Pricey, But Sleek, Unique, And Powerful
The HP Z1 is a unique all-in-one system that, despite its otherwise-limiting form factor, is fast enough to replace a pedestal-based workstation. You could even say that the sleek-looking platform is misleading. Rather than packing mobile-oriented parts to hit a low thermal ceiling, HP engineers the hardware intelligently to enable desktop-class processors, four DIMMs, potent graphics modules, and even multiple SSDs. Performance-wise, the only way to surpass it is with an LGA 2011-based box with much more expensive hardware.
Of course, part of the allure is HP's high-quality display. The Z1 is certainly capable of yielding professional image quality and better color than many monitors, making it suitable for business-class applications. But it isn't quite as good as some of the higher-end wide-gamut screens we've seen, some of which can do 100 percent of Adobe RGB.
On the other hand, the Z1 sports a far better display than most other all-in-ones, including competitors in the same market segment. When you think about what the Z1 costs (at least the first-gen model we're reviewing), remember that you'd need to spend at least $700 to equip another workstation with a comparable 2560x1440 monitor.
There are certainly form factor-imposed concessions. You're limited to mobile graphics, for instance. And there isn't a ton of room for storage. But HP's Z1 is still a surprisingly capable system made all the more impressive because it does fit into an all-in-one. The company further complements the hardware with service and warranty options, along with certifications in professional applications that other all-in-ones lack, all while facilitating the compactness you won't find in more conventional workstation builds.