With a little over a week to go before PhotoPlus Expo, announcements start popping up and only increase in number as the show approaches. Normally, the “showstoppers” are reserved for the show itself, but this year’s pre-show announcements have been some whoppers. Here’s a quick rundown:
HP Announces Zbook X2 “Super Tablet”
Ok, “super tablet” is my term, they actually called it a “detachable PC”. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe. What really counts is that HP has managed to cram a desktop class system into a 14″ tablet with a DreamColor display, integrated Wacom pen interface, discrete Nvidia graphics card(!) and enough CPU, RAM, and NVME SSD storage to get the job done for creatives.
Here’s the press release:
LAS VEGAS, NV – October 18, 2017 — Today at Adobe® MAX, HP will showcase the world’s most powerful detachable PC1 designed to solve the performance and mobility needs of artists, designers and digital imaging professionals who need to push Adobe Creative Cloud® and other professional applications to the limit. The performance of the HP ZBook x2, the world’s first detachable workstation,15 increases productivity and allows digital creators and storytellers the freedom to work when and where inspiration strikes.
HP’s reinvention of detachable PCs began earlier this year with the introduction of the HP Spectre x2 and the HP Elite x2. Today’s introduction of the HP ZBook x2 completes HP’s trifecta with its most powerful detachable solution targeted for the creative community. With this new offering, HP is extending its PC leadership by pioneering a new era for detachable PCs that offer superb performance, elegance and efficiency.
As the world’s most powerful and first detachable PC workstation, there is nodevice better suited to turn the vision of artists and designers into reality,” said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, HP Z Workstations, HP Inc. “With the HP ZBook x2, we are delivering the perfect tool to accelerate the creative process – with unprecedented power, performance and natural ease-of-use. This device will make it easier than ever for creators to do what they do best – bring inspiring new ideas to life and enrich the world around us.”
Liberating Digital Creativity
The HP ZBook x2 allows designers to effortlessly create with quad-core Intel® Core™ processors2, twice the memory of any other detachable PC3 and NVIDIA® Quadro® Graphics that deliver 73 percent higher graphics performance compared to the Surface Pro4. A quiet, dual-fan active cooling system is designed to dissipate heat from the powerful graphics card and processor. To better meet the needs of the creative community, including Adobe users, HP also developed customizable, application-aware HP Quick Keys, to provide artists with 18 time-saving shortcuts.
“At Adobe, our goal is to accelerate creativity. Creative Cloud is the platform that enables us to deliver powerful innovation in our apps and cloud-based services supported by Adobe Sensei with artificial intelligence at the heart of every customer experience,” said Mala Sharma, vice president and general manager, Creative Cloud Product, Marketing and Community. “Adobe is thrilled with our collaboration with HP, which we know will further fuel creativity and give Creative Cloud members more power and freedom to create wherever inspiration strikes.”
Today, many creative professionals use multiple devices such as a MacBook Pro plus an iPad to accomplish the same tasks that can be done on the HP ZBook x2. Knowing that ultimate mobility is important, HP created a single device that delivers the same performance capabilities from inking to docked mode.
HP’s most versatile detachable to date, the HP ZBook x2 operates in four modes: laptop, detached, docked and tablet.
- In laptop mode, the HP ZBook x2 is a powerful mobile workstation with a keyboard leveraged from the HP ZBook Studio.
- In detached mode, it allows users to create on the tablet with HP’s most accurate and expressive pen while still having full access to all of their shortcut keys with the Bluetooth®-enabled keyboard off to the side.
- In docked mode, the HP ZBook x2 can power two additional 4K displays or five total displays.
- In tablet mode, it maintains full graphics performance allowing users to capture ideas with powerful NVIDIA 3D graphics.
Using HP’s most natural pen with the HP ZBook x2, users can create without interruption as the pen never needs to be charged. The battery-less, HP-designed pen based on Wacom EMR technology, responds instantly to every nuance of the artist’s hand for natural motion. The HP ZBook x2 offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with multi-directional tilt capabilities and includes a dedicated eraser.
As a member of the world’s most secure and manageable mobile workstation family10, the HP ZBook x2 features HP Sure Start Gen311 for BIOS protection, TPM 2.0 for hardware-based encryption to secure credentials, secure authentication methods through the Smart Card Reader and HP’s Client Security Suite Gen312 to protect data, device and identity, including facial recognition and fingerprint reader.
HP ZBook x2 Highlights
The HP ZBook x2 embodies the intersection of mobility and performance in a fully-machined, aluminum and die-cast magnesium body starting at just 3.64 pounds5 and 14.6 mm thin when in tablet mode, and 4.78 pounds5 and 20.3 mm in laptop mode. The HP ZBook x2 has a stunning 14-inch diagonal, 4K multi-touch display with an optional 10-bit, one-billion color6HP DreamColor display calibrated to 100 percent of Adobe RGB. The HP ZBook x2 has the world’s most advanced detachable PC display16 and includes an anti-glare touchscreen allowing users to immerse themselves while working in any lighting condition. At the desk, it can power dual 4K displays from the HP ZBook Dock with Thunderbolt™ 37.
