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As more and more of us move to laptops and all-in-one desktop machines, one of the things we lose is the ability to easily upgrade and repair our computers. Ever tried to replace a graphics card on a laptop or troubleshoot a problem on an all-in-one with a display the size of living room TV? Not a whole lot of fun. HP has addressed this issue of easy access with their Z1 Workstation.

The Z1 is a suitably muscular workstation, with a quadcore Xeon CPU, high-performance graphics hardware and display, and other features you’d want in a workstation, but the stand-out feature, and why it’s nominated here, is its (literal) openness. It’s designed for easy access and to have its components swapped out. We also applaud HP for their “toolless design” which allows you to swap out all of the user-serviceable components without the need of any tools. Having any computer not being easily upgradeable is a drag, but it’s a requirement of a workstation. We hope this design (and this nomination) inspires other companies to think about designing all-in-ones (especially consumer-grade machines) and laptops with this type of sensible access. This nominee was suggested to us by our friends at iFixit. They gave it a perfect 10 repair score in their teardown coverage, their first 10/10 ever.


The MAKE Magazine Industry Maker Awards (aka The Makeys) is our annual award series and ceremony honoring mainstream companies that serve the interests of makers and the maker movement. Between now and World Maker Faire (NYC, Sept 29-30) we’ll be nominating and profiling companies in a series of posts. Then our readers will vote on their favorites and the winners will receive Makey Awards at a glamorous ceremony (OK, a ceremony) at the Faire. See the Makeys landing page for more info, the four nomination categories, and a list of last year’s finalists and winners. And please share your potential nominee ideas in the comments below. Remember, this is for mainstream commercial companies who, in some way(s), serve or embody the maker spirit. We want this program to hold up and celebrate them to encourage them and others to better serve the interests of our community.

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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