With the recent backlash from the #designfail that is the new MacBook Pro to those who want more mobility without sacrificing computing power, the near future of hardware options for professionals is looking…interesting. And while tablets continue to cater to many needs of design professionals, they still lack the power needed for, well, actual design work.

Could the answer be…a portable Mini PC?

If the response at HP’s unveiling at Autodesk University this week in Las Vegas is any indication, it just might be.

Designed for the “workspace of the future”, the HP Z2 Mini packs the performance of a more robust workstation into the body of a sleek black octagonal form that could fit easily into just about any backpack or carrying bag. When setup, it’s capable of powering up to six displays while rocking Windows 10 powered by Intel Xeon processors and an HP Z Turbo Drive for handling large files.


  • CPU: Intel Core i3/i5/i7 4 Core (up to Intel Xeon E3 v5/v6, 4 Core)
  • Graphics: Intel Integrated (up to 2GB NVIDIA Quadro M620)
  • Memory: 2 x SO-DIMM slots (up to 32 GB of DDR4, ECC supported)
  • Storage: HP Z Drive Turbo 512 GB PCIe 3.0 x4 (up to 1 TB SATA 6 Gbps HDD)
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11ac + BT 4.2
  • Ports: 4 × DisplayPort++, RJ45 Ethernet, 4 × USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps), 2 × USB 3.0 Type-C (5 Gbps), 3.5 mm audio in and audio out
  • Size: 8.5 × 8.5 × 2.28 inches (216 × 216 × 58 mm)
  • Weight: 4.50 lb (2.04 kg) Min / 4.65 lb (2.11 kg) Max
  • Price: $699 (Entry) / Unknown (Performance)
Back view of Performance version (Entry level has one less DisplayPort and no USB Type-C ports)
Back view of Performance version (Entry level has one less DisplayPort and no USB Type-C ports)

With the ability to fit just about anywhere while bringing along a level of power previously reserved for more robust desktop workstations, HP has effectively created an entirely new product category: The Mini Workstation.

“The HP Z2 Mini, the world’s first mini workstation, delivers breakthrough power and versatility in a small, iconic design,” said Jeff Wood, vice president and general manager, Workstations and Thin Clients, HP Inc. “HP redefined the workstation in 2009 with the introduction of the HP Z series, and now once again is disrupting the category with the new HP Z2 Mini Workstation – the ultimate combination of space efficiency, elegance and power for our customers and partners.”

At a $699 entry level price, this could disrupt the current workstation scene. Keep your eyes peeled for a release in December and get on the list to be notified here. Speaking of which, ever tried to fit a workstation in a stocking?

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Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.