December 4, 2001
By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
This is personal: Is HP out to make my favorite hobby obsolete? You see, with electronics, I’m the jump into it sort. You know, a muttering fool who ignores that rubbish about warranties being voided, no user-serviceable components, and ya-di-dah. I buy something, and immediately pop the lid, see what’s going on, and maybe plot out the upgrades. I love to cuss and fume as I scrape my knuckles struggling to loosen one of those tiny screws just so I can see who made what widget. And I live to smugly critique the design.
HP, however, has been out to make an art out of toolless design, and its new Z1 all-in-one high-performance workstation seems to take “toolless” to a new level where it’s beyond a talking point for their marketing people to toss into the mix. Toolless design is nothing less than a bragging point with the HP Z1. This is how it should be done, I realize, even if—for guys like me who enjoy the battle of getting inside a new system—it’s like buying my own birthday gift and having it wrapped.
Today’s short Check It Out video will show you what I mean. Even if you have never swapped out a hard disk, you’ll have no problem doing it with the Z1. You just fold down the unit, pop open the top, and everything is there for you to see and remove if you want. No screwdriver, no needle-nosed pliers, no need to bash a retaining clamp with one of your high heels. No roadmap, for that matter. All you need is basic knowledge such as that’s a memory board, graphics accelerator, and so forth.
What you also see is an elegant interior. Well laid out, and seemingly nothing gimmicky. All space is used well. It’s tight in there, but nothing appears crammed in or jerry-rigged. Which leads me to conclude that the Z1 is a well-engineered engineering workstation. That, of course, is a good sign for all of you who need high-performance workstations that can handle, say, simultaneous rendering and modeling.
Check out the design yourself from the link over there. The video is just a minute or so long. Yes, there is that dramatic soundtrack, but no voiceover. HP has something to brag about here with the Z1, I believe, and think you’ll agree. They don’t need words to brag about the HP Z1’s design. Seeing it says it all. And remember, I say that as geek who’s been popping the lid on electronic things for as long as I can remember. I’m going to need to learn needlepoint.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering