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Zotac ZBox Nano ID64 Plus review

Katharine Byrne
11 Feb 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
425
inc VAT

You'll need to install your own operating system, but this tiny PC is a great mid-range system with reasonable performance

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Specifications

1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3337U, 4GB RAM, N/A display

The Zotac ZBox Nano ID64 Plus is one of the smallest mini PCs we've seen. Its black and silver case is a little larger than Intel NUC-based PCs such as the PC Specialist NUC Lite, but it's still measures a measly 45x127x127mm, making it roughly the same size as four standard CD jewel cases. The extra size also means there's room inside for a 2.5in laptop hard disk, so you'll be able to fit much more storage than to smaller mini PCs with their tiny mSATA SSD slots. Unlike the Scan 3XS NUC N16, though, there's no spare mSATA slot to add an SSD later.

Zotac ZBox Nano ID64 Plus

The Nano ID64 is also available as a barebones PC for around £345, which comes without RAM or a hard disk, but the Plus model reviewed here comes with everything pre-built. The only thing you need to add is an operating system; Windows 8.1 is currently £67 from www.lambda-tek.com on DVD. As the ID64 doesn’t have an optical drive, you'll need to use a separate PC and the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool (which works fine with Windows 8) from http://tinyurl.com/windowsusbtool to transfer the contents of the DVD on to a 4GB flash drive.

The Nano ID64 has a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3337U processor and 4GB of RAM. The processor is a last-generation model, but still has plenty of performance and sped through our multimedia benchmarks with a score of 41 overall, which is roughly the same as a good mid-range laptop and plenty for everyday computing tasks and some more demanding applications. However, the PC wasn't powerful enough to play back 4K video smoothly. There's also only one memory slot, so you'll need to get rid of the current RAM if you want to upgrade.

Zotac ZBox Nano ID64 Plus

The Nano ID64's HD Graphics 4000 chipset can just about handle 3D games, but you'll have to lower the settings to get a playable frame rate. Playing games at 1,920x1,080 is out of the question, as even the lowest quality settings only produced a jerky 16fps in the Trine 2 platform game, so you'll be better off sticking with a 1,280x720 resolution for 3D titles. At this lower resolution, the PC produced 28.6fps in Trine 2 with High quality and no anti-aliasing, which is perfectly playable. The PC struggled with more demanding games such as Dirt Showdown, though; we only saw 16.2fps in this test at 1,280x720 with High detail and 4x anti-aliasing.

Despite these shortcomings, the Nano ID64 is still suited to life as a media centre PC. Its small size makes it ideal for mounting on the back of your TV or monitor, especially since a VESA mount comes bundled in the box, and its user-friendly BIOS reveals plenty of options for waking the PC from Sleep mode so you don't have to reach round the back of your display every time you want to use it. As well as the usual USB mouse or keyboard, you can wake the PC from LAN using a smartphone or tablet, or an infrared device like a TV remote.

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