HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation - The Stylish & Upgradeable Workhorse

The HP Z1

The HP Z1

Part of the reason why HP decided to go with a large 27-inch display for the Z1 is because of the real estate it offers in terms of where to place and position the components. This is crucial because in top-spec, the Z1 uses pretty high-end components that can generate quite a bit of heat.

One of the most amazing things about the Z1 is its flexible stand. The stand allows the Z1 to be adjusted for height and tilt and is impressive because the display itself weighs close to 20kg. And as we will see later, the stand is also part of what makes the Z1 so easy to upgrade.

The HP Z1 isn't exactly what we'd call slim, since the display itself is 10cm thick and the stand occupies quite a bit of desk space, but for a workstation, it cuts a sexy silhouette.

To the bottom right of the screen you'll find a memory card reader (compatible with xD, MMC, MS and SD cards), a FireWire port, a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port, and the headphones and microphone jacks.

Round the rear you'll find four USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, a DisplayPort, S/PDIF, audio line-in/line-out, and a subwoofer jack. Interestingly, the DisplayPort can also be used as an input, so five or so years down the road when the Z1 has become obsolete, you can still make use of its gorgeous 27-inch IPS display.On the left and right bottom corners of the display are two latches that once undone, reveals the internals of the Z1.

Peeling open the unit, we can see that the components of the Z1 are separated into four main zones so that heat can be effectively managed. In accordance to the photo below, from left to right, the four zones are the 400W power supply, Quadro graphics card, memory/storage, followed by the CPU which are all hidden and shielded behind fans and panels to keep them cool.

The internals of the Z1 in all its glory. The components are neatly arranged and there's a multitude of blower-style fans to keep everything cool.

A single hinge helps hold the entire display up while you tinker away at the Z1's internals.

Our Z1 came with four sticks of 4GB ECC memory for a grand total of 16GB of memory.

The HDD bay is good for either a single 3.5-inch hard drive or two smaller 2.5-inch hard drives/SSDs.

The Quadro 4000M sits right next to the 400W PSU. The Quadro is of a mobile variant, which makes upgrading in future tricky since you can't just buy mobile variants of the Quadro right off the shelf. In fact, it's an MXM module which is shrouded in this custom cooler to look like a regular desktop card.

The Good
Sleek, lovely-looking form factor
Gorgeous 27-inch IPS display
Flexible stand
The Bad
Very expensive
No Thunderbolt interface
Quadro cards will only perform if software and drivers are optimized for it
Most Innovative Product

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