ZOTAC ZBox HD-ID11 and Next Gen ION - HotHardware

ZOTAC ZBox HD-ID11 and Next Gen ION

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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.

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Cricket, cricket... where the heck is everyone? :)

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I am still waiting for that comparo. I am very sure this thing will beat its Predecessor, the 1st gen Zotac MAG ND01, but still curious by how much. I had got that when it retailed for 299 for CarPC duty. The price cut is a welcome sign in the right direction, since this was one of the pricey units. Marco, do that favor, Please.

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Xylem:

I am still waiting for that comparo. I am very sure this thing will beat its Predecessor, the 1st gen Zotac MAG ND01, but still curious by how much. I had got that when it retailed for 299 for CarPC duty. The price cut is a welcome sign in the right direction, since this was one of the pricey units. Marco, do that favor, Please.

I can tell you one thing its a heck of a lot faster than my netbook. Though I still get down every now and then with some Quake live.

My little bro wants a PC for his birthday. I have been looking for something light like this. He has a dell mini netbook that he plays on, but he likes to play Team Fortress 2 with me and that Intel graphics just kills any chance of that. This looks like it could keep up with mid/low settings just fine. Judging from the HL2:E2 benchmarks. Glad you did the media center stuff in the vid. That is really the market. Would go great with a HDTV.

Then again I have a hard time justifying something like this when I just found this combo last week for a guy in my TF2 community. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.390724 more power and the option to use a dedicated graphics card later if you want. I thought maybe I am just the geek that wouldn't mind having a big box in my living room and normal people would like this, but being a barebones it is not really marketed at them.

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Hi Xylem, this is my article actually and unfortunately we had different reference numbers from the first gen Zotac machine that I couldn't use. However, if you look at the Asus netbook numbers in this article, that's essentially the same configuration, dual-core Atom 330 with first gen Ion.

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Dave_HH:
Hi Xylem, this is my article

I always know when you or Marco are up to something. I saw you in HL2:E2 the other day on steam. I was wondering what was on the way.

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Looks like nvidia did indeed release updated drivers, their new "release 256 family of drivers

I recall reading on another review site, that the issue was due to copying the decoded video back and forth between the GPU and the memory, and since this is over a single PCIe lane, there's not enough bandwidth to do so at those bitrates.

Any chance to see if this addresses the flash issues ?

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