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HP Zbook Firefly G10A review: a customizable business beacon
4:03 am | December 21, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: | Comments: Off

HP ZBook Firefly G10 A: Two Minute Review

The ZBook range is HP’s answer to the need for an enterprise fleet for businesses that trade on more demanding graphical or data processing workloads and the Firefly is the entry level segment of the Z range. 

This doesn’t mean all the ZBook Firefly G10 or G10 A devices are going to be suited to one kind of employee however, since even within this line-up the devices can be configured with a range of CPUs and integrated or entry-level discrete GPUs. 

The most powerful ZBook Firefly G10 has slightly lower graphical performance than something running a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, so it’s really only suitable for creatives with the lightest workloads and regular office workers. If you do need that little bit more the ZBook Power, Studio and Fury are tailored to heavier kinds of creative workflows.

The devices come with Windows Pro operating systems and processors that allow all the extra security and fleet management tools that businesses may need. This means they’re not often competitive as consumer or home-work devices for anyone that can operate without logging into company systems. So for the self employed, you're going to get more value from an Asus Zenbook S 13, Dell’s XPS 13 Plus or a MacBook Air, but for businesses HP’s ZBook range makes it convenient to set up and monitor fleets and add hardware service care for devices. 

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HP laptop various angles

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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HP laptop various angles

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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HP laptop various angles

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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HP laptop various angles

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)

HP ZBook Firefly G10 A: Price and availability

  • From $1,769 / £1,200 / AU$2,456 / SG$2,201
  • IT Support (3 years)  $117 /  £132 / AU$270

The entry level devices start at $1,769  / £1,200 / AU$2,456 for something with an Intel Core i5-1340P CPU, 16GB of RAM and integrated Iris Xe Graphics (or the Nvidia RTX A500 in the UK). That pricing is pretty steep in the US and Australia, since you only get a device that’s just capable of what you’d want in a professional laptop intended to last 3 to 5 years. On something like this you can expect to have no issue running standard office applications, web browsers and possibly the occasional bout of light photo editing, but there’s not a lot of overhead for anyone doing more demanding work than standard office tasks. This is compounded by the Firefly's entry-level FullHD+ screen that is just 250 nits and has poor 45% NTSC colour reproduction, which won’t allow you to do any serious creative work. 

If you do need the ‘workstation’ capabilities boasted about in HP’s marketing materials you’ll need to invest in one of the more capable systems. There are too many to list individually here, and availability varies region-to-region, but they range all the way up to the $4,549 (about £3,597 / $6,782) G10 with an Intel Core i7-1365U CPU, 64GB RAM allocation and Nvidia RTX A500 GPU. 

This device has an Intel chip with vPro compatibility and a W11 Pro OS that includes the kinds of tools and security features that are handy to companies with a fleet of laptops and an IT department to manage them. This makes them not particularly competitive to everyday self-employed worker or small business professionals that can live without tools like encrypted storage lockers and remote desktop control. 

If you are buying for a business you can easily add next day IT support for 3 years for $117 /  £132 / AU$270 or extend that for as long as your business intends to maintain the devices. 

In Australia you can buy the non-pro variants of the AMD options for up to AU$880 less, but the pricing of Pro vs standard is not consistent across the range and sometimes the less full featured options are, inexplicably, more expensive. 

  • Price score: 3 / 5

HP ZBook Firefly G10 A: Specs

The ZBook Firefly 14 inch G10/ G10 A is a 14-inch pro workstation from HP that can be configured with either an Intel or AMD CPU. Bundled with a choice of Windows 10 or 11 Pro OS as standard, these devices come with extra security and enterprise tools that can be particularly handy for larger fleets of work devices. 

The device we were sent to test included an AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 7640 CPU, 16GB RAM allocation and an AMD Radeon 760M integrated graphics card which retails for $2,017 /  AU$2,470 / SG$2,201 (about £1,593). 

  • Specs score: 3 / 5

HP ZBook Firefly G10 A: Design

HP laptop various angles

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
  • Good port selection
  • Bigger than consumer Ultrabooks

The Zbook Firefly doesn’t have anything revolutionary in its design, in fact it’s probably more vanilla than a lot of the top professional ultrabooks out there. There are some decent configurations to be found, but it has too many different options to have a cohesive design concept that can easily be communicated to individual consumers. 

Based on the web page marketing, HP is going after the creator market with this device and there are some devices that fit that category well, but it also ranges products with a 250 nit FullHD+ display that has terrible colour accuracy and are not suitable for creatives. Some models also rely on integrated graphics, which won’t be ideal for anyone running heavier than average graphical workloads. 

