HP Z200 Workstation review

Is bigger always better when it comes to business machines? We review the HP Z200 Workstation to find out.

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit is the operating system of choice.

HP has spent plenty of time ensuring that the Z200 is crammed into a decent chassis, too. It's constructed from thick panels of aluminium that feel sturdy enough to survive even the toughest desks, and the exterior is covered with small, but sensible, touches. The front-facing I/O panel serves up three USB ports, audio jacks, FireWire and a well-equipped card reader, and the rear provides six more USB ports alongside PS/2 sockets, a Gigabit Ethernet socket and more FireWire ports. There's also a small loop that can be used to secure the chassis with a padlock.

These sensible touches abound on the inside, too. The removable panel is decorated with a diagram of the interior's expansion options and motherboard sockets, and the motherboard itself provides chassis intrusion detection, a clear CMOS button and a crisis recovery switch.

There's a decent amount of upgrade room, too: the motherboard offers spare PCI-Express x16, x4 and x1 slots, and a pair of empty PCI slots and two vacant DIMM sockets are also available. A spare hard disk bay and one front-facing 5.25in bay are empty, too, and both are augmented by a tool-less mechanism that just clicks hard disks and optical drives into place without the need for a screwdriver.

It's not the tidiest of interiors but, when compared to the cramped cases that we've seen recently, the sheer amount of space on offer inside the Z200 is welcome - and the small HSF on top of the CPU is quiet, too, which results in a system that barely makes a whimper and will hardly be noticed in even the quietest of offices.

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