Zotac's new Zbox MI551 mini PC packs a Skylake punch

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,297   +120
Staff member

If you're looking for a powerful desktop PC with a tiny footprint, Zotac may have your answer. The company's latest mini PC - the Zbox MI551 - is equipped with Intel's sixth-generation Skylake processor and enough options to serve as an excellent HTPC or even a desktop replacement (if you aren't into gaming).

The Zbox MI551 features an Intel Core i5-6400T processor, a quad-core part clocked at 2.2GHz (up to 2.8GHz Turbo) with Intel HD Graphics 530. There are two DDR3 slots that'll accept a maximum of 16GB of RAM, a single 2.5-inch expansion slot and a single M.2 SATA solid state drive slot as well as a 3-in-1 card reader, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a headphone jack and a microphone jack.

On the opposite side of the machine, you'll find two USB 3.0 ports, two Ethernet jacks, two DisplayPort connections and an HDMI connection. There's also a single USB 2.0 port on top of the mini PC as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity.

Zotac no doubt has a solid machine on its hands, especially when equipped with plenty of RAM and speedy flash storage. Unfortunately, we don't yet know how much it'll cost or when it'll go on sale - details of which I suspect we'll hear more about at next month's Consumer Electronics Show.

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Posts: 2,643   +1,801
A lot of these mini PC's are great but never take off because of the price. I've seen countless models release over the years that would fit into our work environment in several areas but none have been affordable.

Raoul Duke

Hmmm...wonder if a unit like this is all the pc my 79 year old father needs rather than my passed down last build, but as amstech mentioned, price is a major factor. One of these mini-pc's sure would clear up/clean up his computer area. Would have to team it up with NAS for all of his hard drive's though


Posts: 113   +4
If they figure out a way to stack a video card onto this, I'll buy it.
The article mentioned very clearly - "(if you aren't into gaming)". The compatibility you are looking for would defeat the prurpose of "mini-pc". BTW I purchased a mini-itx Zotac dual core Atom motherboard with nVifdia ion graphics some 8 years ago which is still going without a single problem and fulfills my requirement as a very low power consuming HTPC + downloading and general browsing machine.
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Posts: 102   +37
About 5-6 years ago, we purchased at the time an expensive Dell Zino HD ( a high-specced mini pc at the time)
I still swear by these little boxes (have x2 now upgraded to SSD) as media boxes running kodi (xvmc for you old skool)

I don't agree with using any mini pc as your main driver, but like we did for a specific purpose. Since getting a nas, my mini pc's are purely playback devices for downloaded mkv shows and the like

Pre NAS, used to use them as file servers and downloaders (running torrent and newsgroup)