Zotac said on Wednesday that its third-generation Zbox mini-PCs can now match and even outpace larger full-size desktop PCs thanks to Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors. The company has introduced the ID88 and ID89 series that includes a dual-core Core i3-3220T CPU clocked at 2.8 GHz in the former model, and a dual-core Core i5-3470T CPU clocked at 2.9 GHz (3.6 GHz Turbo) in the latter unit.
"Users demanded the same performance as larger desktop PCs from our Zbox but the small size made it virtually impossible to deliver the same performance as desktop PCs. After many months of engineering and fine tuning, we came up with a solution that enables us to install desktop LGA1155 socket Intel Core i5 and i3 processors without sacrificing size, noise or power consumption that will make our end users very happy," says Carsten Berger, senior director, Zotac International.
Both models arrive in barebone and "plus" configurations, the latter of which includes pre-installed memory and a hard drive. Overall, the configurations are basically the same despite the CPU, sporting two 204-pin DDR3 SO-DIMM slots (up to 16 GB), support for a single 2.5-inch HDD, Intel HD Graphics 2500, a 4-in-1 card reader, Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and two Gigabit ports.
The Plus models will include 4 GB of DDR3 memory and a 500 GB 5,400 RPM HDD. Other standard features include HDMI and DVI display options, two USB 2.0 ports on the rear, two USB 3.0 ports (top, front), and onboard analog stereo HD audio.
"Intel HD Graphics 2500 graphics processing transforms the third-generation Zotac Zbox with Intel Core processors into powerhouse HTPCs with Intel Quick Sync Video technology for lightning fast video conversions, Intel InTru 3D technology for stunning and smooth Blu-ray 3D playback with advanced audio technologies, and Intel Clear Video HD technology for hardware-accelerated high-definition video playback," the company said.
Zotac said the Zbox ID88 model is ideal for casual users seeking great performance for everyday computing while the Zbox ID89 model is designed for more demanding users. Both should be ideal for consumers who want a lot of performance in a small, space-saving form factor. Currently, they haven't gone live here in the United States for purchase, so stay tuned.