September 21, 2023

HP’s terrific ZBook Firefly 16-inch is a conveyable workstation geared toward productiveness, pictures, 2D, and light-weight 3D workloads. It’s based mostly on the business-class EliteBook 865 laptop computer however provides professional-class discrete graphics capabilities which might be licensed for Adobe, Autodesk, and SolidWorks. HP has provided each 14- and 16-inch variations of this product since final yr, however with the brand new Tenth-generation fashions, you’ll be able to select between Intel and AMD chipsets for the primary time, albeit solely within the 14-inch model.

Properly, that’s a quandary, isn’t it? However after a little bit of deliberation, I made a decision to assessment the 16-inch model, principally as a result of I had evaluated two 14-inch ZBook Fireflies up to now—this product line stays one among my all-time favorites—and I used to be curious how the larger show would affect the expertise. And whereas I’ll admit to a little bit of reviewer’s regret—after the actual fact, I found that the AMD chipset within the 14-inch ZBook Firefly is the primary to incorporate the agency’s AI engine—please don’t shed a tear: the 16-inch model carries ahead every part I cherished in regards to the EliteBook 865 and provides some good upgrades. It’s a wonderfully balanced productiveness monster.


As with its business-class inspiration, the ZBook Firefly is a giant slab of aluminum, however as a substitute of the pedestrian silver of the EliteBook, it arrives in a darker grey coloration that telegraphs its transportable workstation bona fides to HP followers.

However ZBook followers may be disillusioned to know that the distinctive “Z” emblem doesn’t adorn the surface of the show lid. As a substitute, we now get the usual silver HP emblem.

The appear and feel are skilled all through, with the black show bezels and keyboard keys contrasting properly with the darkish grey physique. The laptop computer can be well-made, with completely no flex in any respect on the keyboard deck regardless of its dimension. That’s spectacular, as is its reported sturdiness: HP says that the laptop computer has handed 19 MIL-STD 810h checks, so that is no homebody. The ZBook is designed for use within the discipline.


As we see elsewhere in HP’s premium transportable PC product households, the ZBook has moved to 16:10 show panels, which is a welcome transfer. There are a number of selections obtainable in quite a lot of resolutions and configurations, together with HP’s vaunted DreamColor panel, which supplies precision coloration accuracy for graphics professionals. However the assessment unit arrived with an astonishingly brilliant and crisp 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED panel that emits 400 nits of brightness—it feels brighter than that—and is blessedly freed from any pointless multitouch capabilities.

Curiously, the show within the assessment unit additionally gives excessive refresh-rate capabilities, so you’ll be able to change between 60 Hz and 120 Hz, a pleasant bonus. (And undecided about this characteristic’s availability throughout different panel choices.) Put merely, this show is beautiful, and it’s a giant step up from the Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) show that graced the EliteBook 865 I reviewed earlier this yr, with the identical fairly small bezels.

However the show doesn’t fairly lay flat.

Inner elements

16-inch ZBook Firefly consumers can select between an extended listing of thirteenth Gen Intel Core U- and P-series processors. And whereas I assume that almost all would favor a beefier P-series half, the U-series is a stable alternative that most likely helps preserve the value down. Certainly, the assessment unit shipped with an Intel Core i7-1365U processor that proved greater than satisfactory for the productiveness and creator duties I threw at it. Having 32 GB of DDR5-5200 RAM—upgradable to 64 GB—and an NVIDIA RTX A500 Laptop computer GPU with 4 GB of devoted GDDR5 RAM doesn’t harm both. Nor does the voluminous and speedy 2 TB of Gen 4 x4 NVMe M.2 SSD storage that got here with the assessment unit. (Clients have quite a lot of selections between 256 GB and a pair of TB of storage.)

I used the HP with all of my commonplace productiveness apps—Courageous, Phrase, Notion, Groups, and so forth—as one would possibly count on, but in addition with Adobe Photoshop Parts 2020 and Premiere Parts 2022. And whereas I put in however didn’t actually use the complete Visible Studio, I spent a variety of time with Visible Studio Code for each coding and productiveness duties. You shouldn’t be stunned to find that the ZBook Firefly soared together with no hiccups, however I actually take pleasure in how the bigger show improves the expertise for each productiveness and creator apps.

The ZBook Firefly was quiet and funky in regular use. However given its skinny body and devoted graphics, it’s affordable to wonder if sure workloads will warmth up the PC, spinning up the followers and the noise. I don’t run the high-end engineering and creator apps which may set off such a factor, however the one time I actually heard the fan was throughout video rendering in Premiere Parts, and even that wasn’t objectionable.


As one ought to count on, the ZBook Firefly supplies fashionable and speedy connectivity capabilities, together with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 on an M.2 combo card. 5G mobile connectivity can be obtainable as an choice, although it wasn’t included within the assessment unit. Right here, once more, I skilled no points, with the Wi-Fi knocking down virtually precisely 500 Mbps off of my 1 Gbps Web connection.

Ports and enlargement

Regardless of its skinny chassis, the ZBook supplies an inexpensive combine of contemporary and legacy ports that ought to fulfill most customers.

On the left, you will discover a full-sized USB Kind-A port (with a gradual 5 Gbps knowledge switch fee however gadget charging capabilities), an HDMI 2.0b video-out port, and two Thunderbolt 4/USB4 Kind-C ports (with 40 Gbps knowledge switch, USB Energy Supply, DisplayPort 1.4, and HP Sleep and Cost capabilities), plus an non-obligatory sensible card reader (that was included on the assessment unit).

And on the proper, there’s a headphone/microphone combo jack after which one other full-sized USB Kind-A port (with a gradual 5 Gbps knowledge switch fee and no gadget charging capabilities).

This isn’t deadly, however I’d prefer to see quicker USB-A ports in 2023, and it’d be good to have a minimum of one Thunderbolt 4/USB4 Kind-C port on either side.

Audio and video

The ZBook Firefly supplies surprisingly respectable Bang & Olufsen downward-firing audio system, and so they sound significantly good when used on a desk or different laborious surfaces. There’s no Dolby Atmos immersive sound assist, sadly, however the audio system sound nice and by no means distort, even at one hundred pc quantity, with each video and music content material. Certainly, it may possibly fill a decent-sized room with sound. (And I like that the bundled HP Audio Management app will be configured to mechanically optimize for the content material you’re having fun with slightly than forcing you to manually select between music, film, and voice.)

For the hybrid employees within the viewers, the HP ships with twin array microphones with convention and particular person modes and, as with the audio system, it gives configurable and AI-based noise-reduction capabilities (additionally by way of HP Audio Management). There’s additionally a high-quality 5 MP webcam with an 88-degree viewing angle, terrific low-light efficiency, and auto-framing.

These capabilities are configured by way of a utility that may solely be launched from the myHP app for some purpose. As can the PC’s multi-camera capabilities, although I didn’t check that.

Screen capture of webcam output

Keyboard and touchpad

HP’s premium PCs have lengthy had the perfect transportable keyboards within the trade, and the ZBook Firefly continues this pattern. Its full-sized, backlit, and spill-resistant keyboard supplies brief, snappy key throws, nice suggestions, and completely zero flex. It’s practically splendid.

The one niggle right here—for me, a minimum of—is the numeric keypad, which shifts the principle keyboard over to the left and was laborious to regulate to, with the Energy and Delete keys now not on the prime proper. This may increasingly simply be me, I’m a messy typist, however I’ve accuracy points with these keys and others alongside what is generally the proper facet of the keyboard, just like the Proper arrow key. And as HP defined to me, a numeric keypad is beneficial for architects and engineers, and the 14-inch mannequin, which doesn’t have the numpad, may be a better option for me and others who don’t want this performance. Truthful sufficient, however in an imaginary and excellent world, we’d get a alternative of keyboard.

Past that, I’ve no main points. There’s a microphone toggle key on the keyboard, which I like, however the webcam is toggled utilizing a hard-to-find guide shutter above the digital camera, which is lower than splendid, particularly at this value level.

The glass touchpad is giant and correct sufficient that I by no means wanted to disable three- and four-finger gestures, which is uncommon for me. Additionally good, I had no points grabbing objects on display screen for drag-and-drop. With plenty of touchpads, particularly bigger models, you need to actually place your fingers on the far left of the touchpad for this to work precisely. However this one was good.


The ZBook Firefly supplies Home windows Hi there facial recognition and fingerprint recognition capabilities, a minimum of optionally, which is my splendid configuration, although the fingerprint reader is an old-school sq. sensor on the far proper of the wrist relaxation and never situated contained in the keyboard. As famous above, you’ll be able to toggle the microphones and the webcam on/off, the latter manually.

As with different premium HP PCs, the Firefly additionally shipped with the corporate’s complete Wolf Safety suite, which supplies hardware-backed safety towards offline firmware assaults and deep learning-based safety applied sciences along with the same old malware protections. However this product is geared toward managed companies with plenty of HP {hardware} and may be overkill for people.


The HP ZBook Firefly incorporates 60 p.c post-consumer recycled plastic. And the laptop computer’s packaging is sustainable too: the surface field and corrugated cushions are one hundred pc sustainably sourced and recyclable, and the molded paper pulp cushion contained in the field is one hundred pc sustainably sourced and recyclable.

Pretty much as good, it’s easy to take away the underside panel of the laptop computer for serviceability, and you’ll exchange or improve the SSD, RAM, and different M.2-based elements. (HP instructed me that its bigger ZBook Fury laptops have even less complicated tool-less designs.)


With its 0.78-inch thinness and a curb weight of simply 3.88 kilos, the ZBook Firefly is about as skinny and light-weight as a 16-inch laptop computer can get, so it’s fascinating that it doesn’t skimp on the provision of full-sized enlargement ports and devoted graphics. There are two battery choices, 3-cell 51-watt-hour and 6-cell 76-watt-hour, and a alternative of USB-C energy adapters, one a conventional 65-watt unit and the opposite a barely greater (however under no circumstances giant) 110-watt brick. Each assist HP Quick Cost capabilities, so you’ll be able to cost the gadget to 50 p.c in simply half-hour in any configuration.

Sadly, the assessment unit got here with the smaller battery (and the smaller, 65-watt energy provide), and the battery life got here in a bit decrease than I had hoped at a mean of three:30 (three and a half hours). Granted, the discrete graphics and power-sucking OLED show are most likely answerable for that, and different configurations would doubtless get you nearer to what I skilled with the EliteBook 865 (an unbelievable 9 hours of uptime).

For people who need to micromanage the battery, HP supplies a Energy Supervisor app that permits you to configure how the system makes use of the battery in use and whereas charging. I left this set to “Let HP Handle My Battery,” a setting that permits HP’s clever charging, which learns how and once you use the PC and dynamically adjusts the cost stage. However you’ll be able to configure this to your liking.

16-inch laptops aren’t significantly transportable in comparison with the extra typical 13- and 14-inch laptops that most individuals use. However for many who want the extra expansive show, this can be a far tradeoff, and I had no points carrying this round in my medium-sized HP Renew backpack.

Software program

The ZBook Firefly will be configured with Home windows 11 House, Home windows 11 Professional, or Home windows 11 Professional Schooling, and the assessment unit shipped with Professional, which I really feel is the obvious alternative. There are 11 HP-branded utilities, three Intel utilities, two NVIDIA utilities, and two superfluous Begin menu icons, for Adobe gives and TCO Licensed. HP additionally pinned myHP and HP Audio Management to the Taskbar. So it’s not utterly crapware-free (Adobe gives? Come on) however not objectionable both.

Pricing and configurations

The HP ZBook Firefly usually begins at about $2000, which isn’t out of line for a conveyable workstation of this caliber. However that stated, it’s on sale as I write this, with costs beginning at simply $995 (!). For that low value, you get a Core i5-1335U processor, Intel Iris Xe built-in graphics, a Full HD+ show (1920 x 1200, anti-glare, 250 nits), 16 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, and Home windows 11 Professional, however no fingerprint reader, NFC, or smartcard reader.

That’s greater than affordable, so I used to be curious what the assessment unit configuration would value. And right here, the two TB of storage (a $995 improve) is what made it unobtainable (to me) at a bit over $2400. However then I wouldn’t configure this laptop computer with that a lot storage. A model with the identical processor and OLED show however no discrete graphics and simply 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage brings the value all the way down to $1517 (which is over $3000 when not on sale).

In the event you’re out there for this laptop computer, transfer shortly: these are unbelievable costs for this a lot energy.

Suggestions and conclusions

With its unbelievable vary of processor, RAM, storage, and 16-inch show choices, the HP ZBook Firefly G10 can meet the wants of anybody within the goal market. And that features those that would possibly often store over within the EliteBook aisle, as this machine supplies vital upgrades for licensed discrete graphics, show selections, and extra. Mix that with the skilled design, wonderful keyboard and touchpad, hybrid work capabilities, and HP optimizations, and also you’ve received a winner right here. The ZBook Firefly is very advisable, although I’ll remind potential prospects to noticeably contemplate all of the buy-time customization choices. And do not forget that there’s a 14-inch mannequin for many who want a smaller show and no numeric keypad.



  • Enterprise-class class
  • Practically good keyboard and touchpad (albeit with numeric keypad)
  • Unbelievable vary of processor, graphics, RAM, storage, and show selections
  • The OLED show is terrific, with brilliant, vibrant colours and deep blacks
  • Trendy connectivity capabilities with 5G mobile knowledge choice
  • Surprisingly robust audio
  • Wonderful hybrid work capabilities


  • Can get very expensive
  • Sluggish USB Kind-A ports
  • Battery life within the assessment unit slowed down by graphics, OLED show, small battery