Next-gen HP Z1 all-in-one workstation significantly smaller, lighter and lower in cost

The Z1 G3 also has additional features and storage. What may be a negative for some – and a plus for others – is the reduction of the display size, from 27 inches to 24. HP also announced new receiver software, which will give Apple Mac OS X users access to HP Z workstations.

HP Z1HP Inc. has announced the third generation of the HP Z1, its workstation all-in-one product. The HP Z1 G3 Workstation is significantly enhanced compared to its predecessors. Compared to the second generation product introduced in 2014, it is significantly smaller, lighter and less expensive.

“The impetus behind the original Z1 in 2012 was from customers’ work environments getting smaller and smaller,” said Mike Diehl, worldwide product manager for personal workstations at HP Inc. “We have taken the capabilities of the first two generations and reinvented them. Compared to the second generation product, the Z1 G3 is 47 per cent smaller, 51 per cent lighter, and 21 per cent lower in cost.”

Diehl indicated that a key decision in the size and weight reduction was reducing the display size from 27 inches to 24 inches.

“We found that while the 27 inch display met the needs of customers, today more of them want a second display, and two 27 inch displays encroached on the width of the desktop,” he said. “We also decreased the width of the stand as well.”

The smaller size made it easier to reduce the price, something else that Diehl acknowledged was a priority with the G3.

“This has been the only All-in-One workstation on the market, and it has been very successful for our business with its small footprint and extreme performance,” he said. “However, some customers were making a decision based solely on cost rather than the desired form factor, which was the all-in-one,” he said. “By reducing the cost by 21 per cent, making it the same as the Z240 desktop workstation, we are removing this barrier. These revolutionary cost reductions mean they can now pick the form factor they’ve desired all along. They won’t have to take a tower for cost reasons.”

Diehl also indicated the Z1 G3 message was not simply that less is more, as he pointed to expanded feature sets, including new Xeon and Intel Core processors, new professional 3D Nvidia Quadro graphics, and a doubling of memory.

“Another area of expanding capability is storage,” he said. “You can install four storage devices inside this, maintaining two 2.5” drives while adding dual HP Z Turbo drives.”

An extra Thunderbolt port has also been added.

“Providing Thunderbolt 3 is a key capability, and we are introducing two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the Z1 G3,” Diehl said. “It has twice the performance of the previous generation, with eight times the bandwidth capability of USB 3.0.”

While ease of service has been a priority on the HP All-in-One workstations since the Z1, Diehl said that how they get there has changed with the G3.

HP Z1 BACK“We think we’ve hit the ball out of the park on the third generation,” he said. “We allowed access from the back of the chassis, adding access to all the inside components. This means that servicing can be done right at the user’s desktop – in a matter of minutes.”

Diehl also noted that while the display size is down to 24 inches, the resolution has been upgraded to 4k.

“We added 4k resolution because many developers use this, so they can operate in the native resolution of their content,” he said. “Allowing them to work natively resolves a key challenge in bringing HP workstations into many environments in the creative professional market.”

Another move to enhance HP workstations among creatives is a free software upgrade – HP’s new receiver software for Apple Mac OS X. HP Remote Graphics Software [RGS] allows the receiver to give Mac users secure access to the performance, files and applications on their HP Workstation, even when they are away from that workstation.

“This is a remote desktop tool on steroids,” said Christian Jones, senior product marketing manager for HP Remote Workstation Solutions and Thin Clients. “The sender piece of software goes on our high powered workstations and the receiver software goes on any other laptop or PC, with the sender sending that content to the receiver.”

Jones said this sort of capability hadn’t existed before because of the severe performance gulf between workstations and remote desktop and VDI solutions, which were well short of the performance, frame rate, high resolution required for the workstation content.

“So what HP did is rethought the remote desktop solution – turned it upside down and rebuilt it from the ground up to perfect it for those who need a remote experience like a local one.”

This software is now free on HP Z workstations.

Jones said this is an especially big deal in the media and entertainment space with Mac users.

“This space has a unique challenge, in that they have lots of Macs which aren’t keeping up,” he said. “That’s why HP is upgrading your Mac. Our RGS will have a Mac receiver, to boost up performance from your Mac when accessing high a powered workstation, so you can be on the Mac but now get the benefits of editing 4k flawlessly.

“This opens up use cases for working from home or collaborating,” Jones added. “When the end user has had a Mac, the door to collaboration this way has been closed. You can now open a door from a Mac to a high-powered workstation, which gives customers a lot more value.”

The HP Z1 G3 is expected to be available in May starting at $USD 1498. HP Remote Graphics Software is available now for HP Z Desktop and ZBook Mobile Workstations as a free download for existing HP Z Workstation customers. The Mac receiver is free for HP RGS users and is coming soon. HP RGS sender licenses can also be purchased for use on supported, non-HP hardware.