The design of the new Zbox is very much like the first generation
product from Zotac. It's a traditional looking nettop product similar to the Acer Aspire Revo
, though perhaps a bit more stylish, depending upon your perspective.
The Zbox kit itself is pretty straight-forward with few bundled items to go with it. A simple owners manual is accompanied by a warranty card and driver CD. Zotac does include a VESA mounting bracket (pictured below) that allows you to mount the system to the back of an LCD monitor or perhaps to the wall. Finally, there is a relatively small AC to DC adapter brick that powers the system as well a stand to position the system vertically, which we feel is the best configuration in order to provide the best thermal performance for the system. More on this later.
The Zbox is a stylish looking machine with a high gloss black finish that attracts fingerprints probably about as bad as we've ever seen a product show marks from handling. We literally found ourselves wiping it down several different times during testing, our photo shoot and video shoot. That said, it's still a nice looking little machine with a lighted blue ring that catches your attention when the system is powered on.
In terms of IO connectivity, the Zbox pretty much has it all. From 6 total USB 2.0 ports, to Gigabit Ethernet, DVI and HDMI video outputs, analog audio mic inputs and headphone output, optical S/PDIF audio output,a 6-in-1 flash card reader and an eSATA port, this little machine is wide open for business. That said, ironically, without an external CD or DVD ROM drive, you can't run the driver install CD on this system. Though external optical drive solutions are easy to come by, for future generation products, we're hoping Zotac sees clear to building in a thin CD/DVD ROM combo drive. We're sure this will be at the expense of a slightly larger footprint but we'll take that trade-off for the convenience and cleaner full solution approach, any day.