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Zotac Zbox HD-ID40-U review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £190
inc VAT

A well-designed mini PC for those who want to specify their own hard disk, memory and operating system.

Zotac’s Zbox mini PC is based around Intel’s latest Atom platform: Pine Trail. Confusingly, the Zbox also carries Nvidia’s Ion branding. Previously Nvidia made the entire chipset, but this latest iteration of Ion uses an Intel chipset with the addition of Nvidia graphics. Here we’re looking at the barebones version, which comes without memory or a hard disk.

Physically the Zbox is fairly compact, it’s a square block measuring 188x44x188mm. It’s equally happy lying down on your desk like a Mac Mini, sitting upright in the provided vertical stand, or hanging from the back of a VESA compatible monitor – using a supplied bracket. The central body is made of rather cheap looking silver plastic, this is sandwiched by two convex gloss black panels – which pick up fingerprints far too easily.

Zbox VESA mount

The upper (or left-hand) panel is fixed, and includes a glowing ring around a Zotac logo. The lower (right-hand) panel is held on by two small thumb screws. Once undone, it can be slid off, which reveals the Zbox’s innards. There’s a bay here for a 2.5in laptop hard disk. This just slots in and is secured by a little hinged flap – which itself is held down securely by another thumbscrew.

There are two slots for laptop-style SODIMM memory modules. Each can take a 2GB DDR2 module, with support for up to 4GB in total. These cost around £30 each, though we can’t see anyone needing more than 2GB of memory in a PC like this one.

There’s no optical drive included, and so you’ll need an external drive to boot from and install Windows – you can pick one up for as little as £20. Alternatively, you could install a Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu, directly from a flash drive or USB hard disk.

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Price £190
Rating ****
Award N/A
Processor socket FCBGA559
Processor support Intel Atom
Processor heatsink supplied yes
Memory slots 2
Supported memory type DDR2
Memory 4GB
Dual-channel support yes
Form factor custom
Chipset north bridge Intel NM10 Express
Chipset south bridge intel NM10 Express
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Graphics Processor Nvidia GeForce GT218 ION
Graphics Memory 512MB
Graphics memory type dedicated


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
Legacy ports none
Graphics/video ports DVI-I, HDMI
Other ports 1x eSATA

Internal Expansion

Size 188x44x188mm
PCI slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 0
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x16 slots 0
Dual 3D architecture N/A
IDE ports 0
Serial ATA ports 1
RAID drives N/A
3.5in drive bays 0
5.25in drive bays 0
Other bays none


Wired network ports 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g/n
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out, mic in, optical S/PDIF out, HDMI
Speaker configuration 7.1
Supported memory cards SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo, xD
Power supply wattage 65W
Cables included none
Power consumption standby 5W
Power consumption idle 27W
Power consumption active 32W

Buying Information

Price £190

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