Thursday, January 9, 2014

Power, Meet Touch

As a libertarian-leaning social conservative that happens to vote nowhere close to party lines, I'm not one for labels. Yes, I own a Mac and the business I help run owns a few more. And, yes, I live across both platforms: although I still prefer Windows XP to Windows 8, both pale in comparison to the ease of use of OS X.

Still, I'm not a fanboy and keep an open mind. That's what's so interesting about the HP Z1. It has the potential to be a game-changing workstation.

Read the review I wrote on the HP Z1 for @streamingmedia last November, and you'll see a few dings against the first-generation Z1. I'm happy to report, though, that many of those dings—from lack of MSATA to lack of Thunderbolt—are addressed in the new Z1 G2 (generation 2).

So when you read the "first look" assessment of HP's Z1 G2 and consider this: touch is a powerful thing.

For those interested in having both a Bluray burner and the dual Thunderbolt 2 connectors, consider an external USB 3.0 unit. An HP spokesperson had this to say when asked about the idea of having both units:

"HP sells an external Blu-ray Drive, but it only writes to DVD or CD," the spokesperson said. "It is read only for Blu-ray. The model number is HP DVD630i, but it looks like it may no longer be available from It does look like its available through our channel partners."

At that, the spokesperson gave the nod to something we often suggest clients consider: third-party options.

"If customers need Blu-ray burner, there are many 3rd party external USB options available," the spokesperson said.

We've had success recently with the Asus A455-5030 (aka Asus BW-12D1S-U) Bluray burner, on sale this week for $119.99 with a $20.00 mail-in rebate through the end of January, 2014.

And, just in case you need the details, here's the pricing information for the Thunderbolt 2 module: $235 E3X57AV HP Thunderbolt 2-Port Module Desktops & Workstations.

Happy work(station)ing!