For those of you who don’t know already, there’s a big demand for computers in mini-ITX form factors. The benefits of having such a small device are multi-fold, and many come with VESA mounts so you can fit it on the back of your screen and have an all-in-one solution, Apple-style. ZOTAC’s been making ZBOXes for a while now with the Intel Atom platform, but has moved over to AMD’s Llano architecture instead.
I’ve always been a fan of the SFF-PC (Small Form Factor) and ZOTAC has seen to it that the market is kept pleased. The new ZBOX Plus comes standard with an AMD E-450 APU with two cores running at 1.65Ghz, a AMD Radeon HD6320 GPU, 2Gb of DDR3 RAM and a 64GB mSATA solid state drive.
Really, the biggest boon here is the SSD. Traditionally SFF PCs were held back by the Atom’s weak chipset performance and the slow mechanical laptop drives they shoved in with them. Even specifying an SSD was a big expense and you were better off buying one separately and swapping drives out. No fear, as now you’ve got everything packaged in an even smaller chassis then ever before.
The ZBOX features two USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4a-out, Gigabit Ethernet, a wireless USB adapter, eSATA, a memory card reader, S/PDIF output that doubles as a normal 3.5mm audio jack, a microphone line-in port, a wireless IR remote and all the mountings required to stick the tiny thing onto the back of your monitor. Thanks to AMD’s Llano and APU architecture, you’ll get the low-power benefits in the range of 18watts while enjoying far better graphics performance thanks to the built-in Radeon HD6320.
While the ZBOX would be better suited as a media player and all-in-one solution for those looking to integrate a computer with their existing home theatre setup, it should double incredibly well as a cool, small little computer for those who need more desktop space and want to save on their electricity bill.
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