The New HP ZBook Firefly G8 Targets Photographers Using Macbooks

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Every time I hear about laptops targeting creatives, I get really excited. The new HP ZBook Firefly G8 seems to be targeted Macbook users pretty hard. Specifically, in their press release, they claim the weight of their 14-inch variant to be around that of a MacBook Pro 13″! That’s impressive. As a working journalist, I’ve always preferred 13-inch laptops. But I’m very intrigued if I can get more real estate for the same weight.

Here are some specs they’re touting in the press release:

  • Keep remote workers productive. Get improved performance with new NVIDIA T500 professional graphics, featuring 4 GB GDDR6 VRAM, and up to 3X graphics performance over the previous generation21, and 2.6x better performance than the Dell Precision 355022 – pull up schematics or designs and get the job done from anywhere, even while multi-tasking with conferencing or web applications. Additionally, be more productive while using multiple applications like video conferencing, web browsing, and streaming.
  • ZCentral Remote Boost brings users a revolutionary way to collaborate by taking advantage of remote access to even more powerful desktop workstations at the office.23 The real-time collaboration capability of this solution allows collaboration across teams and applications remotely with almost any device.
  • Enjoy a true color digital canvas with a DreamColor19 display boasting a billion on-screen colors20 with world-class visual fidelity. Creators will have confidence in their colors as new PANTONE® Validated displays meet Pantone’s color fidelity criteria in the simulation of the full range of real-world PANTONE Colors.

We don’t have pricing info yet for the HP ZBook Firefly G8 14 or 15-inch laptops. But we’re supposed to get them later on this month when the products hit the market. Here are some more stats:

HP ZBook Firefly G8 14 Inch

  • Starting at 2.99 lbs
  • 5G internet
  • 11th i7 or i5 Intel Core processors
  • NVIDIA T500 graphics
  • 32GB and 64GF RAM configurations
  • 256GB with up to 2TB PCIe in one configuration
  • 1080 display
  • 100% DCI-P3 coverage and HDR capabilities
  • Windows 10 pre-installed
  • 4.7 GHz
  • Made with recycled ocean-bound plastics, recycled aluminum, and no plastic in the packaging. 
  • Rubber domes on the keyboard
  • Ambient light sensing backlit keyboard
  • Thunderbolt 4
  • 170-degree clamshell design
  • 720p HD camera
  • A claim of 14 hours of battery life
  • HP Quick Drop, which is like their version of Apple’s Airdrop.

HP ZBook Firefly G8 15 Inch

  • Starting at 3.78 lbs
  • 5G internet
  • Privacy screen
  • 11th gen Intel core processors
  • NVIDIA T500 graphics
  • Made with recycled ocean-bound plastics, recycled aluminum, and no plastic in the packaging. 
  • Up to 4.7 GHz
  • Rubber domes on the keyboard
  • Ambient light sensing backlit keyboard
  • Thunderbolt 4
  • 1080 display, but there’s a 4K UHD version
  • 170-degree clamshell design
  • 720p HD camera
  • A claim of 14 hours of battery life
  • HP Quick Drop, which is like their version of Apple’s Airdrop.

Right off the bat, I’m scratching my head a bit with the features and ergonomics. I’ve been using Apple computers since college. And it’s challenging to tear me away from them. But I also have a gaming PC in my office that I use a lot more than I should. Right off the bat, I like the slightly off-center touchpad. It’s like HP wants to cater to MacBook Pro users. It immediately tells you to ignore the keypad to the right. However, I wish more laptop makers just put the keypad below the rest of the keyboard interface. That would mean that it’s potentially out of the way.

The HP ZBook Firefly G8 laptops have traditional USB ports and USB-C ports. The 14 and 15-inch variants have different numbers of them. There’s also a headphone/microphone jack. Additionally, it boasts a power button and an HDMI port. With this laptop, you can hook it up to a second monitor and use it as such. That’s something I used to do but stopped a long time ago. But I know a few folks who work like this. Further, they mostly have only a 1080 display! Of course, they want you to use your external monitors.

Personally speaking, I really wish that these laptops had an SD card port. It’s one of the reasons why I love my iMac so much. Both Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis and I still use the last MacBook Pros that had SD card slots. I can’t tell you how imperative it is to us. We already have to bring around lights, lenses, cameras, filters, cleaning gear, etc. I don’t want to have to dedicate a section of my camera bag to more dongles.

On the ethical front, I really have to compliment HP on their environmental efforts. They’re trying to make the world cleaner and pollute it less. This way, we landscape, and wildlife photographers can keep capturing the best images possible. In my eyes, HP’s efforts are countering Windows’ own. You see, Windows recently worked with Unsplash–a platform that regularly screws over working photographers. Apple, thankfully, has never done that.

Without touching or handling these computers, I know that there are photographers who’d enjoy using them. But the keyboard might need to be refined a bit more for me personally. I’ll have to see how they work in person. I’m overall pretty confident that they can handle Adobe and Capture One. And I also think they’ll do well with multi-tasking. But I think the real test will be with ergonomics and aesthetics. That’s the thing that creatives really worry about.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.