HP Z2 Mini compact PC packs Xeon power

hp-z2-mini-2016Looking for something tiny yet potent? Well, HP has just taken the wrappers of its Z2 Mini. This mini PC packs an Intel Xeon CPU, NVIDIA Quadro mobile M620 graphics and M.2 SSD tech. This is shoehorned in to a 2.3-inch-high case that’s “90% smaller than a traditional business-class tower.”

The Z2 Mini, according to HP, in its top configuration is twice as powerful as any mini PC on the market. This pint-sized PC can run up to six displays in stock configuration.

Thanks to its custom cooling system the octagonal Z2 Mini is 63% quieter than HP’s business-class mini PCs.

HP is targeting CAD, design, graphics and 3D users, though I’m thinking it’d make a great compact gaming rig depending on the options you choose.

HP Z2 Mini specs

The Z2 Mini comes packing up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and an HP Z Turbo Drive. The M.2 SSD reads at speeds over 1GB/s with a capacity up to 1.5TB.

You can get one with an Intel Core i7, i5, or i3 CPU. Or you could pay more (chances are, a lot more) for Intel’s Xeon E3-1200v5 family – that’s workstation and server-type power.

hp-z2-mini-g3Graphics options include NVIDIA’s mobile M620 Quadro GPU with 2GB of VRAM, also geared toward workstations and officially approved for pro apps like Autocad and 3DS max.

z2-mini-insideHowever, it doesn’t meet NVIDIA’s “VR Ready” criteria, so it’s not certified with the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. I am taking this to mean that it would probably allow middling gaming performance, at best.

What’s missing

The new machine is equipped with USB-C but there’s no Thunderbolt 3 port. It does have three DisplayPort slots, but it lacks an HDMI port.

hp-z2-mini-portsAre these deal-breakers? Well, as USB-C can be adapted for HDMI that’s not a biggy. I’m guessing the lack of Thunderbolt 3 ports might have implications for video editors and their chosen drives.

HP Z2 Mini price and availability

This latest compact PC starts at $699. For that I am getting you get the Core i3 configuration without discrete graphics.

Funnily enough, HP doesn’t mention how much a Xeon/NVIDIA setup will be. I reckon you can easily double the $700 price tag for the top range kit.

The HP Z2 Mini should land in December. More info and to register your interest, head over to the UK site.