The launch of HP’s Z1 all in one workstation could bring the machines into a sector not normally associated with high-end expensive models, the small and mid-size business (SMB) market.
Speaking at an event in Las Vegas to launch the latest HP workstations, Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at design and engineering software developer Autodesk, predicted that the Z1 is going to be taken up by some of the firm’s smaller customers first.
“In 1982 when AutoCAD came out, there was design and drafting software, but it was only available to very large enterprises who could afford mainframes,” said Bradshaw. However, in the 30 years since Autodesk’s flagship software release, the CAD market has opened up to a much broader range of firms.
“We see the Z1 popularity as likely to be at the smaller end of the SMB space. We think the architecture and engineering market are going to be particularly of interested.”
Bradshaw was also impressed by the “simplicity and aesthetics” on offer with the Z1. He pointed out that users of current workstations tend to have multiple cables all connected up, which looks very messy.
“When you go into an office with a bunch of Z1s, you’ll see a very different look and feel. So we think architects, for who image is important, they’ll be very attracted to the Z1.”
HP is also hoping that firms will be tempted by the cable-free, space-saving design of the Z1.
Jeff Wood, vice president of marketing for the HP Worldwide Computer Solutions Business Unit, said the latest in the Z series is continuing the evolution of developing workstations that require less and less space.
The Z line started with the Z800 back in March 2009, and was followed by the Z210, a smaller form factor unit. The idea behind the Z1 is to offer a unit that would suit the smaller desk spaces that many workers are now being squeezed into, he explained.
The Z1 will start shipping worldwide in early April, priced at £1,349.
Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN.