Review: HP Z1 G2 and KEF X300AW Speakers

The Complete Desktop Computing Experience

We’re all looking for the ultimate computer setup, and I think I’ve found it. You take the awesome HP Z1 G2 and pair it with the amazing sound of KEF X300AW speakers for the complete desktop experience!

HP Z1 G2 All-in-One Workstation

The HP Z1 G2 is the second generation of the all-in-one workstation I loved so much when I reviewed it last year. It has two screen options: Touch or Non-touch (which has a matte finish). The touch version is fully Windows 8 ready, with 10-finger multi-touch capabilities. It has a Thunderbolt 2 option, with 2 Thunderbolt ports that let you daisy chain up to 6 devices. This is a big deal because HP is the only PC vendor in the market supporting Thunderbolt, taking advantage of support supplied through Windows 7 and 8.1. HP is loading these bad boys up with 22nm Haswell processors and updated video cards capable of pro-level graphics – the Quadro k610, k2100m, k3100m, and k4100m are all options. It already had two internal drives and the G2 adds an MSATA drive. The springs in the stand have been improved to correct sagging and also make it easier to fold back into service mode, and it’s got improved access to the rear I/O ports. The memory bus speed is initially 1600mhz speed, but will eventually get a bump up to 1866mhz. As with the first generation Z1, this baby really shines when it’s time to open it up for servicing. It’s like opening a briefcase, and everything is easy to access. It is a pure pleasure to work with.

KEF X300AW Speakers

To complete your ultimate desktop setup you’ll want great sound, and you’ll get just that in the KEF X300AW speakers, available in black and white. They’re wireless if you want that, but you can also connect them using USB. Each speaker has a big heat sink on the back, and its own power line. That’s because each speaker has two different amps providing a 50-watts of power for low/mid frequency, and 20 watts for high frequency. You can also run it off Ethernet. These are going for $999 right now on Amazon. It’s also available wired for $799.


  1. says

    Hey John,
    Love the show have been a fan for years!

    What is that phone/dock/whatchacallit you where streaming from to those KEF’s in the review?

  2. Profile photo of Darth Stormageddon says

    HP has always been incredibly popular with a modular design.
    I was wondering how the heat was. The Dell all-in-ones ran quite hot and you could almost get that “dessert heat dissipation effect” when you looked at it, especially in summertime.
    Looks like a great design, but how much is proprietary design and will only take HP parts, and how much of it is standardized components?

  3. says

    Seems like a good setup… for the rich crew of ! I cant simply afford dreamin of a setup like that! I’ll keep my Zotac ID65 Nano then.