Zotac Updates ZBOX Nano with Haswell

Looking for a small form factor PC with a punch? Look no further than Zotac's updated ZBOX Nano ID68 and ID69 series, now sporting Intel's tasty-yet-filling "Haswell" CPUs. Zotac's angle with these two mini PCs is that users will have access to Intel's Turbo Boost technology that will dial up the core frequency when needed.

"The new ZBOX nano ID68 and ID69 series are our most powerful palm-sized mini-PCs yet. The addition of Intel Turbo Boost technology enables the two ZBOX nano ID68 and ID69 series to deliver performance comparable to much larger systems while consuming much less energy," said Carsten Berger, senior director, Zotac International.

As always, these mini PCs come in barebones and "Plus" models, the latter of which includes memory and a hard drive. The barebones model ships without those, but that also means a cheaper price tag. Either way, expect to purchase the operating system separately (such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1), adding to your overall expense.

Both of the new ZBOX Nano units are basically identical, sporting one 240-pin DDR3L SO-DIMM slot supporting up to 8 GB, and support for one 2.5 inch HDD or SSD (go with the latter if you can afford it). The "Plus" models come packed with 4 GB of memory and a 500 GB 5400 RPM hard drive.

As for other features, both models have HDMI and DisplayPort output, a 7-in-1 card reader, Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless AC networking, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 2.0 ports on the front, and four USB 3.0 ports on the back. Both are Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 ready.

Where the ID68 and the ID69 differ are in the CPUs. The ID68 sports a dual-core Intel Core i5-4200U clocked at 1.6 GHz and a TurboBoost speed of up to 2.6 GHz. The ID69 is a bit beefier with a dual-core Intel Core i7-4500U clocked at 1.8 GHz and a TurboBoost of up to 3.0 GHz. Intel HD Graphics 4400 handles the visuals.