The new Zotac ZBOX PI336 Pico (brought to our attention by Liliputing) looks to be a portable and decently equipped pocketable device, for anyone in the market for a portable media player. It has dual 4K outputs and comes with Windows 11 Pro installed, making it a good digital signage option, but it can also serve other uses.
The presence of a Celeron chip likely won't make anyone jump for joy, but the N6211 chip in this machine acquits itself quite nicely, taking its two cores to a 3GHz burst while drawing just 6.5W of power. It’s a 2021 model built on the 10nm Elkhart Lake architecture, and it comes with 10th Gen Intel UHD graphics.
The CPU supports up to eight PCIe lanes, but they’re not getting much work here as there's neither M.2 nor PCIe slots for cards. You get 128GB of eMMC storage along with 4GB of RAM (a shame, as the chipset supports up to 32GB), and some USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, including one that’s Type-C. Additional connectivity is taken care of via Wi-Fi 6E, Gigabit Ethernet, and Bluetooth 5.2. There's a Micro SD slot for extra storage.
Video out is where the tiny PC excels, with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 outputs capable of driving two 4K screens. That makes it useful for a tiny media PC, or to drive retail or other digital display applications. It all squeezes into a case with a volume of 0.18L (11 cubic inches) and dimensions of 115 x 76 x 20.7mm (4.3in x 3in x 0.8in). We've seen larger and thicker wallets!
It also manages to be passively cooled, with the case acting as a heat sink in the same way as other tiny PCs we've seen recently. There's a 5V DC input at the side of the case, so a separate power brick is required and helps to avoid adding heat to the PC interior.
There's no confirmed release date yet nor pricing, but it’s nice to see a mini PC using an Intel chip and running Windows instead of some Arm/Linux combination. Zotac’s previous small-form-factor model, the ZBOX Magnus, arrived earlier this year, but it was much more powerful and also much larger than this diminutive video-pusher.
|CPU||Intel Celeron N6211|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics for 10th Gen Intel Processors|
|OS||Windows 11 Pro|
|USB ports||2x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C|
|Storage expansion||Micro SD|
|Video out||1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4|
|Dimensions||115 x 76 x 20.7mm (4.3in x 3in x 0.8in)|
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Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.
I was excited about this up until it said 4GB of RAM. 4GB is inexcusably low for modern users of Windows. I can see why some users may want something like this, but it's certainly not newsworthy for most people.Reply