IT Pro Verdict
The Z800 is a great looking, and very cleverly put together workstation offering tool-less access to the internals. Despite offering simply outstanding levels of performance it runs quietly. The initial costs may be high, but if you depend on performance these machines could pay for themselves in a matter of months.
For those who think computers are dull, functional and slightly boring, the name 'workstation' isn't going to change their minds in a hurry. After all, it does what its name suggests - it's something that you sit at to get a job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
HP's Z800 workstation is designed to do very much that, but there's one difference - it's a computer that's encased in a system that can quite justifiably be described as 'cool', which isn't the sort of term you'd normally find associated with workstations.
The Z800 sits at the top of HP's latest range of workstations, a successor to its xw series, though the latter is still available to buy on the HP website. The Z series is a new platform based on Intel's Nehalem architecture, and HP's Z400 and Z600 systems accompany it lower down the range.
The Z800, meanwhile, sits at the top of the tree and is aimed at serious computing tasks where multilple processors and huge amounts of memory bandwidth is required. We're talking intense data analysis for industries such as oil exploration, and literally rocket science.
Prices for the Z800 range from 2,810 ex. VAT to 5,809 ex. VAT and that does not include a graphics card, so budget for that as well.
The key to the Z800 is the design; with the new look machines being created by BMW DesignWorks USA. It has a series of ridges running down the front that not only gives it a smart, efficient look, but also enables air to flow into the case from front to back, cooling all the internals.
A handle has been integrated into the design at the top and at the rear making it easier to move about during an office move. The case also stands on slightly raised rests so can be slid around a desk if needs be. HP has also said that the Z800's are virtually the same dimensions (20.35 x 52.65 x 44.51 cm) as the xw9400 series so making it straightforward to upgrade without having to invest in new desks.
Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.
Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.