With the advent of Intel’s Atom processor series, vendors started vying for their piece of the small form factor market and thus the nettbook was created overnight. However, Intel’s first Atom chips really weren’t up to the task, since they lacked power and featured ancient integrated graphics.
AMD is looking to change all that with its Brazos platform and so far it seems to be doing rather well. Several vendors have introduced Brazos laptops and netbooks, but so far few have started selling nettops. Zotac is one of them and today we’ll take the Zbox AD02 Plus for a brief spin.
The new Zbox sticks to Zotac’s tried and tested design, small, simple, yet stylish. It measures 188x188x44mm, making it one of the smallest Fusion rigs on the market. It costs about €250 in the European market, which isn’t bad either.
It packs an E-350 APU, A50M chipset, 2GB of memory and 250GB hard drive. In terms of features and connectivity, AMD’s Fusion beats any Intel Atom hands down. This is especially true of the Zbox, since it offers USB 3.0, eSATA, SATA 6Gbps, DVI, HDMI and WiFi, all on board and ready to go. One could hardly ask for more, aside from additional storage and memory, but in that case Zotac will gladly sell you a barebone version for about €190. Of course, we will talk about the pros and cons at length in our review.
Our first impressions are largely positive. We like the build quality, the understated design and the piano black finish will go well with most TVs and monitors on the market. Zotac also provides a VESA mount and a vertical stand to suit everyone’s needs. The spec is pretty impressive and future-proof thanks to USB 3.0 and eSATA.
We are running some benchmarks as we speak and we hope to have a full review ready within a couple of days, so stay tuned.