Zotac has been making ultra-small form factor systems for quite a while now. You can check out a number of our reviews of various ZBox systems right here. If you read those previous reviews, you’ll notice that most of the systems have been built around low-power platforms like AMD’s E-Series APUs or Intel’s Atom processors. With its latest generations of mini-PC’s, however, Zotac has been able to crank things up a few notches. With some recently released ZBoxes, Zotac has managed to squeeze in Intel Core-series processors, which put the diminutive systems into an entirely different performance category.
The latest Zotac ZBox to hit the lab is the ZBox Nano ID65 Plus. Despite its relatively tiny 5”-square form factor, which is only a touch larger than Intel's NUC, this particular machine is powered by an Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i7 processor with integrated HD 4000 series graphics. The Plus designation in the model name also signifies that this system includes memory and a hard drive—in this case, 4GB of DDR3-1600 and a 500GB Samsung HD. Non-Plus models are sold barebones, so you’ll have to provide memory and storage of your own.
The full specs for the system are below, along with some other features and details. On the pages ahead we’ll get up close and personal with the ZBox Nano ID65 Plus, take a gander at its internals, and see how it performs in a variety of use cases. If you’re in the market for a relatively powerful mini-PC, you’ll want to stick around as we dig into this new tiny machine.
Zotac includes a wide array of accessories with the Zbox Nano ID65 PLUS. Along with the machine itself, users will find an owner’s manual and warranty card, a driver / utility disc, a Wi-Fi antenna, a standard VESA monitor mount, a small power brick, a mini-Optical-to-Optical adapter, and the rather unique ZOTAC nanoRAID storage adapter.
We should point out that the monitor mount allows users to affix the system right to the back of a compatible LCD monitor, so the ZBox would take up literally no desk space at all.
The ZOTAC nanoRAID storage adapter is a noteworthy addition as well. This adapter gives users the ability to swap out a single 2.5” drive for dual mSATA SSDs, which can be configured for either RAID 0 (striping, performance) or RAID 1 (mirroring, redundancy). We’re hoping to get our hands on a couple of fast mSATA SSDs to test with the adapter soon—there’s something about running a RAID 0 array with SSDs in a system barely 5” square that seems too awesome not to try.