The 27-Inch Display Looms Large on the Desktop
A noticeable exception to overall ease of use and elegant engineering is the location of the peripheral ports located in the bottom edge of the HP Z1. I had to use a flashlight and a great deal of contortion to even connect the power cord to the system. In fact, the hardest part of the entire setup process was finding and then connecting the power cord to the HP Z1. PerformanceRunning with a display resolution of 1920 x 1440, the HP Z1 turned in an unremarkable PCMark score of 11,784 PCMarks. The performance was unremarkable because it falls within expected norms for a system configured with powerful CPU and Nvidia graphics card included in the test system. Running with a screen resolution of 1280 x 960, the system turned in a score of 18,340 PCMarks. The recommended display resolution of the HP Z1 is 2560 x 1440. The PCMark benchmarks I ran do not support this larger screen resolution. After running benchmarks most of an eight-hour day, the HP Z1 remained cool to the touch and ran nearly silent. In a normal office environment it will likely be difficult to hear the HP Z1 above the ambient room noise. The 27-inch display is bright and clear. One of the biggest problems I had during testing was getting far enough away from the screen to use it comfortably while also keeping the keyboard and mouse on a standard size office desk. While there are worse problems than having a display that is too large, it was definitely noticeable during use. Also the protective, 2mm thick treated glass overlay that protects the display has the effect of somewhat diminishing the visual experience of using the monitor. Since the HP Z1 is designed to be moved around, the protective glass overlay is a necessary part of the system and isnt much of a trade-off for the additional durability it adds to the system. Although HP officials said that the HP Z1 chassis has the ability to support a touch-display, this iteration of the product does not use touch. In the past, when Ive tested mobile workstation systems that had touch-screens, Ive been an enthusiastic user of the feature for about a week. Then the novelty wears off and I revert to the touchpad. I would like to see a touch-enabled version of the HP Z1 in the future. The large screen lends itself to touch and gesture interaction much more so than a smaller laptop screen. Click here to view eWEEK Labs' slide show on the Z1.
During tests at eWEEK Labs I used the Futuremark PCMark Vantage Professional benchmark suite to both test the compute performance and thermal characteristics of the HP Z1.