostly fine.
    3. Keyboard: Alt-Tab, Ctrl+V are sometimes not registered o the first try if I cycle quickly through the buttons. This is just a remark, I doubt there is a way to fix it.
    4. Can I lock the Function key in place? Why is the F3 key more important than the second function backlight control ability?
    5. Idle RAM usage after bootup is 3-4GB, is this normal, can it be lowered?
    6. What are the Bios/ Startup menu buttons during startup? F1, F10 do nothing. I use the Windows Troubleshooting screens to get in.
    7. Screen is matte, and very very grainy. So the light is reflected under different angles. Especially bad with Grey or White backgrounds - how do you find it?
    8. Terrible whining from the Fan... I particularly find it annoying at the lowest speed. I can provide Audio samples. Is it the same for you? I prefer it to be higher RPM if possible because it seems nicer.
    9. Power management is a mess. Bios picks Dedicated Graphics as the default option, not Hybrid. In windows it's always the Nvidia working. There is no UHD section in the Performance Monitor. So in the last hour of web, note taking and minor PC navigation under 75% brightness I got 25% of the battery drained. DreamColor is only available if the Bios setting is set to Dedicated Graphics. What is missing is the traditional good stuff: automatically lowering the screen refresh rate, sticking to the CPU processing, throttling where necessary... What are some proper Bios settings for Power Management that also eliminate the annoying fan whine, but keeping performance and dream color balanced? Can I see the estimated battery time remaining instead of the Percentage remaining?
    I tried using the profiles anyway in hybrid, in advanced display settings, where you would calibrate, i simply changed the default profile. See picture.

    But it doesn't make any difference in the colors in what profile is picked.

    Also, how would i change the colors to 10-bit? The nvidia software has a limited selection of options when going Hybrid in Bios.

    Pictures attached.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Finally, why would my graphics performance be worse under Hybrid? Process Manager says the GPU is under 100% load, but strangly the Integrated Graphics is also at 10% use.
    I am getting 130fps with Dedicaed in Bios, And 95fps with Hybrid in Bios.


    Don't want to be starting with a clean version of Windows just yet. Want to see what HP has done to get all these details like Wacom, shortcut keys, Dreamcolor working well...

    I wanted to get a few opinions, I may contact HP next.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  5. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...I am a new owner...>>

    @mari0s : First of all, welcome to the TPCR forums; we're glad that you've decided to become a member.

    Before commenting on your questions, I'd like to take a moment to suggest that you take an hour or so and simply read some of the discussion threads that you find interesting (as opposed to simply looking at the most recent posts). In particular the two ZBook X2 discussion threads in this forum contain at least some posts that answer a few of the questions that you are asking. There are also links to three HP ZBook X2 documents (User Guide, Service Guide and White Paper) that contain information that you may find useful in the future.

    Relative to your questions, I can provide a few comments...
    1. Touchpad: I am running the Alps driver. I find it satisfactory for my use and have not felt the need to try an alternate driver.
    2. Touchscreen: Other than possibly redoing the touch calibration, I do not know of a way to change the touch sensitivity. Perhaps another user knows better?
    3. Keyboard: If I understand your question correctly, I have not noticed any issues chording multiple keys like Alt+V, etc. I may not be pushing the keys as quickly as you are?
    4. Function key: Cannot comment / don't know. Also, don't really understand your second question; are you talking about the order of the prime and shifted function?
    5. Idle RAM: I am currently showing 4.64 GB of RAM usage at idle. The most direct way that this amount can be lowered involves shutting down "unnecessary" services (see the Services tab under msconfig). When in doubt, Google the service in question to see more exactly what it's doing. Note that I have several large applications loaded on my X2, so I have a lot of services running in the background.
    6. BIOS: See page 135 of the Maintenance & Service Guide for BIOS details: "Turn off the tablet. Press the power button, quickly press and hold the volume down button until the Startup menu is displayed, and then tap F10 to enter the BIOS Setup menu." Note: If you haven't already done so, run the HP Support Assistant (small blue circle with ? in your System Tray) and check for updates. There have been a few updates recently including a BIOS update that has a Best Battery Life (charge to 80%) option.
    7. Matte screen: I have no issue with the matte screen. I don't find it to be grainy.
    8. Fan whine: Again, no complaints from me on this. In fact, I find the fans to be quite quiet until you reach sustained CPU loadings; then it's simply "audible."
    9. Power management: The dedicated graphics is a long story and I refer you to the discussion in one or the other of the X2 discussion threads. HP's position is that the DreamColor display requires the M620 full time. However, the BIOS can be set for Hybrid Graphics and the display will still operate. I leave the details to the discussion thread. However, the X2 is a powerful device and even with its larger than typical battery, you should not expect long run times. You can make adjustments to extend the battery operating time a bit, but that's about all. Fact of life. Regarding BIOS setting, you will need to research this for yourself. The X2's StartUp application (of which the BIOS is a part) is the most complicated software of its type that I have ever seen on a tablet. There are extensive options and settings. Finally, I believe that the battery life percent is a feature of Windows. There are applets that you can install that will report time remaining, percentage or both. Check the Windows Store.
    There are other comments in the discussion threads that touch on some of your other questions. Take the time to skim the threads and I think you will find it worth the effort...

