ZOTAC Updates ZBox Line-Up @ CES 2016

CES 2016: ZOTAC’s Zbox range offers impressive performance in such a portable form factor. This makes it the perfect choice to use in a living room setup and connect the system to a 4K television. Clearly, complex tasks at such a high-resolution requires a powerful system but this needs to be achieved without compromising on the signature size. One of the latest additions incorporates Intel’s latest Skylake architecture and two DDR3L DIMMS supporting a maximum of 16GB. Additionally, the system utilizes Intel HD Graphics 520 and contains a 2.5″ SATA bay for large storage options. There’s also support for the latest USB 3.1 Type-C, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac WiFi.

ZOTAC also unveiled an early version of a passive cooled Skylake system which contains a hefty aluminium heatsink to provide effective heat dissipation. The system will also house an Intel Core i3-6300U and looks very promising. Please note, this is just a prototype, and could be officially unveiled during Computex.

Here we can see the ZOTAC PC stick which implements 802.11ac WiFi, 2GB DDR3L, 32GB eMMC, Micro SD slot, and Intel Atom processor. This should make it a great choice for media streaming or rudimentary tasks which don’t require a great deal of processing power.

Finally, Zotac unveiled a number of new Zbox units designed for gaming applications featuring AMD graphics solutions.. The EA740 incorporates an R9 M365X chip with MXM module. This means it’s remarkably simple to upgrade the graphics hardware at a later date. Other key specifications include an Intel Core i3-6100T, 2GB DDR3L slots, USB 3.0 Type-C, 3 DisplayPorts. In addition to this, Zotac is also producing on a Zbox with 6 DisplayPort connectors. Overall, there is a great amount of small tweaks to the Zbox range and I’m interesting to see how the product line develops in the near future.

ZOTAC Announces ZBOX MI551 Skylake-Powered Mini PC

Zotac is pretty much the inventor of mini PCs as we know them and the ZBOX style is probably their most known series. The newest member of the ZBOX family is Skylake based and called the ZBOX  MI551.

The MI551 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-6400T quad-core processor that runs at a core speed of 2.2GHz and has a boost speed of up to 2.8GHz. The system allows for up to 16GB RAM to be installed in the two DDR3L-1600 SODIMM slots, so no DDR4 in this system.

The ZOTAC ZBOX MI551 uses the CPU built-in GPU in the form of an Intel HD Graphics 530 that supports the two DisplayPort connections for up to 4K UHD at 60Hz and the HDMI port with UHD resolutions at up to 24Hz in multi-screen mode and 60Hz with just one panel. So this tiny system is fully 4K ready.

Internally it has room for one 2.5-inch SATA SSD or HDD as well as one M.2 SATA SSD (42, 60, or 80mm length) and externally it features a combined card reader and USB 3.1 combo port for easy readout of memory cards.

Other than the previously mentioned connections you get stereo jacks for microphone and headphones, one USB 3.1 Type-C, two USB 3.0, one USB B2.0 and two Gigabit Ethernet connections. The MI551 also features a built-in 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless card with external antenna.

There is an optional Plus model available as there usually is with the ZBOX systems where you, in this case, get 4GB memory and a 120GB M.2 SATA SSD pre-installed for out-of-the-box usage.

Zotac CI321Nano Barebones System Review

 

Introduction


Today we are taking a look at one of Zotac’s latest ZBOX CI321 nano barebones system that is packing a dual-core 2961Y CPU. Something that makes this CI321 nano stand out of the crowd is that it carries dual Gigabit LAN and is completely silent with its passively cooled design. With the inclusion of an onboard IR receiver, this makes it an interesting option for a silent HTPC. With it being a barebones kit, you can use some memory or 2.5″ drives that you have on hand to keep the final build costs down. There has been a lot of growth in the mini PC market and Zotac has been in it for a long time with its ZBOX lineup.

Specifications
  • Name: ZBOX CI321 nano
  • CPU: Intel Celeron 2961Y (2C/2T, 1.10 GHz, 22nm, 6W)
  • RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v 
  • SSD: User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
  • GPU: Integrated – Intel HD Graphics
  • LAN: dual 10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, 2x 1Gb LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $149.99

Retail Packaging

Printed materials that the CI321 comes with

The hardware that you get with the CI321 allows you to mount the unit via the VESA mount of a monitor or TV. You also get an optical audio adapter for use with a Toslink connection, a dual band WiFi antenna, and screws to mount your 2.5″ SSD or HDD.

 

CPU-Z

 

GPU-Z

ZOTAC Announced New ZBOX R-Series Mini-PCs

ZOTAC has no shortage of available mini-PCs and the amount available has just grown two new models in the R-Series. The new ZBOX RI323 and ZBOX RI531 barebones are packed with more extension abilities than ever and come with both a serial port and RAID abilities.

“This is certainly a breakthrough for both the mini PC and personal computing,” explains Tony Wong, CEO, ZOTAC International. “We are adding more functions to elevate the mini PC to a whole new plane while keeping our signature space saving design and power efficiency. This new addition to the mini PC family will open new doors to even more functionalities.”

One of the main features is the ability to combine two storage devices into a RAID 0 or RAID 1 configuration. With these new mini-PCs, users will be able to fully utilize their storage devices and create a logical drive that either improves the performance or one that provides redundancy.

The R-Series isn’t just well suited for the office and home, the serial port allows it to be used for commercial and industrial purposes. You can connect a vast array of machinery and control it from these systems or use it for digital signage, entertainment, and kiosk controllers.

You can connect both DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 displays to the units and add two DDR3 1600MHz SO-DIMM modules. Processor wise they differentiate a bit between a Core i3 with 2.1GHz and a Celeron 2961Y with 1.1GHz, but both are dual-cores. 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 are also present.

Zotac Announce Two New Broadwell Mini-PC

ZOTAC has announced two new nano sized mini-PCs based on the new Intel Broadwell processors in their M-series. The two new systems are the ZBOX MI522 nano and ZBOX MI542 nano, and they pack a lot of features and power in a very compact form factor thanks to ZOTAC’s years of experience in the field and Intel’s new 14nm chips.

“We are always forward looking and pleased to introduce the latest technology into our mini-PCs so our users can enjoy all the innovations that come with the times. By integrating the new Intel Broadwell CPUs into our new M-series, we are enabling users to get the best of both worlds in terms of speed and power efficiency,” reveals Jacky Huang, Director of Product Management, ZOTAC International.

The only difference between the two models is what processor they use. The ZBOX MI522 is using a Intel Core i3-5010U running at 2.1GHz and the ZBOX MI542 is using a Intel Core i5-2500U with a 2.2GHz core and 2.7GHz boost speed. They both feature two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots for a total of up to 16GB RAM and one 2.5-inch bay for a SATA3 HDD or SSD.

ZOTAC packed quite a few connections into this tiny 127mm x 127mm x 45mm unit. It comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, 3-in-1 card reader, 3.5mm stereo jacks for audio and HDMI and DisplayPort for up to 4K resolutions. The mini-PCs also feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

ZOTAC also created Plus models of both these mini-PCs, where you get them pre-packed with a 500GB drive and 4GB RAM, ready to use. Availability should be soon, but no word on pricing yet.

Latest Zotac ZBOX Systems @ CeBIT 2015

During our meeting with ZOTAC, we were presented with their ZBOX range, a very nice range indeed. Where they offer a comprehensive range, they have now categorised each ZBOX into 6 categories: Epic Gaming (E), Sphere (O), Pico (P), Passive Cooling (C), Multimedia (M) and Basic (B). These categories have pretty much every typical home user covered. A Very simple and small alternative to buying a mass produced tower computer from a high street retailer.

We loved seeing the vast range and diversity from ZOTAC today with all their products. I personally really liked the PICO box, I could use this to present my ideas in meetings, without having to rely on a comparatively bulky laptop and projector combination.

I look forward to seeing additional Mini PC’s added to the range from ZOTAC, possibly a detachable screen added to the top of the PICO box for “on the move” use. Any news or events, we will keep you updated.

Shipping of ZOTAC ZBOX plus with Windows 8.1 and Bing Has Started

Zotac is most known for their great Nvidia graphic cards and barebone mini PCs. Listening to their users feedback, they’re now venturing into ready-to-use system as well.

In a press release today, Zotac announced that the new “Perfect everyday computing mini-PCs with Windows 8.1 with Bing in four different flavours” have started shipping.

“Users requested we include Microsoft Windows with the ZBOX mini-PCs so the system is ready to use right off the shelf,” says Tony Wong, CEO of ZOTAC International. “We’ve been listening and thanks to Microsoft’s introduction of Windows 8.1 with Bing, we’re able to give buyers the full Windows experience in a mini-PC form factor at an excellent value.”

The quartet of ZOTAC ZBOX Plus mini-PCs will ship with 2GB of DDR3 memory and Windows 8.1 with Bing x64 pre-installed on a 64GB SSD.

The ZOTAC ZBOX C-series nano Plus mini-PCs provide silent PC aficionados with snappy performance and noiseless passive cooling in Intel and AMD flavors. The ZBOX CI320 nano combines the performance and energy efficiency of a quad-core Intel Celeron N2930 processor while the ZBOX CA320 nano takes advantage of a quad-core AMD A6-1450 APU with Radeon HD 8250 graphics.

ZOTAC ZBOX BI320 and ID18 mini-PCs deliver a good computing experience for daily web browsing and productivity tasks with dual-core Intel Celeron processors and Intel HD Graphics. A classic ZOTAC ZBOX chassis provides the ZBOX BI320 and ID18 with vast external expansion and flexible placement capabilities.

Availability has started at the different retailers, but most are estimating the arrival in 1-2 days. The cheapest price for the four devices as of writing is €124, €165,  €120 and $102 respectively.

Thank you Zotac for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Zotac

Zotac ZBOX Overheats Due to Epic Fail Production Flaw

The review team over at 01net have spotted something wrong with their ZOTAC ZBOX CI540. The fan-less design compact desktop was running its dual core i5-4210Y CPU at 80 celcius in an idle state, which is obviously ridiculously hot for a CPU running at idle.

While investigating the cause, the review team opened up the Zotac ZBOX to find that the protective plastic film on the CPU thermal pad had been left in place, preventing the CPU cooler from making contact with the CPU and causing the system to over heat. This is a real rookie mistake and we imagine someone will be getting frowned at pretty hard by their line manager in the Zotac factory.

Of course the temperatures dropped back to normal with the plastic removed, but don’t be so quick to open your ZBOX and check this yourself, because doing so will void your warranty, doh! Hopefully this is a one-off problem, but it is certainly something to keep in mind if you’re experiencing similar issues.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Zotac To Release Another Haswell ZBOX mini-PC, Cheaper This Time

Some changes have been made recently in Zotac’s ZBOX nettop line-up, having added three new SKUs based on Intel’s new Haswell silicon. However, all three models feature high-priced Intel processors spanning from the Core i3-4130T to the quad-core Core i7-4770T.

Zotac has apparently worked on a cheaper SKU version called the ZBOX Nano ID67. It is said to be powered by a cheaper and cooler Haswell chip, the Core i3-4010U, being a 15W dual-core clocked at 1700MHz and somewhat faster than the higher clocked Ivy-based Core i3-3217U which was used in plenty of cheap ultrathin notebooks and some netbooks. The Core i3-4010U features the HD Graphics 4400, making the GPU a little faster as well.

So far the Core i3-4010U was only available in Intel NUC and Gigabyte Brix barebones, which are rather compact, but also quite expensive and also they can’t handle 2.5-inch drives, as the small form factor needs to use the mSATA storage type. Zotac is offering the ID as a full system, with the Plus moniker, or are barebones model. The Plus features 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, but if you want a hybrid drive or an SSD, the barebone is clearly a better choice.

An official price has yet to be released, but according to sources, it was listed on an US site for $324 / €236 / £199. Prices of Zotac’s other Haswell ZBOX models range from $521 / €380 / £320 to over $783 / €570 / £480, therefore the estimated price of the latest SKU is expected to be a bit cheaper.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Fudzilla

4th Generation Intel Core Technology Added To ZOTAC ZBOX Mini PCs

ZOTAC International has upgraded the ZBOX mini-PC lineup with 4th Generation Intel Core technology. All three newly released ZBOXes deliver improved CPU performance paired with supercharged integrated graphics for an excellent experience for everyday computing tasks.

“The latest 4th Generation Intel Core powered ZBOX delivers the power of Intel’s Haswell architecture into our compact ZBOX mini-PC platform. With the latest generation architecture, we’re able to fine tune these ZBOXes for greater CPU and GPU performance while maintaining the excellent energy efficiency our mini-PCs are renowned for,” says Carsten Berger, senior director, ZOTAC International.

The entry-level ZBOX ID91 comes with an Intel Core i3 4130T CPU and features Intel HD Graphics 4400, delivering a classic ZBOX computing experience with plenty of power and connectivity perfect for everyday computing tasks such as web browsing, office productivity and image editing.

The ZBOX ID92 comes with an Intel Core i5 4570T and the IQ01 features an Intel Core i7 4770T. Both BOXes upgrades the integrated graphics to Intel HD Graphics 4600 with triple display compatibility via dual DisplayPort and a single DVI-I outputs for enhanced productivity. When the ZBOX ID92 or IQ01 is combined with the ZOTAC DisplayPort to Dual HDMI adapter, the ZBOXes can drive a single 4K display that requires four independent HDMI inputs via Intel Collage Display technology for stunning pixel-perfect details.

All three 4th Generation Intel Core ZOTAC ZBOX include 802.11ac wireless networking technology for lightning-fast network connectivity that’s free of wires. Dual Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth 4.0 technologies are also available on the ZBOX trio for additional network connectivity options.

More details can be seen below and for anyone interested in the ZBOXes can go to ZOTAC’s official website for more information.

Specs:

  • ZOTAC Upgrades ZBOX with 4th Generation Intel Core Processors
  • New ZBOX ID91, ID92 and IQ01 series
  • Desktop Intel Core processors (Haswell)(LGA1150)
  • ZBOX ID91 series
  • Intel Core i3 4130T (dual-core, 2.9 GHz)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • HDMI & DVI-I outputs
  • ZBOX ID92 series
  • Intel Core i5 4570T (dual-core, 2.9 GHz, up to 3.6 GHz Turbo)
  • Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology
  • Intel HD Graphics 4600
  • Dual DisplayPort + DVI-I outputs
  • 4 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x mSATA 6.0 Gb/s
  • ZBOX IQ01 series
  • Intel Core i7 4770T (quad-core, 2.5 GHz, up to 3.7 GHz Turbo) Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology
  • Intel HD Graphics 4600
  • Dual DisplayPort + DVI-I outputs
  • 4 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x mSATA 6.0 Gb/s
  • PLUS models available with preinstalled memory and hard drive
  • 4 GB DDR3
  • 500 GB HDD
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • High-amperage USB charging capable (yellow ports)
  • Bundled VESA75/100 mount
  • Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
    Image courtesy of ZOTAC