New HP mobile workstation, workstation storage and displays announced at NAB show

HP once again ratcheted up its workstation technology, hoping that organizations, if not all individual users, will see a clear technology and value premium over Mac products.


The new HP OMEN Pro

At the National Associated Broadcasters’ Association show in Las Vegas this week, HP made several announcements in its workstation and high end display lines that had strong ties to the media and entertainment industries.

“These announcements show our unwavering commitment to the workstation market and the media and entertainment markets,” said Jeff Wood, vice president of product management, Workstation & Thin Client Business, at HP. “We want to transition all those Mac users over to this superior technology. This is exciting for us, because if you look at everything, we offer a much better and faster solution to end customers, especially in media and entertainment, which is why we introduced these at NAB.”

The second generation HP Z Turbo Drive G2 PCIe SSD lets workstation users super-charge productivity and creativity of workflows.

“This removes the bottleneck the IO has on the system when huge data files come in,” Wood said. “It provides four times the speed of a SATA SSD for the same price.” The productivity jump comes from the new protocol in the Samsung NVMe technology that powers the drive. Built from the ground up for flash, it delivers more than twice the performance of its G1 predecessor.

“This becomes the new hot rod of the industry to do video and audio production,” Wood said. “It is at a compelling price point and is something no one else in the industry has.” The new Z Turbo Drive G2 can be used to expand HP Z840, Z640 and Z440 desktop workstations.

Wood said that while the new Turbo Drive is particularly well positioned for media and entertainment, which is one of HP’s fastest growing markets, it will play much more broadly than that.

“Everybody in the workstation space today has Big Data problems, with areas like oil and gas standing out,” he said. “They all need fast IO performance and top notch graphics.”

HP Z Turbo Drive is scheduled for June availability. It will launch with two capacities available, 256 GB and 512 GB, priced at $USD 399 and $USD 699, respectively.

HP also announced a new mobile workstation, the HP OMEN Pro Mobile Workstation. While the branding is different, it is the same sort of machine as the two thin and light workstation Ultrabooks HP unveiled in January at CES, the HP ZBook 14 and the HP ZBook 15u.

“This is right above the 15u in the lineup,” Wood said. “It has the OMEN branding because we leveraged the OMEN consumer gaming brand, and created a more professional version, which is a 15.6 inch screen model.” It features 4th Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processors, HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe storage and professional NVIDIA Quadro K1100M graphics. It also features a backlit keyboard and full-HD touch panel and a sleek 19.9 mm thin design at 4.68 pounds. Finally, while it is targeted at commercial users, it has the same industrial look as the gaming OMEN model.

The HP OMEN Pro is the only product of all the ones announced that is available now. Prices start at $USD 2199.


The HP DreamColor Z32x Display

HP also unveiled its largest 4K UHD display to date, HP DreamColor Z32x Display, a 31.5-inch diagonal model with an 8 million pixel display, that follows up the 24 and 27 inch models HP introduced at last year’s NAB. It features HP DreamColor technology, which provides exceptional color precision and consistency on a wide 10-bit colour spectrum.

“This is our first full resolution 4K display, and is the largest in the portfolio,” Wood said. “We really disrupted the industry at NAB last year with the two models we introduced at an industry leading price. Now we are seeing more people willing to pay a small premium to get these abilities. It is reaching down into a broader market.”

Pricing for the Z32x Display is still being finalized, Wood said. By way of comparison however, the 27 inch model lists for $USD 1499 while the 24 inch is $USD 599. Availability is scheduled for “this summer.”

Finally, HP announced five new ultra-narrow bezel displays, with borderless, high-definition panels that are factory color-calibrated and provide flexible connectivity for a seamless multi-display setup. The new models are the HP Z27n (quad-HD), Z25n (quad-HD), Z24n (16:10 aspect ratio), Z24nf (full-HD), and Z24nq (quad-HD).

“These are very targeted at certain industries, like traders in financial services, where they want to tile up to four displays on the desktop,” Wood said. “They minimize dead zones in visual real estate, and the bezel size is down about 35 per cent from where we were previously.”

Ultra-narrow bezel display planned availability begins in June. Pricing is: HP Z24n – $USD 379, HP Z25n – $USD 429, Z27n – $USD 649, Z24nf – $USD 299 and Z24nq – $USD 379.