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

Nancy J. Delong

HP proceeds to name its sleekest and most transportable laptops right after traveling insects. The 13.three-inch Elite Dragonfly 2-in-1 convertible just lately saw an remarkable G2 enhance, and now HP has up-to-date the 14-inch ZBook Firefly, which is a little heavier but also gives more heavyweight functionality as the “smallest and lightest” of the firm’s Z-collection of mobile workstations. 

In a lot of techniques, the ZBook Firefly 14 G8 is a common 14-inch notebook, lacking the convertible structure and 4K display screen of the Dragonfly G2. However, it does supply legitimate workstation-class functionality in a slim and gentle structure that will charm to content creators, architects and other professional end users. 

Structure & functions

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

The basic structure has not improved considering that the G7 version that we reviewed previously this year, measuring 323mm wide by 21.5mm deep by seventeen.9mm thick, and weighing just 1.4kg. The develop good quality remains remarkable also, with the Firefly’s durable — and recycled — aluminium casing conference the navy-grade MIL-STD-810H standard for resistance to heat, shock and humidity. That rugged structure may be overkill for the Adobe Resourceful Cloud end users that HP highlights on its internet site, but it will be welcomed by architects or engineers who need to pay a visit to constructing sites and other outdoor spots. 

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The 14-inch ZBook Firefly 14 G8 operates on eleventh-technology Core 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 video RAM. The chassis is MIL-STD-810H certified.


Images: HP Inc

The keyboard feels business and comfortable also, with a row of navigation keys on the much right, and a fingerprint sensor just beneath that. HP gets a little carried absent with the trackpad functions, even though. As you’d expect, you can right-click by tapping with two fingers, but there are also remaining/right buttons in the reduce corners of the trackpad, as perfectly as two independent actual physical buttons earlier mentioned the trackpad by itself, and even a pointing adhere found on the key keyboard. 

Like its predecessor, the Firefly G8 has two USB three.1 ports on the remaining-hand side, although the two USB-C ports in excess of on the right have been upgraded to guidance Thunderbolt 4. You will find an HDMI port on that side also, which you can almost certainly need for an external check, given the Firefly’s modest designed-in display screen. You will find no Ethernet port, so you can need an adapter if you need a wired connection in an office environment. 

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Oddly, this G8 edition of the ZBook Firefly now lacks the 4K display screen selection that was obtainable with its predecessor. Our review device had a non-contact IPS display screen with standard FHD (1920 x 1080, 157.3dpi) resolution, which was vivid and vibrant, thanks to its remarkable 1000 nits brightness, aided by a welcome anti-glare coating for outdoor use. It also features HP’s SureView privacy mode that is made to beat ‘visual hacking’ (somebody seeking in excess of your shoulder) by sharply limiting the display’s viewing angles. Thoughts you, the viewing angles usually are not terrific even with SureView turned off, so the Firefly may not be the ideal selection for supplying presentations where by you do want other folks to be ready to see the display screen. 

An additional oddity is that the display screen on our review device only supported 72% of the NTSC color gamut. There are other display screen options obtainable that guidance contact and the sRGB and DCI-P3 color benchmarks for graphics and video function, but these all share the exact same 1080p resolution. There is a independent fifteen.6-inch edition of the Firefly that provides a 4K selection — but, of study course, this is larger sized, heavier and more high-priced, which will be a disappointment for end users who are attracted to the extremely transportable structure of this 14-inch design. 

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Suitable side (leading): power connector HDMI 1.4b 2x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4. Left side (earlier mentioned): headphone/microphone combo 2x USB three.1.


Images: HP Inc

Rate & options

The pricing scenario for the ZBook Firefly G8 is a little sophisticated also, with differing requirements and customisation options obtainable in the Uk and US. 

Pricing in the Uk begins at £1,169 (ex. VAT £1,402.eighty inc. VAT) for a Firefly G8 managing Windows ten Professional 64, with a quad-core Core i7-1165G7 processor managing at 2.8GHz (up to 4.7GHz with TurboBoost). That rate also includes 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and discrete Nvidia T500 graphics with 4GB of devoted video memory. The 1080p display screen for that design is rather modest, even though, with only 250 nits brightness and 45% of the NTSC color gamut. Our review device stepped up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD and, as famous, the display screen supported 72% of NTSC with 1000 nits brightness, bringing the overall rate to £1,389 (ex. VAT £1,666.eighty inc. VAT). 

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Customers in the US appear to confront a little bit greater pricing, with the entry-degree Firefly G8 costing $1,889 whilst making use of a more modest Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and Nvidia’s T500 GPU. Following that, the US edition of the Firefly G8 skips earlier its Uk counterpart, opting for a a little bit faster Core i7-1185G7 processor (three.0GHz, with TurboBoost to 4.8GHz) with 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, costing $2,489. There are a wide range of customisation options obtainable, although it remains puzzling that the various display screen options are all confined to just 1080p resolution. 

Functionality & battery life

The ZBook Firefly G8’s functionality confirms its position as HP’s entry-degree mobile workstation for 2d and complex structure function. It has the exact same Core i7 processor as the light-weight Dragonfly convertible, with the Dragonfly producing Geekbench 5 scores of 1565 for solitary-core functionality and 4330 for multi-core. The ZBook Firefly G8 springs no surprises with a solitary-core score of 1,590, but comfortably eases into the lead with a score of 5,450 for multi-core functionality.  

The built-in Iris Xe GPU of the Dragonfly was no slouch when it arrived to graphics, acquiring a score of 85fps in the Cinebench R15 OpenGL graphics benchmark, and 16fps for the more demanding Unigine Valley 3D tests. However, the Firefly G8’s discrete Nvidia T500 GPU jumps right in advance to 165fps on the Cinebench exam. Its functionality with the hefty-duty Valley benchmark would not boost rather so drastically, even though, nudging only a little bit in advance to 19fps. This confirms that the ZBook Firefly is ideal suited to 2d graphics and more basic 3D function. 

The Firefly G8’s Core i7 processor does also have its possess built-in Iris Xe GPU, of study course, and this makes it possible for you to change involving built-in and discrete graphics as essential. Employing the Iris Xe in our tests however authorized the Firefly to submit a respectable 95fps in Cinebench and 16fps in Valley, so you could use the built-in graphics for more regimen duties in order to maintain battery life. 

That may be required also, as the Firefly’s battery life was not remarkable — primarily for a notebook with a modest FHD-resolution display screen. Employing Wi-Fi to stream video repeatedly — with built-in graphics chosen, and brightness at fifty% — the Firefly lasted just seven.5 hours, which is near to a whole day’s function, but rarely outstanding for a modern notebook. We’ve noticed assessments of Firefly models with 250 nits displays, which recorded better battery life, so the 1000 nits of our review device would seem to appear at a value, even when reduced a little bit all through our battery tests. 

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Image: HP Inc

Conclusions

HP’s ZBook Firefly G8 is one thing of a combined bag. It truly is a reasonably priced entry-degree mobile workstation that provides solid functionality for content creation, 2d graphics and complex structure function, wrapped up in a light-weight but durable structure. However, the confined display screen options appear rather quick-sighted for these kinds of a effective notebook, and the battery life undoubtedly leaves place for improvement. Skilled end users who function outside all working day extended may desire a notebook with more robust battery life, but the Firefly G8 will however be a very good selection for office environment use, operating from property, and occasional visits to off-web site spots.

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