The chassis is entirely constructed of plastic, which is a less expensive option than aluminum or even SECC steel, though at the expense of heat dissipation. Zotac can get away with it here because the ZBOX ID80 is built around Intel's low-power Cedar Trail platform with an Atom D2700 processor, along with a fairly mild GeForce GT 520M GPU from Nvidia soldered onto the motherboard.
All these ports and connectivity options are flanked on both sides by an additional USB 2.0 port, an exhaust grill that blows out hot air from the GPU's fan/blower, and a passive mesh grill. Another mesh grill with a fan sits on the backside to draw cool air in.
This 360 tour highlights one of the main benefits of going with an HTPC over a dedicated media set-top player. There are more connectivity options than what you'll find on a typical media player, including a dual-link DVI port that's capable of driving a 30-inch 2560x1600 display. You can forget about trying to game at that resolution, but if you just need a basic PC for Web surfing, email, Word processing, and other light-weight chores, the ZBOX ID80 Plus is a compelling low-cost option. Just attach it to the rear of an LCD panel -- even a 30-inch monitor (we used a Dell U3011) -- and add a wireless mouse/keyboard combo for a space-saving setup that's far less expensive than some all-in-one (AIO) PCs.