Form factor is a big thing in digital signage – with the need for smaller PC/media player boxes that can tuck behind displays or in other limited spaces. But small has usually been tied to low-powered and relatively low-priced.
HP has just unveiled what it calls the world’s first mini workstation – a high-powered box that is 10% the size of a typical business-class workstation tower. The HP Z2 Mini Workstation is just 2.3” high and roughly the size of a Mac Mini, though a bit taller.
HP says this new box is twice as powerful as any commercial mini PC on the market today, and can support six displays right out of the box. It’s aimed primarily at Computer Assisted Drafting software users, but undoubtedly there are some signage techs looking at this and quietly saying, “Hmmmm …”
The workstation, running Windows 10 Pro or Linux, can ship with Intel Xeon processors, NVIDIA professional graphics and use a Turbo Drive for handling large files.
Says HP: The ultra-compact and aesthetically pleasing workstation provides users with numerous versatility options: on/under the desk, behind an HP Z display, or on a wall6. HP engineers created custom designed fans and a cooling system for whisper-quiet acoustics (63 percent quieter than an HP business-class mini PC) for workstation customers that need mission-critical reliability. The HP Z2 Mini design and engineering ingenuity will transform the way people think about workstations and workspaces.
The base price is $699 (though that’s likely for lower end Intel processors and no dedicated Nvidia graphics) and will scale up from there based on what’s under the hood. They start shipping before the end of the year.