HP Claims First Workstation Ultrabook

HP revamps its Z workstation line by packing Haswell processors into a tiny package and upgrading its mobile and desktop offerings with the latest chips and expansion technologies.

Hewlett-Packard today officially announced its new Z workstation and display slate, including the "industry's first workstation Ultrabook," according to Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager of HP's Commercial Solutions Business Unit.

HP is "recommitting to the high-performance user," said Zafarana during a during a Sept. 4 preview for the press, analysts and select customers in New York City, where company executives previewed the revamped Z portfolio. Despite recent turbulence in the market that roiled the IT industry, he asserted that the "workstation market is now a growing market again" and, despite fewer vendors tackling the segment, HP will continue to churn out workstations for the finance, film and television, and oil and exploration industries.

"HP is leading the recovery of the market," said Zafarana. In a statement, he added that "the expansion of the Z portfolio demonstrates HP's commitment to the professional market that many other vendors have abandoned."

Citing mobile workstation market statistics from IDC, Jimmy Holbert, HP Mobile Workstation lead, said that his company had "No. 1 market share worldwide." HP claimed 42.5 percent of the market during the second quarter, compared with Dell's 34.9 percent and Lenovo's 20.9 percent. To keep that momentum going, HP is rolling out new Intel Haswell-powered portable workstations, including the ZBook 14 Ultrabook, which Zafarana revealed in dramatic fashion by opening a shell consisting of a conventional laptop and plucking the thin device from its innards.

The thin ZBook 14 (0.83 inches) ships in October and will be available with Intel Haswell processors, up to 16GB of RAM and 14-inch LED-backlit displays that are available in a 10-point touch-enabled variant and in resolutions of up to 1,920 by 1,080. OS options include Windows 8 64-bit and Pro 64-bit, Windows 7 Pro, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 and FreeDOS.

Joining HP's new Ultrabook are the new ZBook 15 and 17 laptops, which are available now. They offer HD Webcams, Thunderbolt connectors (standard) for high-speed peripherals and external storage. Intel Haswell processor options range from dual-core i5 chips to a quad-core, 3GHz Core i7 (4930MX). The 15-inch ZBook comes standard with Intel HD 4600 integrated graphics, while both can be outfitted with Nvidia Quadro mobile GPUs.

As for desktops, the company is banking on Ivy Bridge Xeons (E5-1600v2 and E5-2600v2) to help users of its Z420, Z620 and Z820 workstations process high-performance workloads in October. The high-end, dual-processor Z820 can be outfitted with up to 512GB of memory across 16 dual in-line memory module (DIMM) slots, dual Nvidia K6000 graphics boards and 15TB of storage. Thunderbird 2 and USB 3.0 connectors add high-speed expandability. The Z820 starts at $2,439.

Finally, the company took the wraps off new HP Z27i and Z30i professional displays, which feature IPS 2 technology for improved color reproduction and off-center visuals. The 27- and 30-inch monitors feature complete percent coverage of the sRGB color space. The Z30i covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color space, a boon to photographers and visual designers, claims HP.

The HP Z27i display ships in October with a price of $729. The Z30i is available now and costs $1,329.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...