HP Z210 Small Form Factor Workstation

Entry-Level PC

HP introduces their newest workstation line with the Z210, available in Convertible Minitower (CMT) or Small Form Factor (SFF) models. The Z210 is designed to be an entry-level workstation for budget-minded folks working in photo or video editing, education, and similar fields. New Intel HD integrated graphics are standard, but there are also 2D and 3D professional graphics options available, including AMD FirePro 2770 or NVIDIA Quadro 4000 video cards.

For the most, if you can dream it, HP can configure it. The processor choice ranges from Core i3/i5/i7 to enterprise-class Xenon E3. Hard drive capacity tops out at 2 TB with the solid state option. Up to 16 GB of ECC RAM is supported (lower-cost, non-ECC is also supported).

This unit offers a choice of three optical drives: DVD-ROM, DVD+/-RW DL Super Multi, or HP Blu-ray writer; expanded PCIe, FireWire, and USB 2 or optional USB 3 interfaces; and 22-in-1 media card reader. With this many choices, you should have no trouble connecting practically any device.

The SFF has a 65% smaller footprint than the CMT—which is great for the space-conscious user—but for obvious reasons will have fewer spec options for RAM, storage capacity, and graphics cards. The SSF performed amazingly well when working with 3D rendering in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects.

HP takes pride in providing high performance while being environmentally friendly at the same time. High-efficiency power supplies and power-management software help to keep things green.

This PC is definitely worth checking out if you want to maximize production on a tight budget. Look at it this way: If you could buy a Porsche for the price of an economy car, wouldn’t you at least be tempted?

Company: Hewlett-Packard
Price: Starting at $659 ($3,491 as tested)
Rating: 4
Hot: High performance at an affordable price
Not: USB 3 not integrated, only an option