Zotac expanded its Zbox series of mini PCs with two new systems: the Zbox BI323 and the Zbox CI323 nano.
These new systems use Intel's Atom N3150 SoC, part of the Braswell family of products. The N3150 contains four low-power CPU cores, rated with a max TDP of 6 W, operating at 1.6 GHz. The CPU cores can also increase their clock speed to 2.08 GHz for short periods. The CPU cores share a 2 MB pool of L2 cache and can access up to 8 GB of DDR3L memory over a 64-bit interface.
On the GPU side of the chip, the system contains an Intel HD Graphics processor based on the Broadwell iGPU architecture. The system is capable of connecting to three independent displays simultaneously over a mixture of VGA, DisplayPort 1.1a, and HDMI 1.4b.
The major difference between the two devices are the physical size and the cooling system. The BI323 is roughly 60 mm longer and wider than CI323 nano. Although the CI323 nano is 13 mm taller, its overall reduced size will enable it to go places the BI323 cannot, in addition to being easier to hide and taking up less space when just sitting on a desk.
Zotac uses a fan inside of the BI323 to cool the system, which may allow it to maintain its boosted clocked speed longer, but at the cost of being slightly louder. The CI323 nano will be quieter than the BI323, as it is passively cooled; when paired with an SSD instead of an HDD, it should be completely silent.
The CI323 nano system also contains a few extra features such as having an additional USB 2.0 port and dual-NICs.
Although these systems will primarily be sold as barebones machines, Zotac offers both units in a "Plus Model" that will include 4 GB of memory and a 120 GB SSD. There will also be a "Windows 10 Home Model" that includes 2 GB of memory and a 32 GB M.2 SSD and comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Home.
|Zotac New Zbox Mini PCs|
|Product||Zbox BI323||Zbox CI323 nano|
|SKU||Zbox BI323||Zbox-CI323 nano|
|Memory||2 x DDR3L-1600 MHz Slots (Up To 8 GB)|
|Storage||1 x 2.5-inch SATA HDD/SSD Bay|
|CPU||Intel N3150 Quad-Core 1.6 GHz (Turbo Boost Up To 2.08 GHz)|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics|
|Display Options||VGA, DisplayPort 1.1a, HDMI 1.4b|
|Card Reader||3-in-1 (SD/SDHC/SDXC) / USB 3.0 Port Combo||3-in-1 (SD/SDHC/SDXC)|
|Ethernet||10/100/1000 Mbps||2 x 10/100/1000 Mbps|
|Wi-Fi and Bluetooth||802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0|
|USB Ports||1 x USB Type-C (Front)2 x USB 3.0 (Rear)1 x USB 2.0 (Top)||1 x USB Type-C (Front)2 x USB 3.0 (Front, Rear)2 x USB 2.0 (Rear)|
|Audio||HDMI AudioHeadphoneMicrophoneOptical SPDIF||HDMI AudioHeadphoneMicrophoneMini Optical SPDIF via Adapter|
|Other Features||Active SmartFan||Fanless, Passively Cooled|
|Windows Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8 (64-bit)Windows 10 (32 / 64-bit)|
|Plus Model||4 GB Memory And 120 GB SSD Pre-Installed|
|Windows 10 Home Model||2 GB Memory And Onboard 32 GB M.2 SSD With Windows 10 Home Pre-Installed|
There is no word on pricing or availability at this time, but we expect the barebones system to be priced below $200 in order to compete with other devices such as ASRock's Beebox mini-PCs, which currently sell for around $141.99 on Newegg (opens in new tab).
Michael Justin Allen Sexton (or MJ) is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. As a tech enthusiast, MJ enjoys studying and writing about all areas of tech, but specializes in the study of chipsets and microprocessors. In his personal life, MJ spends most of his time gaming, practicing martial arts, studying history, and tinkering with electronics.