HP has unveiled its second-generation all-in-one workstation, the Z1 G2, which offers designers, photographers, illustrators and other creative pros a graphics and processor boost, Thunderbolt 2.0, a 27in display with optional touch capabilities and an audio upgrade.

The Z1 is unique among HP's Z-series of workstations, as it ditches the tower in favour of an iMac-like all-in-one design that squeezes the entire computer into one compact unit, described by the company as "power without the tower."

With the second-generation of the Z1, the (optional) addition of Thunderbolt 2.0 ports means creatives will benefit from significantly speedier transfer speeds and the ability to use high-performance external expandability.

The 27in display could also be a boon. HP offers customers the choice between a non-touch antiglare display or a 10-point touch display with edge-to-edge glass.

The HP Z1 GQ also features workstation hardware including Intel Integrated Graphics, Intel's Haswell Xeon and Core processors, ECC memory and RAID storage options. A range of graphics options are available, including NVIDIA Mobile Quadro GPUs for top-notch performance while using demanding applications.

Audio has been improved too, thanks to the introduction of dual-tone front-facing speakers and DTS Studio Sound Audio.

Unlike Apple with its all-in-one iMac, HP has designed the Z1 to be easily upgradeable. Owners of the workstation should be able to change most of the parts without needing tools or a technician thanks to the hinged chassis that snaps open to reveal all of the internal components, ready for customisation.

HP says its Z1 G2 Workstation is "expected to be available" from February in the UK, with pricing starting from around £1350 (UK pricing to be confirmed).