Zotac had announcements in multiple segments at CES. Obviously, the SSD entry was the big talking point with the PCIe variant boasting good performance numbers. Zotac also had a home automation announcement, the Cozee Smart Home Kit. The lineup will have ZigBee sensors, an IP camera and a gateway.The hardware and software / apps are not final and still being worked on. Therefore, I will postpone detailed coverage of that announcement and concentrate on the updates made by Zotac in the mini-PC space in this article.

Zotac had all their mini-PC models neatly arranged out in their suite. These included models such as the Steam Machine NEN that was announced back in November and the MI551 Skylake mini-PC announced last month. The number of models made my head swim (in a good way). In order to help navigate the available models, Zotac provided the press with a table which lists various features and the models that support them. The list is reproduced in the picture below. More information about the models that launched at CES is available below the picture. Pricing for these units is not available yet.

C-Series with Skylake

We reviewed almost all of the Zotac C-series PCs that started appearing in the market towards the end of 2014. Using the Y-series processors in a fanless chassis, they provided very good performance for users looking for compact and silent solutions. With Skylake, Zotac is going for a slightly larger and heavier solution, but the platform will support higher TDP CPUs (Skylake-U). The currently planned specifications are as below:

  • Intel Core i5-6300U
  • Intel HD Graphics 520
  • 2.5" SATA slot
  • 2x DDR3L-1600 SODIMM
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Dual GbE LAN, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, BT 4.0
  • DisplayPort and HDMI

The gallery below provides some pictures of the chassis.

The Skylake C-Series is at least a quarter away from launch. So, it is possible that specifications might change before it comes to the market.

PC Stick

We reviewed the Cherry Trail Compute Stick recently, and Zotac's version has a slight variation. The USB 3.0 port in the Intel Cherry Trail Compute Stick is replaced by a 10/100 Mbps LAN port. Other than that, all the specifications are the same.

  • Intel Atom x5-Z8300
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 32GB eMMC, 2GB DDR3L RAM
  • 1x USB 2.0, 1x microSD
  • 10/100 Mbps RJ-45 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, BT 4.0
  • HDMI output (male)

The gallery below provides some pictures of the exterior:

ZBOX MA761 and ZBOX EA740

These two products have similar specifications, but target different market segments. The MA761 has 6 DisplayPort outputs and targets the digital signage market. The EA740 has 3 DisplayPort outputs and targets the gaming market (similar to the EN970 that we reviewed last year) All the other specifications (including the GPU model) are the same.

  • Intel Core i3-6100T
  • AMD Radeon R9 M365X with 2GB GDDR5
  • 2x DDR3L-1600 SODIMM
  • 2.5" SATA and a M.2 SSD slot
  • USB 3.0 Type-C
  • SDXC UHS-II card reader
  • Dual GbE LAN, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, BT 4.0

The gallery below provides some pictures of the chassis of both units:


The EI751 is the follow-up product to the ZBOX EI750, one of the Haswell Crystal Well-based mini-PCs equipped with Iris Pro graphics. The EI751 makes the move from Haswell to Broadwell while retaining an Iris Pro-equipped SKU. The full specifications are provided below:

  • Intel Core i7-5775R
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200
  • 2x DDR3L-1866 SODIMM
  • 2.5" SATA and a mSATA slot
  • SDXC card reader
  • Dual GbE LAN, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, BT 4.0
  • 2x Display Port, DVI-D (Single Link)

The gallery below provides some pictures of the exterior:

ZBOX PICO with Cherry Trail T3 & T4

The platforrm is similar to that of the PC Stick mentioned before (i.e, a Cherry Trail tablet board, but, in a pocket-sized form factor). The only difference is the chassis design and the availability of some extra display and I/O ports. The full specifications are provided below:

  • Intel Atom x5-Z8300 (T3) / Intel Atom x7-Z8700 (T4)
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 32GB eMMC, 2GB LPDDR3
  • 3x USB 2.0 (T3), 3x USB 3.0 - (2x Type-A + 1x Type-C) (T4)
  • 10/100 Mbps RJ-45 (T3) / 1 GbE RJ45 (T4)
  • 802.11ac, BT 4.0
  • HDMI, DisplayPort
  • microSD Slot
  • Windows 10 Home Preinstalled

The gallery below shows the chassis of the Pico x7 (T4)

At CES, Zotac announced mini-PC models targeting every segment in the market space - from gaming enthusiasts to users looking for silent and compact HTPCs. They have, without doubt, the widest mini-PC lineup in the whole industry. It is hardly surprising, given that their ZBOX nano xs mini-PCs had come to the market even before the first Intel NUC. We are looking forward to having some of the announced units in for review over the next few months.




View All Comments

  • BuddyRich - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    Took a look at Zotacs site and it looks like its 4K@30Hz on HDMI so I am guessing its only HDMI 1.4... The Shield is still a better proposition than this (as a future-proof HTPC only box).

    Im waiting for the first uSFF PC with a 2.0a HDMI output, personally.
  • ganeshts - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    uSFF with HDMI 2.0a is at least a year away. In the short term, we should be seeing the Intel Skull Canyon NUC with HDMI 2.0a / Thunderbolt 3 support, but that has a slightly bigger footprint compared to the traditional NUC. Reply
  • hubick - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    I was also hoping for HDMI 2.0. Their new Skylake MI551 looked interesting, with it's USB 3.1, but then I saw "M.2 SATA" port and closed their site. Who builds a Skylake platform with an M.2 that isn't NVMe, let alone PCIe?! :-( Reply
  • oskrr1 - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    Do any of them have Intel NICs. I would have purchased a Zbox last generation because they would make a great home Firewall/NAT...If they had Intel NICs. Reply
  • Dobson123 - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    So it seems they don't have AMD models anymore, although Carrizo seems like a good fit. I read that Intel didn't sell them processors anymore after they launched a Kaveri model last year and effectively blackmailed them. Reply
  • Flunk - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    Really? I heard it was because sales of the Kaveri model were terrible. Reply
  • Dobson123 - Sunday, January 17, 2016 - link

    That wasn't surprising considering the fact they were released only a few months before Carrizo arrived and a year or so after Kaveri launched. Reply
  • heffeque - Sunday, January 17, 2016 - link

    Just saw that there's an AMD in there: the MA760. It's Kaveri isntead of Carrizo. What the heck? Anyway... Zen can't come any sooner. Reply
  • geekman1024 - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    Intel balckmailed Zotac? Do you have any evident? This is a serious accusation on Intel committing crime.

    JFYI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackmail
  • Dobson123 - Sunday, January 17, 2016 - link

    I tried to look up the source but found nothing, it was just FUD I read in a forum. Sorry. Reply

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