New Tower and Small-Form-Factor Models Have Integrated M.2 Slot, Optional Dust Filters

HP today announced the Z240 workstation, its new entry-level PC. Available in traditional tower and small-form-factor (SFF) models, the Z240 supports up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory in four DIMM slots, ships with your choice of Windows 7/10 or Linux preloaded, and has a new dust filter option to keep the system clean.

Also new on this model is an integrated M.2 slot, allowing one HP Z Turbo drive to be connected via the motherboard without taking up a PCIe slot. A casualty of the redesign was the legacy PCI slot, which is now available as an expansion card for customers who need it. (HP claims that fewer than 2 percent of customers use it.) Thunderbolt 2 is available via an optional expansion card..

The systems will support Intel's new Skylake microarchitecture and Core i5/i7 processors, as well as yet-to-be-announced Xeon E3-1200 v5 processors.

Graphics options in the tower top out at AMD's FirePro W7100 and Nvidia's Quadro M4000 on the high-end. Other options include AMD FirePro W5100 and W2100, and Nvidia Quadro K2200, K620, K420, NVS510, NVS315, NVS 310. the tower system has two Displayport outputs and one DVI-D connector, while the SFF model has three Displayports.


The workstations have gotten a physical redesign, too. HP says it managed to reduce the size of the motherboard on the Z240 tower model by 10 percent and simplified the cabling, meaning it should be a little easier to get your fingers in there when you need to swap out hardware.


The Z240 SFF has a redesigned hard drive cage, and a custom air duct has been added to improve circulation around the CPU.


And the washable dust filters available for both models are meant to help keep the systems clean, reducing the need to temporarily relocate a workstation for the sole purpose of blasting out dust and dirt with a can of compressed air.

Another new feature is a USB charging port on the front of the systems that can be used to charge up devices even when the system is powered down.

Windows users can order the Z240 with Windows 10 or 7 preloaded, and drivers will be available for those who choose to run Windows 8.1. A "downgrade" option will be available for a workstation running Windows 7 but with full licensed rights for Windows 10. (HP says most Windows customers are still using Windows 7, but expects that to change.)

Both systems will ship in November at a starting price of $879 with entry-level processors.