LAS VEGAS — New markets and new use cases will be enabled by the launch of the Z1 all in one workstation according to Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), which launched the new offering Tuesday at its global partner conference.
HP’s Z series of workstations already includes a line of towers, mobile workstations and a small form factor device. When they heard HP was developing an all in one workstation some people were skeptical it would just be PC-class components, but from the start HP was insistent it had to be workstation quality and “Z DNA” said Jim Zafarana, vice-president and general manager of HP’s global workstations business.
“It couldn’t just be PC DNA; people would see through that,” said Zafarana. “It had to be workstation performance.”
The workstation market has grown dramatically over the last 10 years, and with HP doubling its workstation volume over the last five years Zafarana said there is lots of opportunity for the channel around workstations. HP hopes the Z1 will open up new markets it couldn’t reach with its other Z-series devices, markets where space is at a premium. CAD designers, video editing and education are key target markets, and health care, financial traders, architects and scientists are other likely users.
“Workplaces are evolving. There’s less space to work in, and that can stifle productivity and hurt results,” said Josh Peterson, director of worldwide product marketing for HP workstations.
With availability beginning in April, Z1 pricing will start at $1955 on a basic configuration with an Intel Core i3 processor and integrated graphics. Customers can choose to upgrade to om an array of Intel Xeon processor and Nvidia Quatro graphics options, as well as SATA, SSD and RAID storage options. The 27” LED display supports more than $1 billion colours. Like the other Z Series offerings, its a tool-less chassis to easily swap-out hard drives and other components.
The Z1 has been certified for Adobe Premier, different CAD tools and all the other applications that workstation customers expect to use said Ira Weiss, workstation business manager with HP Canada. Development was focused on the needs of users in fields such as architecture, engineering and digital media creation, but it’s a good for for many different markets.Education and the public sector will be key target markets.
“It’s a full-featured workstation that’s applicable to many different businesses, and it gives our partners a new platform to go out and have a conversation with their customers and up-sell them from the current all in ones they’re selling today to actual workstations,” said Weiss.
There’s a good opportunity for channel partners with the Z1 said Paul Edwards, research director at London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group.
“I think the opportunity here is based on HP coming out with something new, a new technology and different form factor. Partners need to grasp onto things that are new and sell them to their clients,” said Edwards. “I think it will work both as a workstation upgrade as well as developing new market opportunities, and the pricepoint is right for partners to sell these in relative volume.”
Edwards added vertical market expertise and specialization will be key in selling these workstations, with the education market in Canada looking like a particularly good fit.
Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.