HP Marries Workstation Power with Ultrabook Portability

10 Sep, 2013 By: Robert Green

Company launches three brand-new ZBooks and introduces updated Z workstations and two new IPS displays.

ZBooks: Highly Portable Power

HP really wanted to show off the new HP ZBook mobile workstations at this event, and thus spent a good deal of time going over the new machines. I was able to check out the new models and talk with Brian Allen, Workstation Solutions manager for for the Americas.

The HP ZBook 15, ZBook 14, and ZBook 17 deliver workstation power inside the form factor of an Ultrabook.

Compared with their predecessors, the new HP ZBook mobile workstations are thinner, sleeker, and easier to grip thanks to their wedged shape and rubberized bezel around the display panel. The ZBook family includes the new 14” ZBook 14 as well as the larger ZBook 15 and ZBook 17. While the ZBook 14 is designed for compact business travel, the ZBook 15 and 17 are all about power for processor-intensive mobile workers using CAD or video applications.

The HP ZBook 14 also comes with a touch panel option, which should allow it to be used with Windows 8 to deliver a work experience akin to that of a super-high-performance tablet. The unit’s processor specs defy its light weight and sleek design.

All the ZBooks feature fourth-generation Intel Haswell dual- and quad-core processor options and next-generation graphics technologies from NVIDIA and AMD. The 15” and 17” models also include a high-bandwidth Thunderbolt interface port. Although light, the ZBooks sport the same ruggedized design of prior generations of HP mobile workstations. Finally, the ZBooks have adopted the tool-free chassis design of their desktop big brothers to make upgrading them substantially easier.

HP Z Workstations: Desktop Models Updated

HP Z desktop workstations — the HP Z420, Z620, and Z820 that were introduced last year — have received performance-oriented updates to processors, RAM, and external I/O support.

The workstations now offer the latest Intel Ivy Bridge Xeon E5-1600v2 and E5-2600v2 families of processors running 1866-MHz ECC RAM for 16% higher memory access speed, HP reports. The workstations also add a high-speed Thunderbolt 2 port (as fast as 20 GB per second) to enable high-speed external devices such as cameras or expansion drives to massively expand storage for large data sets. The advantage of Thunderbolt can’t be understated for users who need to capture huge data sets in the field and move them rapidly to desktop machines back in the office.

Other highlights of the Z Workstation updates include the following:

Z420: Now supports up to 8 cores, 64 GB of ECC memory, up to 12 TB of total storage (both mechanical and solid state), and one NVIDIA K6000 (6 GB), one AMD W700 (2 GB), or two NVIDIA K2000 (2 GB) graphics cards in a mini-tower form factor.

Z620: Now supports up to 24 cores, 192 GB of ECC memory, up to 12 TB of total storage (both mechanical and solid state), and one NVIDIA K6000 (6 GB) or two NVIDIA K5000 (4 GB) graphics cards.

Z820: Now supports up to 24 cores, 512 GB of ECC memory, up to 15 TB of total storage (both mechanical and solid state), and up to two NVIDIA K6000 (6 GB) graphics cards in a full-size tower.

Z Displays

In addition to providing a four-way adjustable stand (with greater vertical adjustability) on existing displays, HP also introduced the new HP Z27i and Z30i IPS displays, giving designers and engineers better ergonomic control of their working environment and more screen real estate. The displays have quick-disconnect stands, so placing them on standard VESA mounts for multiple monitor tiling or wall mounting is easy.

The updated HP Z family, including new 27” and 31” monitors (far left and right).

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About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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