Zbook X2 Just Announced

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by dv8nathan, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...Not sure what this means about a possible refresh being in the works, but the guy I've been talking to for months at HP Workstation sales still says nothing is imminent...>>

    @incredulous : That's what I've heard, too. I was talking to the workstation tech rep last December about the status of Windows build 1809 and I took the opportunity to ask about possible refreshes in the near future. The Tech said that the latest X2 models (i7-8550U / 8650U) weren't even a year old yet, and in his experience it would be about another year before he would expect a refresh. Of course, HP may decide to discontinue the X2 if the sales numbers don't justify continuing it...

    <<...Has anyone had experience using the X2 in tablet mode in the lap? How is it?..>>

    @gamefoo21 : For a 2-in-1, the X2 is very heavy. And the fold out bale has a relatively sharp edge, so it isn't particularly kind to your thighs. Might just be me, but I don't use this tablet on my lap (without a lapboard of some kind... but mostly I don't use it that way...).

    <<...Does the battery life get an appreciable bump if you roll the display back to 2K or 1080?..>>

    I've never tried to do that. Displays run best (i.e., sharpest and clearest) when they operate at their native resolution. The X2, or perhaps I should say Windows, does not offer a resolution option that corresponds to 2k. There's one that's close, but that's it. I was able to select 1080 resolution, but I didn't find it very attractive; everything was "inflated" and klunky-looking. I guess I'm accustomed to the 4k resolution! There may be some battery savings at this lower resolution, but I'm not inclined to bother with it...
     
  2. gamefoo21

    gamefoo21 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks, really appreciate the honest reply.

    It's rare I need to run lap mode but it's good to know.

    I've noticed 10 is kind of thick about resolutions. I really did suspect that 1080 would look chunky. How did the almost 2K resolution look? It is literally just for those times when you are going to be away from power and need to nurse it. Like on my Note 9, I gain hours of battery life halving the the resolution. So I was wondering if the reduced strain on the system would have similar effects.

    The NV driver control panel should have a screen resolution control panel/page. If it's not too much hassle.

    Oh, I read that HP ships them with Windows update disabled, is it still recommended for all the updates to come through HP?

    Edit: LCDs like all fixed pixel displays will look their best at their native resolution. FHD is half the ppi, 2K is more or less 75% of the resolution of the 4K panel.

    If the ZB X2 was 3:2 or 8:5(16:10) like the Elite, there'd be no debate for me, I'd deal with it's quirks and the single button stylus.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  3. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    @gamefoo21 : Turns out that I have a little more to say, and a correction, on a couple of my recent posts. I have great faith in the members of our forums, but I sometimes like to verify things for myself, especially if the questions are serious, as yours obviously are.

    So I spent some time last night exploring the Set-Up software on my X2. To enter Set-Up, you shut down the X2, then tap the I/O button and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button. The X2 then enters Set-Up (you may have to release the Volume Down button first).

    First of all, let me say that Set-Up is about the most elaborate application of its type that I've ever seen on a tablet. The BIOS is actually a subset of Set-Up and you select it by pressing F10 (no need to use the fn shift key). I only had time to look at this one section. A really nice feature is that the BIOS screens, and probably all the Set-Up screens, are completely touch-enabled making it easy to navigate and select or cancel options.

    Under the Installed Devices section (I think it was), I found the graphics switch and to my surprise, I was able to select either hybrid graphics or discrete graphics, so I have corrected my earlier statement accordingly. HOWEVER, I didn't try to use the hybrid selection last night. If it's true that the DreamColor display requires the M620, what do I do if the screen goes black? How would I re-select Discrete Graphics if I can't see the pull-down menu? I'd probably need an external monitor, which I had no time to set up.

    I also discovered another useful setting. Under Power Management, there is a battery charging option: Max battery time (charges the battery to 100%), Max battery health (which stops charging at 80%) and "Let HP manage the battery" (which presumably does something in between). The default is Max battery time, but I prefer Max battery health, so I changed it accordingly.

    There were many more pages of setting options in the BIOS section. Most I agreed with and some were esoteric enough that I didn't try to play with them because I wasn't entirely sure what they would do. Set-Up can let you do a lot of things but, like the Windows Registry, you play with it at your own peril!

    I'll have to find some more time soon and do more exploring...!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  4. gamefoo21

    gamefoo21 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Ooo... I'm quite curious about these updates.

    I still think it's odd just how similar in weight and size the Zbook X2 G4 is to the Zbook Studio x360 G5. I will say though the keyboard being able to run seperate is really interesting to me. Being able to pop in typed notes while I use it like a paper 'notebook'. It's something the convertible has no answer to in my mind.

    This is a question... How's the stylus holder working out? I noticed that the holder gets stuck into the smart card slot, but the reviews don't really mention how well it holds onto the stylus or it's construction.

    It's truly difficult to decide between the detachable and the convertible when they have pros and cons that for my uses put them almost equal. I really do hate that HP made the wifi card permanent when it looks like there's more than enough room for a replaceable card and slot, if I'm not mistaken.

    I also want to thank you for taking the time to answer all of the questions you do. It's really helped illuminate my choices .
     
