Zotac ZBOX ID89 Plus Mini PC Review - HotHardware

Zotac ZBOX ID89 Plus Mini PC Review

10 thumbs up

Like previous versions of the ZBOX, the ID89 Plus model is all about giving the user options. You can lay the system flat on your desk or A/V rack, orient it vertically using the included stand, mount the sucker to a wall, or plop it on the back of your monitor for a makeshift all-in-one system, especially if you pair it with a wireless mouse and keyboard.


Zotac ZBOX ID89 Plus top view

While the ZBOX is small enough to tuck out of sight and out of mind, there's a reason why you might want to show it off. These are attractive machines with glossy black finishes and metallic-looking accents (the middle portion that wraps around the ZBOX is made of plastic just like the rest of the external chassis). When turned on, a blue circle lights up on the middle of the top cover.

The downside to this design is that the glossy finish picks up fingerprints and dust. This won't be a huge issue if you're not constantly fondling the chassis, though if you frequently plug in external components like USB keys and digital cameras, you can't help but leave smudges.

Those rabbit ears visible in the back are for the built-in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 modules. These are entirely optional, depending on whether you plan to use these functions or not.


Zotac ZBOX ID89 Plus rear view

The bulk of the ports reside on the back of the ZBOX. From left to right, you'll find the Wi-Fi antenna input, optical S/PDIF, dual 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN ports, two SuperSpeed USB 2.0 ports, DVI port (Single Link), HDMI output (w/ HDCP support), Bluetooth antenna input, and the power connector.

Given the mix of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports the ID89 brings to the table, we like that the slower ports are placed on the back. For obvious reasons, we recommend plugging in components that don't take advantage of of USB 3.0's added bandwidth, like keyboard and mice.


Zotac ZBOX ID89 Plus front view

One of the two included SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports resides on the front I/O panel (the other is on the side hidden behind a rubber cover). Flanked on either side are headphone and microphone jacks, 4-in-1 memory card reader, activity LEDs, IR receiver, and the power button.

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I'm not convinced that a $400-$600 price point makes me want one of these. Don't get me wrong, compared to something like a WYSE terminal, these things rock but as a traditional tower owner, I can't take them seriously - yet. With the steambox and things like that coming out, it will be interesting to see what smaller kits can do. Viva la mobile revolución!

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Worst thing I have ever bought, three months after purchase board went dead, have been calling email for the last six months nothing but the run around. Every conversation was kept, they can never find anything and hope you will give up and they will not have to honour the warranty. If I was you I would not purchase this product unless you want to waste your money.

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Had happily bought a Zotac a while ago, and loved it ....until the fan started to wear out (which will happen pretty soon, google for it you'll see). Now, the thing is Zotac DOESN'T sell replacement fans, and they are custom made. So, after a while, you might as well throw the box. Never again a Zotac, at least not until they fix this burning issue. And I recommend you to buy something else.

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Are you sure it not just dust muck on the fan and general dust?

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