Dell Inspiron Zino HD Desktop Review

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For the last couple of years, Dell's foray into the small-form-factor desktop market was its successful mini-tower (with the emphasis on "mini") Studio Hybrid. But with Dell's latest small-form-factor entry, the Inspiron Zino HD, out goes the vertical mini-tower and in comes the horizontal square--7.8-inches wide by 7.8-inches deep to be exact, and a mere 3.4-inches tall. Like the Studio Hybrid (which Dell still sells), the Inspiron Zino HD (a.k.a. the Inspiron 400) is a solid little machine, with decent mainstream performance, and geared towards budget-minded consumers. Similar to how you could change the Studio Hybrid's looks by swapping out different-colored sleeves, the Inspiron Zino HD can switch personality with the snap of new color or pattern lid. Of course, other than the default "Piano Black" lid, you'll have to pay extra for any of the Inspiron Zino HD's other color ($15 each) or pattern ($30) lids. And with a starting price of $249, the Inspiron Zino HD can give any number of nettop PCs a run for their money.




Dell Inspiron Zino HD
Specifications & Features (as tested)

  • 1.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 3250e processor
  • 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM @ 800MHz (2x DIMMs) memory
  • ATI Radeon HD 4330 (512MB) discrete graphics card
  • 500GB (7,200RPM) SATA hard drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW drive
  • Dell 1520 802.11b/g/n wireless card
  • Dell wireless desktop keyboard and mouse
  • Bose Companion 2 Series II Multimedia Speaker System
  • VGA and HDMI outputs
  • USB 2.0x ports x4
  • eSATA ports x4
  • RJ45 (Gigabit Ethernet)
  • Audio jacks (mic, headphone, line-out)
  • 4-in-1 memory card reader
  • Replaceable lid
  • 3.4 x 7.8 x 7.8-inches (dimensions)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

 
Direct Price (as tested): $844



  
  
  

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Well hell, their top end configuration of this with a 20" monitor (only bump adding the duel core cpu) cost lest then you are saying you test model cost.  I was actually thinking about ordering one for my parents, since they are still using an old 486DX4-100.  Go figure, when I have a Pent Pro system, a Pent 3 system, and an Athalon XP system up in the closet of my room at their house.  Every time I visit, I offer to pull one of them out but I think they have a hangup with using one of "my" computers.  So something like t his would be perfect for them.

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That is funny Infinity I never thought of it that way, but my mom is the same. She always calls me if she has an issue, or even for product advice. She will not ever let me build her a PC, or use one of my old ones. That is kind of weird being that she knows I have built my own and even built them for paying customers, some of them even being her own friends.

This seems to be a nice unit though. I will say one thing for Dell as well, in many cases they are an early industry adopter. When devices or device types are followed or used by a company like them. Then they seem to become mainstream devices faster as well. So this is both smart of them I think as a major provider, as well as somewhat of an innovator, at least with bringing new platforms to the general market.

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@InfinityzeN - With the CPU, memory, HD, GPU, wireless, inputs and OS options, you'll hit the price point of our test machine.

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I found the difference Marco.  You guys got a $110 speaker option.  Other than that I matched or beat the listed config, along with getting a 20" LCD.  Their having a $150+ off sale on the top config.

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I personally never would buy a system like this and would rather spend the same amount of money on a much more powerful ATX or even mATX system. However, it excels at what it's supposed to be, and I was actually surprised at the graphics performance, for two reasons: I didn't expect such performance from an HD43xx card, and two, Quake Wars seems to be much more demanding than I thought! On my current rig (Athlon 64 2 GHz single core, 1 GB DDR RAM, HD2400 Pro) I managed to play Crysis at low settings. Crysis! Sure, it was at 800x600, no AA, nothing else, but it was very playable and this doesn't seem like much of an improvement in spite of having quadruple the RAM, a second core, and a video chipset two families up.

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very cool

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Dell Inspiron Zino HD always been surprising that no Windows PC has ever really come along to challenge the Mac Mini – especially given Apple’s creeping price hikes. The Mac Mini is now far from the low-cost Mac that it was originally intended to be, with the cheapest incarnation currently priced at £510.

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