Zotac ZBOX Pico PI320-Bring the power of a PC in your pocket
Zotac ZBOX Pico, this tiny little box is a fully functional Windows 8 PC, Believe it or not. It is literally pocketable – barely larger than a common portable hard drive – but it really does contain everything a desktop PC needs: processor, motherboard, RAM, SSD and even Wi-Fi.
Zotac has been selling shrunken PCs for years now, but even these have been at least the size of small lunchboxes. New advances in hardware have made the ZBOX Pico possible, and new dynamics in software licensing have made it astonishingly cheap. If it can get our work done, desktop towers might soon become dinosaurs; unnecessary and impractical for everyone other than gamers and professionals with high-end needs. It’s a tantalising thought, so let’s see what the ZBOX Pico has to offer.
Look and feel
It’s really hard to get over how tiny this thing really is. It just doesn’t seem like a PC. At 115.5 x 66 x 19.2mm, It’s just a little larger than the original line of iPods, wide and tall as smart phones that would be considered “compact” by today’s standards, but maybe twice as thick.. We’ve seen laptop power bricks that are larger than this! Most of the people we showed it to assumed it was a portable battery pack, and that’s honestly the most accurate way to describe its size and proportions.
The ZBOX Pico is passively cooled and so there are no vents or openings on its body. There’s no fan and no other moving parts, making it completely silent. The flat top and bottom are made of shiny black plastic, while a continuous metallic silver strip runs around the edges. The overall look is really slick, even though it is derivative of the iPhone 4/4S look which has become quite common.
There is room for quite a few ports. On the back, a full-sized 10/100 Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports and a 3.5mm audio out socket. There’s another USB port and an HDMI video output on the right edge, alongside the DC input socket. There’s only a micro SD card slot on the front, and a small power button on the left. Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi n are built in, but there are no external antennas.
Like most other ZBOX models, the Pico can be clipped on to the back of any VESA mountable monitor. The VESA standard requires four screw mounts placed in a square – the plastic bracket included with the ZBOX Pico is small enough that it will stay firmly in place with only two screws. The power adapter is a standard wall-wart, no different from the ones that come with small peripherals.
Minature PCs have long used hardware originally conceived for laptops or even net books, but this time Zotac has essentially taken parts equivalent to those inside today’s tablets. There are plenty of small x86 tablets running Windows today – strip away the screen and battery, and you’ll be left with the ingredients for a device just like the ZBOX Pico.
The processor is an Intel Atom Z3735F, which is based on the Bay Trail architecture. It has four cores and has a rated base frequency of 1.33GHz, which can go up to 1.83GHz in bursts. The thermal envelope is a remarkably low 2.2W, according to Intel’s documentation.
Price (MRP): Rs. 15,999