I haven’t reviewed a workstation in quite some time, and quite honestly when the opportunity to review a computer system again was presented to me, I jumped at it. But when the system arrived I was nervous. I wasn’t sure where to start, I wasn’t sure how I should review it and I had no idea what perspective readers like yourself would be looking for in a review. Then it dawned on me. I work with a government agency, we use workstations there, I am a workstation user so what am I looking for to make my job a lot more efficient and easier.
So I asked myself what do I want from my work computer, what do I need from my workstation. The answers were simple enough, I want a system that won’t take more than 10 minutes to boot when I get to work in the morning. I want a system that can open an excel file or for that matter a rather large access file without crashing outlook while I check my emails. I want a system where I don’t have to daisy chain various cables together to have more than 2 monitors. I want a system that is as responsive at 5 PM as it was at 9 AM, and if I work IT I want a system that is easy to work on. Overall I want a system that just works. I’ll tell you right now, in case you don’t want to read the entire review. The HP Z2 Mini JUST WORKS!
Let’s go over the configurations:
Operation Systems: Linux Ready, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 7 (Windows 7 requires you purchase a downgrade from 10 Pro)
Processor: Intel i3-6100 – i7-7700 Processor
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics or Discrete NVIDIA Quadro M620 Graphics (2 GB, 4 DisplayPort)
Storage: 500 GB HDD – 1TB SSD (Up to two drives and you can choose which you want the OS loaded on to)
Memory: 4GB DDR4 – 32GB DDR4
Networking: Intel® 8265 802.11 ac (2×2) with Bluetooth® 4.2 (no-vPro) or Basic Networking
As you can see from the specs you can have the Z2 configured for basic use, to high en graphic design use. The system I am using for this review has the i7-6700, 32GB of Memory, 256 SSD drive (OS loaded) an 1 TB HDD with the NVIDIA graphics. I know some of you will say “EWWW the NVIDIA Quadro M620 graphics suck”. I must remind you this is a workstation, not a gaming PC and for the Z2 Mini an excellent choice.
How did I put the system through its paces? I didn’t run a benchmark because I don’t trust them, I didn’t play games on it (it’s a workstation) I used it like I normally would use my work PC but I also installed some applications that demand power such as the entire Adobe Suite. I left those programs running on the system while I worked. The Mini Z2 handled it all perfectly. I left the system running all day and night, I had it rendering images and performing task just to try to overwork the system. But every time I sat down to do something. Browse the web, check email in outlook, or just mess around with Photoshop. The Z2 was up to he challenge. It ran at 3 PM just like it did at 9 PM. No matter what I did, no matter how I did it the system was super responsive all the time.
There are plenty of USB ports and Display Ports on the back of the system. So just imagine the configuration of monitors you can add to he Z22, and with the RGS software which is free from HP the possibilities are endless.
If you work in IT and you’re tasked with maintaining this workstation, you are going to be in love. First of all due to its small compact size. It can be mounted under a desk hidden from the end user. Behind the monitor even if the monitor is wall mounted. It also has remote start. Just press a button on the keyboard to power it on. With a system that can be so easily hidden like this one, you won’t have to worry about users sticking in unsupported or hardware, and you lower the risk of them inserting USB drives or external hard drives.
And when you have to work on the system, changing the hard drive or adding one, removing or adding memory it’s so easy. You just press a button and the lid comes off, allowing easy access to all it’s components. You can open it, an change its memory with one hand. That’s how easy it is. Just check out the pictures and videos below.
How cool is that? Tool-less entry, tool-less change of memory and you can do it all while eating a sandwich. You can literally upgrade the memory in less time than it takes to boot up the average smartphone. If you’re in charge of government procurement, or about to make a purchase of workstations. Just think of how much time and money your IT department will save. Think of how efficient your employees will be with a system like the Z2 Mini. You’ll be CEO of the company in no time.
The HP Z2 is a great workstation. It will just work, it will handle pretty much everything you throw at it because it handled everything I threw at it. It will save you money and time in maintenance. It’s a must-have for any business large or small. It’s a must-have for government and corporate America it’s an amazing workstation. For that, it gets 4 stars from us!
The HP Mini Z2 has a starting price of $699 up to $1699 depending on the configuration. For more info visit HP.com
You may also be interested in the detachable workstation from HP.