I've lugged a 17" laptop around for the last eight years, simply because I like the extra screen size for most of the jobs I do - or maybe I'm just at the age when tiny text is getting harder and harder to read.
Either way, HP's updated ZBook 17 G2 is just the kind of monster I like. It has, of course, a 17.3" screen (1920x1080) and a range of high-end processor options. The review unit was more-or-less "fully loaded" with an Intel i7-4940MX quad core processor running at 3.1GHz (4GHz Turbo Boost), 16GB of DDR3L-1600 DRAM, an NVIDIA Quadro K5100M graphics engine and a 256GB SSD hard drive.
The ZBook has all the usual I/O, from USB-3 to DisplayPort but, interestingly, it includes a Thunderbolt 2 connector. HP are amongst the first to bring Thunderbolt to the PC which, given the explosion of Thunderbolt peripherals aimed at the video and audio market, makes the ZBook 17 an interesting prospect.
The ZBook has a steel chassis, but the external finish is plastic - the keyboard of the review unit had unseated itself at one corner, but it had done the rounds of several journalists and they are vicious blighters. The keyboard includes a numeric keypad. It's not the most positive keyboard I've ever typed on, but you get used to it. The trackpad is oddly offset to the left of the unit and has three buttons (actually six - three at the top and three at the bottom). read more...