HP ZBook Studio G7 Aims To Attract Linux Developers, Data Scientists
The HP ZBook Studio G7 laptop we have been testing courtesy of HP is equipped with the Core i9 10885H, Intel's high-end H-Series Comet Lake processor with eight cores / sixteen threads with a 2.4GHz base frequency and maximum turbo frequency up to 5.3GHz while having a 45 Watt TDP. For now at least the HP ZBook Studio line-up doesn't offer any AMD Ryzen based options, which are quite popular especially with Linux users over their open-source support. Likewise, for now the ZBook Studio only offers NVIDIA graphics with no AMD options for those after the ROCm open-source compute stack.
The ZBook Studio G7 with the Core i7 10885H as tested also had 32GB (2 x 16GB Samsung DDR4-2933), 2TB Kioxia NVMe solid-state drive, Intel WiFi 6 AX201, and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 with Max-Q graphics.
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS out-of-the-box with the ZBook Studio G7 was running on a Linux 5.6 OEM kernel and using the NVIDIA 460 proprietary graphics driver stack.
To little surprise given this was a Linux pre-load device, all of the functionality was working out-of-the-box and behaving as expected.
One of the areas where HP can better embrace the Linux support that came up during the testing would be to enable BIOS updates via FWUPD with the Linux Vendor Firmware Service. While HP is listed as a vendor for LVFS, they do not currently make their laptop BIOS updates available via this Linux-minded firmware service. HP is routing users to Windows-based downloads for handling BIOS updates or an online updater within their BIOS / firmware configuration area. For that online-based updating outside of the OS, it requires first connecting to a wired connection. The HP ZBook Studio G7 doesn't have any Ethernet port and the various USB2/USB3 Ethernet adapters I connected weren't detected for this online BIOS updating usage. So in the end I resorted to downloading a Windows EXE with the BIOS update, running it through 7z for extracting the BIOS binary file, and then was able to flash the BIOS from there once renaming it to firmware.bin and tossing it into /efi/boot/firmware on a removable flash drive.... Hopefully HP will end up supporting FWUPD/LVFS for devices like the HP ZBook Studio G7 just as many other hardware vendors are doing these days like Lenovo and Dell.