Special Report: HP's reinvention
Karen Moltenbrey
Issue: November 1, 2015

Special Report: HP's reinvention

HP has been busy lately. Very busy. First, it recently split into two companies: HP Inc. (PC and printer operations) and HP Enterprise (software and services). Then, during a media event in New York this past week, the company made some major product and technology announcements.

ZBook Mobile Workstations

Let’s start with some very impressive offerings: ZBook Mobile Workstations, which are thin and light but heavy on performance. Included in the lineup is the HP ZBook Studio, touted as the world’s first quad-core workstation Ultrabook. The 15.6-inch diagonal ZBook Studio is the shape of things to come for mobile workstations — becoming HP’s thinnest and lightest full performance model ever brought to the market. The machine weighs 4.4 pounds (starting) and is 18mm in height.

A machine for professionals on-the-go, the ZBook Studio contains DNA from HP’s Z line. “The ZBook Studio is a perfect combination of brains and beauty, with the engineering toughness of an HP Z Workstation,” says Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager of HP Workstations and Thin Clients at HP Inc. “It features numerous first-time workstation advancements, including Intel Xeon CPUs with ECC memory, Thunderbolt 3, Gen 2 Z Turbo Drives, HP Sure Start client security, and an eight million color-critical pixel DreamColor 4K display.”

The model features Intel Core or Xeon processors, dual 1TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2 for up to 2TBs of total storage, up to 32GB ECC memory, dual Thunderbolt 3, dual cooling fans, and optional HP DreamColor UHD or FHD touch displays. The ZBook Studio is built to handle heavy graphics loads, with a choice of new Nvidia Quadro M1000M 2GB GDDR5 Professional graphics or Intel HD graphics 530.

The HP ZBook Studio should be available in December starting at $1,699.

HP also introduced three additional HP ZBook Mobile Workstation models that are dramatically thinner and lighter than their predecessors. These third-generation products boast performance, innovation, and reliability — three descriptors that were used throughout the event.

The HP ZBook 15u has a 15.6-inch diagonal display, and can be configured with up to 32GBs of memory, AMD FirePro professional graphics with 2GB frame buffer, HP Z Turbo Drive G2, 1.5TBs of total storage, and a FHD touch display. HP ZBook 15u is planned for availability in January starting at $1,099.

The HP ZBook 15 was redesigned inside and out, and is 27 percent thinner and 7 percent lighter than the previous generation, and sports a 27 percent increase in battery life over previous generations. It has a 15.6-inch diagonal display and is equipped with an Intel Core or Xeon processor, 64GB ECC memory, dual 1TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2 for up to 3TBs of total storage, dual Thunderbolt 3, and optional HP DreamColor UHD or FHD touch displays.

The HP ZBook 17, a 17.3-inch diagonal workstation, features a 67 percent increase in battery life and is 25 percent thinner and 11 percent lighter than its predecessor. It is configured with an Intel Core or Xeon processor, up to 64GB ECC memory, dual 1TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2 for up to 4TBs of total storage, dual Thunderbolt 3, and optional HP DreamColor UHD or FHD touch displays. The ZBook 17 also features Nvidia graphics support up to M5000M Quadro with an 8GB frame buffer.

The HP ZBook Studio, ZBook 15 and 17 all feature the new Nvidia Quadro professional graphics, providing nearly two times the performance of previous-generation graphics. These systems also offer a choice of Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580, Intel HD graphics P530, or Intel HD graphics 530.

Both the HP ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 are expected to ship in January — pricing is not yet available.
Offered with the HP ZBook Workstations is the new HP ZBook Dock with Thunderbolt 3. Users can link up to 10 devices at once through ports in the compact device. The HP ZBook Dock is planned for December rollout starting at $229.

Thin Is In!

In addition to the ZBook announcements, HP also showed off the HP T730 Thin Client, the first thin client with native quad UHD/4K display support. It comes equipped with next-gen quad-core AMD processing power and is tuned for delivering to high-performance users.  

“As more businesses move their most demanding users and apps to virtual computing, we’ve responded by combining cloud-client technology and workstation innovation in one revolutionary platform,” says Jeff Wood, vice president of product management for Workstations & Thin Clients at HP Inc.

Supporting more displays than the average desktop PC, the HP t730 natively drives four displays at the new UHD/4K resolution standard, and six displays with an optional AMD FirePro discrete graphics card. Multimedia is presented in eye-popping detail that translates to 8,294,400 total pixels. The AMD R-Series quad-core APU with Turbo Core technology accelerates CPU performance up to 3.6 GHz.
The HP t730 should be available in December at an estimated starting price of $599.

Technology Developments Make It Happen

Of course, the recent HP product evolutions are possible thanks to a number of innovations for desktop workstation storage and cooling. To this end, HP also revealed a storage solution that is 16 times faster than a SATA SSD at a similar cost, and a revolutionary heat-transfer solution to reduce system noise for its HP Z Workstations. 

Says Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager of Workstations and Thin Clients at HP Inc., “HP Workstations’ engineering DNA is our special sauce — driven by over three decades in the business and a true understanding of our customers’ needs that helps them solve business problems our competition isn’t addressing to the same extent.”

The HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro provides users with improved performance and reliability to speed through large data storage challenges. The HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro resolves the storage bottleneck by permitting users to power through large data storage challenges with amazing performance speeds.

The HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro can be used with HP Z440, Z640, and Z840 Workstations. Announced on September 29, the HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF Workstations can use up to two Z Turbo Drives, and starting November 16th will be available with Intel entry-level Xeon processors at a starting price of $879.
HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro is planned for November rollout and priced at $1,376 for a fully loaded card with four 256GB modules.

The HP Z Cooler is an innovative, ultra-quiet cooling solution designed to reduce system noise in HP Z Workstation environments — even under the most demanding workloads. The solution helps lower CPU fan speed and delivers up to a 8.5 dBA acoustic level reduction — perceived as being 40 percent quieter to the human ear — versus previous generations. The noise reduction benefits come from HP’s unique, revolutionary heat-transfer solution that combines 3D vapor chamber technology and HP’s staggered, hex-fin design. 

The HP Z Cooler will be available with the HP Z440 and Z840 Workstations. HP Z Cooler is available now starting at $120.

New Z Professional Displays

The HP Z22n and HP Z23n Narrow Bezel IPS Displays provide a captivating view with minimal visual disruptions. The panels, the narrowest three-sided displays from HP, are nearly borderless on three sides and include factory color calibration for consistent color between projects and displays and flexible device connectivity.

Users will benefit from the virtually seamless views provided by the 178-degree viewing angle IPS technology. The color gamut (calibrated 95 percent and 96 percent sRGB respectively) delivers optimal color quality.

The HP Z22n and Z23n are available now and priced at $209 and $229, respectively.