  5. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...How's the stylus holder working out? I noticed that the holder gets stuck into the smart card slot, but...>>

    ...You might be interested to know that some of us have been experimenting with a silo accessory for the X2. See this thread:

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/silo-upgrade-to-the-zbook-x2.74857/

    <<...It's truly difficult to decide between the detachable and the convertible when they have pros and cons that for my uses put them almost equal...>>

    ...My opinion, for what it's worth: the X2 is a very specialized platform for a couple of very specific kinds of users. If you don't really need (or value) the specific features that the X2 offers, I would suggest that you are likely to be happier with the Studio X360. The X2 is big and heavy for a 2-in-1. It does what it's designed to do but it's not a one-for-one substitute for a laptop machine. You should consider the differences carefully... and realistically... before you make a purchase decision...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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  6. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...Not sure what this means about a possible refresh being in the works, but the guy I've been talking to for months at HP Workstation sales still says nothing is imminent and that the price is 'below their cost price'...>>

    I don't regard this as an encouraging sign. Price below cost means that they are dumping their on-hand stock. VAIO did the same thing before they discontinued the Z Canvas (which, by the way, is still a hell of a machine!).

    I wonder if HP is capable of being more far-sighted about this market than VAIO was...?
     
  7. gamefoo21

    gamefoo21 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Honestly if I didn't value the unique features of the Zb X2 I would have gotten the Zb x360. The issue is trying to decide if the x360 offers enough to overcome the advantages of the x2 in my life and likewise the same way around.

    They are both desk tablets, the x2 with the keyboard pulled off is a little better for weight but it's just as wide if not wider than the 15.6" x360... It's the battery life, I need at least 4-5 hours and I need more than one button on my stylus.

    Honestly I'd love to get both and try them, and decide but that's beyond me. So I make my decision and live with it for the next 3 years likely.

    As for HP supporting the Zbook x2 G4...

    I believe the Zbook club/Zbook Daas service is effectively locking HP into providing software support for at least 3 years and the spec sheets say they will provide replacement parts for at least 5 years. Though HP could recall them or keep them supported just enough to keep them working.

    Another thing to note with the Vaio Canvas, It came out when Sony was dumping Vaio, the company that bought them was walking away from everywhere and wanted to ditch any legacy models that it didn't see as guaranteed successes. The Vaio Canvas was a victim of the circumstances surrounding it. I was so angry that Vaio basically blew off Canada and said that if you dragged one to Canada you basically had no warranty, since you couldn't really buy one here from an 'approved' reseller.

    So I don't think the x2 gets dumped from support. For me it's more that hopefully HP can bring a new model out, as I'm really sure they know exactly the ZBx2G4 needs changing for a successful G5/G6 follow up. Though will they admit to anything when 10nm Intel isn't even there yet and WhiskeyDi...Lake offers nothing but a higher model number. Heh

    I mean HP could up end software support but there seems to still be a push to get it out there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  8. gamefoo21

    gamefoo21 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I saw your edits and additional information.

    Thanks for the extra information. That extra bios control stuff sounds really interesting. Any chance of screen shots?

    On my side...

    Still waiting on some information from HP about some questions on the Studio x360. I think I'm sliding over to the convertible darkside. :-(
     
  9. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Out of curiosity, who did you talk with from VAIO who said that?

    I'm from Canada (purchased Z Canvas from MS Store in US), and VAIO told me I could get support as long as I paid the shipping fees one-way (+$100 service deposit).
     
  10. Fluffyfurball

    Fluffyfurball Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I didn't actually plan on returning to this forum, but I may be able to offer some help here so...

    I own the HP ZBook X2 and a ZBook 17 G5, both with Dreamcolor screens. As Steve mentioned above it is indeed possible to deactivate discrete graphics and enable graphics switching with Optimus in the BIOS. The Dreamcolor utility requires discrete graphics to run, however, the Dreamcolor utility is wholly useless for most people: its primary function is to enable on-the-fly colour-space switching. The machine works perfectly without the Dreamcolor utility and the screen remains at 100% Adobe RGB with the utility deactivated.

    Now that the discrete graphics is switched to auto switching in BIOS, there are a few more steps to walk through to extend battery life. Essentially, we want to prevent any application from switching on the discrete graphics card unless we want it to. There will be a warning that the Dreamcolor utility is not running on loading Windows. Just click 'OK' and ignore it.

    In Windows, right click on the desktop and select 'NVIDIA control panel'. Next, click on 'Manage 3D settings' from the tree in the left column. In the 'Global Settings' tab, select 'Integrated Graphics' as the preferred graphics processor. Then, select the 'Program Settings' tab. Click on 'Add'. In the menu of applications listed find 'HP Dreamcolor assistant' and select it. Change its preferred graphics processor to 'Integrated graphics'. Repeat these steps for 'Microsoft Photos', 'Flow', 'Microsoft Edge'. If there is an application that you wish to run with the Quadro discrete graphics card you can select it here as well. Note that once the Quadro card goes active your battery life will tank.

    Now click on the 'Desktop' menu item at the top of the window. Select 'Display GPU activity icon in notification area'. This icon will let you know if a rogue app decides to use the discrete graphics card without you knowing. Clicking on the notification icon will let you know which is the offending app. You can then enter the NVIDIA control panel like before and force that app to use integrated graphics from now on.

    With these steps you can see the normally pathetic battery life climb to over 8 hours depending on use. Best wishes, folks.
     
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