This detachable PC has up to 10 hours of battery life13 for maximum productivity and ultra-fast recharge (50 percent in just 30 minutes8). The HP ZBook x2 offers up to 4.2 GHz of Intel®Turbo Boost, 32 GB RAM over dual channels for more responsiveness under heavier workloads like complex layering in Photoshop. The model’s HP Z Turbo Drive storage is up to 6X faster than SATA SSD and up to 21X faster than traditional HDD storage. The HP ZBook x2 offers up to 2 TB9 of local PCIe storage and incorporates a full-sized SD card slot, perfect for professional photographers. Using the dock or Thunderbolt 3 ports on the HP ZBook x2, it can transfer large files from cameras, external storage, phones and other peripherals.
Designed to go anywhere and handle the toughest workloads, the HP ZBook x2 mobile workstation is designed to pass MIL-STD 810G testing14. The HP ZBook x2 also undergoes dozens of tests for certification and optimized performance with the industry’s leading software providers like Adobe and Autodesk.
HP ZBook x2 Pricing and Availability
HP ZBook x2 is scheduled for availability in December starting at $1,749. The datasheet is available here.
- Based on detachables from vendors as of October 3, 2017. Power based on processor, graphics and memory.
- Multi-Core is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. Intel’s numbering, branding and/or naming is not a measurement of higher performance.
- Based on memory capacity of detachables from vendors as of October 5, 2017.
- Based on Cinebench R15 open GL testing as of Oct. 5th, 2017 using max configurations for HP ZBook x2 and Microsoft Surface Pro announced May 23, 2017.
- Weight will vary by configuration.
- Optional HP DreamColor display with 1 billion colors is sold separately.
- Sold separately or as an optional feature
- Recharges your battery up to 50% within 30 minutes when the system is off or in standby mode. Power adapter with a minimum capacity of 65 watts is required. After charging has reached 50% capacity, charging will return to normal. Charging time may vary +/-10% due to System tolerance.
- For hard drives, GB = 1 billion bytes. TB = 1 trillion bytes. Actual formatted capacity is less. Up to 30GB (for Windows 10) of system disk is reserved for system recovery software.
- Based on HP’s unique and comprehensive security capabilities at no additional cost among vendors as of January 2017 on HP Mobile Workstations with 7th Gen Intel® Processors.
- HP Sure Start Gen3 is available on HP EliteBook, HP ZBook, and HP Z Workstation products equipped with Intel® 7th generation or later processors.
- HP Client Security Suite Gen3 requires Windows and Intel® or AMD 7th Gen or later processors.
- Windows 10 MM14 battery life will vary depending on various factors including product model, configuration, loaded applications, features, use, wireless functionality, and power management settings. The maximum capacity of the battery will naturally decrease with time and usage. See www.bapco.com for additional details.
- MIL STD 810G testing is pending and is not intended to demonstrate fitness for U.S. Department of Defense contract requirements or for military use. Test results are not a guarantee of future performance under these test conditions. Accidental damage requires an optional HP Accidental Damage Protection Care Pack.
- Based on workstation market data as of October 11, 2017.
- Based on detachables from vendors as of October 5, 2017 comparing display resolution, color gamut and maximum colors supported.
Adobe Updates Creative Cloud to 2018 Edition (including LIGHTROOM)
After nearly three years, Adobe has release a major update to Lightroom. However, it’s actually not quite as awesome as you think it might be. First off, Adobe has killed off the standalone version of Lightroom (and many competitors have noticed) much to the chagrin of many photographers who were loathe to move to the subscription model. Second, they renamed Lightroom CC to Lightroom CC Classic which is supposed to have many performance improvements. And last, but not least, have introduced a cloud-based version called Lightroom CC that runs along the lines of Apple Photos and Google Photos: in other words, dumbed down for the Instagram generation. The rest of the Creative Cloud gets a 2018 update as well, plus some new apps have been added.
Now, remember I said that Adobe’s competitors have noticed the removal of the standalone version of Lightroom?
Macphun Announces Luminar 2018 for PC/Mac with Digital Asset Management
Macphun, the guys that brought you Aurora HDR and Trey Ratcliffe, have finally announced the next version of Luminar with support for Windows and Mac. This new version include a catalog function to help you manage your images (just like Lightroom) and they proudly tell you that there are no subscription fees.
Luminar 2018 can be pre-ordered from here. $59USD. Once.
Here’s a short video demoing some of the new features: