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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.


The Zbox comes with a modestly-powered integrated Atom processor. It’s one of Intel’s faster chips in fact – the dual-core D525 running at 1.8GHz. We ran our benchmarks in Windows, which resulted in a score of 28 – it may not sound like much, but it’s a big step up on most netbooks which only score around 17.

Disappointingly, it’s not passively cooled, instead there’s a small fan inside to keep everything from overheating. Fortunately it’s not very loud, and you’ll barely notice it in a living room while watching movies.

Zotac Zbox HD-ID40-U Back

At £190 the barebones Zbox offers decent value for money, and prices should drop after release. Adding 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard disk will bring that price up to around £255 – which is well below the £305 that a roughly equivalent Asus Eee Box EB1012P will cost you. However, once you factor in around £80 for Windows 7 Home Premium, you end up paying around £30 more for the Zbox.

If you want to specify your own hard disk and RAM, or you’re happy to install a free operating system (such as Ubuntu) then the Zbox makes a great deal of sense. It’s a well-designed little PC with a relatively quick Atom processor and plenty of ports. It’s ideal for web-use and media playback – as long as you don’t need Blu-ray HD audio or 3D support. We like it, but if you want typical components and Windows 7 then a ready-to-go box is more cost-effective.

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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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