Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus - HotHardware

Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus

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The exterior of the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus is pretty cool, but for geeks like us, it’s the technology crammed within the system that’s most ogle worthy. Thankfully, Zotac makes it incredibly easy to open up the Nano XS should a user want to service something on the interior.


Removing The Thumbscrews / Feet

The four rubber feet on the bottom of the system double as thumbscrews. Simply unscrew them and the bottom of the unit pops right off.


A Look Inside The ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus

With the bottom panel removed, users have easy access to the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus’ single SO-DIMM slot and mSATA port. The “non-Plus” barebones ZBOX Nano XS AD11 will ship with these slots empty, but the Plus model we have here includes 2GB of DDR-1333 RAM and a 64GB mSATA solid state drive from Kingston, although Zotac points out that some machines may ship with different solid state drives in the future. We should also mention that although the mSATA slot supports 6Gbps speeds, this SSD has a SATA 3Gps interface.


The ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus' Motherboard, APU, and Chipset

There are a half dozen screws to remove inside the Nano XS should a user want to remove the motherboard, although there’s little reason to do this. With the motherboard removed, however, the system’s single cooling fan is visible. The fan sucks air in from one side of the system and exhausts it out the other. A single heatsink cools both the AMD E-450 APU and M1 chipset.

For this unfamiliar, the E-450 APU differs from the E-350 used in previous-generation ZBOX Nano systems in that it has a slightly higher frequency (1.65GHz vs. 1.6GHz), a higher clocked GPU (Radeon HD 6320 vs. Radeon HD 6310), and official support for faster DDR3 memory.
 

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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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