The Z2 Mini is a very interesting workstation if you are looking for a compact, reliable PC. The performance level is of course not as high compared to the high-end models. It is a device mainly aimed at not so heavy tasks. Examples include making CAD drawings. You generally do not need double processors, multiple slots filled memory and storage to perform such tasks. A more modest configuration will get the job done just fine. One advantage to the Z2 Mini is that HP offers certification for many popular CAD packages, which means that you can be sure that the programs will function well.
The Z2 Mini differs a bit from a normal Mini PC. Among other things the four DisplayPorts, which allow you to connect the device to a bunch of monitors without any problems, indicate this difference. It is ideal for - indeed - the CAD market. Furthermore the inaudible operation of the device also makes for a quiet work environment, which is also a huge plus.
We are not very impressed by the configuration we tested. It's nice that the Xeon E3-1225 v5 offers support for ECC memory, however the lack of HyperThreading makes us yearn for the more expensive, but faster E3-1245 v5. The Quadro M620 is not the fastest graphics processor from its series, however it is adequate for the applications it is meant for.
All in all the Z2 Mini is a very special device and in our opinion a nice start to a new class of mini workstations. The combination of a more compact format and quiet operation looks very promising. In our opinion it definitely deserves an Innovation Award.