HP’s ZBook workstations are designed primarily with creators and enterprise users in mind. Two of the three new ZBook G8 laptops announced today — the ZBook Fury G8 and the Power G8 — should serve those crowds nicely. But the 15.6-inch Studio G8 is the oddball of the group for a very obvious reason, and I love it so much. It’s a work laptop, yet it has an RGB-backlit keyboard.

It has this colorful keyboard for the reason you might expect: HP apparently hopes you might also want to do some gaming on it. The laptop can be configured with some seriously high-end components, like Intel’s newly-announced 11th Gen H-series Core i7 and Core i9 processors, going up to a Core i9-11950H vPro (2.6GHz base clock, 5GHz boost clock) processor. Impressively, it can house all of that power in a chassis that weighs less than four pounds.

HP ZBook Studio G8 The colors can be customized in HP’s Omen gaming hub software.HP

The Studio G8 should shine in the graphics department as well, because it’s configurable with the variant of the Nvidia RTX 3080 that can contain up to 16GB of video memory, currently the most powerful mobile GPU available. Though if you’re concerned more with creative workflows than gaming, opting for the Nvidia RTX A5000 GPU intended for professionals might be the smarter choice.

The ZBook Studio G8 ships with a 1080p IPS display by default, but it can be upgraded to a 4K IPS screen with a 120Hz refresh rate that has 100 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut; you can also opt for a 4K OLED touchscreen. One other unexpected gaming-focused feature this laptop has is an HDMI 2.1 port, which allows certain configurations of the Studio G8 to display 4K resolution at up to 120 frames per second on external monitors or TVs that allow it.

Would I recommend the ZBook Studio G8 over any newer gaming laptops? Likely not, but it’s tough to say, since we don’t know the price. HP says it plans to release this particular model in July and will share the price closer to that time. The company also says that certain configurations with consumer-grade RTX 30-series GPUs may launch in the second half of 2021. HP’s other ZBook G8 models, the ZBook Power G8 and ZBook Fury G8, will launch this summer.

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