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First Look: Zotac's Palm-Sized Windows PC (Coming In October For $200)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    First look: Zotac's palm-sided Windows PC (coming in October for $200) - Liliputing (click for full article)

    10/09/2014 at 6:00 AM by Brad Linder

    -- The Zotac ZBOX PI320 pico is the smallest desktop Windows computer I’ve ever held in my hands. I should say hand. This little computer is small enough to hold in the palm of one hand, or easily slide into a pocket.

    Despite its small size, this little device is a full-fledged PC. It runs Windows 8.1 with Bing software, features a low-power 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of solid state storage.

    Zotac says the ZBOX PI320 pico will be available by the end of October for $200.

    Zotac provided me with a ZBOX PI320 pico to test.

    The system has 3 USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a headset jack, and an Ethernet jack.There’s also a microSDXC card reader and a power button. Under the hood it also features 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

    On top of the device there’s a Zotac logo which is surrounded by a circle that glows blue when the computer is switched on.

    The bottom is bare — but the system comes with a small plastic VESA mount that you can clip onto the bottom if you want to attach the ZBOX PI320 pico to the back of a TV or monitor.

    There’s one thing you won’t find on this little computer: a vent. Thanks to the 2.2 watt (SDP) processor, the system doesn’t generate a lot of heat, which allowed Zotac to design a fanless case. It gets a little warm during use, but I haven’t seen the CPU temperature rise any higher than 50 degrees Celsius while I’ve been using the computer.

    I’ve been testing the little computer for a few hours and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by just how responsive it is. I’ll have benchmarks and more performance notes in my full review, which will be published later. But here are some of the things I’ve already used the PC for:

    Read more at: First look: Zotac's palm-sided Windows PC (coming in October for $200) - Liliputing

     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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  3. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    That's why you you only pay $200. This actually seems very interesting. Passive cooling, win8.1 included, solid state, ... I didn't see any mention of an ir receiver which is a bit disappointing. Controlling Windows 8 computers is not trivial without a keyboard. I guess FLIRC would fill the gap a bit or a Harmony Smart Control which will use Bluetooth. With Windows 8.1 you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, Plex apps and, of course, you have a browser and can load XBMC. If the unit has a street price of $150-$170 it might just do very well.
     
  4. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    It does sound like a great box for the price. I don't know how well it will run Plex or XBMC, I suspect not very well, but I do know it won't run PlayOn/PlayLater acceptably. For the things I do, an Intel NUC with much better processor would be worth the premium.
     
  5. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    I used to run both Plex and XBMC under win7 on a Shuttle XS35() which used a low end Intel Atom. Ran fine as it offloaded any difficult graphics to an Nvidia graphics card. It also had gigabit networking which I didn't see in the Zotac. I eventually replaced it with an i3 NUC which is really nice but quite a bit more expensive. The $99 media players are using pretty low end systems. Are they more capable than Intel's Atoms? I guess I'm trying to compare the Arm based players with the Intel Atoms. Are they comparable?
     
  6. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I think the Intel Atom processors are solid for inexpensive media players but I don't know if the low end ARM processors so popular are better or worse. My Plex server is a Windows 7 Home Premium PC running an Intel i3 at 3.07GHz.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Zotac's tiny ZBOX PI320 pico Windows desktop PC now available for under $200 - Liliputing (click for full article)

    The author of the article seems to think that the processor gives decent performance (considering the price).

    From the article:

    ** I’ve been testing the ZBOX pico for a little while, and I’m pretty impressed with what you get for the price. I’ll have a full review soon, but the short version is that it handles HD media playback with ease and it’s capable of basic tasks like web browsing and document editing. Just don’t expect miracles from a cheap, fanless, palm-sized desktop. **

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By the way IMO the performance of the Intel chip in the Asus Nexus (Android TV) Player is probably roughly on par with the chip in the Zbox pico. Howver I don't believe the chip in the Asus Nexus Player is a Bay Trail chip because that Nexus Player chip has a Power VR G6430 GPU. That GPU can be found in the Intel Atom 3500 (Moorefield) chips. The Bay Trail chips use Intel's Gen Graphics for the GPU.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  8. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  9. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  10. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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  11. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Here's a good deal on an inexpensive Windows computer:

    Deals of the Day (10-22-2014) - Liliputing (click for full article)

    10/22/2014 at 1:00 PM by Brad Linder

    -- The Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 is a tiny desktop computer that looks a bit like a Nintendo Wii. But this little guy packs the heart of a full-fledged PC.

    Normally priced at $250 or higher, Lenovo is currently offering a model with Windows 8.1 64-bit software, a Celeron 1017U CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive for just $150, when you use a coupon code.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    *There was an earlier thread about the Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 here:

    Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 Mini Desktop Coming In January For $349 And Up | Google TV - Android TV Forums
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  12. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I would say that Lenovo deal at $150 is a better deal than the Zotac PCs.
     
  13. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Yeah there's cheap Windows notebooks coming out now for $200 with basically the same specs as the $200 Zotac box:

    HP Stream 11 laptop now available for 200 - Liliputing

    I'm wondering if these low-end Windows devices will be able to put a dent in Chromebook sales. I suspect after a while market forces will dictate that prices go back up. If these Windows devices gain a foothold in the market - I can envision Intel raising prices for chips and Microsoft perhaps charging for the license again. Also the low profit margins on the hardware will eventually drive manufacturers out of the 'race-to-the-bottom'.
     

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