Zotac considers Computex to be its biggest show of the year, and the company had plenty of new wares on display at its booth in the Nangang convention hall in Taipei, including new Zbox-branded mini PCs, a pocket-sized PC, and a new line of desktop systems simply called “Mek.”
ZBox Magnus Madness
The Magnus series mini PCs have been revamped to make room for some of Zotac’s mini-branded GPUs, including the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070. Previously, the ZBox Magnus featured mobile versions of the Nvidia 10-series GPUs.
The new ZBox Magnus lineup consists of four different models, with two sporting Intel CPUs and two featuring AMD Ryzen processors. The company wasn’t clear on which specific AMD Ryzen chips would be utilized, but it did disclose that they would sport a 65W TDP.
Each of the two Intel ZBox Magnus offerings sport different CPUs and GPUs, with the Magnus EK51060 featuring an Intel Core i5-7300HQ and a Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Mini. The Magnus EK71070 sports an Intel Core i7-7700HQ. Both offer support for Intel Optane memory with an M.2 2242/2260/2280 slot.
Over on the AMD side of the ZBox spectrum, the new Magnus ER51060 features an undisclosed AMD Ryzen CPU and a GTX 1060; the new ER51070 sports a Zotac GTX 1070 Mini. If the naming convention of each model is any indication of the hardware inside (see the Intel models), the CPUs will likely be Ryzen 5 chips.
All of the new ZBox Magnus PCs feature an M.2 slot for PCIe or SATA SSDs, a 2.5” drive bay, and support for up to 32GB (2x16GB) of DDR4-2400 SODIMM memory. There’s also four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 3.1 ports (one Type-A, one Type-C), and a 3-in-1 card reader. Network connectivity is provided by two gigabit Ethernet ports and 802.11ac WiFi. For display output, the new ZBox Magnus PCs sport the same outputs as the GPUs; three DisplayPort 1.4 interfaces, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a DVI-D connector.
Pricing and availability for the new ZBox Magnus mini PCs is still undetermined.
A Smaller ZBox
Zotac also revealed new ZBox mini PCs that lack dedicated graphics cards. The new design is set to replace the existing ZBox lineup, offering 4K video playback and moderate horsepower under the hood.
The two new models are mostly similar in features, with a 2.5” drive bay and support for up to 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4-2400 SODIMM memory. They both sport four USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and a 3-in-1 card reader/USB 3.1 combo port. Network connectivity can be achieved with a single gigabit Ethernet interface or 802.11ac WiFi, and there’s two HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort 1.2 interfaces for video output.
The only differentiator between these two new mini PCs are the CPUs, with the ZBox MA551 featuring an unnamed AMD Ryzen APU (with a TDP of 65W) and the MI553 offering an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor. Both systems will rely on their respective integrated graphics.
Again, pricing and availability for the ZBox MI553 and MA551 is not yet available.
The Smallest ZBox
Another ZBox branded PC made its debut, but it wasn’t exactly easy to spot at the Zotac booth. This is because the new ZBox PI225 only measures in at an astounding 3.74 x 2.36 x 0.31 inches.
This passively cooled pocket-sized PC features an Intel N3350 (Apollo Lake) dual-core processor with 32GB of eMMC storage and 4GB of LPDDR3 memory. Two USB 3.0 Type-C ports are the only means of connecting USB devices or a display (USB-C to DisplayPort), and there’s a micro-SD card slot for additional storage. You can connect wireless peripherals using Bluetooth and connect to the internet via 802.11ac WiFi.
The only drawback we could see to the device was its temperature -- it was hot (not warm) to the touch as it played video on an attached monitor. However, it’s quite an impressive feat to create a full system in a form factor no larger than a 2.5” drive. Again, pricing and availability are unknown.
Meet the Mek
Finally, Zotac revealed a new line of desktop (tower) PCs called the Mek. There will be Intel and AMD CPU variants for the Mek, and it supports GPUs up to 11” in length. It comes with a 400W SFX power supply, and its fully upgradeable with retail parts.
The chassis looks like the hood of an elegant sports car, with vents on either side above the CPU and GPU. There’s also an LED strip along the edges. Each side panel also sports vents in the center that resemble an air intake on the hood of a car. These “speed holes” won’t make the machine any faster (as is the case with cars), but it does provide a unique aesthetic look for the Mek. The front panel I/O is also hidden by a sliding panel.
The only detractor we could see is that the Mek is a tall and thin chassis, and the stability of the device as its standing is questionable. Zotac conceded this issue and explained that it’s still in development, and that improvements to the structural integrity was a top priority for the Mek before it hits retail. Pricing and availability is still also in the air, but we can expect to hear more towards the end of 2017.
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