HP refreshes Z1 all-in-one workstation PCs

— 4:44 PM on April 18, 2016

Tower workstations are very nice, but sometimes what one needs is a powerful piece of machinery that takes up less space. Enter HP's Z1 G3 all-in-one (AIO) workstations. The Z1 G3 machines, as you might have guessed, are a refresh of the previous Z1 G2 models. HP claims the newcomers are 47% smaller, 51% lighter, and about 20% cheaper when compared to the previous generation. I bet you're dying to hear about the hardware, though.

Let's start with the display. HP says this 3840x2160 IPS panel can cover 100% of the sRGB color space, and its brightness levels top out at 300 cd/m². Although the base models of the Z1 G3 come with relatively anemic Core i3 CPUs, HP offers chips as powerful as a Xeon E3-1270 v5—a quad-core, eight-thread CPU with 3.6GHz base and 4GHz turbo clocks. Buyers can pair up to 64GB of ECC RAM with those CPUs. Befitting a workstation, HP offers Nvidia Quadro M1000M and M2000M graphics cards as options.

Users can configure their Z1s with up to two PCIe SSDs (which HP calls "Z Turbo Drives"). Expansion options include three M.2 slots, an MXM slot, and room for 2.5" SSDs or HDDs. The machine's toolless design should make all of those slots easily serviceable. Network connectivity comes by way of an Intel I219V Gigabit Ethernet adapter and 802.11ac Wi-Fi provided by an Intel 8260 card.

When it comes to peripherals, the Z1 doesn't disappoint. Professional users get two side-mounted Thunderbolt 3 ports with USB 3.1 support, and another four USB 3.0 ports on the machine's back. DisplayPort and audio connectors and a card reader complement the connectivity options.

HP also thinks the Z1 G3 is a good fit for workshops with Apple computers. The company offers its Remote Graphics Software freely to Z1 users. The RGS allows Apple and Linux users to seamlessly multitask with native software applications running on a remote Z1 Workstation—akin to TeamViewer on steroids. As another nod to graphics professionals, HP intends to add "precision pen" and multi-touch input options in the future. The HP Z1 G3 workstations will be available in May with prices starting at $1498.

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