Zotac, a giant in the world of small form factor PCs, added new models to its Zbox M and P series mini-PCs.
Measuring just 184 x 72 x 184mm (WxHxD), the Zbox MI553 series mini-PCs are equipped with an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor operating at 2.5GHz with a max turbo frequency of 3.5GHz. The two SODIMM slots can accommodate up to 32GB of DDR4-2400 dual-channel memory. Graphics are handled by Intel’s HD 630 chip that provides resolutions up to 4096x2160 @ 60Hz utilizing the DisplayPort 1.2 connector or 3840x2160 @ 60Hz from the HDMI 2.0 output. The Zbox MI533 is Optane Memory-ready and features two M.2 SSD slots and a single 2.5" 6Gbps SATA hard drive slot.
Other features include Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, a front-mounted USB 3.1 Type C port, HDMI and Mini DisplayPorts, gigabit wired Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and four USB 3.0 ports. Gaining access to the inside of the unit is a simple matter of pressing two tabs in the rear of the chassis and lifting the top off. This makes maintenance and upgrades a snap.
The Zbox MI553 is a barebones solution that allows end users to pick and choose memory and storage options that fit their needs. The MI553 Plus is a complete mini-PC with 4GB of DDR4 memory and a 120GB M.2 SATA SSD pre-installed.
Those of you looking for an even smaller PC will no doubt be interested in the Zotac Zbox PI225 mini-PC. Smaller than your average smartphone, this fully functional computer features an Intel Apollo Lake dual-core processor, 4GB of LPDDR3, 32GB of onboard storage, Intel HD Graphics 500, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, and two USB 3.0 Type-C ports, all packed into a fanless chassis that is just 63 x 95.4 x 8mm (WxHxL).
Pricing and availability were not available at the time of press. We have reached out to the company for more information.
|Model||Zbox MI533||Zbox MI533 Plus||Zbox PI225|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-7300HQ||Intel N3350|
|Memory||Up to 32GB of DDR-2400||4GB of LPDDR3|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 630||Intel HD Graphics 500|
|Storage||2x M.2 SATA SSD Slot1x SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD Slot||32GB eMMC onboard|
|I/O||DisplayPort 1.2HDMI 2.01 x USB 3.1 Type-C (front) 4 x USB 3.0 (back)LAN 10/100/1000 MbpsAntenna802.11acBluetooth 4.23-in-1 (SD/SDHC/SDXC) Stereo output, Microphone||2x USB 3.0 Type-C802.11acBluetooth 4.2Micro SDHC/SDXC|
|Dimensions||184 x 72 x 184mm (W x H x D)||63 x 95.4 x 8mm (W x H x L)|
That's 2x USB 3.0 Type-C ports. You can connect HDMI and/or DisplayPort adapters to them. Up to three for a total of 3 monitors for that CPU I believe. You can also connect gigabit Ethernet adapters, audio devices, printers, external storage, etc. Basically anything you want. You can connect a docking station like device that includes all or many of the other ports you'd have found on PC's in the past if you wish.
The Type-C port is designed to replace not only the normal USB connector, but also work as a thunderbolt connector as well as a DisplayPort or HDMI connector. So this was basically the end game the developers of the connector standard envisioned I'm sure. Hopefully some day soon everything will use this connector. No more worrying about what cable to buy for what device anymore.
It would be nice if it had more than 2 ports, but with such a basic CPU additional ports would require too much from it being as fast and feature packed as these ports are.
Not everybody buys a computer to game on, especially not a mini-PC. An iGPU serves a purpose for cost, noise and power reduction, and if it does everything you need why would you pay more for a dGPU?
You're obviously not a member of their intended market. The people these products are aimed at, can get by just fine on the integrated graphics. These aren't gaming systems. They're small form factor systems that will be used predominantly for browsing the web and checking e-mail.