HP ZBook Firefly 14 G8 review: Upgraded CPU and GPU, but screen options and battery life disappoint Review

HP carries on to title its sleekest and most moveable laptops immediately after traveling insects. The thirteen.three-inch Elite Dragonfly 2-in-1 convertible not too long ago noticed an outstanding G2 improve, and now HP has updated the 14-inch ZBook Firefly, which is a very little heavier but also supplies more heavyweight performance as the “smallest and lightest” of the company’s Z-series of cellular workstations. 

In several strategies, the ZBook Firefly 14 G8 is a typical 14-inch laptop, missing the convertible design and 4K exhibit of the Dragonfly G2. Having said that, it does give genuine workstation-class performance in a slender and mild design that will charm to articles creators, architects and other expert people. 

Structure & attributes

This eighth-generation (G8) update is essentially a ‘speed bump’ that introduces Intel’s hottest (eleventh generation) processors and Nvidia’s T500 GPU to the array.  

The primary design has not altered since the G7 version that we reviewed earlier this yr, measuring 323mm vast by 21.5mm deep by seventeen.9mm thick, and weighing just 1.4kg. The construct quality stays outstanding also, with the Firefly’s durable — and recycled — aluminium casing meeting the armed service-grade MIL-STD-810H standard for resistance to warmth, shock and humidity. That rugged design might be overkill for the Adobe Innovative Cloud people that HP highlights on its web site, but it will be welcomed by architects or engineers who have to have to go to developing websites and other out of doors spots. 

The 14-inch ZBook Firefly 14 G8 operates on eleventh-generation Main i5 or i7 processors with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. It can use CPU-built-in Iris Xe graphics or a discrete Nvidia T500 GPU with 4GB of movie RAM. The chassis is MIL-STD-810H qualified.


Photographs: HP Inc

The keyboard feels business and cozy also, with a row of navigation keys on the significantly ideal, and a fingerprint sensor just underneath that. HP will get a very little carried absent with the trackpad attributes, nevertheless. As you’d expect, you can ideal-click by tapping with two fingers, but there are also left/ideal buttons in the decreased corners of the trackpad, as nicely as two independent bodily buttons above the trackpad by itself, and even a pointing adhere found on the major keyboard. 

Like its predecessor, the Firefly G8 has two USB three.1 ports on the left-hand facet, despite the fact that the two USB-C ports above on the ideal have been upgraded to help Thunderbolt 4. You will find an HDMI port on that facet also, which you can most likely have to have for an external monitor, presented the Firefly’s modest constructed-in exhibit. You will find no Ethernet port, so you can have to have an adapter if you have to have a wired link in an business. 

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Oddly, this G8 variation of the ZBook Firefly at the moment lacks the 4K exhibit possibility that was out there with its predecessor. Our assessment unit experienced a non-touch IPS exhibit with normal FHD (1920 x 1080, 157.3dpi) resolution, which was vivid and vibrant, thanks to its outstanding one thousand nits brightness, aided by a welcome anti-glare coating for out of doors use. It also boasts HP’s SureView privacy mode that’s developed to fight ‘visual hacking’ (someone seeking above your shoulder) by sharply restricting the display’s viewing angles. Thoughts you, the viewing angles usually are not excellent even with SureView turned off, so the Firefly might not be the best possibility for supplying shows the place you do want other men and women to be capable to see the display. 

A further oddity is that the exhibit on our assessment unit only supported 72% of the NTSC color gamut. There are other exhibit options out there that help touch and the sRGB and DCI-P3 color criteria for graphics and movie function, but these all share the exact 1080p resolution. There is a independent fifteen.six-inch variation of the Firefly that provides a 4K possibility — but, of training course, this is larger sized, heavier and more expensive, which will be a disappointment for people who are attracted to the extremely moveable design of this 14-inch product. 

Proper facet (major): power connector HDMI 1.4b 2x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4. Left facet (above): headphone/microphone combo 2x USB three.1.


