HP’s new workstations are built with input from real users – and it shows

When you already produce one of the most popular workstations around, it’s only logical you’d want to follow it up with an equally impressive system. This time around, the sequel really is better, and HP’s Z240 workstations are high-end systems at very reasonable prices.

Available in two distinct form factors, the Z240 workstations are targeted at the entry-level professional market – video editing, education, and image rendering. As such, they’re equipped with the best components, including Skylake processors, up to 64 gigabytes of RAM, and HP’s Z Turbo Drive. That’s not what HP is most excited about, though.

Apart from under-the-hood improvements, HP has made a number of new changes to the workstations that are based on long conversations with actual workstation users. By spending time learning about workflow in a number of market areas, new options were designed to fit those issues.

A few of these changes were made to the motherboard to increase compatibility. With an integrated M.2 slot, you’re ready for the fastest PCIe SSDs out there, including HP’s Z Turbo Drive. The legacy PCI slot, which HP found was in use by less than 2 percent of users, is now gone to make room for other improvements, with a replacement adapter card in development.

The hard drive cage has been redesigned for greater airflow and better acoustic control, and ambient temperature sensors on the motherboard ensure a cool, quiet system. Despite all of these changes, the motherboard is ten percent smaller, which allows for more efficient cable layouts.

There are some convenience features too, including front and rear handles for when you really need to take your system elsewhere. If you want to take it out for cleaning less, you can also now order both Z240 workstations with dust filters, a change that seems small on the surface, but actually improves performance and lowers maintenance time drastically.

Perhaps best of all, the new Z240 and Z240 Small Form Factor will be available in November, with a starting price of $879. While HP hasn’t shared what exactly that sub-$900 system looks like, the most basic processor that’s offered is an Intel Core i5-6500, which is no slouch. If you’ve been thinking about taking your computing to a more professional level, these systems will be an excellent offering at an unbeatable price.

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