X-ray point projection absorption spectroscopy (X-PPAS) is a long established and extremely useful dynamic diagnostic of hydrodynamics, ionization balance, etc. in laser produced plasmas. It has however, to date, been exclusively the preserve of large-scale laser facilities and also used to probe plasmas formed by relatively short pulse (< 1 ns) lasers. We report here the design and selective instrumental performance measures of a new table-top scale X-ray spectrometer system which forms the core of the X-PPAS system. Our design goal is to make X-PPAS a routine diagnostic and also apply it to the measurement of deep inner-shell photoabsorption by plasma atoms and ions.