Less Than 2.5 Inches Thick, New PC Can Be Mounted Nearly Anywhere, Including Behind Your Display

HP today launched what it called the first "mini workstation," spotlighting the 2.3-inch by 8.5-inch HP Z2 Mini — which it described as shorter than a typical cup of coffee.


At less than 2.3 inches thick, the Z2 Mini is more like an espresso, especially compared to the typical workstation PC. The octagonal design is designed to fit unobtrusively on a desktop or to be mounted underneath or on a wall; at a 4.5-pound starting weight, it can also fit behind a display or on a display arm. For maximum unobtrusiveness, the system has also been built to be 63 percent quieter than a business-class mini PC from HP, the company said.

If the Z2 Mini can't be easily seen or heard, it still has killer display capabilities — out of the box, it can be connected to run up to six displays (four native and two with daisy-chaining). Designed specifically for the CAD market, it still seems likely to find some users in the media industry, especially where space is at a premium, or where it's better if the PC remains largely invisible.


Can you spot the Z2 Mini in this HP workstation family portrait? Click for a better view.

The mini form factor comes with limitations, of course, but HP has done its best to pack some power under the hood. The Z2 Mini can get its processing power from CPUs in Intel Xeon and Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 models, and it can be configured with Nvidia Quadro M620 2 GB graphics hardware, while RAM tops out at a maximum 32 GB. For connectivity, it has four USB 3.0 ports, up to four display ports, and, in high-performance models, two USB-C 3.1 ports.

HP Z2 Mini back panel

If you need a serial port, that blank spot above the two USB-C 3.1 ports is where it goes.

The miniature form-factor was developed, HP said, largely to ensure that the workstation PC has a space as workspaces become more and more compact. The HP Z2 Mini "is going to solve all the problems we believe our customers are going to encounter over the next several years," said Andrew Willard, HP's product marketing specialist for workstations, in a press briefing announcing the new system. That's partly because HP found that only 42 percent of CAD professionals are now using workstation-class PCs, leaving an underserved market.

HP Z2 Mini

As HP users would expect, the Z2 Mini features tool-less access to the system's internals, the option of HP's 512 GB Z Turbo Drive G2 (bringing max storage to 1 TB), and carefully engineered airflow to keep the system cool. It also offers remote power-up capabilities from a completely powered-down state.

Though HP is not yet taking orders, the Z2 Mini is set to ship worldwide next month in both "entry" and "performance" configurations running Windows 10 Pro or Linux. Pricing will start at $699.