When I first saw the videos of HP’s new Z1 all-in-one workstation with 27” LCD display, I had seen it as a game-changer especially for Windows-based workstation-class computing. This is more so as an increasing number of people live in and work from smaller homes or rent smaller office spaces and the traditional workstation may not fit these settings anymore. It may also be seen similarly as a game-changer for the “serious gamers” who would like to play World of Warcraft or other similar games on high-performance computers.
Typically this class of computing was serviced by a computer that had a separate “tower-style” system unit located under the desk. This was connected up to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. Some of the high-end Apple iMac all-in-one computers may have satisfied high-end graphics and multimedia needs; and there may have been a few computers with compact system units serving in this class of high-intensity computer.
I had also reviewed a Sony VAIO J Series “all-in-one” computer for this site and had found that the compact nature of these computers has a distinct useability advantage over the traditional desktop with the “tower-style” system unit that I was using.
HP has brought this kind of compact standards-based all-in-one computer to the architecture, engineering and graphic arts industries in a form that is reliable and continually serviceable. Here, the system can be laid flat and opened up so you can repair or improve the system, like as you could with the traditional workstation-class computer. It still needs the forced-air cooling but the software regulates how the fans run so as to cut down on the noise.
Some people may see this as being too “cutting edge” for a workstation-class standards-based “all-in-one” and there may be foibles associated with this model. But I would see this as a chance to bring high-performance computing in a home-friendly compact form without having to have the Apple logo.