HP has announced the HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF Workstations with next-gen Intel processors and HP Z Turbo Drive options. It also unveiled seven PC design innovations integrated in the HP Z240 line.

The HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF offer a choice of what the company describes as "future Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 v5 product families, Intel Core, or Intel Pentium processors". What it means by this are Xeon E3 or Core i7 processors based on the Skylake platform. From what we've seen of early gaming machines based on them, these are only a little faster than the previous generation in terms of pure chip performance - but it's the platform that underpins them that will really make your applications work faster.

For example, HP notes that the Z240 features up to 64 GB DDR4 ECC memory, twice that of the previous generation and allowing you to use DDR4 for the first time. That's not HP's innovation - that's Skylake.

The Z240 Tower now features integrated front and rear handle ledges to enable every customer to easily move and position their system around the office.

The HP Z240 Workstations feature an integrated M.2 slot (for expansion cards and connectors on both the SFF and tower). HP said this frees up a PCIe slot and provides customers more flexibility and expandability to use HP Z Turbo Drives without having to make a tradeoff on additional graphics cards, an additional HP Z Turbo Drive, or other devices like Thunderbolt.

Optional dust filters can be added to both the HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF to help reduce the ingress of dust in the system. Offering up to 66 percent reduction in dust, this option provides customers in all work environments where dust is an issue – from under the desk to dusty manufacturing floors – with added reliability and longevity.

The legacy PCI slot, which is used by less than 2 percent of customers today, has been removed from the motherboard. HP designed a plug-in card for effortless installation for customers that still use the legacy slot. The company said removing the slot from the motherboard allowed it to reinvest in other product innovations (M.2 slot, dust filter).

Despite adding new features to the motherboard, HP engineering was able to reduce the size of the motherboard on the Z240 Tower by 10 percent and simplified the cable layouts inside the systems.

HP re-engineered the hard drive cage for the Z240 SFF and engineered a custom air duct around the processor, which allows more efficient air flow, better acoustics and a cleaner layout of internal cables, claimed the company.

HP has integrated ambient temperature sensors on the motherboard of both systems, and increased control of the system fans to include the power supply, giving better management of system thermals and acoustics, including the power supply (as compared to previous generations).

The HP Z240 is expected to be available in the UK in November, starting at €850 (equivalent to around £630).