The new HP ZBook Fury 17 should be taken seriously by photographers.
Most working photographers prefer desktops with larger screens. But you can’t always have that. And the HP ZBook Fury 17 seems to have most of what a photographer will need. It’s gargantuan, and there aren’t many camera bags that can even support a 17.3-inch laptop. You can customize the HP ZBook Fury 17 to be more potent than your iMac. It can boast up to 128GB of RAM, 2TB of Hard Drive space, and can use a 10th generation Intel i5, i7, i9, or Xeon processor. Depending on the display you choose, you can also cover 100% of the DCI-P3 spectrum. HP is also providing a choice between AMD Radeon or NVIDIA graphics. All these sound great, but the HP ZBook Fury 17 still has an even better feature for photographers.
For the photographers who have been Mac-only for years, the HP ZBook Fury 17 is basically trying to be a desktop replacement. Many probably have iMacs at home and edit on those, while other photographers adore the Mac Minis. Still, some creatives use PCs, and the HP ZBook Fury 17 is designed to be a desktop replacement machine. You can hook up multiple monitors to it for editing. With Bluetooth integration, you can connect things like a tablet, mouse, keyboard, etc. We’re not sure what the price is just yet. The HP ZBook Fury 17 and others will be available on HP’s website in October. From talking with other editors, though, the series is known for delivering performance at a more affordable price. And during the presentation we saw with HP, one tester said that his company likes to run their computers into the ground. Of course, it could be a marketing ploy. But I know Sony Artisan Miguel Quiles loves his HP Z series.
Believe it or not, the best thing for photographers is the return of the SD card port. These days, cameras mostly use SD card ports. Sure, the ports won’t support CFExpress A, CFExpress, or XQD, but there are ways around that. Recently with the Canon EOS R, I found that only certain things can be written to the CFExpress card. But after that, you can copy them to the SD card. Either way, it’s very lovely to have SD card support for photographers. It means you’ll be working with fewer dongles, and that’s nice. Still, I may be rare here, but I believe a photographer’s computer needs an SD card port. These ports are rare these days, but they’re still incredibly important. Why do we have to be subjected to bringing around an SD card reader? Why do we need to follow suit in the dongle lifestyle that Apple has so idiotically created? Unfortunately, the smaller 13 inch and 15-inch configurations of the ZBook don’t have the SD card port.
But you have a lot more than just an SD card reader built into this computer. You can also connect multiple monitors to this machine. Of course, this has been a standard for many photographers for years. Other cool features are NFC, the capability to have 5G wireless, and a 3-year warranty. At 6.53 lbs, though, it’s pretty heavy. At a time when photographers are trying to pack lighter, this also seems contradictory. Just imagine toting this around with a hulking Panasonic S1R and lenses. So the addition of something like an SD card port means that you’re toting around fewer cables and dongles.
Personally speaking, I don’t think I’ll reach for another computer that doesn’t have an SD card slot again.