Zotac is preparing to launch an updated Zbox that is among the, if not the smallest nettop we've seen to date. Measuring a petite 127 x 127 x 45mm ( 5 x 5 x 1.7in), the Zbox Nano AD10 can easily fade into the shadows and crevices of your home theater setup. Despite its size, the device commands enough authority to manhandle your favorite high-def videos -- be that 720p or 1080p content played locally or streamed from the Web.
In fact, the system should be able to cope with some of the less visually demanding titles around. Zotac has opted for AMD's E-350 APU (later builds will be offered with an E-450), which proved itself to be a solid multimedia solution earlier this year. When we reviewed the company's Brazos platform in February, it outpaced the Atom/Ion duo to deliver playable framerates in games like StarCraft 2 and Company of Heroes (on low).
Zotac will ship two different versions of the system in September: one with memory and storage, and one without. The $270 Zbox Nano AD10 represents Zotac's barebones offering, coming with an unoccupied 204-pin DDR3-1066 SODIMM slot and a 2.5-inch drive bay, while the $320 AD10 Plus will carry a 2GB DDR3 RAM module and a 320GB 5400RPM HDD. Although the latter is ready to roll hardware-wise, neither have an OS.
Shared specifications include a 6-in-1 card reader, an eSATA port, two USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, as well as 7.1-chananel audio. Zotac has added an integrated infrared receiver alongside a Windows Media Center-compatible remote control. There's also a USB IR receiver in case you stash the nettop behind a TV via its rear VESA 75/100 mount.