HP does Thunderbolt! Yes!

Thunderbolt support from HP is wonderful for pro video producers, whether they are Mac or Windows centric.

Now that the non-disclosure agreement is finally over, I can happily announce that HP is adding Intel’s Thunderbolt to many of its desktop and mobile workstation computers. Some HP desktop workstations will receive Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, while some HP mobile workstations will receive the original Thunderbolt connectivity. This is wonderful news for pro video producers, whether they are Mac or Windows centric. Details ahead.

HP desktop workstations with Thunderbolt 2

The HP Z420, Z620, and Z820 Workstations have been updated to include the latest Intel Xeon E5–1600v2 and E5–2600v2 families of processors (also called Ivy Bridge) as well as new memory running 16 percent faster and having 2nd generation Thunderbolt ports. Apple has previously announced that there will eventually be Thunderbolt 2 on the upcoming Mac Pro (cylinder model) which is not yet shipping yet, nor has Apple has announced any price as of the publication time of this article.

HP mobile workstations (“laptops”) with Thunderbolt

The new HP ZBook 15 and 17 models feature a first-generation Thunderbolt port, which are the ones that are on all current Macs, except for the current Mac Pro (tower), which still lacks Thunderbolt.

Wonderful news for the pro video production industry, both for Mac and Windows content producers

Obviously, if you are a Windows person and would like to build a video editing or grading system, you will now be able to do so using HP’s new Thunderbolt-equipped computers, together with Thunderbolt storage and pro video interfaces like the ones I have been covering in detail for the past couple of years, from manufacturers like AJA, Blackmagic, G-Technology, LaCie, Matrox, MOTU, PROMISE’s Pegasus RAID, and Sonnet. But even Mac users will benefit from HP’s embracing of Intel’s Thunderbolt technology, since it will bring more credibility among users and manufacturers. This will likely mean even more Thunderbolt products on the market at better prices, since they’ll be able to be manufactured and sold in greater volume.

image Perhaps even the tech industry’s greatest Thunderbolt naysayer, Leo Laporte, will change his mind about the Thunderbolt topic after he sees that HP is embracing it. See my 2012 article for details about that, and a video recording of his words on the topic back then, where he had declared Thunderbolt to be “D.O.A.”.

Pricing and availability

According to manufacturer, the HP ZBook mobile workstations 15 and 17 are available worldwide today with Thunderbolt, and the HP ZBook 14 (unfortunately without Thunderbolt) is planned to be available in late October. Exact pricing was not yet available at publication time for the mobile models.

The enhanced HP Z420, Z620, and Z820 desktop workstations are planned to be available worldwide in October starting at US$1,399, US$1,689 and US$2,439, respectively.

The new HPZ27i display (without Thunderbolt) is planned to be available in October starting at US$729, and the HPZ30i display (without Thunderbolt) is available today starting at US$1,329. The “i” suffix stands for 2nd-generation IPS. Fortunately it does not stand for “interlaced”.

Will your favorite Thunderbolt peripheral work with HP’s new machines?

Check the specs. If your favorite Thunderbolt peripheral says that it works with Windows, then it should work with the new HP Thunderbolt-capable workstations. If it doesn’t, keep checking, since it may in the future, if the manufacturer adds that capability via a software or firmware update.

More info

For more info, visit hp.com/zworkstations.

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Allan Tépper’s books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs

Contact Allan Tépper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka “Spanish”) and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.

FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. HP paid Allan Tépper's expenses for him to attend the recent HP media event in New York. Allan Tépper's words and opinions are his own.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


Allan Tépper

Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is a bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers through his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video tech seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a frequent radio/TV guest on several South Florida, Guatemalan, and Venezuelan radio and TV stations. As a certified ATA (American Translators Association) translator, Tépper has translated and localized dozens of advertisements, catalogs, software, and technical manuals for the Spanish and Latin American markets. He has also written many contracted white papers for tech manufacturers. Over the past 18 years, Tépper’s articles have been published or quoted in more than a dozen magazines, newspapers, and electronic media in Latin America. Since 2008, Allan Tépper’s articles have been published frequently –in English– in ProVideo Coalition magazine, and since 2014, he is is the director of CapicúaFM.com. His website is AllanTépper.com.

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