Dell and HP launch new laptops, a convertible and display for designers and artists

Following Intel's announcement of new, 8th-generation chips for laptops, we've seen the first models to use them appear from Dell and HP.

HP's 'convertible' laptop, the ZBook Studio x360 G5

The 8th-gen Intel Core and Xeon chips found in these new laptops from HP and Dell feature up to six-cores, so can offer quite a performance boost over the previous generation in multi-threaded apps (such as most creative apps from Photoshop to Cinema 4D to After Effects).

Dell has added the chips to its XPS 15 laptop, which is a direct rival to Apple's MacBook Pro 15 - targetting creative pros, style-conscious business users and others who want a top-notch hiDPI screen and mid-range performance. More on this later in this story.

HP has launched a brand new line of its ZBook 'mobile workstations', which are aimed at creative pros - especially video editors and 3D artists - as well as engineers.

Most of the line are 'G5' - ie 5th-generation - versions of the current hardware, adding 8th-generation Intel chips and some other new components to what was available before. There is one brand new model, the ZBook Studio x360 G5 - a laptop that can be flipped around and closed 'backwards' to become a tablet.

In the past, tablet/laptop hybrids have generally been tablets with clip-on keyboards - with the main components behind the screen. Recently, we've seen more of these 'convertible' models like the x360 appear, such as Dell's XPS 15 2-in-1. They're bulkier than the other type of hybrid, but that's because they have a full laptop base than can house higher performance - and therefore larger - components.

The 15.6-inch screen is the brightest 4K laptop screen, claims HP. The x360 ships with a stylus that uses Wacom technology for 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

The HP ZBook Studio G5

HP says that the ZBook Studio x360 G5 is also the world's most powerful convertible PC, though it hasn't revealed specs for it yet. It will offer the same performance as the 'non-convertible' ZBook Studio G5, which has also been upgraded.

The ZBook Studio G5 is smaller than the G4 model and has a designed that reminiscent of the MacBook Pro, which HP claims its model is up to 35% faster than. It features a non-touchscreen version of the same bright, 4K, 15.6-inch screen as the x360. You can fit it with 6-core Intel Xeon chips, Nvidia Quadro graphics and up to 6TB of storage.

Pricing starts at €1,349 (around £1,180)/US$1,149 for the x360 model and €1,199 (£1,050)/£1,299 for the Studio G5.

The HP ZBook 15 G5

The ZBook 15 G5 also has that 15-inch screen - but is bulkier (and cheaper). This offers 6-core chips and 6GB storage - or 4GB PCIe.

There's a ZBook 15v G5 variant aimed at students with lower-specced components and a less attractive design. It tops out at 32GB RAM and 4TB storage.

Pricing starts at €1,249 (£1,090) for the ZBook 15 and €849 (£740)/$949 for the 15v.

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The HP ZBook 17 G5

The ZBook 17 G5 is the most powerful of the models, and is substantially larger too. It has a 17-inch, 4K screen powered by Nvidia Quadro P5200 graphics chip with 16GB DDR5 RAM. Alongside a quad- or 6-core chip, the ZBook 17 supports up to 64GB of memory and 10TB storage. HP also claims a 20 percent better thermal design over the G4 model that helps it stay cooler and quieter.

It costs from €1,299 (£1,140)

The HP DreamColor Z27x G2 Studio Display

There's also a new DreamColor monitor to be used alongside the laptops - or one of HP's desktop workstations. The HP DreamColor Z27x G2 Studio Display has a 27-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 IPS panel than can output 98% of the Adobe RGB colour space and 99% of DCI-P3.

It has a built-in sensor than pops up to calibrate the screen at regular intervals, and has a KVM switch inside to allow one keyboard and mouse connected to it to switch between two computers. Pricing starts at €2,299 (£2,010).

The monitor will ship this month, while the laptops will be available in May.

Dell XPS 15

More details are available about the Dell XPS 15.

This features either a quad-core i5 (up to 4GHz) or i7 (up to 4.1Gz) chip, or a 6-core i9 processor. You can spec it with between 8GB and 32GB of 2.666GHz DDR4 RAM, and storage up to a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD.

You can go for an HD screen, but our choice would be a 15.6-inch 'InfinityEdge' 4K touchscreen display that can output over 100% of the Adobe RGB colour space. Powering this is a choice of built-in Intel UHD graphics 630, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or GTX 1050Ti graphics (both of the Nvidia options have 4GB of their own RAM, with the Ti model offering better overall performance).

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The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Dell is also now shipping the XPS 15 2-in-1 'convertible' laptop it launched back at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) back in January.