Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus - HotHardware

Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus

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In addition to building graphics cards, Zotac is one of only a handful companies to fully embrace small form factor and home theater systems. Whether you want to build something yourself from the ground up, quickly assemble a barebones rig, or pick up a fully built HTPC, Zotac has you covered. The company offers a wide array of mini-ITX motherboards based on many modern chipsets (including the just released Z77) and barebones ZBOX systems for the DIY Crowd, along with full SFF systems that need nothing but an OS.

Over the last couple of years, Zotac has introduced a number of ultra small ZBOX systems that have seemingly gotten smaller and smaller with each new generation. The latest model we’ll be showing you here today, however, is the smallest yet. The new Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus is an AMD E-series APU based small form factor / HTPC system that fits in the palm of your hand—literally. Despite offering a dual-core processor, integrated DirectX 11 class graphics, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB solid state drive, USB 3.0, a flash card reader, and various other connections, the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus measures just 4.17” x 4.17” x 1.46”.

To shrink things down into a package that small, Zotac had to make some concessions with the Nano XS that it didn’t have to make with previous-gen Nanos, however. We’ll explain what those concessions are on the pages ahead. For now, check out the specifications and bundle and then we’ll move on to the juicier details...


The Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus Ultra Small Form Factor PC

Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus
Specifications & Features
Model
  • ZBOXNSX-AD11-PLUS-U
Assembly Configuration
  • All-in-one (no OS)
Chipset
  • AMD M1 Chipset
CPU Socket
  • N/A (Integrated CPU)
Cooler Type
  • Fan (Single Slot)
Onboard Video
  • AMD Radeon HD 6320
Onboard Audio
  • Onboard analog stereo high-definition audio
  • 7.1-Channel LPCM digital audio (HDMI)
  • Optical Digital S/PDIF audio
LAN
  • 10/100/1000Mbps (on board)
  • Wifi 802.11n/g/b (300Mbps, external)
Memory Size
  • 2GB
Memory Slots
  • 1 x 204-pin SO-DIMM
Memory Type
  • DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM
SATA
  • 1 mSATA (6.0 Gbps)
  • 1 eSATA
Storage
  • 64GB mSATA SSD (3Gpbs)
Video Ports
  • HDMI
USB
  • 2 x USB 3.0 (back panel)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 (back panel)
  • 1 x Combo eSATA USB 2.0 (front)
Power Connector
  • DC19V
Package Contents
  • 1 x ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD11
  • 1 x Power brick & cable
  • 1 x VESA monitor mount (w/4 screws)
  • 1 x MCE compatible remote w/ 2 CR2032 batteries
  • 1 x USB IR receiver
  • 1 x WiFi adapter
Dimensions
  • 4.17in x 4.17in x 1.46in
  • 106mm x 106mm x 37mm
Warranty
  • 1-Year Standard



 
Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus Accessory Bundle

Zotac includes a nice array of accessories with the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus. Along with the machine itself, users will find an owner’s manual and quick installation guide, a drive / utility disc, a USB Wi-Fi adapter, an additional IR receiver, a standard VESA monitor mount (with mounting screws) that doubles as a wall mount, a 1/8” optical SPDIF adapter, a small power brick, and a Media Center Remote, with batteries.

We should point out that the monitor mount allows users to affix the system right to the back of an LCD display so the machine would take up literally no desk space at all. And the additional IR receiver is not needed if the included media center remote has a clear shot of the front of the Nano XS, where the integrated IR receiver is mounted. If, however, the ZBOX Nano XS is hidden in a cabinet or behind a TV for example, the additional IR receiver can be mounted in an accessible location so the MCE remote can still be used. Including it was good thinking on Zotac’s part. Kudos.
 

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Nice form factor - just wish it was about twice as powerful.

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I want it to fit into a watch,.........

Actually not a bad little PC for screening movies.

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this would be good for my GPS system I use in my car/truck. Right now I use a laptop mounted in the back seat.

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Thanks for the review on this one Marco. Pretty good features and perfect fit for any home theater system.

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I am looking into an HTPC with an external Silicondust HDHomerun Tuner. Does this thing have the horsepower to encode HD over the air signals?

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@mattlr81 - yes, it definitely does.

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I am a tad of a novice to these boxes.  Is it easy to load a Linux distro onto this device?

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Yes, it's a basic PC platform under the hood.

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Hi,

Regarding your query about loading Linux, I have Linux Jolicloud running on the VDO1.

I tried a few different Linux distributions first - SUSE loaded in just 14 Minutes but the sound would not work - this is typical with newly installed Linux.

But SUSE had been previousely patchy with Youtube streaming on my tower case so I tried a few more.

Ubuntu failed to install...

Finally Jolicloud installed in a snap and yesterday I used the same CD to put it on my friends alongside his Windows 7 - it worked immediately. You can even prepare a USB drive version to install or run it live from CD before you install it in order to try it out.

But assuming you are installing any operating system from CD/DVD, you will net to get an external USB DVD drive. So if you are buying one of these PCs you should allow for that. 

Also, before you install any OS, you will need to connect a USB keyboard into one of the USB 3.0 ports - not the USB 2.0 ports as the BIOS won recognise the device before the OS is installed.

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I just got the ad10 (I had a ssd 2.5" already) and i can say it works very well with plex, wmc and the hulu desktop client. My next step is to get the Silicondust tuner and plex plugin for it.

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