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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.


There are six USB ports for adding peripherals: four on the back, one on the front and one on the top. There’s also a memory card reader with support for all the common types of smaller cards; and an eSATA port for adding fast external drives. HDMI and DVI-I ports mean you can run two monitors, and a simple adaptor will let you use a single monitor with VGA-only input. A Gigabit Ethernet port is present for fast file transfers. As with most mini PCs, the Zbox also has built-in 802.11n wireless networking.

Zotac Zbox HD-ID40-U Ports 3
Zotac Zbox HD-ID40-U right

You can output audio via the stereo line out, which is positioned on the front, making using it a little messy; on the rear is an optical S/PDIF. Alternatively, you can use the HDMI port, which can output 7.1 lossless PCM audio. The Zbox doesn’t support HD audio bitstreams such as Dolby True HD directly from a Blu-ray movie; and its 1.3 specification means it isn’t suitable for 3D video either.

Video playback, even of high bit-rate HD files, was flawless thanks to the built-in Nvidia Ion graphics chip. It’s not up to playing recent 3D games however, scoring just 6.9fps in our Call of Duty 4 test, and failing to reach playable frame rates even at 1,360×768 with anti-aliasing disabled – simply put, the Zbox is no Xbox.

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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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