Each column has up and down keys that can be programmed to tweak settings like brush size and opacity in apps like Adobe Photoshop.
By default, they've been tailored to what HP and Adobe understand are the most popular tools in Photoshop and Lightroom.
What makes the ZBook X2 ideal for designers and illustrators is its advanced 14-inch 4K display.
It has a fingerprint sensor and a 720p webcam that supports Windows Hello's facial recognition technology for convenient logins.
HP estimates the ZBook X2 can last up to 10 hours, and that it can recharge to 50 percent in 30 minutes.
HP also offers a row of shortcut keys for functions like "Home," "End," "Page Up" and "Page Down" here, which make multitasking easier.
Speaking of shortcuts, the ZBook X2 features vertical rows of buttons on either side of the screen.
Since HP's pen uses magnetic (EMR) technology instead of Bluetooth, it doesn't need to be recharged; it draws power when it interacts with the screen.
I sketched a cute cartoon of a girl under the word "Engadget" with the stylus and found it smoother and better at detecting pressure changes than others I've tested (mostly lower end offerings that accompany the Note tablets or phones).
You can customize these to control system settings like volume or display brightness, too.
During my testing, it was convenient to change the brush size just by pushing the up or down button mid-drawing instead of having to drag a slider in the app's setting bar.
My favorite thing about the pen is its dedicated eraser button at the top, which actually acts like a real eraser instead of simply undoing your last stroke when you tap on the screen.