SINGAPORE - PC maker HP today announced the launch of new entry-level workstation computers at the HP Imagine 2018 regional event.
The Z2 workstations may be the most affordable of HP's range of workstation PCs, but they still come with the latest high-end processors and professional-grade graphics cards. They are intended for power users, such as designers, creative professionals and financial workers that run demanding workloads, such as rendering special effects in movies and analysing financial data.
The new workstations now support the fast Thunderbolt interface for data transfers and are designed to run round the clock.
HP says that these computers also have hardware-based security features to prevent malware threats, as well as software that lets IT departments easily manage their fleet of workstations.
"The number one thing we hear from creative professionals and other power users is the need for higher-performance PCs built to meet their needs," said Ms Carol Hess, vice-president for worldwide workstations product management, HP Inc.
The smallest Z workstation in the lineup, the Z2 Mini G4 Workstation is a compact PC that can be mounted to the back of a monitor. Despite its size, it can be configured with a six-core Intel Xeon processor. HP says it has twice the graphics performance as the previous model. It is expected to be available in September at a starting price of $1,799.
The HP Z2 Small Form Factor G4 Workstation has 50 per cent more processing power than its predecessor. It is highly customisable, allowing users to configure the networking, input/output ports or display options without the need for external adapters. It will be available this Sept at a starting price of $1,299.
On the other hand, the HP Z2 Tower G4 Workstation is designed for demanding 3-D rendering tasks. It offers over 60 per cent more graphics power but is 13 per cent smaller in size than the previous model. The chassis has also been re-designed with front and rear ledges for easy transport of the system. An optional dust filter ensures that the interior of the workstation remain clean, even on a factory floor. It will be available this Sept as well at a starting price of $1,499.
For professional designers and virtual-reality app developers, the HP EliteDesk 800 Workstation Edition offers reliable performance with its option of up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. It will be available next month at a starting price of $1,099.
In addition to the Z2 workstations, HP announced the availability of its Elite 1000 devices in Asia-Pacific and Japan. These business PCs come in various form factors, from sleek clamshell notebooks to touch-capable convertibles. All models can be configured with HP's security features, such as a built-in screen privacy filter and a secure Web browsing solution that prevents malware from breaking into the system.
HP's launch comes less than a week after a positive piece of news for the long-beleaguered PC industry. Market research firms Gartner and IDC had revealed that the PC market grew modestly in the second quarter of 2018, due to demand from businesses for Windows 10 PCs. Notably, this is the first increase in PC shipments in six years. IDC reported a 2.7 per cent increase while Gartner said the market grew by 1.4 per cent.
IDC said HP cemented its lead with 7.6 per cent for a 23.9 per cent market share last quarter, while Gartner placed Lenovo marginally ahead of HP with near-identical market share of 21.9 per cent each.