Here we have the HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10 2023 a mobile workstation laptop that is thin and light, easy to take with you on the go. It is excellent and features a nice processor, although it’s not a powerhouse when it comes to rendering or 3D graphics work. This workstation is primarily designed for mobile professionals who need to work while on the road and don’t want to be weighed by bulky workstation. It does have the necessary ISV certifications that professionals require for certain applications, and it boasts really good battery life, which we’ll delve into later. Additionally, it offers excellent build quality, optional mobile broadband, and a host of other features. This is my review of the HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10 2023.
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Unboxing and Design
Inside the box, we get USB Type-C 65-watt power charger, along with the power cord and documentation, which includes warranty information. And the laptop itself. Firefly 14 G10 comes in the natural silver color, featuring an all-metal construction with a premium build. And alone weighs 1.54 kilograms or approximately three pounds. With the power adapter and power cord, it weighs 1.827 kilograms or about four pounds and 0.4 ounces. it’s doesn’t have sharp edges; it’s slightly rounded and feels comfortable in your hand. Additionally, it can be easily opened with just one finger. The lid mechanism is quite smooth and convenient.
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The port selection of ZBook Firefly 14 G10 on the left side includes an HDMI 2.0 B port, a USB-A port, and two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports. Both USB Type-C ports are full function, supporting data transfer, charging, and display output. Additionally, there is a smart card reader available. On the right side, you’ll find the nano SIM card slot for optional mobile broadband, a Kensington Lockport, a full-size USB-A port, and finally, a 3.5-millimeter microphone/headphone combo jack. Overall, it offers a really good port selection. However, it’s worth noting that there is no SD card slot or microSD card slot, which might be a notable for some users.
HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10 Display
Now, there are several display options available, We have the best one, in my opinion: the HP DreamColor display. It’s a 14-inch display with a resolution of 2560 by 1600, featuring a 16:10 aspect ratio. One notable feature is its dynamic refresh rate, which can go up to 120 hertz, providing a smooth and fluid experience. Additionally, it has a nice anti-glare coating, making it a matte display that eliminates unnecessary glare and reflections. It has been great to use.
When ZBook FireFly 14 G10 comes to content creation, this display is an excellent choice. Not only is it bright, reaching 512 nits (which exceeds the claimed 500 nits), but it also offers outstanding color gamut coverage and accuracy. This makes it ideal for tasks such as video editing, Lightroom, Photoshop, and color grading. The panel excels in these areas. Moreover, when it comes to consuming media, such as watching Netflix, Amazon, or YouTube, the display performs exceptionally well. I have no complaints on either front. In terms of the display itself, HP FireFly 14 G10 has surpassed all expectations. The DreamColor display is truly excellent, especially for high-end video work. It is well-suited for professional environments where mobility is crucial for getting work done on the go.
As I mentioned earlier, the display offers a dynamic refresh rate of up to 120 hertz. In the advanced display settings, you can set it to always stay at 120 hertz. However, this will consume more battery life. Personally, I prefer keeping it on the dynamic refresh rate, allowing it to automatically switch between 60 and 120 hertz as needed. This saves a bit more battery life. Alternatively, setting it to 60 hertz will maximize battery life but sacrifice the smooth and fluid experience of the higher dynamic refresh rate. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference. Battery life is important, and while it’s not the best I’ve seen on a mobile workstation, it’s definitely sufficient for your needs. The DreamColor display on this workstation is truly excellent. It offers exceptional performance and is well-suited for professional content creation tasks.
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Keyboard and Touchpad
You can effortlessly open the lid with just one finger. The screen can tilt back approximately 170 to 175 degrees, not quite reaching a complete 180 degrees, but it offers a wide range of viewing angles that allow you to find the perfect position. The hinges on this laptop are exceptionally sturdy and well-constructed, resulting in minimal screen wobble, if any, while typing. This has been a positive aspect of the device.