    Good luck.
     
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  6. mari0s

    mari0s Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @Steve S Thanks for taking the time.

    Indeed it pays off to take a look at the manual, will do, this weekend. Now i'm too short on time and angry, I think its easier to contact HP.
    As for forums, did browse a bit before posting, but I take your point.


    4. what I mean is to press FN once, and then after that it to stay toggled on; lock it on if you like. Then I can access KB backglight with one keypress.

    Also, is there any way to make windows open up the touch keyboard automatically when I click on a dialogue box? This doesn't happen even when Windows is set to Tablet mode.

    Strangely, my apps disappear from the taskbar in tablet mode, this didn't use to happen with my MS Surface book.

    Speaking of the taskbar, why does the scaling work so badly...look at this, I cant even access my tray icons like DreamColor…
    [​IMG]

    8. I will look deeper into the power settings and boot up, but is there a way to let the fan turn on seriously rather than the minimal speed?

    9. Yes trying to find the right thread and go in detail in the weekend.

    But how could I apply a profile of calibration (srgb, dci-p,etc) in hybrid mode? I guess Intel Panel must do that. Also, how do I enable 10-bit?

    HP Dreamcolor utility can switch on the Dedicated option with a utility called "BiosConfigUtility64.exe" which is run when Enable is selected in the Tray icon. It does require a restart.
    Can I do the same for Dedicated -> Hybrid with an analogous .exe or bios editor straight from windows to speed up the process?

    And in any case, what is your configuration for bios/ windows and how much battery life do you get?


    In the end I hope to contribute to some of these challenges for the community and will update you when I hear from HP. But I already know that this laptop will not resist 1 year under my main laptop criterion. I'll upgrade to either a MacBook+Ipad pro / Surface book 3 with 10nm when they come out. Those guys seem to be using fairer marketing, and more importantly: design, ergonomics and usability when creating products, not just engineering.
    This thing with the DreamColor angers me, it is false advertising. In the device marketing they say 10hours. That's a lot, marketing, I expect at least 7.5.

    In fact they have a footnote that says that this 10 hours happens in Hybrid mode. But where do they say that the expensive extra function of DreamColor does not run in Hybrid mode? The only moment they mention "Discrete mode only" for Dreamcolor is when they talk about "up to 3 external monitors" - again misleading, at best.
     
  7. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...4. what I mean is to press FN once...>>

    4. Fn key: The only solution that springs to mind is to use AutoHotKey to create the desired one-touch key string. ( https://www.autohotkey.com/ ) There is a fairly extensive discussion of AutoHotKey and its application in another forum... This one, I think:

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/toolbar-creator-v-2-2-beta-available-for-download.63014/

    Forum member @lblb is our go-to member when there are questions about AHK.

    <<...is there any way to make windows open up the touch keyboard automatically...>>

    ...Again, you might be able to use AHK to do this, too. Having never used the app myself, I can't say for sure.

    <<...Strangely, my apps disappear from the taskbar in tablet mode...>>

    ...I have seen this, too. I'm pretty sure that it's a Windows bug.

    <<...why does the scaling work so badly...>>

    ...Another Windows issue.

    As to your remaining questions on color profiles, I have experimented with that, but don't feel that I can give you good advice. Perhaps another member can help you in this area...
     
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