HP Z2 Mini review: tiny workstation

Xeon and Quadro in a mini package

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Exterior and interior

If we take a further look at the back side of the Z2 Mini, we notice that all connectors are mounted next to each other. In addition to the four DisplayPort outputs HP has also installed six USB 3.0 ports, two of which are Type-C connectors. Two standard connectors can be found on the back and two more are placed on the side. There is also a gigabit connector on the back, so the Mini can also work with a network cable. If you opt for a Z2 Mini without Quadro, you get three DisplayPorts instead of four of them. The front side has been kept really clean and only contains a power switch.

HP Z2 Mini G3

Workstations are meant for professionals that have to be able to continue on working without any issues. If any problems arise, they have be resolved as soon as possible. The service features of a workstations are therefore also very important. The interior is nice and clean. The top of the case can be removed using a button on the back side. The 2.5 inch SSD is located in a tray that is mounted with a single screw and it can easily be removed with a flat head screwdriver. This is quite remarkable, as computers generally feature Phillips head screws. Under the SSD we find the GPU, which is soldered onto the motherboard.

The processor is located under a hefty heatsink that features a fan on the front side. You can flip it so that you can access the two DIMM slots. The Z2 Mini supports normal DDR4 SO-DIMMs, however it is also supports DDR4-2400 ECC memory, provided you opt for an Intel Xeon processor. This is mainly important if you need error correction of the memory. Only tasks that cannot go wrong under any circumstance require this. You can upgrade to memory to a maximum of 16 GB with the two memory slots.

The power supply of the Z2 Mini is not built into the device. Our model came with a huge and heavy external power supply with a maximum wattage of 240 watts.


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