Apple's iMac is elegantly minimal, but what if you want a high powered all-in-one workstation that you can upgrade yourself?
Thanks to Iain Churchill-Coleman for his help in preparing this review
How many people do you know that still buy floor-standing computers?
Most of the time, there's no need because laptops are easily powerful for most tasks that don't involve encoding 4K into HEVC in real-time, and because phones and tablets are so much more convenient for the majority of time the time when you're not sitting at a desk.
For the remainder, who still need to have a powerful, static, computer, the iMac is a classy and beautiful, option. Impossibly thin, you'd no more try to open it up than you'd attempt to split an atom with your fingernails.
And that's just the issue.
If you need to put specific hardware inside your workstation: graphics cards, I/O etc - then you just can't do that on the Mac. And it's just possible, too, that you simply don't like Macs.
What HP have clearly done with the Z1 is to retain as many of the advantages of the "All-In-One" approach, while shedding most of the disadvantages. So, you can open it up. And it is a proper workstation from the start.
We've had one in the RedShark office, and while we haven't tested it with the same vigour as a PC magazine might have done, we've tried it with a few demanding tasks. Here's a bit of a spoiler: it's very good indeed! read more...