The screen does offer a convertible-style hinge that can fold back on itself which makes it easy to view and use the touchscreen from any angle. There’s an included HDMI port, that is rarely seen these days, to make it super easy to connect to legacy displays for an office presentation. It’s also got a fingerprint reader and a 5MP camera that can take photos at up to QHD and offers great quality webcam video. This combines with a good speaker and microphone array and the latest on board AI processing to filter out unwanted sounds and frame and highlight you during web conferences. 

The Firefly G10 A is designed to be the Ultrabook of the Z Workstation range, so it’s just under 0.79-inches (2cm) thick and weighs a very manageable 3-pounds (1.4kg). This isn’t quite as light as what you’ll get from the latest consumer Ultrabooks, since it weighs 40% more than the 2.2-pound (1kg) Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED and it’s close to 70% thicker than most current Ultrabooks which land around the 1.2cm thick mark. 

  • Design score: 3 / 5

HP ZBook Firefly G10 A: Performance

HP laptop various angles

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
  • Wide range of devices
  • Differing levels of performance
Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED: Benchmarks

Here's how the HP ZBook Firefly G10 A performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Time Spy: 1,657; Time Spy Extreme: 750
GeekBench 5: 1,700 (single-core); 7,472 (multi-core)
Cinebench R23 Multi-core:
10,842 points
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Low): 26.1 fps;
Sid Meier's: Civilization VI (1080p, Ultra): 23.16 fps;
Crystal DiskMark 8 (Read/ Write):
3,613/2,518 MB/s
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 6,422 points
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 3 hours, 18 minutes

It’s a bit of a complicated story to talk about performance here as you’ve got 8 CPUs and 6 GPUs spanning from rudimentary capabilities to moderate and even some high-performance chips. If you’re a creative you might be able to get away with the AMD Ryzen 7 or 9 processors and Radeon 780M integrated graphics as they offer graphics around what you’ll see on Apple’s 2022 M2 processor on the Macbook Air devices, but they’re usually paired with the lower spec screens that we wouldn’t recommend for creative work. That means you’re going to want to opt for one of the devices with a HP DreamColor display and one of the discrete Nvidia GPUs if you have more demanding graphical workflows. 

The model we tested was the most basic AMD version available, so performance is pretty conservative with the 6-core AMD Ryzen Pro 7640HS lining up with some of the lower core 13th gen Intel i7 devices. Relying on the Integrated Radeon 760M GPU and 16GB of RAM, this device doesn’t have the graphical capability for entry level-gaming like you’ll get on Apple’s M2 (and later) GPUs, but it is fractionally ahead of Intel’s integrated Iris Xe chip on many 13th gen devices. This unit was competent at basic office and browser based tasks. It’s even going to have the capacity for light photo editing and simple creative workflows, but it’s not powerful enough to run complicated 3D models or work effectively with large raw video files. 

  • Performance score: 3 / 5

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Battery life

HP laptop various angles

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
  • 12h53min work lifespan 
  • 13h18min movie playback

The almost 13 hour light work battery life on the Zbook Firefly G10 A we tested was definitely one of the better aspects of this device. It’s not unprecedented, both the XPS 13 Plus and the Asus Zenbook 13 OLED have similar work life spans and all of them are still hours off what you’ll get on Apple’s current range, but it’s well over a standard work day so should give you enough juice to do whatever you need to without carrying a charger. 

Unfortunately we suspect that the higher resolution 2560 x 1600 pixel, 500 nit HP DreamColour displays won’t fare so well in overall battery life since they share the same 51Wh battery, but add a brighter more power hungry screen that’ll drain power much faster.

  • Battery life score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the HP ZBook Firefly G10 A?

Buy it if...

You’re buying laptops for the office

Great for those buying a fleet of devices for the whole company that need enterprise security and advanced business functionalities.

Don't buy it if...

You’re a sole trader or small business without an IT department

Most of the unique features of the ZBook Firefly range stem from their advanced pro functionalities, which you don’t need if you’re not locking the computers into a company-run network. 

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Also consider

How I tested the HP ZBook Firefly G10 A

  • I tested it using both benchmark tests and video game benchmarks
  • I stress-tested the battery using the TechRadar movie test

I ran the  HP ZBook Firefly G10 A  through our standard suite of benchmarks to get a feel for the laptop's peak performance and to see how it compares with the best on the market.

In addition to our standard suite of testing, I also tested the device using it for a day of work to see how it fares when typing, web browsing, working and for light photo and video editing tasks. 

The screen was analysed using TechRadar's standard movie test and was compared against other screens running standard web browsing and movie editing software. 

The battery life was benchmarked with two tests to simulate different battery life scenarios.

Read more about how we test laptops and desktops.

First reviewed August 2023

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