MCAD Tech News (#357)

13 Feb, 2014 By: Cadalyst Staff

First Look Review: HP ZBook 14

Lightweight mobile workstation for CAD on the go.

By Art Liddle

Highly Recommended

Just a year ago we reviewed the HP Elitebook 8570w, a midrange — and midsized — mobile workstation with a 15.6" display screen. The Elitebook 8570w fared well in that review, receiving our highest rating. For this review, we examined the ZBook 14 mobile workstation, billed by HP as the world's first workstation Ultrabook. With only 48% of the volume and 42% of the weight of its bigger sibling, the ZBook 14 delivers nearly 80% of the display screen area and more than 96% of the power — tradeoffs we are more than willing to make when working on the go.

System Features

Don't let the HP ZBook 14's diminutive size fool you; this 13.4" x 9.3" x 0.83" mobile computer is every bit a workstation. Weighing in at only 3.6 lbs, it is five to six pounds lighter than many of the notebooks we've reviewed during the past couple of years. That's a welcome relief for our shoulders!

The HP ZBook 14 comes in a small, lightweight package, but it still manages to deliver the power you need for CAD work on the go.
The HP ZBook 14 comes in a small, lightweight package, but it still manages to deliver the power you need for CAD work on the go.

Based on the just-released fourth-generation Intel Core i7-4600U mobile processor (two cores, four threads), the guts of the ZBook 14 run at a clock speed of 2.1 GHz; using turbo-boost technology for single-core operations, the clock maxes out at a staggering 3.3 GHz. Our review system included 16 GB of 1,600-MHz DDR3L SDRAM, filling both of its SODIMM memory slots, and a 240-GB SATA solid-state hard drive. Going with a traditional SATA (5,400 rpm) mechanical hard drive, maximum storage capacity for the ZBook 14 is an impressive 1 TB. You can jump this up to 1.2 TB with the new optional M.2 module now available. Read more »

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Art Liddle is a former editor-in-chief of Cadalyst.

SolidWorks World 2014, Part 1: Software on Stage

At the annual user conference, Dassault Systèmes customers get to see what's in store for SolidWorks — and more.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Dassault Systèmes' annual SolidWorks World conference drew close to 5,000 of the 3D mechanical design software's users to San Diego, California, in January. They came to hone their skills in the technical training sessions, to tour the booths and exhibits in the Partner Pavilion, and to gain insight into the company's software plans for the coming year.

A Concept Comes to Fruition

Among the event's major announcements was the official launch of SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual, the cloud-connected conceptual mechanical design application unveiled at SolidWorks World 2013. Mechanical Conceptual is the first SolidWorks application to be launched on the company's 3DEXPERIENCE platform, and as such will be the first of many.

Mechanical Conceptual was conceived to address a significant need in the community; Aaron Kelly, vice-president of User Experience and Product Portfolio Management, related that the company's users spend up to 30% of their design time in the conceptual phase.

The goal of Mechanical Conceptual is that users can quickly produce several iterations of a design, check their functionality, get feedback from collaborators, then move the selected design into SolidWorks for additional detailing. "It's not enough anymore to innovate once ... you've got to innovate over and over again," said Kishore Boyalakuntla, director of product management, Next Generation Products, explaining that Mechanical Conceptual helps users do just that. Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's editor in chief.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Detect Wire and Component Tolerance Violations Early in the Design Phase and Lower Costs
February 19, 2014
11 a.m. PT
This Zuken webinar is intended for design engineers, cable and harness engineers, engineering managers, and product managers. Attendees will hear about the benefits of electrically aware design. Read more »

AeroDef Manufacturing Summit and Exposition 2014
February 25–27, 2014
Long Beach, California
This SME event, dedicated solely to aerospace and defense manufacturing, will feature an Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing Resource Center where attendees can explore applications made possible by the technology. Read more »

NX CAD — Essentials for Excellence in Aerospace and Defense Design and Engineering
March 5, 2014
10 a.m. PT
This webinar from Siemens PLM Software will show how Siemens NX can help companies design products and respond to new market opportunities and challenges. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Find CAD Training Resources on YouTube
Looking for new learning materials? There is a wealth of options just waiting to be discovered. Read more »

To Manage CAD, Understand Project Deadlines
Align your CAD management tasks to support project deadlines for less stress and smoother project completions. Read more »

AutoCAD's In-Canvas Viewport Controls, Part 2
If you work in 3D, you should be using AutoCAD's in-canvas viewport controls to quickly navigate around your drawing. In this sequel to the previous video, Lynn Allen demonstrates how to quickly change your viewing angle or visual style and jump from saved view to saved view in no time. Watch the video »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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