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Tom's Hardware's 2011 Gift Guide: Part 2, Last-Minute Extras

Mini PC: Zotac Zbox nano AD10 Plus


Looking for a gift for the gadget lover on your holiday shopping list? Check out the Zotac's ZBOX nano AD10 Plus, a miniature computer that literally fits in the palm of your hand.

The ZBOX nano AD10 Plus is powered by AMD's E-350 APU, which combines the serial processing power of a traditional CPU with the parallelism of a GPU. The result is an SoC that can handles desktop apps and graphics workloads with similar adeptness.

Unlike compact computers, such as Apple's Mac Mini, which isn't supposed to be user-serviceable, the ZBOX can not only be opened, but disassembled with ease thanks to a tool-less design. Four thumbscrews are all that stand between you and the back of the unit, where you'll find an SO-DIMM memory slot, a 2.5" hard drive bay, and a PCI Express slot. 

Zotac's ZBOX ships with 2 GB DDR3 memory and is expandable to 4 GB. There's a 320 GB SATA hard drive occupying the hard drive bay, which can be easily upgraded to a higher-capacity disk. The PCI Express slot is populated by a Wi-Fi card enabling 802.11 b/g/n, plus Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about discrete graphics, since the E-350 APU includes Radeon HD 6310 graphics built-in, facilitating DirectX 11 and accelerated video decoding support.

The back of this little machine delivers a surprising amount of connectivity. You get an IR port, two USB 2.0 connectors, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, and eSATA, in addition to audio (headphone/mic jacks) and video outputs. Additionally, you can get eight-channel sound through box's HDMI connector. A second display can be added via DisplayPort, too. 

The ZBOX ships with a Windows Media Center-compatible remote (batteries included), a USB infrared receiver, a Wi-Fi antenna, a four-way VESA mount, AC adapter, power cord, user manual, and driver CD. Zotac's hardware accommodates Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Linux.

  • manu 11
    i am loving these articles!
  • joytech22
    The ZBox is the most promising item to me.
    Why? Because I can mount it on the back of the TV in the lounge for the family and stream my media files to it from my home server.

    I can then throw in an external BD drive and boom, fully capable home entertainment system, which is even capable of light gaming.

    Of course.. I'd reserve my gaming for my gaming rig! ;) The Zbox would be for more family oriented games in the lounge.
  • richboyliang
    omg more of those same hot girls!!!

    as usual, the one with the monitor is the best because she resembles mariah carey.

    blonde one is ok, redhead is too old.
  • richboyliang
    the suggestive poses combined with the suspicious "xXx" on the Thecus network storage box....
  • Judguh
    You can't tell me there's more.... reasonably priced items for the holidays here. :| ... unless you're getting a share of that dough for these ladies :P
  • a4mula
    Why recommend the u2410 when the u2412M can be had for half the price and has the same exact specs along with LED backlighting. The only loss is going from 100% sRGB to 98% sRGB and that's only important to a tiny fraction of users. The other advantage of the u2412M is that it doesn't suffer from pink tint that has plagued the u2410.
  • pharoahhalfdead
    This was an article about electronics? I must have missed something. That's what I get for skipping all the words. Haha
  • kartu
    Shameless sexism, eh?
    But I enjoy it too...
  • JonnyDough
    richboyliangomg more of those same hot girls!!!as usual, the one with the monitor is the best because she resembles mariah carey.blonde one is ok, redhead is too old.
    You must be in your teens. Not all readers here are kids you know...
  • JonnyDough
    For future reference, we adults call them "women", not girls. ;)