Photographs: HP Inc

Value & options

The pricing problem for the ZBook Firefly G8 is a very little complicated also, with differing specifications and customisation options out there in the Uk and US. 

Pricing in the Uk starts off at £1,169 (ex. VAT £1,402.80 inc. VAT) for a Firefly G8 running Home windows ten Professional sixty four, with a quad-core Core i7-1165G7 processor running at two.8GHz (up to 4.7GHz with TurboBoost). That cost also consists of 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and discrete Nvidia T500 graphics with 4GB of dedicated movie memory. The 1080p exhibit for that product is rather modest, nevertheless, with only 250 nits brightness and forty five% of the NTSC color gamut. Our assessment unit stepped up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD and, as noted, the exhibit supported 72% of NTSC with one thousand nits brightness, bringing the overall cost to £1,389 (ex. VAT £1,666.80 inc. VAT). 

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Clients in the US appear to be to facial area slightly increased pricing, with the entry-level Firefly G8 costing $1,889 when employing a more modest Main i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and Nvidia’s T500 GPU. Soon after that, the US variation of the Firefly G8 skips past its Uk counterpart, opting for a slightly faster Core i7-1185G7 processor (three.0GHz, with TurboBoost to 4.8GHz) with 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, costing $two,489. There are a wide variety of customisation options out there, despite the fact that it stays puzzling that the multiple exhibit options are all minimal to just 1080p resolution. 

Effectiveness & battery everyday living

The ZBook Firefly G8’s performance confirms its place as HP’s entry-level cellular workstation for Second and technical design function. It has the exact Main i7 processor as the light-weight Dragonfly convertible, with the Dragonfly producing Geekbench 5 scores of 1565 for one-core performance and 4330 for multi-core. The ZBook Firefly G8 springs no surprises with a one-core rating of 1,590, but comfortably eases into the guide with a rating of five,450 for multi-core performance.  

The built-in Iris Xe GPU of the Dragonfly was no slouch when it came to graphics, achieving a rating of 85fps in the Cinebench R15 OpenGL graphics benchmark, and 16fps for the more demanding Unigine Valley 3D checks. Having said that, the Firefly G8’s discrete Nvidia T500 GPU jumps ideal ahead to 165fps on the Cinebench test. Its performance with the weighty-responsibility Valley benchmark doesn’t make improvements to rather so substantially, nevertheless, nudging only slightly ahead to 19fps. This confirms that the ZBook Firefly is best suited to Second graphics and more primary 3D function. 

The Firefly G8’s Main i7 processor does also have its have built-in Iris Xe GPU, of training course, and this enables you to change amongst built-in and discrete graphics as needed. Using the Iris Xe in our checks even now allowed the Firefly to put up a respectable 95fps in Cinebench and 16fps in Valley, so you could use the built-in graphics for more plan jobs in get to protect battery everyday living. 

That might be required also, as the Firefly’s battery everyday living was not outstanding — primarily for a laptop with a modest FHD-resolution exhibit. Using Wi-Fi to stream movie constantly — with built-in graphics chosen, and brightness at 50% — the Firefly lasted just seven.five hrs, which is near to a whole day’s function, but barely fantastic for a modern day laptop. We have viewed evaluations of Firefly products with 250 nits displays, which recorded better battery everyday living, so the one thousand nits of our assessment unit appears to occur at a price, even when reduced slightly throughout our battery checks. 


Graphic: HP Inc

Conclusions

HP’s ZBook Firefly G8 is one thing of a blended bag. It is really a fairly priced entry-level cellular workstation that provides strong performance for articles development, Second graphics and technical design function, wrapped up in a light-weight but durable design. Having said that, the minimal exhibit options appear to be somewhat brief-sighted for this kind of a powerful laptop, and the battery everyday living absolutely leaves room for advancement. Specialist people who function outdoor all day extended might favor a laptop with more strong battery everyday living, but the Firefly G8 will even now be a excellent possibility for business use, working from home, and occasional visits to off-site spots.

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