In filmmaking terms, calling something “Z-grade” isn’t exactly a compliment, but the new Z1 G3 Workstation that HP Inc. revealed today can be used to create far more than just high-quality moving pictures — though it can certainly render those too.

Aimed at artists, educators, engineers, the enterprise market in general, and virtual reality (VR) programmers in particular, the new Z1 G3 Workstation is 47 per cent smaller and 51 per cent lighter than its predecessor, the G2, utilizing a tower-free all-in-one design ideal for smaller office environments.

HP Z1_Front 2

While the G3’s 23.6-inch screen is narrower than its predecessor’s 27-inch display, it matches the G2’s already-impressive performance, featuring a sixth generation Intel Core or Intel Xeon quad-core processor, 64 GB of ECC memory, NVIDIA Quadro graphics, and dual HP Z Turbo Drives, in addition to support for NVIDIA VR and HP’s signature Remote Graphics 3D rendering software.

In an interesting move, HP also announced a Mac receiver for RGS, which allows Apple users to remotely access the rendering capabilities of a workstation. Previously limited to PCs, the Mac version is aimed at those with legacy Apple products that want to switch to Windows-based systems without retiring their whole fleet.

HP also promises the G3’s price will be “budget friendly,” comparable to an entry-level desktop, with the company expecting to release it in May at a starting price of $1498 USD. Canadian prices have not been revealed.

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