HP Z2 Mini review: tiny workstation

Xeon and Quadro in a mini package

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Introduction

Whenever someone mentions workstations, you quickly think of large, heavy computers. HP breaks this 'law' with its new Z2 mini workstation. A mini pc with Xeon, which we cover extensively in this article.


Workstations are the crème de la crème of the business computer world. At first glance there a number of similarities with gaming systems: powerful processors and graphics cards, lots of RAM and storage. However, the latter are optimized for games, wheeras workstations are aimed at professional graphic artists or people that perform heavy scientific or financial calculations. The market leader in this market is HP and the company offers a plethora of systems in their Z-series, which is aimed at this market. The products range from relatively compact models to heavy towers with multiple processors, disks and heavy graphics cards. There are also a bunch of mobile models. The newest model in this series is the Z2 Mini.

HP Z2 Mini G3

The Z2 Mini is of course not as powerful as the larger machines and therefore it is mainly aimed at users who are looking for a versatile CAD workstation or simply a reliable computer, that is also capable of driving multiple monitors. Workstations are mainly built on reliability and the certainty that they will function well with the applications that they were designed for. The main difference with normal PCs is that workstations are generally based on Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia Quadro of AMD Radeon Pro graphics cards.

HP Z2 Mini G3

If you look at the device from the back you will immediately notice a large difference with mini PCs meant for consumers, which we cover much more at Hardware.Info. We find no less than four DisplayPort outputs on the back. This allows you to connect a bunch of displays to the Z2 Mini without any trouble. This is especially useful if you require a lot of digital workspace, for example for performing the aforementioned calculations or if you want keep all of your drawings organized. HP has officially certified programs such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks and more for the Z2 Mini, as to ensure proper functioning of the device.


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six products discussed in this review

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