Another outstanding feature of this laptop is its keyboard. Typing on it is a delight, thanks to the satisfying tactility and key travel. The keys provide about 1.5 millimeters of travel, which feels comfortable and responsive. Additionally, the keyboard features a multi-level, multi-stage backlight that allows you to work in dark or dimly lit environments. The laptop also boasts a glass Precision touchpad, which I found to be highly responsive for scrolling and performing various gestures.
Audio and Speaker Test
You have access to a wide range of controls for audio playback on HP Firefly 14 G10, including some dynamic audio features that work exceptionally well. The sound quality on this mobile workstation is excellent. Typically, we don’t associate workstations with exceptional audio, but this laptop comes equipped with quad speakers that deliver rich, full, and well-balanced sound. It offers good volume, clear mids, and even decent bass.
Webcam and Fingerprint Reader
Let’s talk about the camera on the HP ZBook Firefly 14 2023, specifically the G10 model. This is a really nice camera. It captures video at 1440p resolution, at 30 frames per second. It’s also equipped with an IR camera, allowing you to log in using face recognition with Windows Hello. Additionally, there’s a privacy shutter, which is a physical switch that provides extra security and privacy by turning off the webcam when needed. This is a great feature to have.
The camera on this HP workstation is a 5-megapixel camera with HP Presence technology. This means you’ll get additional effects and features to enhance lighting, adjust for low-light conditions, and maintain natural tones. It offers an auto frame feature that keeps you in the frame no matter which direction you move. With the always-on capability, you can choose from different framing options, such as wide angle, portrait, or tight. This versatility is quite impressive.
Moreover, the camera supports multiple face framing, ensuring that if there are multiple people within the frame, everyone stays in view. It’s a convenient feature for group video calls or conferences. Additionally, there’s a background blur effect that allows you to blur the background, which is useful when working from home or if you have a cluttered background that you prefer not to be visible. Furthermore, you have the option to change the background, with choices like a cafe, living room, or outdoor setting. You can also turn off the background or add your own custom background, providing a high level of customization. These features truly enhance the camera experience.
I must emphasize that the HP Presence camera is doing an excellent job. With its 5-megapixel resolution and 1440p video capabilities, it delivers outstanding image quality. It’s hard to go wrong with these specifications. Additionally, for those wondering, there is a fingerprint scanner located below the keyboard. It worked well during setup, accurately registering my fingerprint each time I used it.
User Upgradeability Option
Once you’re inside the workstation, you’ll notice a single fan for cooling. Additionally, there’s a three-cell 51-watt-hour battery. The good news is that the SSD is user-upgradable. You can configure it with up to 2TB of PCIe NVMe Gen 4 storage. The read and write speeds are excellent, providing the kind of performance we expect in 2023. Moreover, there are two user-accessible SO-DIMM slots for RAM. You can configure the workstation with up to 64GB of DDR5 5200 megahertz RAM, running in dual-channel mode. This upgradeability is fantastic to see in a mobile workstation. In my review laptop, I have 32GB ram variant, and it’s running in dual-channel mode.
Regarding wireless connectivity, ZBook Firefly 14 G10 have Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. The combo card is soldered onto the motherboard and is not user-upgradable. However, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have been working flawlessly since I received, with no issues on either front. You’ll also notice a space for optional mobile broadband, which supports 4G LTE or 5G. Having mobile broadband is a great feature, providing an always-on connection without relying on your smartphone’s mobile hotspot or dealing with unreliable or insecure connections in places like airports or cafes. It’s a valuable addition to the workstation itself.
HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10 Performance, Benchmarks and Gaming
As mentioned earlier, the HP ZBook Firefly 14 can be equipped with the AMD Ryzen Pro variant, but the unit I have here is the Intel variant with the 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1365U processor with vPro. It features 10 cores, including 8 efficient cores and 2 performance cores. In terms of graphics, it has a discrete GPU, the Nvidia RTX A500.
|GEEKBENCH 6 (Single-Core)
|GEEKBENCH 6 (Multi-Core)
|1,081 CB | 186.16 FPS
|1,727 Single-Core | 7,439 Multi-Core
|3DMARK Fire Strike
|3DMARK Time Spy
Looking at the benchmarks, the performance is quite impressive. In terms of single-core performance, it scored 1727 in Cinebench R23, indicating that it’s more than adequate for everyday tasks. The multi-core score reached 7000, which may not be top-of-the-line compared to other laptops in this category, but considering it’s a thin and light mobile workstation designed for on-the-go use, the performance is still commendable.
|PC MARK 10
|GEEKBENCH 6 (Single-Core)
|GEEKBENCH 6 (Multi-Core)
|HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10
|10,081 CB | 186.16 FPS
|HP ZBook Firefly 14 G9
|708 CB | 189.23 FPS
Compared to the previous generation (Gen 9), there is a noticeable improvement in benchmarks such as PC Mark 10 and Geekbench 6. The Time Spy and Fire Strike scores also show a slight boost in graphics performance, thanks to the RTX A500. However, it’s important to note that this mobile professional workstation is not meant to compete with its larger counterparts in terms of rendering, 3D graphics, or CAD work. It is designed to provide sufficient performance for professional tasks while being portable.
While the RTX A500 offers a graphics performance boost for video editing and graphics work, it may not deliver the same level of power as dedicated gaming laptops. It is not intended for playing AAA titles on the highest settings. However, you can still enjoy occasional gaming on this machine, but it’s important to keep in mind that there are better options available specifically designed for gaming purposes.
Thermals, Fan Noise and Surface Temps
When I conducted the Time Spy stress test to assess whether the laptop would experience thermal throttling under heavy load, it achieved a score of 89.8 percent, indicating that it did encounter some thermal throttling. However, this score is actually quite good, and during the test, I didn’t observe significant thermal throttling, which is impressive considering the thin and light design of this mobile workstation.
Regarding surface temperatures, they are generally good. There is a hot spot above the keyboard and below the display, reaching about 51 degrees Celsius. The underside of the laptop shows similar temperatures of around 51-52 degrees Celsius. While these temperatures may cause some concern, they are not excessively high and should not be a major issue. The laptop remains relatively cool in other areas throughout.
As for fan noise, in performance mode under heavy load, it measured around 47-48 decibels, which is noticeable but not excessively loud or distracting. During everyday tasks in the balanced mode, the fan noise is not prominent, so it doesn’t pose a significant distraction.
|PCMARK 10 MODERN OFFICE
|PCMARK 10 Video Playback
|HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10 51Wh
|HP ZBook Firefly 14 G9 51Wh
The battery life on this model remains consistent with last year’s G9, as it also features a 51 watt-hour battery. In the PC Mark 10 modern office battery test, it achieved a duration of 8 hours and 10 minutes, whereas the previous year’s model lasted for 7 hours and 28 minutes. In terms of video playback, it ran for 10 hours and 40 minutes, compared to last year’s 8 hours and 54 minutes. This indicates a slight improvement in battery performance year over year.
Pros and Cons
What do I think about the HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10 here in 2023? It’s a mobile workstation that is very portable and features an excellent HP DreamColor display with QHD Plus resolution. The 120Hz dynamic refresh rate is really nice, and it has a good battery life. The keyboard and touchpad are excellent, and it’s great to have the option for 4G LTE or 5G connectivity, making it perfect for the mobile world warrior. There are also plenty of ports available, and the RAM and SSD are upgradable. The 5-megapixel camera is excellent, and the quad speakers provide outstanding audio quality.
However, there are a few negatives to consider. Firstly, there’s no OLED option available, which could be a drawback for some users. Additionally, the performance could be better, especially for a mobile workstation. Another downside is the absence of an SD card reader. Lastly, it’s worth noting that the price can get expensive.
If you're a mobile professional who needs a thin and light device to get work done on the road and always stay connected, this might be HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10 is your. However, if you require heavy-duty tasks such as extensive rendering and the like, you might want to consider looking at the larger options available out there.
Keyboard and Touchpad10
Thermals / Fan Noise8