HP's Valentine to the Media & Entertainment Industry
CreativeCOW presents HP's Valentine to the Media & Entertainment Industry -- What Computer Should I Buy? Feature

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HP Z1 Revealed

On Valentine's Day, HP unveiled the HP Z1, which the company has dubbed "the first of its kind all-in-one workstation." The 27-inch HP Z1 features a 30-bit panel with an over-1 billion color palette, a built-in HD video camera, SRS premium sound speakers, an array of microphones for stereo input, professional level performance and optional NVIDIA Quadro cards for professional applications.

"When we decided to go forward with the Z1, we didn't really know if we knew how to do it," says Jim Zafarana, HP VP/GM, commercial solutions business unit. "We had to put real workstation technology into this form factor, not PC technology. We had a couple of meetings where I had to lay down the criteria: all-in-one form factor, the essence of the Z workstation and no compromise. The HP Z1 is not just another all-in-one.

Two years in the making, the HP Z1 features some unique qualities: Designed to look quite similar in design to the flagship HP Z800, as well as achieve its level of performance. Speakers are front facing for a rich audio experience. There's room for two hard drives. The HP Z1 is also 'whisper quiet,' the result of a design that includes thermal sensors and an array of fans that produce a low noise level, for the express purpose of maintaining usability in noise-sensitive video/audio production. The HP Z1's self-closing lid is another design detail that protects the workstation.

The HP Z1 is -- at least initially -- aimed at three markets: media and entertainment; CAD; and education. "Zafarani pointed out the popularity of the HP Z800 in the film/video marketplace. "Hollywood and Bollywood have embraced it," says Zafarani. "The HP workstation is used for film/video and high-end animation throughout the U.S. and India as well as in places like New Zealand where it was used on Lord of the Rings."

The workstation business is poised for expansion as well. Zafarani reports that HP's workstation business has doubled in recent years, making the company #1 in both the desktop workstation and mobile workstation markets. "It's truly a growth business," he says. That reinforces what HP's Todd Bradley said earlier in the day: that a mere 18 percent of the world uses PC computers.

The HP-Z1 is initially aimed at three markets: media & entertainment; CAD; and education.

Josh Peterson, Worldwide product Marketing, HP Desktop and Mobile Workstations showed the HP Z1 in a dual display configuration, on a standard VESA Mount arm. "The HP Z1 shares the same panel as the Z 210," he notes. "Getting the displays off the desk gives people desktop room they didn't have before. You can put keyboards or mixing boards right up on the desk. Users get that desk space back.

"When HP was first thinking about the HP Z1, most customers dismissed the all-in-one form factor as uninteresting because they assumed it wouldn't be flexible or high enough performance, that there would be too many compromises," says Peterson. "We delivered without compromise.

Customers can easily open the HP Z1 and have access to its components.

Because customers can easily open the HP Z1 and have access to its components, it offers a flexibility particularly valued in the media and entertainment business. "Our customers cannot afford downtime," he says. "Also, digital media and entertainment want to reconfigure systems. They've done it for years in the tower space but haven't been able to do it in the mobile space. Now they can. The fact that the HP Z1 is redeployable for different uses is a key component."

The HP Z1 will ship worldwide in April this year, for a suggested list price of $1,899.