February 24, 2012 AT 2:00 pm

HP servicable all-in-one workstation

Last year I got a new 27″ iMac, took it out of the box, and it immediately started squealing. One of the fans deep inside the all-in-one was defective; the computer was a lemon. I couldn’t open it to access the defective part (which likely just needed a bit of lubricant), so I had to lug the 49-pound monster to the Apple store for a replacement (3 months after knee surgery, no less). Well it looks like the Z1 workstation by HP is addressing this concern. From Core77:

With so many things intentionally built so you cannot easily open them up and monkey with the innards, it’s refreshing to see the design of HP’s new Z1 workstation: The machine easily flips into a horizontal position for servicing, and the screen pops up as easy as a car hood. Even better, it’s been designed for completely tool-less adjustments—you can swap everything in and out with your bare fingers, so you don’t need one of those micro screwdriver sets with bits shaped like all of the individual Lucky Charms.

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7 Comments

  1. I like the concept, and the pricing (“starting at $1899″) looks very reasonable for the quality of hardware.

    One downside is that if you are buying it to fit into a tight space, you might have a desk that’s only 2′ deep and the stand on this thing is 16.5″ deep – you’ll have 7.5″ available in front of your “all in one” workstation when it’s pushed back to the wall! You can’t even fit a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard in that little space.

  2. They start at $1900, which means the one you *really* want is more like $3-4K. Yah, it’s a nice big screen, but I don’t work in an office where I’m shoulder to shoulder with developers working on card tables (as HP dude in video uses for an example). Would rather spend that on a high end windows laptop.

  3. I would hate to be given one of those at work. It looks noisy and i’m guessing there will be a wall behind the unit which will reflect the fan noise. Compare this to some of the dell towers which only have 2-3 large low rpm fans

    Not only that, but workstations like that are nearly impossible to upgrade since the video card must be some exact dimension, or the motherboard is a nonstandard shape, has room for 1 laptop sized hard drive.

    I counted 4 tiny squirrel fans and 2 mini standard fin fans. I tend to prefer large 120mm minimum size fans and keep as few as possible. More airflow at a lower rpm = less noise. Now the heatsinks needs to be larger too for lower pressure (this also reduces failure to dust build up)

    Lets throw in the additional cost of the unit… Buy some quiet dell towers and put them on the floor, not on the desk.

  4. Ohh and to add the PS3 has genius cooling! Whoever designed that cooling system definitely gets my respect.

    1 large fan, low rpm. Of course the downside is no redundancy, but i’d bet that if any one of the fans in the hp failed the computer would overheat, so really the reliability is much lower for the hp

  5. The previous-design iMacs (the ones in the white plastic case rather than the glass-and-aluminum case) were designed to be both user-openable and easy to service once you opened them — most jobs required either no tools or at most a Phillips screwdriver. They were easier than the HP looks, because the back came all the way off so you had free access to everything. They also published self-service docs online, and AppleCare would offer to ship you parts for DIY replacement if you preferred that vs. taking your machine in. Don’t know why they got away from that… cost more to manufacture, I guess…

  6. Will the display also be easily replacable with a non glossy one?

  7. Will have to wait and see just how much noise the fans in this unit make. Having several small fans running at once could produce beat notes, much like what happens in a twin engine airplane when the pilot can’t get the engines in sync.

    The concept is nice and they do offer a matching display for those that want a two headed computer. Also the they are offering several versions of Windows 7 and Linux for the OS. In the end, I think I still prefer a tower system under the desk as it is more configurable, but for the enterprise shop this will be popular.

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