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08-11-2018 02:02 PM
Product: HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 Mobile Workstation
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)
Has anyone had any success with a thunderbolt docking station with this laptop? I need one that charges the laptop and connects to two 4K displays (via either usb-c or displayport).
I've tried the Caldigit TB3+. It doesn't work properly. Caldigit says that it's 85w power supply (via the single thunderbolt cable) causes disconnect/reconnect cycling on some HP laptops, and indeed it does on the x360 G5.
HP lists compatible docks here (pg 38): http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/getpdf.aspx/c05939925.pdf but none of these are ideal for my situation.
But on HP's own x360 G5 product page (http://www8.hp.com/us/en/workstations/zbook-x360/index.html) they link to the 'HP ZBOOK DOCK WITH THUNDERBOLT 3' (P5Q58AA) which isn't listed in the PDF. This dock would be ideal as it has the combined thunderbolt+150w power cable, plus it outputs to two 4k displays. However these Zbook docks are notorious if you look at the reviews. Compatibility issues, driver & bios updates, display dropouts, etc. I wish I could find an HP engineer with firsthand experience with both products and can say definitively if ZBook docks indeed works with my ZBook.
Of course HP's overseas online chat is of no use whatsoever.
The ZBOOK x360 G5's in the wild yet because I haven't found any discussions about docks for it.
9 REPLIES 9
08-11-2018 02:08 PM
The Zbook dock is not going to work because it has a two-pronged connector to the laptop...a USB-C and a standard power jack right next to each other so only works on Zbooks with that configuration. I am using an ioGear GUD3C02 with my 8th gen x360 (not a Studio) and my Spectre 13-v. It has a power passthrough. If you connect an HP USB-C charger to it and plug it into a USB-C charging port on the laptop it will charge the laptop. I have not had dual 4k connected to it but I did have a 4K and an FHD connected from a Thunderbolt port to the dock and then using the HDMI and the mini-DP out and I am sure a pair of 4Ks would work.
08-11-2018 02:44 PM
My X360 G5 does indeed have power & thunderbolt ports next to each other, and they look to be the same distance apart as the Zbook Studio G3. G3 Photos: https://goo.gl/tFjWjq G5 Photos: https://goo.gl/b9VHxY
Not sure why HP would list the Zbook TB3 dock on the X360 G5 page if it wasn't compatible?
I'm going to contact HP's US tech support people. I spoke with them when I had a question about where a second SSD went, and they actually took a G5 apart and took pictures for me. Maybe those same people can answer this question.
08-11-2018 02:47 PM - edited 08-11-2018 02:48 PM
I have a Zbook 15 G3 which uses the Tbolt dock and yes the power jack and usb port arrangement looks the same as in the pictures of the x360 you linked but obviously the distance between the ports would have to be precise. Others complain about the 150w Tbolt 3 dock but mine with my Zbook 15 G3 works like a champ for me. I do have a pair of 4Ks connected to it. If you can get HP support people to take apart laptops for you and take pictures by all means go for it. The Workstation Support is at a whole other level than consumer laptops.
08-11-2018 04:40 PM
The optimal dock for this laptop is probably the HP Thunderbolt Dock G2 230W (2UK38AA). This has the dual power jack and Thunderbolt cable, with ports as shown in this PDF (click). Display support should be as listed on the following page for DisplayPort 1.3 hosts - two 4K displays are supported at 60Hz using any two of the two DisplayPorts, the USB-C port with DisplayPort alternate mode and the Thunderbolt port on the dock.
If you want the speakers and microphones on the dock, add the audio module 3AQ21AA.
The 'combo cable' version of this dock allows you to retract the power jack at the laptop end so that you can connect the dock to other Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C hosts. Of course, some features are unavailable on the dock when connected to a USB-C host.
08-12-2018 03:51 PM
Thanks for the PDF link! Way down on page 34 it says the HP ZBook 150W Thunderbolt 3 Dock is compatible with the HP ZBook 15 G3 & G5. None of the docks are specifically listed as compatible with the ZBook Studio x360 G5 however, but I wonder if the PDF was created before the x360? These docks are available refurbished on ebay for $125 so I'll give it a shot.
The Thunderbolt Dock G2's 230W power is overkill, and when you add the separate power supply & cable its quite expensive.
