Zotac covers all the bases with three new Zbox mini-PCs

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Hoping to maintain a strong presence in the pre-fabricated HTPC market, Zotac has unveiled three new systems, the Zbox ID80, ID81 and AD04. All three offer an external Wi-Fi antenna, integrated Bluetooth 3.0, and a bundled media remote with a USB IR receiver for Windows Media Center, XBMC and other media software platforms. Zotac notes that the systems are based on its second-generation Zbox platform which offers refinements based on customer feedback, but the company didn't elaborate.

Zotac Zbox ID80

Despite sharing the same brand, each system packs different internals. The ID80 touts Intel's power-sipping Atom D2700 Cedar Trail platform which is aided by an Nvidia GeForce GT 520M GPU. The ID81 relies on a Sandy Bridge-based Celeron 857 for general and graphics processing, while the AD04 mixes things up with a dual-core AMD E-450 Zacate Fusion APU. "No matter what your computing needs or platform preferences are...Zotac has a mini-PC for you," said marketing director Carsten Berger.

Component Zbox ID80 Plus Zbox ID81 Plus Zbox AD04 Plus
Processor 2.13GHz Atom D270 1.2GHz Celeron 857 1.65GHz E-450
Graphics GeForce GT 520M Intel HD Graphics Radeon HD 6320
Memory 2GB DDR3 (4GB max) 2GB DDR3 (16GB max) 2GB DDR3 (8GB max)
Storage 320GB 5400RPM 320GB 5400RPM 320GB 5400RPM
SATA SATA 3.0Gb/s SATA 6.0Gb/s SATA 6.0Gb/s
Video-out HDMI & DVI HDMI & DVI HDMI & DisplayPort
DirectX DX11 w/ Shader 5.0 DX 10.1 DX11 w/ Shader 5.0

The table shows "Plus" models of the three systems which includes RAM and storage, but they'll all come in barebones variants so you can add your own (there's two SO-DIMM slots and one 2.5-inch drive bay). Each system offers four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Optical S/PDIF output, a 6-in-1 card reader, and Gigabit Ethernet. Of note, if you intend to use an SSD with your system, you'll probably want to avoid the ID80 as it's limited to SATA 3.0Gb/s, while gamers will likely want to dodge the ID81.

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