HP says the Z2 is three times more powerful than a business-class PC mini, the height of an espresso cup and “the epitome of elegance”. This device has a recommnded retail price of R16599, excluding VAT.
“Style over substance is detested, substance over style is scorned upon,” says Fulvio Donà, Value Computing Area Country Manager for HP Africa. “However, like many other industries, designers can fall into the trap of using sub-standard technology.”
Donà says that, sometimes, it’s easier to stick with what you know than branch out and experiment with something new, only to be disappointed. In part, this could be the reason why some 2.9 million CAD users are still not using workstations – turbo-charged, professional grade computers, with rapid microprocessors, large amounts of RAM and special features, such as professional graphics.
In the absence of workstations, designers could be competing with productivity bottlenecks, frustrating flexibility issues and challenges producing anything beyond 2D design. They may have hit the wall, inspiration-wise, no thanks to limited desk space, outdated technology and the sort of background noise that distracts rather than aids concentration.
“Small is desirable but it shouldn’t come at the expense of functionality,” says Donà. “By refusing to compromise on performance, we packed a wagon load of functionality into a sleek, silver grey octagonal powerhouse. We also added a discrete graphics card for blistering 3D design with the Performance model version, whisper-quiet acoustics and enough ports to support 4-6 displays.”
The Z2 Mini stands a mere 2.3 inches (5.8 cm) tall, meaning professionals can avoid cluttering their workspace and becoming overrun by cables and large, unpleasant black boxes.
“We packed the Z2 Mini with cutting-edge cooling solutions, enabling us to cool an immense amount power in an unprecedentedly small space, including custom piping – ordinarily the preserve of Ultrabooks – a calibre of fans normally used in desktop tower PCs and discrete venting.”