08-12-2018 05:22 PM
The ZBook Studio x360 G5 QuickSpec lists both the Thunderbolt Dock G2 230W and Thunderbolt Dock G2 with Combo Cable as accessories for this model. The PDF I linked in my previous post is dated July 2018, but seems not to have been updated for this model of computer yet.
I don't think the 120W version of the dock will be adequate - that variant of the dock only has a Thunderbolt connection with 100W power available to the computer via the USB-C/Thunderbolt connector. It does not connect to the computer's DC power jack. It might be possible to use the 120W version of the dock and connect your ZBook's 150W power adapter to the DC power jack, but I don't think this is a recommended configuration.
The only ZBooks listed as compatible with the 120W version of the dock are the ZBook 14u G5 and 15u G5 - see the table of cables at the bottom of page 6 of the PDF I previously linked to. The ZBook 14u G5 and 15u G5 are entry level ultraportable workstations using 15W TDP 'U' series processors - basically, they're an Ultrabook style computer with a workstation certified GPU. The ZBook 14u G5 is only supplied with a 65W power adapter.
I think the 120W version of the Thunderbolt G2 Dock will work as a dock but will either not charge your computer or will only charge it slowly (and perhaps will result in it throttling down). Unlike the ZBook 14u G5 and 15u G5, your computer hsa a 45W TDP processor and was almost certainly supplied with a 150W adapter.
My understanding is that the various versions of the Thunderbolt Dock G2 differ only in the power adapter and the cable so you can convert from one variant to another. That said, the cables are expensive to buy as accessories (of the order of US$50 each) and you would have the additional cost of the 230W power adapter on top if you converted a 120W dock to a 230W one.
I have looked into this situation before I posted in this thread because I am in the process of ordering a ZBook Studio x360 G5. I will be specifying a Thunderbolt G2 dock with a 230W power supply because I don't want the ZBook to throttle down or not charge at all when docked.
I haven't yet decided whether to go for the combo cable or the ordinary 230W cable. The combo cable would allow me to dock other USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 devices at my desk in place of the ZBook by unhooking and clipping back the DC jack portion of the computer connector, but I am not sure how much use this would be in practice. I cannot see me routinely wanting to dock my mobile phone or tablet, both of which are USB-C. My colleagues are unlikely to use my desk and none currently have a USB-C or Thunderbolt laptop. That said, it is likely that there will be other USB-C or Thunderbolt laptop in the building during the usable life of the dock that I might want to dock at my desk.
The ordinary 230W cable looks more robust and is perhaps the better option for me at present - it's also the version offered by the HP UK Workstation Configurator. If I change my mind in the future, I can buy a combo cable or simply connect a standard Thunderbolt 3 cable to the dock for use with devices not having a HP DC power jack.
I would be interested in any feedback about your ZBook or anything further you discover anything further about docks for the ZBook Studio x360 G5.
08-20-2018 03:46 PM
I purchased a refurb 150w zbook Thuderbolt dock (P5Q58AA#ABA ) and have it running on my Zbook x360 G5. Went here for drivers: https://goo.gl/K1ykvm. One of these is the HP Thunderbolt 3 Dock Firmware which looks at your system and gives you a list of needed items. After installing everything it has you cycle the dock's power and you're done.
So far so good. It's running two external 4k displays each via displayport as well as ethernet via RJ45. Speedtest gives 483Mbps down/24 up which is slightly above my ISP's advertised speeds. Going to give things a thorough workout - connect/disconnects, resource-heavy apps, etc.
I'll keep you posted and let you know if I encounter any problems.
08-20-2018 05:38 PM
I'm so pleased this setup is working well for you. Officially the older Thunderbolt 3 dock is not supported on the ZBook Studio x360 G5, but I suspect this is more "we don't test this combination, let alone guarantee it works" rather than there being any genuine technical reason to doubt its appropriateness. You might find that features like MAC passthrough and PXE booting do not work with the older dock's Ethernet interface, but these features are unlikely to be enough of an added value for most users to pay much for them.
I got a good price on the 230W Thunderbolt G2 Dock as a 'drop in box' item with my configured to order ZBook Studio x360 G5, but I might have considered my options if this wasn't the case.
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