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06 February 2013

Zotac Zbox Nano XS

A tiny workstation or home theater PC. This tiny computer does both jobs well

Gagan Gupta
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At the risk of sounding cliched – computers are simply getting smaller and smaller. One look at the Zbox, and you won’t be able to guess that there’s a fully functional, full HD media playback device in there. And it’s not one of those cheap enthusiast machines that you’ll constantly need to tinker with. This one is rock-solid, with an AMD dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB SSD drive that’s super-fast.

The Zbox is just a tiny box, around 106mm in length and breadth and 37mm tall. It has an HDMI out for connecting to your TV or monitor, an ethernet port and a generous four USB ports, two of which are USB 3.0. The front of the box has an eSATA port, audio jacks and a memory card slot. If these connectivity options aren’t enough, there’s even a super-useful WiFi antenna bundled with the system.

For a box this tiny, the results were great. We could easily play full high-definition videos without any hitch in frame rates. Although we did feel the remote buttons were a bit too tiny, we still wouldn’t call them uncomfortable.

The only hitch is that you’ll have to install an operating system yourself, which honestly isn’t hard at all, but it does add to the overall cost. Unless you’re going for linux of course. But for a completely harmonic experience, we suggest you stick to Windows 7 for one simple reason – Windows Media Player. The Zbox comes with a remote control and an external IR receiver, which makes it a great attachment to your TV.

Sure, you can use the Zbox as a workstation unit, but that would be like buying a sportscar for weekday office commutes. This one was meant to be a home theatre PC, and it does a damn good job of that.

The numbers
CPU: AMD E-450 @ 1.65GHz
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6320
Hard drive: 64GB SSD
Price: Rs 25,400

Tags: zotac, zotac zbox nano xs

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