ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10 Review

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ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10 is a mini palm-sized PC. Nano PCs are media center PCs that come with remote controls. They are energy efficient, smaller, and portable. The ZBOX nano AD10 is a Barebone PC, that is, it comes with everything except Hard disk, RAM, and Operating system.

What is in the box?

The AD10 comes in a nice colorful box with pictures of its ports, and description about its features. The box contains the ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10, remote control with CR2032 batteries, Wi-Fi antenna, USB IR receiver, power brick and cable, a monitor mount, user manual, and driver CD.

Design and features

ZBOX nano AD10 is 5 inches wide, 5 inches long, and 1.77 inches high. It is really hard to make such a little PC clutter free. However, the ports’ placement is nice and it will keep cluttering of cables to a minimum.



The front panel has a power button and power LED light indicator, the infrared receiver, Wi-Fi LED indicator, 6-in-1 card reader slot, 3.5mm audio out and mic-out ports. The vent is located on the left panel. The back panel features 2 USB 2.0 and, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI, 1 dual-link DVI, Wi-Fi antenna port, AC in, LAN port, an eSATA port, and a Bluetooth 3.0 receptor (optional).

You can add a 2.5-inch HDD, and a 204-pin DDR3-1066 RAM. The maximum amount of RAM allowed is 4GB.

Performance

ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10 sports the AMD E-350 1.6GHz processor and AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics chip. We attached a Seagate 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive in the 6Gbps SATA port and 4GB DDR3 RAM. ASUS VH222H 22-inch HD monitor was connected to AD10 via HDMI ports. We had to connect an external DVD ROM in order to install software. We connected USB keyboard and mouse. And we were ready to go.

ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10
It took about 15 minutes to install Windows 7. We set the resolution of our monitor to 1920X1080p. We installed different driver software that came with the AD10. Later, we installed software such as Microsoft Office 2010, Adobe Photoshop CS5, and NFS Most Wanted. The programs ran fast. We had a decent experience playing NFS Most Wanted on AD10. It is to mention that this particular mini PC by ZOTAC is not a gaming one. So, we did not get very good graphics when playing the game. Except for that, all other programs ran smoothly. The remote control came handy while controlling windows media player and browsing pictures remotely. The sound quality was excellent.

ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10

Advantages of a mini PC

The best part with having a mini PC such as ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10 was that we could disconnect it from our computer monitor and connect it to our TV in other room. And in a couple of seconds, we were able to turn the 42-inch Samsung LED TV into our computer monitor. And it was looking good on the TV screen too. Other benefits include the reduced space needed for keeping a big 18-inch high casing, easy to reach the back panel, as it can sit on the desk without taking much space or looking bad. However, the look of AD10 is not that impressive. It doesn’t look much expensive. The color combination is poor. This is something you should keep in mind in case you are thinking about placing it on your desk.

ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10 did not get hot even after using it for a consecutive 5 hours. The fan did not make much noise. The Wi-Fi receiver worked nice.

ProsCons
Energy efficient, Affordable desktop PC replacement, Remote controlled, Wi-Fi, HDMI, compact design, portable, 7.1 HD sound, HD video.Not so good or smart looking. Maximum RAM supported is 4GB.

Conclusion

There is nothing much to complain about ZBOX nano AD10 except for the poor build and bad look. Performance wise, it is as advertised.  You need to keep in mind that it is a barebone mini PC. You’ll need to spend more on HDD, RAM, and OS. On the positive side, it is compact, portable, energy efficient.

Specifications

ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10Model: ZBOXNANO-AD10-U
CPU: AMD E-350 APU 1.6 GHz Dual-Core
Cooler Type: Fan
Video: AMD Radeon HD 6310
Audio: HD audio/7.1-Channel (HDMI)
LAN: 10/100/1000Mbps, Wifi 802.11n/g/b (300Mbps)
Memory Size: Up to 4GB, DDR3 1066 SO-DIMM
Memory Slots: 1 x 204-pin SO-DIMM
SATA: 1 SATA (6.0 Gbps), 1 eSATA
Video Ports: HDMI, DisplayPort
Dual-Link DVI Support: Yes
USB Ports: 2 x USB 3.0 (back panel) 2 x USB 2.0 (back panel)
Power Connector: DC19V
Extra Features: Bluetooth 3.0
Dimensions: 5in x 5in x 1.77in – 127mm x 127mm x 45mm
Warranty: 1-Year Standard



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