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New Zotac Zboxes Allow you to Build Your Own CULV Nettop’s

 

Zotac has always had an impressive lineup of barebones Atom based Nettops, but even with the added power of the Ion 2 chipset behind it, 1080p streaming in flash could be hit or miss making them difficult to recommend for anything other than basic standard definition streaming. In response to the critical review the follow up Zboxes are now shipping with optional dual core Intel CULV processors giving them the extra kick needed to make it an extremely powerful HTPC. The appeal of the Zotac Zbox from an enthusiast standpoint is that they come without RAM, Hard Drives, or the OS allowing you to easily open and customize the performance to fit your intended application. You can simply pop in any old 2.5” hard drive you have lying around, or even step up to an SSD.

The new Zbox HD series sports either a Celeron 743 (single-core) or SU2300 (dual-core) processor, can accommodate DDR3 memory, and comes with HDMI / DVI outputs for the video. Additional storage can be added via any of the 6 external USB ports or the single eSATA.  Built in Wi-Fi 802.11N, Gigabit Ethernet, and even 7.1 Channel LPCM surround sound round out the features on a box that makes my PS3 slim feel chubby.

Pricing for the new Zboxes haven’t been announced, but it sounds as though the entry level models will retail for around $270 or less according to Engadget

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