ZOTAC first gave us a taste of their Ion based system last November when they introduced the MAG. This little HTPC combined the low power of an Intel Atom along with the strong Nvidia ION platform, gives you a very powerful system that was easily able to handle 1080p playback and other HTPC activities. We then heard about Nvidia's upcoming ION platform; the ION 2 is built on a smaller fabrication process and has better GPU with more shaders. It also adds support for Optimus, which will be useful in netbooks and is now compatible with Intel's new Pinetrail CPUs.
Today we will be reviewing the ZBOX HD-ID11, which is ZOTAC's latest offering and this time it's going to be a barebones PC unlike its previous MAG offering. What this means is you only get the case with the motherboard and CPU, so you can add your own hard disk and RAM. This is a good thing as it helps keep the costs down and you could put in a 500GB hard disk instead of the 160GB that usually comes with these ION boxes. The connectivity and expansion slots are similar to the older ION. Let's check out the new ZBOX and see if makes an ideal HTPC.
The ZOTAC ZBOX comes with the following accessories;
The unit is packed well inside a sturdy box holding everything in place.