HP Illuminates 2021 with the ZBook Firefly

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2021 is here and HP has wasted no time providing lightning to spark our creativity and imagination. In this sense, the lightning and spark draw inspiration from the aptly named lightning bug, or firefly, which has given rise to HP’s ZBook Firefly 15 G7, ZBook Firefly 14 G8, and ZBook Firefly 15 G8 Mobile Workstations. Since these are the smallest and lightest ZBooks in their respective classes to date, you’ll be afforded true mobility in the field and at home, with pro-level performance to drive intensive tasks, as well as a color-accurate display to review work and manage projects from almost anywhere.

HP ZBook Firefly

Driven by a 10th-Gen Intel® Core™ i7-10510U or Core™ i7-10610U processor, the ZBook Firefly 15 G7 weighs 3.74 pounds and offers users 512GB of storage and either 16GB or 32GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 memory. If you need additional data security, Opal 2 self-encryption is available with the Core™ i7-10610U models, as is 32GB of Sure Recover onboard storage, which is an automated operating system recovery solution integrated into the hardware and firmware that lets you recover the OS whenever the need arises, throughout the life cycle of the computer. Sure Recover works even if the primary drive has been completely erased.

ZBook Firefly 15 G7

The 15.6" anti-glare display, which is backed by Intel® Premium UHD Graphics™, features a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and brightness of 250 nits, both of which provide a good amount of detail. Connect a wide variety of accessories and peripherals using dual 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt™ 3 ports, dual 5 Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and one HDMI 2.0 port. Given this system’s portability, fast Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is built in for efficient network connectivity, and Bluetooth 5.0 lets you connect wireless peripherals as needed. All the Firefly 15 G7 systems have a 720p webcam with a privacy shutter, plus a SmartCard reader, TPM security chip, and fingerprint reader for enhanced system security, but the Core™ i7-10610U models also include an infrared webcam for facial recognition with Windows 10 Hello.

Rounding things out on the Firefly 15 G7 is Windows 10 Pro and a 3-cell / 56Wh lithium-ion battery, which lasts for up to 23 hours before recharging is required, meaning you can spend almost the whole day plugging away. If you happen to find yourself in a crunch, the battery can fast-charge up to 50% in 30 minutes.

Given how technically competent the Firefly 15 G7 is, it’s hard to imagine that HP could improve upon it, but it has with the Firefly G8. Starting with the ZBook Firefly 14 G8, the most notable improvement is the upgrade to 11th-Gen Intel® Core™ processors, and users will be able to choose from the Core™ i5-1145G7, Core™ i7-1165G7, and Core™ i7-1185G7, which will enable your applications and multitasking to run more quickly and efficiently when compared to a 10th-Gen processor. Choose from either 16GB or 32GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 memory, which will further boost performance, especially with its faster MHz value, although be aware that the RAM is soldered in, so upgrades will not be possible. There are also “solid” SSD options of either 256GB or 512GB, and select models also have the 32GB of Sure Recover onboard storage.

Firefly 14 G8

The display on the Firefly 14 has been slightly downsized to 14", but that also makes its weight more manageable, which starts at 2.96 pounds. Most models that B&H stocks have a Full HD anti-glare display with 250 nits of brightness, but select models feature a touchscreen for enhanced interactions with Windows 10, or a Sure View display with 1000 nits of brightness. The Sure View display reduces viewing angles and helps guard against sneaky onlookers trying to peer over your shoulder. Saving the best graphical upgrade for last, all Firefly 14 G8 models have a dedicated NVIDIA Quadro T500 graphics card with 4GB of GDDR6 video memory, which will provide a notable boost over integrated Intel® UHD™ or Iris Xe™ graphics.

Connectivity has also been upgraded, thanks to the inclusion of Thunderbolt™ 4, which is only found on systems with Intel® 11th-Gen processors. There are two Thunderbolt™ 4 ports that operate at 40 Gb/s and also support the new USB4 standard. Other ports include two 5 Gb/s USB Type-A ports and one HDMI 1.4b port. All Firefly 14 G8 systems also have Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0, and a 720p infrared webcam with a privacy shutter, plus a TPM security chip, fingerprint reader, and SmartCard reader for added protection and privacy. Work for up to 14 hours with the 3-cell / 53Wh lithium-ion polymer battery that can fast charge up to 50% in 30 minutes. The installed operating system is Windows 10 Pro.

Topping things off is the Firefly 15 G8, which takes the technical prowess of the Firefly 14 G8 and adds a 15.6" Full HD anti-glare display, most of which have 250 nits of brightness, although select models have either a touchscreen or a Sure View privacy display with 1000 nits of brightness. Aside from the extra screen real estate, users will find 11th-Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1145G7, Core™ i7-1165G7, and Core™ i7-1185G7 processors, a 256GB or 512GB SSD, and either 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 memory, which may be upgraded to 64GB, which is another advantage over its Firefly 14 G8 sibling. Depending on the intensity of your GPU needs, both integrated Intel® Iris Xe™ and dedicated NVIDIA Quadro T500 options are available, depending on the model. Connectivity options also include dual Thunderbolt™ 4 / USB4 ports, a 5 Gb/s USB Type-A port, and one HDMI 2.0b port.

ZBook Firefly 15 G8

All Firefly 15 G8 systems have Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0, and a 720p infrared webcam with a privacy shutter, a TPM security chip, and fingerprint reader. Also available on select models is a SmartCard reader, 32GB of Sure Recover storage, and a TILE module, which uses Bluetooth to help pinpoint your system’s location. Work for up to 14 hours with the 3-cell / 53Wh lithium-ion polymer battery that can fast charge up to 50% in 30 minutes, and the installed operating system is Windows 10 Pro.

Next time I have the need for a business laptop, I’m definitely looking at HP’s ZBook Firefly lineup, because it encompasses power, portability, and long battery life. Its business uses are further strengthened given its 170° clamshell design, which allows it to be laid out nearly flat for user-friendly collaboration and comfortable viewing angles. How about you? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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